13 Senessay (later)
It worked. I made the bunk in the corner lift off the ground and I didn’t even tear anything, though my arms hurt afterward as if I’d used them instead of the pouvra. Then I practiced working the lock, which was harder because I had to picture what it feels like to use the picks on it—I still can’t look inside things instead of through them, though I haven’t given up on that—but eventually I could lock and unlock it with the new pouvra faster than I ever did with lock picks. Of course, it’s only the giant one on the barn door, and it’s probably a hundred years old, so it wasn’t exactly a difficult lock—I’ll have to try again on something more finicky. I can’t help remembering being caught in Wirstan for stealing that stupid woman’s purse, and how they would have shut me away for good if I hadn’t found a couple of skinny iron nails to pick the lock with. No more worries about having my tools taken away!
I’m feeling a little low, the way I always do after I learn a new pouvra. It’s as if I put so much of myself into figuring it out, then learning to bend my will to the magic, that everything else feels like a disappointment. There’s still time to sleep before dawn, when I’ll have to move out again. This barn smells musty, and the hay is all stale and prickly, so I assume it’s been abandoned for a while, but I don’t want to take the chance that someone will come along and want to know what I’m doing here. People on the borders of Balaen don’t trust travelers (how well I know that!) or even anyone who comes from anywhere more than half a day’s walk from their home. And I’ve come so much farther than that.
This is also the time when I wonder if I wouldn’t have been happier just staying in Thalessa, working at the fishery, which was awful but at least it was steady work. But that lasts about two seconds before I remember the smell of fish guts, and that tiny hovel that I could never keep clean, and Mam getting drunk all the time and then begging me to forgive her, over and over again. I couldn’t have stayed, anyway, not once this magic took me over and I started doing things I couldn’t keep hidden. Besides…
I was going to write “it’s beautiful” but that’s wrong, it’s powerful and terrifying and when I use one of the pouvrin it fills me to bursting, and I wouldn’t give that up for anything, however dangerous it might be. But it’s not beautiful.
Sleep, now. I haven’t decided where to go next. Maybe Barrekel, it’s nearly harvest time and they could probably use some hands out at those big plantations. I’ll need to start saving for the winter.