Story Zero

Part Two – The First Trip

it was spring, and everyone was working with something, during the spring everyone on the settlement would be working on gathering and planting more rice. for two months people would be doing this. the younger ones would go out the settlement on a trip to the capital in order to trade goods. the time i spent there was not so brief, i guess i spent two years there. so i made the same trip many times but the first one was the best one to tell.
as a day of spring, at that settlement the sun entered through the window waking me up early, everyone else but clair and me were up, everyone had errands to run, and it was our responsibility to go to the capital, trade the collected rice for money and goods. as i went down to the table were clair was setting the breakfast. i started to wonder why everyone was already out. i didnt knew of the springs traditions and so. she asked me then
” do you know what are we going to do today? ”
” what is it? ”
” we are goint on a trip. ”
” trip? why? ”
” during spring and summer we go out to exchange the products of our village for good at the capital. ”
” like, we got to travel there? ”
” yup, more or less, we’re going with a wagon and some other young ones. its more a merchant party than anything else. ”
” i think we are too young to do this. ”
” what? going on a trip? ”
” no, exchanging products. ”
” i have done it many times already, there is nothing to worry about. ”
” even cheaters? ”
” even cheaters. ”
after finishing our breakfast we went to the backyard where Clair’s family keep a wagon, it was well conserved and seemed a not much comfortable, but upon looking weird toward it Clair said.
” dont let her looks fool you, she is strong and comfortable enough to sleep. i know i have done it already. ”
” is that so? ”
” she is more useful than you think. also her wheels are brand new, we dont let it take any rain water or sun, so its well conserved. now lets just take the necessary for the trip. theia, take that box over there. ”
” the one with the hammer? ”
” yup, bring it here. ”
” for what we are going to use a hammer? ”
” not just a hammer, its a toolbox, its necessary for the trip. ”
” why is it necessary? ”
” if something breaks, if we need to take something away, or if we need to get something. the toolbox will have everything there to help us. ”
” ah, if its that important. ”
i took the toolbox and put it into the wagon, as Clair finished checking the wagon, she went to check if everything was in the toolbox, while it, she told me to get some other things, they were a basket at the kitchen, she told me that there was some food, she told me to get a big bottle too, and many other things, according to the planning the trip would take a day to get into the capital, and another day to come back. we were going to stay in the capital for a single day camping with the other young people of the settlement, and then come back with the money and the goods. the last thing she asked me to get was a three wool quilts, she said to me that two were for us and one was to cover the good’s and the rice. everything was well planned and i was starting to feel really eager to it.
by the time noon was starting,  i was laying down at the wagon without anything to do, just looking to the clouds. the sky was in a faint light tune of blue and there were many clouds, shaped over a wide variety of stuff, i saw a cloud shaped over a bird, over a horse over a cow, i saw one shaped over the watermill, by the time being i didnt knew much things about the world, my knowledge was small, my culture was also small. and this way, many clouds looked like nothing to me that day. Clair called me after a while, saying:
” Theia, now i need your help, we’re going to load the wagon with rice. ”
” ah, ok, count with me. ”
we went to the barn, the grow ups and the youngsters were all carrying sacks of rice, many sacks were into the big barn at that settlement. when i got there Clair said. to me. ” just take a single sack, dont try to carry more than it, you wont be able to do so, also, you got to carry it, not to push. if you push there is a chance to the sack rip and it would be bad, got it? ” and there i went.
seeing how everyone was carrying the sacks i thought that would be easy, they didnt, looked too heavy, i swiftly changed my mind once i took hold of one, they were heavy, really heavy to carry. i wondered how can such a small grain of rice to get so heavy when together with others, the sack was so stuffed that even if you poked it you could feel the grains inside it.
” it seems that this year the harvest was nice to us. ”
” aw Clair, those sacks are too heavy, you sure we must carry it? ”
” well if everyone helps we will finish earlier, besides, its a nice exercise. ”
” is it really necessary? ”
” both are, carrying the rice and exercising. dont you think? ”
” not at all, its heavy, and i was so alright looking at the sky. ”
” dont worry, once we start traveling the fun will begin. ”
” what kind of fun? ”
” what youngsters do when they’re together, we talk shit, play some games, everyone on their respective wagon of course, but it will be fun, just you wait. ”
and with that promise i keep on carrying the rice over the barn to the wagon, waiting for the time we went off. loading the wagon was easier thought. all we had to do was to bring some sacks of rice to our wagon, then Clair’s dad would pick then up and set then in a nice place, Clair went to pick Diogenes, the horse. Diogenes was the family’s horse and he was still strong and energetic, showing health and sparking energy. seeing diogenes made me think that i had nothing to fear about the trip Clair set him at the wagon and i was re-checking everything again, to make sure our travel would be safe enough without any problems.
” so, clair, everything is alright. ”
” just wait until everyone is ready, we all are going to depart together. ”
” because it would be safer if everyone was together? ”
” that too, we all have agreed that the travel is boring and, the more the merrier. you know that right? ”
” i guess. ”
” you can lazy around, ah, there is no problem laying over the rice. bags. ”
” isnt it uncomfortable? ”
” its more comfortable than you think. ” she said getting on the wagon. ” ah, also be prepared, the trip is long and we will stay here at the wagon for hours. until the night strikes and we reach the first shelter. ”
” shelter? ”
” yep, there is a traveling shelter set on the middle of the road, that we build some years ago, to make sure the youngsters caravan get a safe and more comfortable trip. its all planned. ”
” ah, if you say so. ”
a hour passed and by it everyone was ready and waiting at their wagons, the grow ups followed us to the exit of the settlement. and we all set to the capital. with a total of ten wagons going there. we all were laughing and the feeling was one of animation all over the caravan. people were singing, chatting and i was laying down back at the rice sacks. Clair was talking with a girl in a wagon by our side, about what were we all going to do at the first night in the capital. then i sit and said.
” but, we dont have money. ”
” haha, of course we have theia. ”
” are you talking about the rice. ”
” no. ” said the girl in the other wagon. ” ah, first im going to present myself, im Aligier. nice to meet you. ” and she smiled
i smiled back and replied. ” im theia, nice to meet you . ”
” so. ” said clair. ” we do have money. its inside the basked of food we brought. ”
” ah, that one. there was money inside it? ”
” did you saw the white fabric inside it? ”
” yes i did. ”
” so, by the morning when you were still asleep i took my money and put on it. everyone gathers money over the year just for this trip. we dont need it in the settlement. we gather it to spend at the capital in the night we are staying there. ”
” ah, so in other words… ”
” we got twice this time, because of you theia. ”
after that, i laid down again over the sacks of rice. and keep watching the road. it was a nice path, made to fit at least fifteen wagons, and we were a caravan of ten, it was surrounded by a nice field and by the side of the road, there were some trees. planted,  the view was so nice. the river who cut through the settlement could be seen streaming far, and the fields of rice on one side and the fields of corn at the other, all towering, not too high. the smell was pleasant, and the movement was nice, we were moving fast but to us, it was still slow. there was apparently a formation, which changed with the time. the ones at the front were looking over the way, and leading. taking care of the ones behind, and the ones behind were resting and taking care of the backs of the caravan. this way, the horses could keep on moving, resting a bit at the backs and then going a bit faster on the front. everything was really well planned.
we followed and by some point people started to sing, surprisingly, almost every wagon had a musical instrument, ours didnt have, but then everyone joined and there we started to play a song and enjoy, it was a so messed up song, nobody was really playing anything, we were just improvising a fun and enjoyable sound to all. Clair soon asked to me to take control over our wagon and i took, i did pretty well, no problems at the end. by the night we arrived a camping place, surrounded by threes and bushes, and there was a small building there marked with the symbol of that country. we stopped there and set the camp up for the night.