This one was written for the Write On Edge Prompt “A Season of Change”.
I decided to write it as if Charity (a character I frequently use) was writing a memoir, knowing full well that the audience reading that memoir would be a bunch of 21st century Earth people (us!)
My apologies for not being able to do as many comments on other participants blog’s as I usually do… I’m doing the 3DayNovel challenge this weekend!
Our seasons on Kingdom Come are longer than yours on Earth. I know that different countries in your era handle school semesters in different ways, but Kingdom Come is a unified planet and all the duchies handle school seasons, or quarters, the same way. We have four school quarters every year, and they match the seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.
I apologize. AmyBeth would call what I just did there an “info dump.” But, I am not a writer, I am a Duchess. However I will tell you about one very important season in my life.
It is our custom that, when a young person is an adolescent (not a teenager… a thirteen-year-old on Earth would only be ten counted in our years) they take a season or two off from school and do a sabbatical. These are usually highly organized, and may resemble your summer camp on Earth. The purpose is not only to let the young people take a break from their regular routine to experience something that interests them, but also to concentrate on social skills and form relationships.
I was a good student, and I was able to take my first sabbatical season when I was still quite young, just barely ten years old. All the girls talked about how wonderful it was to work with the norses at one particular camp, so I chose to go there even though the beasts scare… well, perhaps not scare, but they intimidate me. You see, norses are like horses (we have both) but much bigger. They can easily carry two full grown passengers, or pull loads that are much too heavy for a horse.
They really are beautiful, majestic creatures. When we first went into the barn to meet the norses, I fed a sugar cube to one they said was a very sweet natured mare. But when I didn’t have a second sugar cube, she planted her head against my chest and shoved… hard. I was momentarily lifted off the ground, then I stumbled backwards before falling on my rear end.
At camp, no one cared that I was the daughter of the Counts and Contessas of the County Finborough in the Duchy of Fallcastle. They might know, but they didn’t care. I was just one of the girls. But they helped me up anyway, and asked me if I was all right. It wasn’t the learned politeness I’d grown to expect; it was genuine concern not just for the bruises on my behind, but for the fact that I was quite embarrassed.
It was camaraderie.
It felt good.
I was not the first girl to get up and ride one of the things. In fact, the only times I ever rode at all were with an experienced rider in front of me holding the reins. I found other ways to participate. Did we forget the blankets? I’d go get them. Did someone get hurt and need a friend to take them to the nurse? I’d be the one to go.
I never felt put-upon by any of this. Just the opposite. I felt fulfilled. I had a gift for helping people, a gift that I eventually turned into a profession.
I did two more sabbaticals before graduation, and they were all quite different. But one thing remained the same, no matter what group I was in…
I help people. It is what I was meant to do.
The shortlink for this post is http://wp.me/p1rMYd-7W