Solo Seashells in Saltwater

Jaylani tries to teach herself how to swim

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Seashells in Saltwater

Postby Jaylani Rae on August 14th, 2017, 8:50 pm


Afternoon of the 35th of Summer 517


It was a sort of tingling sensation that spread through the body when water lapped over the toes. Jaylani found it to be a sort of addicting thrill that just washed through her and she could not get enough of it. It was fortunate that the water was not too far from her front door now. It was not like how it had been in Riverfall. There she had had to move through much of the city to get to the beach. Deal with so many that she did not wish to talk to and feel the stares of those who did not approve of her as she walked past them. From what she let herself recall of growing up, that was what she remembered. She much preferred this place. The people, the few she had met anyway, were kinder. There was less judgement and more of an ease that did not exist in a big city. This was a place where she could just… be and not have to deal with the pressure of feeling like too many people were watching her.

The beach was empty where the mixed blood stood. In both directions that she looked there was nothing but sea and sand with the occasional sparkle of a seashell or a few strands of seaweed tangled on the beach. That was good, she was likely going to be flopping around like a fish here in a moment and she was not eager for anyone to bear witness. Jaylani had decided that she could not live here and not know basic things that others did know. She had a mental list, but it was full of so many things. Some that seemed easy enough to learn and some that seemed as though they would be downright impossible to learn. The girl had settled on swimming to be the first thing she tackled. It did not seem like it could possibly be that hard and she already liked to spend her time in the water. It seemed silly that she had not made herself learn this skill before now. Something to rectify.

Jaylani stepped further into the water, little bumps raising on her arms and over the bare skin of her torso. The water was a little colder than she had expected it to be, but that could have just been in her head. She had never actually gone into the ocean with the intent to try and swim before. While she was rarely afraid, new things that were potentially dangerous did put her on edge. She was going to try anyway, though. Her body was already half submerged, her clothes left on the dry sand of the beach too far away to easily get to. She had already doomed herself to getting wet and likely covered in sand anyway. Might as well go through with what the plan was at this point.

Muscles were tense, heart fluttering with nerves. Jaylani’s hands were bound into unwanted fists. She sucked in a breath and willed herself to release it. The nervous breath made her chest tremble. The young woman tried to bring herself some sort of comfort by telling herself that it was going to be fine. She was going to go just to where her feet touched and her head was just above water. Not all the way in, just to that point. She also reminded herself that the salt made floating easy. If all else failed she could float and let a wave bring her back to where she could stand again. She was not completely sure that that would work, but she was not going to question it too much for the time being. She was not really one for questioning or picking apart her ideas anyway.

A gaze of molten brown looked over the clear blue waters. The sea was rather calm at this time. The waves were just shallow rolls that fizzled out onto the shore. It was a good day to try her hand at this. Jaylani nodded to herself, determined and done thinking about it. She walked farther in. Her toes were buried in the sand, her legs tangled in some bits of seaweed that she had to shake off, her hands spread so fingers splayed and the gaps between them moved through water. The current was moving against her, but there was not much power behind it. She could do it. The mixed blood got herself to where she could just barely stand with her mouth up above the water. She breathed in deep gasps, somewhat proud and relieved that she had gotten so far. The fact she had been right swelled within her chest. Nothing had happened. Everything was fine, just as she thought it would be.

Arms were raised beneath the surface of the water and bent at the elbows. Jaylani had once been told that she was suppose to propel herself in the water. Move her arms and legs so that she could control her direction and keep herself afloat. The mixed blood’s goal at this time was to just keep herself afloat. Keep her head above the water without touching the ocean floor. She thought that she had gotten her arms moving in the right way. Small circles with each both spinning in the opposite direction so that they were spinning towards each other. Seemed to be right, but the girl could not test it without not standing in the water. With a breath of courage, Jaylani pushed the balls of her feet off from the sandy floor of the ocean and began to pump gentle kicks.

Jaylani’s head bobbed fully above the surface of the sea now. She could breath easier, her mouth not near submerged anymore. The girl even let out a little laugh at her success. She was doing it! She was swimming! Well, something close. More like, she was treading water. The girl was easily pleased with herself, however, so she was proud of the small accomplishment that she had made. Her hips even moved side to side beneath the surface in a sort of victory dance. She was so pleased with herself that she did not notice the slightly bigger wave heading her way. It was a shock when she was suddenly shoved forward and pushed under the wave.

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Seashells in Saltwater

Postby Jaylani Rae on August 15th, 2017, 6:42 am


The first sensation that washed over her was the water that was suddenly filling her nose and mouth. Her arms were frantic as she reached for something to pull her up, but there was nothing. She had not been smart enough to swim where there were rocks to grab onto if she got in trouble. Legs pumped just as frantically as her arms. The kicks helped in keeping her close to the surface, but the wave made the surface taller than she was. It all happened in an instant really, but that instant felt like a lifetime. Jaylani was not sure if this was what drowning felt like, but she felt something cold piercing through who she was. The feeling was not often felt and for the most part was foreign to her, but the mixed blood did have a name for it. Fear.

The wave passed and faded into the sand of the beach. Jaylani could stand again and though she did, panic still swelled within her. Eyes stung and coughs wracked her body to try and rid her lungs of the salt water. The mixed blood tried to rub at her eyes, spit out whatever vile came up with her coughing, and wiped her nose that had started to run with the back of her hand. It hardly helped. Her eyes still stung, lungs still burned, and nose still ran. Jaylani found herself in pain and did not find that sensation to be pleasant. She did not know how to fix what felt damaged, but she wished to. She wished to be back to how she was before the wave come. To feel those emotions of happiness and delight over a simple success such as being able to keep her head above the water.

Another wave rolled in, but this one was not nearly as large. Still, Jaylani saw it coming this time and eyed it with a wary glance. Feet were charged with quickly carrying her to a shallow place in the water. It was not so pleasant making her way back towards shore as it had been walking out away from it. Panic and fear had taken ahold of the free spirit’s heart. She did not know how to react to it or how to get rid of it. The shallower wave came and Jaylani allowed it to crash into her simply because she did not have a way to make it fizzle out before reaching her. The mixed blood was standing firm in the sand at the bottom of the ocean by this point, however, and the wave just passed without giving her a second thought. Her body was only slightly tipped off balance before she was able to will it back to a straight standing position once more. The half Eypharian took a deep and shuddering breath that was exhaled in gasps.

“Fine,” she reminded herself in panted breaths, “nothing wrong. Nothing bad happen.”

A shiver worked its way through the girl despite the fact she was not cold. Jaylani reached up and crossed her arms over her chest, her hands each gripping the bicep of her opposite arm. She was standing now where the water came to just above her bust so her head was well above the surface as long as she kept her feet beneath her. Jaylani took several more breaths and murmured many more words of comfort before she finally began to feel her fear evaporating. She was able to relax a little more once that began to happen. Her grip on her arms lessened and she was able to breath more easily. Still, she was not so sure she wanted to continue with her plan to learn to swim anymore. It did not seem like such a good idea anymore.

Jaylani sighed and rubbed her hands up and down her upper arms. She did not like to give up on things. Especially things that she felt passionate about or desired to be successful in. This sea was apart of her home now. She had spent many years in the water while in Riverfall, but never swimming in it. She felt like she had wasted a childhood by not making herself learn in the past. Though, really, she had wasted her childhood away in many ways. Even her language suffered from lack of proper care towards her learning. The mixed blood did not let it bother her that much and was rarely embarrassed about it. Not because she did not care, but because she was unashamed of herself. She knew she had much to learn and she willingly accepted that as fact. She would not be ashamed of the past because it had already happened and would not be ashamed of who she was simply because she did not know how to be. In time she would learn all she had to, she was determined to do that. Till then, who she was in the moment would just have to suffice.

The mixed blood sighed again and raised her hands to her face. She buried her face in her palms for a moment, her fingertips reaching her hairline. It took her a tick, but she wiped her hands over her features and pushed her hair back from her face. She held her hair for a tick before she nodded. The stinging was beginning to fade and her lungs were not burning so much. She decided that she could try again and just be more watchful this time. If she saw another larger wave coming then she would just simply prepare for it. Either outrun it back towards the shallower waters where she could stand taller or try and move with it. Perhaps if she let herself float the wave would just take her with it and allow her to just bob overtop of it. Sounded like a smart enough plan. Nodding to herself, satisfied with her resolution, Jaylani headed back out to the spot where her head was barely above the water.

Arms were once more used to propel her in the water and legs were gently kicked to keep her both above the surface of the water and off the safety of the sandy ground beneath her. Jaylani breathed in slow pants, her confidence building with each tick she spent successfully treading water.

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Seashells in Saltwater

Postby Jaylani Rae on August 17th, 2017, 4:26 am


The mixed blood found that if she stretched herself so that she was even just slightly horizontal and kicked her legs, she would move in the same direction she was facing. This was easy to figure out because her body naturally wanted to float to the surface of the sea in the salt filled water. She never got very far with her gentle kicks though and her movements did nothing to help her move against the current of the gentle waves that kept coming towards her on their way to the shore. Jaylani was getting better at keeping her head above water though, at least.

The young woman kept a close eye on the surface of the water and retreated back to where her head and neck were well above water every time she saw anything that could even possibly become a wave. Sometimes it was worth it, when the waves were just a bit larger, other times it did not make much sense. Some waves were just too small to warrant such precautions. Still, the mixed blood was just beginning her adventure in learning to swim. She did not want to get trapped beneath a wave and have no way of getting back up before it was too late. Besides, chocking on saltwater and having her eyes turn bloodshot had not been a pleasant experience. She was not eager to repeat it.

Jaylani staid in places where she would always be able to stand. She was nervous about going to far out and getting trapped. The idea of floating her way back to shore did not seem like such a viable one now that she had gotten a taste of what it was like to get tossed over by a wave. That had not been a very large one, really, either. She did not want to imagine what true wave would do to her if she got caught in one. It seemed best not to try and find out in any sort of hurry. She was good sticking closer to the beach where the water was shallow and she could -somewhat- see her feet.

It made sense that pumping her arms along with her feet in a one direction in unison would in the end take her in that direction. In theory, that seemed to be how it should go. The mixed blood was not having the easiest time making that a reality, however. She could never seem to get her legs and arms moving in one coherent direction at the same time. Her arms would go and she would get a foot or so in that direction successfully. Then she would try and add some kicking in there only for her rhythm to fall apart. It was frustrating the amount of effort it took to control both arms and legs at the same time in the water. Jaylani knew it was not so hard on shore. She walked and swung her arms to the rhythm of her steps all the time without even realizing it. Things were not the same in the ocean.

Another struggle the mixed blood was having was that she was growing weary far sooner than she had anticipated. She thought herself rather fit and strong, but found her arms to feel like limp noodles not long into her self proclaimed swim lesson and her legs were tired of pumping. Overall, she found herself done. Her muscles were aching, watching the surface of the sea while trying to swim at the same time was hard, and her eyes still stung a little. Jaylani still did not wish to give up, but she thought that maybe it would be easier to. She thought that maybe if she found a nice still pool, a safe place, to practice first than it would not be so hard and would probably be safer.

Jaylani sighed, her hands wiping her over face and through her hair. She was standing where she was only about three quarters of the way submerged in water while she debated what she wanted to do. She knew she still wanted to learn to swim, that much was certain. If she wanted to do it alone or do it where others might potentially see was more of the dilemma here. With other skills she would not have minded so much if others saw her struggling and failing. As mentioned before, she was not often ashamed of herself and was fully willing to admit that there was much she did not know. There was not much pride within her to be injured by admitting to that. This though.. she had seen how so many already knew how to do it. How she was one of the few who did not. Worse than that though, she spent so much time in the sea. The majority of her days, in fact, were spent in the water. By this point she ought to be like one of the fish. Yet, she was not. The mixed blood hated to admit it, but she was embarrassed about that.

A hand fell to break the surface of the beloved water. Jaylani swirled the tips of her fingertips through it, just thinking. She was not much one to give anything much thought. She preferred rushing in and seeing what happened because she did not know any better. That did not usually bode well for new ventures. She never knew what she was getting herself into. Like a few days before when she had drug Theo into a potentially dangerous situation searching for an injured animal that she had not known was real or not. A shiver worked its way through the mixed blood just at the thought. The hand that was not in the water raised to rub the bicep of the dropped arm. She sighed again. This was not like how that day was. She was by herself. The only one that would be hurt if she failed was her. Whatever she decided would be on her and her alone. Somehow she preferred it that way.

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Seashells in Saltwater

Postby Jaylani Rae on August 18th, 2017, 1:09 am


There was a seashell buried the sand that was the ocean floor. It was a pretty thing though it was not rare. Just a basic clam shell with ridges on the surface. It was a pale pink color with ivory on the inside. Jaylani found it with the big toe of her right foot. Stumbled upon it, really, when making her way back to the shore. She had given up on her quest of learning to swim on her own out among the waves. After debating on it for awhile, she had originally returned to where the water was deeper and her head was just barely above the surface. Then a wave she had not seen coming came. Being toppled over the second time had made her decision for her. She would go to the baths and learn where people could see her no matter how embarrassed she was about it. The little bit of pride she had was not worth near drowning each time she looked away at the wrong moment and got washed away by a wave that was just slightly bigger than the little ones that did no harm.

Jaylani was taken by the simple, but pretty clam shell. She bent over at the waist and reached down for it. Fingers broke the surface of the water and were buried into the sand where she then went on to pull the shell out. This shell was spectacular in the mixed blood’s opinion. It was a whole half of a clam shell and though she found the empty holes left by barnacles to be interesting, she liked the fact that this shell did not have any. It was just a pretty shell. Ridged on the outside and smooth on the insider. Jaylani worked her fingers that were wrinkled by her time in the water over each ridge. She was fascinated and very happy to have another shell to add to her growing collection.

The mixed blood fisted her hand around the shell half and made her way the rest of the way to where her clothes lied in wait for her on the shore. It did not take her much time to reach the pile of fabric and, once she did, she put the shell down on top. She was very wet and covered in sand which would get all over the clothes, but she did not mind. Things most would find annoying, like sand getting into every crevice of her body, was something she had gotten over long ago. She did reach down to get the seaweed pieces that had gotten trapped between her toes untangled though. She did not like the feeling of being trapped. Even if the “net" was made of seaweed and had “captured” her by accident.

There were pieces of seaweed to be found in the young woman’s tangled mop of hair, as well, which she picked out. Gathering her wet mass of waves and curls in her hands, Jaylani brushed it all to the side so that it toppled over her right shoulder. She bent down to gather up her clothes after that. Though, the fabric probably could not really be called clothing. Jaylani had gone to the Mercantile and gotten herself two square yards of cotton dyed a pale purplish blue a few days ago. Afterwards she had used her knife to tear it in pieces that would fit her needs. A large irregular shaped rectangular piece tied around her waist as a skirt with frayed edges, and a longer rectangular piece that also was frayed at the edges was easily wound around her chest a couple times to work as a covering for her bust. She really did not need the second here in Syka as the protocol for clothing did not require it, but she wore it when she felt like it. When it felt too strange to go without.

Jaylani picked up the fabric piece that worked as a skirt for her first and gave it a couple shakes to get some of the sand off. Just because she did not care about being covered in sand did not mean she wished to wear as much of it as she could. Besides, she did not usually enjoy tracking the grain sized rock particles into her tent. It made it dirty in her opinion. So she shook off the skirt and then stepped in through the whole that was the top of it. She was small and her hips only slightly protruded so it was easy enough to get the fabric worked over them with some effort. The mixed blood readjusted the skirt once it was on. There were two layers to the clothing piece. The lower one wrapped all the way around her waist once and the upper layer came all the way around at the hip where the knot that kept it on her was tied. The upper layer only cover one leg fully though, leaving the other half exposed because of how the fabric had been cut. The whole thing only covered to just past the mixed blood’s knees, but she did not care. It served its purpose well enough and was loose enough around her legs that she had near free range of motion. Jaylani picked up the second piece of fabric from the sand and shook it out before it was bound around her chest with little difficulty.

Now clothed, Jaylani picked up her seashell from where it was in the sand. She still liked it. Still found it to be rather pretty. So she tucked it into the fabric bound around her chest and began her journey home. She was a slow walker this afternoon. There was nor real rush to get back. No one waited for her there. Just a tent full of her things. The mixed blood could wander along the beach to her heart’s content. Watch the sunset, maybe find some more shells. If she was being honest with herself, though, Jaylani was hungry and she was tired. The swimming practice had worn her out. She did not feel like wandering the beach for bells on end. Even when the sea breeze was playing with her hair and drying off meant it would be easier to get some of the sand off her body. So, the mixed blood picked up the pace. She went home and was greeted by her empty tent.

The mixed blood sighed and went to some of the fruit trees that grew at the jungle border not far from where her tent had been put up. She picked off a couple bananas that were yellow in color with no green before returning to the space directly beside her tent. She broke the top of the fruit casing and peeled it back, eating one of the bananas as she went. Logs were pulled from her wood pile with her free hand before the mixed blood made her way down to where her fire pit had been dug. The log was stacked onto the previous night’s ashes along with a few dried leaves for kindling. Jaylani was finding that she needed less and less to get her fires going. The mixed blood sat down once she was done building the base for her fire and continued eating her banana. A single thought was tossed towards where she wanted the fire to light. ‘Fire, burn’.

Light came in a multitude of colors that burned the wood provided. Jaylani stared at it as she finished her fruit. Those flames would never cease to amaze her.

Common | 'Thoughts'

Ledger- 5 SM 5 CM for 2 sq. yards of dyed cotton fabric

Word CountPost Total: 1,265
Overall Total: 22,420



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Jaylani Rae
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Seashells in Saltwater

Postby Madeira Craven on September 19th, 2017, 12:15 am

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Jaylani Rey

Skills
  • Meditation: 2XP
  • Observation: 4XP
  • Swimming: 3XP
  • Endurance: 2XP
  • Wilderness Survival: 3XP
  • Foraging: 2XP

Lores
  • Meditation: calming your fears
  • Swimming: treading water
  • Swimming: doggy paddle
  • Foraging: finding bananas

Awards & Retribution
+Clam Shell

Notes
Well that was scary. :o

Glad our intrepid Jaylani made it out ok! You wrote her fear and frusteration very well. And with these new XP's maybe her next try will go a little bit smoother!

As always, contact me if you have questions. :)
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Madeira Craven
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