So about a year ago I started writing this piece that is currently titled Keeva and the Sword.
This work is loosely inspired by the anime Fruits Basket, and the DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul. Meaning the opening scene of Fruits Basket gave me an idea to start the story and the Chronicles gave me a broad direction for plot. Effectively, this is my attempt at a Christian based story. All characters are of my own creation and any appearance of relation to a real or fictional character or event is entirely coincidental. This first section was published in my school’s literary publication. At this time I am only editing for spelling and things like that, I would love to see any suggestions you might have to improve my writing. And So without Further Ado:
Keeva and the Sword: Part 1
Hi, I’m Keeva, Keeva Heartridge that is, age seventeen. I am very short, about four foot ten, and I have shoulder length mousy brown hair and green eyes. My hair came from my mother, and I guess the green eyes came from my father. Oh, and I am a follower of Aléthés. But that comes later in the story. Well, here goes.
I walked slowly along the old dirt trail toward the place I now called home. After Uncle died I had to pretend to move in with a different relative to avoid arousing the suspicion of the landlord. The problem was that Uncle was my only relative left. I was born just after my mother finished high school. I never knew who my father was, since my birth was caused by my mother being raped, and Uncle was my mother’s only sibling. Both of my grandparents were only children. I lived in an old shed about two miles from school. I worked at a local restaurant and earned enough money to buy groceries and a gym membership, which provided shower and laundry facilities.
My school fees were covered by a sponsor, provided I kept my grades up. Unbeknownst to me several of the students from my sponsor family had taken notice of me. I guess one of them recognized that I wore the same set of outfits after school. And that my uniforms and school supplies were all old and worn. It was around October when I came home to find a basket with fresh fruit and a new pair of shoes outside my door. These mystery packages continued to appear every three days or so. They always contained food, and usually an item or two of clothing and some school supplies.
I was very tired since we had completed the school fitness test today, and I had worked a shift and a half at the café. It was late and the trail was a mess due to the horrid wind storms that had occurred in the past week. I tripped in a small hole in the trail and fell, rolling down the hill. I awoke several hours later just as the sun was beginning to rise. I was covered with dirt and leaves, and my whole body was one giant ache. I lay quietly for a few minutes taking inventory of the hurts. My right leg distinctly hurt in three separate places, my left knee was either very bruised or sprained, my right arm was covered in scratches, and my left wrist was severely swollen, although I could support myself with it. I was also certain that I had a cracked rib or two. The good news was that I was only about ten feet from the shed.
It took most of the morning but I was able to pull myself in to the shed, drink some water and eat an apple before collapsing on my pallet on the floor. I was already burning with fever.
“Joni, I’m worried about Keeva. It’s Tuesday. Keeva never misses school.”
“I know, I know. Tell you what Tate, since the shed is on that piece of land that Dad just bought why don’t we ride our bikes down there?”
“Sounds good to me.”
As they rode, the two noticed that the trail was a wreck. Just before they reached the shed they found Keeva’s school things scattered across the clearing. They both become increasingly nervous. “Let me go in first, Tate, I’ll come right back out and let you know what is going on.” “Ok, but be careful.” “I will.”
Joni carefully entered the shed, not sure just what she would find, Then she sees Keeva passed out on the pallet, shivering and sweating from a fever with several severe injuries. She quickly steps back out to talk to Tate.
“It’s not good Tate, I need you to help me move her before going to get help.” As they entered Tate gasped in shock. “Do you think she’ll make it?” Tate asks. “I don’t know yet,” Joni replied, “help me bind her legs together and her arm to this piece of wood, then we can move her to the sleeping bag and cover her with the blankets. I’m going to try to get her to drink some water, you go get help.” “Got it.”
The siblings carefully bound the swollen limbs and lifted her to the sleeping bag using the sheet that she was laying on, Tate then ran for his bike. Tate was going for his father, Mr. Hollowell, who was also a private physician with what amounted to a miniature hospital in the east wing of the house.
Upon reaching the house, Tate carefully put away his bike and attempted to make himself presentable before going to his father’s office. He knocked twice and waited for permission to enter. “You look worried, what is your concern Tate?” asked Mr. Hollowell. “Sir, do you remember the student at school we sponsor, Keeva Heartridge?” Mr. Hollowell nodded. “Well, sir, Joni and I went to check on her today since she missed school Monday and today. We were concerned, sir, because she never misses school. When we reached where she is currently…mmm… abiding we found her collapsed on the floor with fever, and rather seriously injured. Please, Sir, will you come and help?” Tate implored. “Very well, you may explain in detail later. Go put the back board and the med kit in the jeep. Now, I must ask just one question. Where is she?” Mr. Hollowell inquired. “She is in an old shed on the back side of the logging property you just acquired, we followed a trail to the shed, but I believe I saw evidence of the old logging road running to the clearing. The only problem is that the road may only be accessible by foot due to all the downed trees from the last storm” Tate answered. “We shall just have to deal with that when we get there” replied Mr. Hollowell, as they set off.
About fifty feet from the clearing the jeep was able to go no farther, a large oak had fallen and blocked the trail. Mr. Hollowell and Tate walked the last fifty feet to the shed. “Joni”, called Mr. Hollowell. “In here sir, be careful of the doorway” she replied. Mr. Hollowell carefully pushed past the blanket that was serving as a door and entered the shed. He stopped and stared in shock. He was having difficulty understanding just how this child was still alive, with the broken limbs, extreme bruising, inflammation, and multiple lacerations. “We need to move her onto the backboard, grab the sheet … one, two, three, lift, … and set her down, easy now, and we’re good. Tate you help me get Ms. Heartridge to the jeep. Joni, you grab my bag and gather her personal belongings and meet us at the jeep.
“Tate get her feet, I will get her head. Joni we will see you at the jeep.” “Yes, sir.” “On it sir”. Tate and Mr. Hollowell carefully transported Keeva to the jeep where Mr. Hollowell began care. He administered oxygen first, the quickly started a fluids and light morphine drip to prevent further shock. Once he was sure that Keeva was stable, he started a basic exam and blood type test. Mr. Hollowell sent Tate back to the shed to hurry Joni along. While the kids were away Mr. Hollowell made several calls.
“Dr. Hansen, I need you to assemble the team at my residence stat. I am bringing in a young girl in extreme distress. ETA thirty minutes.” “Mrs. Smith, incoming trauma case, the team is assembling, have the gate open.” “Nurse Taylor prepare the surgery for a trauma case, girl age 19, weigh approx. 95 pounds, x-rays, ultrasound, broken or fractured limbs, and head trauma, eta 30 minutes.” “Deputy Brown I need all the information you can find on one Ms. Keeva Heartridge, age 19.” At that time Tate and Joni arrived at the jeep with the two bags and a bedroll that comprised of Keeva’s worldly possessions. Once everything was secured, Mr. Hollowell raced back to the estate.
Upon arrival at the estate, Tate and Joni were sent to prepare a guest room near the hospital wing. Keeva was whisked off to the surgery room. It took 72 hours to repair the damage that Keeva had sustained, but Keeva was not well yet, she still had to fight off infection and illness before she could recover. As it was Keeva was kept sedated for an additional four days after surgery to provide the best chance of healing.
During this time Keeva was trapped in her fever dreams. These dreams were full of dark, fear, worry, and misery. Imagine a time when you felt depressed or angry, or just felt off then a being put down; place those feelings into a box and lock yourself inside the box. Oh, and the box can only be opened from the outside once you enter the box. This is where Keeva was trapped.
Within the dream Keeva lay in a crumpled heap. She no longer had the strength to move or ignore the voices saying how worthless and pitiful she was, how she had killed her mother, and driven her uncle to despair.
Mr. Hollowell watched Keeva’s fever continue to rise. He called for the nurse to bring in the ice and alcohol soaked sponges. They began to battle the rising fever.
Within the dream Keeva lay in a pit while monsters taunted, beat, burned, and attacked her. By this point Keeva lay curled in a ball too exhausted and injured to resist, ready to give up. Just then she glanced up and saw a small light high above. The light grew brighter, the monsters froze in fear, and the light floated down and joined Keeva in the pit. “Oh my child, you have fought long and hard, but you must rise to fight again. Come.” As the voice spoke, the light lifted her, strength ran through her and a sword and shield appeared in her hands. Together Keeva and the Light-voice fought through the horde of monsters. When Keeva fell the voice carried her and continued to fight.
Finally the voice broke free of the dark realm, and in a quiet, sunlit glade rested. There the voice washed Keeva’s wounds and bound them with strips of his over-tunic. Then he did something many would call ritualistic, he dabbed blood from his wounds onto Keeva’s eyes, ears, lips, hands, and heart. The voice then cleaned his sword while waiting for Keeva to wake.
Slowly Keeva began to rouse, feeling as if she was slowly floating awake. Looking ahead she sees her rescuer. “Who, who are you, where am I, am I dead?” “So many questions Keeva, very well. I am Aléthés, The Voice of Truth, we are in my father’s land, the realm of light and no, you are not dead.” Aléthés picked up a piece of leather and began to polish his sword.
Keeva pondered this for a minute then asked, “But how did you know where to find me?” “My father keeps track of his enemies, whenever they gather he sends me to investigate.” “So you are his champion then?” “I suppose in a way I am, but tell me how do you feel?” Keeva contemplated the question for several minutes. “I hurt, but at the same time the hurt is gone.” “Can you describe the hurts, perhaps?” “My body still hurts, still feels the battles, but my heart is no longer heavy. It is not so much that the hurt is gone, but that it, it is like a wound that is healed but has left a scar. You can still feel the hurt, but instead of the constant pain of the open wound, it is the twinge or stiffness of a long healed injury. Does that make sense?” “Yes, I hoped that you would feel that. The inner healing is the power my father gives me. He sent me to rescue you and to offer you a permanent home. Reaching this home is difficult and filled with battles. You would have to learn to live by the sword. The sword, and the battles will be both of the heart and body. There will be times when you will fight your own body, though I wish that I could heal you inside and out, I can only heal the heart and mind.” Aléthés stopped, seeing the concern, pains and exhaustion on Keeva’s face. “Take heart Keeva, for you will never fight alone.” Aléthés kissed Keeva’s forehead, and she sank into the comfort of sleep.
End Part 1 of Keeva and the Sword
I hope you enjoyed reading. I will try to post updated 2-3 times per month, never less than once a month.
Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his Hand.