"You stupid whore! You gypsy!"
Delly heard the cry of help, and ran from one side of the carnival to another. When mama had told her, that they would be performing, she had worked all day and night to polish up her palm reading skills. They had opened 7 candlemarks ago, and people were streaming in by dozens. People always seemed intrigued in the unusual, and in gypsy carnivals. Her mama, and the other head gypsy's tried to keep our carnival up to date, and they had devoted their lives to it. Her mama, and three other ladies, and two men.
The scene had gathered men and women alike, who was watching a young man of around.. 22 kicking at a young gypsy girl who could only be 14 that was lying on her face. Even from here, she could smell the fear coming out of the girl. It oozed like blood, like the blood on her face that she couldn't see, but sensed.
"I pay you, and you don't complete your 'duty' you whore?! I paid good money!"
He had sandy brown hair, and light brown eyes. He was pale, and breathing heavily. She watched men laugh and point, and so the women titter. Delly felt her blood tingle, and walked forwards.
"Stop. it.... sir."
She bit out.
The man looked up surprised, and leered.
"What do we have here, a white gypsy among all these brown skinned ones. What will you do if I don't? You going to beat me up? Is that it?"
Delly was white skinned, and she didn't look much like a fighter. 16, she reached a height of 165cm, and had a slim body of 83-68-79. White with a hint of ivory in her skin, she held herself proud among the others. Her mama had told her to be proud of herself, no matter what. Because if people laugh, but you still look proud, they stop laughing, and slowly, you can let them see that gypsy's come in all colors.
Delly's eyes were a dark, mossy green, and her hair was dark red in color, with high lights of orange. It was down to mid-back, and let loose around her shoulders. Her face was small, and bony, giving her a look that made her more older then she was.
Her eyes held the mans coldly, and she bared her painted red lips slowly.
"If you don't let her go right this minute, I am going to make you so sorry."
People laughed all around her, but it was a nervous laugh. The man was almost twice her height, and had kicked the other girl around easily. But she seemed so serious looking, people glanced at each other and shifted their feet.
Delly kept her temper in check. She walked over slowly to the girl, and helped her up.
"You alright Baben?"
She asked softly. Her eyes lit up with love.
"I can live. Delly, don't get mad at that man. Please. Grandmama will kill you if she finds out. She said she would kick you out if you tried."
Delly smiled soflty.
"I'll try. But he hit you Baben. He hit my only daughter. Do you think he'll get away with that?"
"You whore. Your the daughter of the white gypsy?"
Delly felt a mothers instinct come up and with a flash, her green eyes narrowed.
"You dare call my daughter a whore again. And I will personally make sure that you will regret this every single day."
When Delly had been 12, she had been raped by a man. Just like the one standing in front of her. Some of them mistook alot of gypsys, just because of the few that gave them bad reputations. They would pay for a simple card reading, had his way, leave the money, and run off.
Delly had fallen and had hit her head. She didn't wake up for another sevenday. When she did, she found out she was pregnant. And Delly had done an odd thing. When she had been... asleep, a soul had come into her in a dream. The one of her daughter. She had said
'I will find you mama.'
And had disappeared. When Delly had given birth, she had gone into a dead faint. It seemed to somehow run in her family. That line between death and life. That line that in her position, she controlled.
Mama told her that she had wavered. Her vision had flickered. And didn't wake up for awhile. Mama had gone to the oldest gypsy for help, but none was given. People prayed. People sang. People tried everything to get her awake.
And one day, she did awaken. She woke up, and four sevendays had passed. But in that four sevendays, she told her mama that she had walked with her daughter. Walked and talked. Ofcourse, she would not remember it, her daughter that is. But she had.
Delly told her mother that it happened, because her daughter had a stubborn soul, and had come into her dream that day she was raped. And had told her that she wouldn't have to hold the burden to herself. She told her that she was coming, so that Delly wouldn't feel bad about that day -that didn't mean she felt good about it-.
And strangely enough, her daughter grew too fast for time. By the time she was 16, her daughter was 14. Beban didn't remember anything at all. So Delly told her the story. Beban would ask, so why did she grow too quickly? And Delly would answer.
"So that you would be mature enough to hold my burdens with me, to help me through my days, when I remember that very day. So that you would be a daughter and a sister to me. You have a very strong and generous soul Beban."
"oohhhh I'm so scared. White gypsy girl is going to attack me. Whore whore whore your daughters a whore."
"When you get angry, you know what happens."
Delly looked at the man.
"First thing first. Beban is a palm reader. Not someone to dally with. Understood?"
She asked in a quiet voice.
Men talked among themselves. And women went quiet. So their suspicions had been correct then? Gypsy's weren't suppose to do... what they were known to do? The man sneered.
"Oh yeah? Who says?"
She said coldly.
Delly had never really believed in helping other gypsys. She knew it was a bad thing, being raped, but she just didn't know how. She never took it personally. She felt bad for them and all, but it never struck her. But the thought of that man laying his hands on Beban, her daughter, made her blood boil.
Delly couldn't stand it. She tried. She held her temper for as long as she could. Snarling, she leaped for his neck. And what people saw unnerved them.
Delly leaped like a feline would leap for her pray. Her hands went around his neck, and subtly, her fingers thickened, and shortened, and the people with the sharpest of eyes saw them turn into paws with ivory claws which were digging into his neck. Delly's eyes turned from their green to a yellow. A feral yellow, and shaped like a felines eye. Her hair lengthened, covering her whole body. It seemed to tightened around it, and covered her up. It went into her clothes, not above, and her clothes ripped. But she was red all over, with hints of orange. Her hair lost its look, and turned almost furry. Then, from that Beban watched her mothers hair turn into scales. Dark red scales with hints of orange and yellow. Her face narrowed, and her nose and mouth started to stick out, turning into a muzzle. Small, white teeth became sharp and ivory in color. They seemed to wink in the light. Delly's face was too scaled, but the shape of a feline. A feline hungry for blood.
The suddenly, from behind, her mothers hair which was scales, whipped out, and turned itself into a tail. The tail scaled just like her body, resembled a feline's tail. It was half the size of her length in body, and whipped around, stopping anyone from helping the choked man. -Not that anyone in their present minds had the courage too-.
A scaled feline was what people thought. But she wasn't finished. Two narrow bones jutted out of her shoulder blades. And the sound of ripping skin was heard. But she didn't bleed. Instead of the blood, was two large wings, red in color, with claws at the tip of the wing, and large enough to be able to fly in.
The wings reminded the lookers of dragon wings, as they were the same shape. But instead of hide, it was scales. And instead of a dragonic face, a felines.
They had in view, a dragon/feline killing a man for mistreating her daughter.
"Mom. Mom! Come back please! He's dead. You killed him. Please!"
The feline whipped around, her eyes blazing yellow. But at the view of a young girl crying, her eyes mellowed down into a dark green. Her wings folded and went back into her skin somehow. Her tail shortened until there was no tail. Her scales shifted into fur, then hair. And her face turned human.
Her daughter wrapped her cloak around her mother, and held her as she cried. Beban glared at the viewers and helped her mother into the nearest tent.
A old gypsy asked sympethetically.
"But it wasn't right of the man. Someone should have told him about her."
"Who would have believe?"
Beban asked softly. And walked out to find her Grandmother.
Delly was fed some warm broth, and she changed into a dark green dress. As her mother came in, she felt tears rise again. And she closed her eyes to stop them.
"Delly, I told you so many times to control your temper..."
Delly looked up at her mother, and protested.
"Did you hear what he was calling my daughter? MY daughter?!"
"... you didn't hear me out delly. As I was saying, you didn't control your temper, and you killed a man. So for that, I should ban you from coming back here, and kick you out."
Her mother sighted.
"But we all heard about the terrible things he said, and we all know we would have done the same to protect our own daughters. I would have done the same to protect you."
She said gently.
"So we have come up with the desicion, for you to leave today, and not return for a Turn. And when you do, to have learnt self control."
Delly's mother lowered her voice.
"Actually, I want you to leave so that you have time and privacy to practice your shape shifting."
"And to tell you the truth, we'll be here the whole time, the whole of the Turn. So just stay in these woods, okay? No way am I seeing my daughter leave more then 30 paces away from me."
Giggling, Delly got up and said.
"I'll be leaving tonight."
She nodded, and hugged her daughter. Her only daughter. Beban came forwards and hugged her too.
"I'll help you pack."
She said quietly.
A turn later, Delly reappeared. Word spread around the gypsys as fast a thread. Beban and her grandmother ran forwards to meet Delly. But the Delly that stood there, wasn't the Delly that they remembered. Her looks had altered slightly, but it was something about her in a inner way.
Delly was 17, and even if it had only been a Turn, she seemed to have been gone for 7 Turns. She was the same height, with white-ivory skin, and the same dark green eyes. But her eyes held wisdom and strengh. From what, no one knows. But they held a inner strengh that echoed through out her body. The way she held herself, the way she walked, the way she looked at each and everyone.
Her hair was dark red, with streaks of yellow and orange. It seemed to be glossy. Like the scales when she shifted. Her eyes held a permanent yellow tinge now, which people saw when she lifted her head.
Spotting her mother and daughter, she smiled and it broke the uneasy mood.
"I've got so much to tell you."
They were together, all three of them in a tent. There was light, and drinks. As Delly smiled at her daughter, and at her mother, she started to talk slowly.
"Mama, why didn't you tell me about my father? And his family?"
Delly's mother froze.
"No, dont' worry mama. I found out."
She asked, uneasily.
Delly smiled a dreamy smile.
"It came to me in a dream. I'll tell you about it.
It the dream, no one appeared. I was alone, sitting on a boulder, facing myself, but in my other body. I was Delly the human, and staring at me, was Delly the animal.
She... well, I started to talk. But it wasn't my voice. It belonged to a man or a woman? I don't know. But the voice talked. I couldn't hear anything at first, and I woke up.
Then, it seemed that I remembered the words I didn't hear. They told me of a man named Simon Sanger, and his extrondinally family/relatives. How there were shapeshifters, feline speakers, all these unique people. But its not them I was told about. It was Simon.
He came to Pern, and met you mama. And for one night, you thought you were in love. But he left the next day. You were pregnant with me, as you found out, but you didn't know where Simon could be found, and if he was all human."
"As you can see, he is not all human. He is a shaper like me, and so was his father. But I didn't understand how I change into what.
The next night, I had another dream. But I heard no words. Then, in the morning, I knew what I must do, to control my being. I knew how to change whenever I wanted to, and how to stop it when I got angry."
Beban and her mother looked at her with wide, unblinking eyes. She had told the story in less then a candlemark. And very briefly. Yet she didn't seem to want to go in detail to the things she must have gotten through. Beban hugged her mother and said.
"I'm glad your home."