Whoosh! Issue Ten - July 1997


A WHOOSH! Series
By Shelley Sullivan
Copyright © 1997 held by author
2264 words

Editor's Note: Ever wonder what Gabrielle is really thinking (or is that perhaps too scary)? Or what she writes before her final draft winds up being the Xena Scrolls? Ms. Sullivan offers us interesting insight into the episodes of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS with THE GABRIELLE SCROLLS. As the MCA Xena website has its Xena Scrolls, now WHOOSH has its very own Gabrielle Scrolls. Now we feel whole! This work offers a clever and refreshing perspective in its interpretative novelization of the narrative of the aired episodes. Ms. Sullivan's insights and commentary on the episodes are slyly and humorously placed within the device of the query, 'What the heck is Gabrielle writing on those scrolls, anyway?' Another great contribution Ms. Sullivan gives to the Xenaverse is a stardate, or more appropriately, a Gabrielledate covering the key events in Gabrielle and Xena's famous partnership. This month's scroll covers SINS OF THE PAST (#01), CHARIOTS OF WAR (#02), and DREAMWORKER (#03). - KMT

Day 2, Somewhere in Thrace

Day 12, Somewhere out of Thrace (I think)

Day 13, Still Somewhere outside Thrace
Day 16, The Mystic Mountains
Day 22, The Mystic Mountains

Scroll One

2nd Day, Somewhere in Thrace

and when you are done cooking, you can wash the clothes, then do my hair, then....

The first campfire scene

[01] Today I decided to start a journal. I will try to write in it every night. That way, I can keep track of all our adventures, all the things I am going to learn, and all the places we are going to visit. It will also give me a chance to write down my thoughts. I hope I can read this later as I do not have much parchment and the writing is kind of small. Perhaps I should not have bothered writing that down.

[02] Xena is definitely a different sort of woman. I do not think she said ten words after this morning. Either she is not much of a conversationalist, or she is still trying to figure out why she is allowing me come along. I am curious, too, but I do not think it would be a good idea to ask her. I have never met anybody with so little to say, but I bet it will not be long until we are talking away just like Lila and I do.

[03] I got my first lesson in starting a fire tonight. She took one look at the wood I found, raised an eyebrow (how does she do that?), and told me to forget everything I knew about campfires. Not hard, since I do not know anything. She showed me what kind of wood to find, how to lay it, what to use for tinder, and then showed me how her flint worked. I was looking forward to dinner when she tore it all apart, and told me to do it. She brushed the horse (her name is Argo, and she is huge) while I spent my time trying to get it right. She did not say a word. Not one. I was starving by the time I got it going, and then there was dinner to cook. It is not safe to let her near uncooked food. I never tasted anything so bad in my life as her cooking did last night.

[04] I know that when she shows me something (if she ever does again because she seemed pretty impatient), she will only show me once, and I am expected to listen and pay attention. Which is not hard. I think she knows everything.

Day 12, Somewhere out of Thrace (I think)

Take the cowtown!

A pastoral settlement in New Greeceland

[05] I have to find a map. I have no idea where we are, merely that we are headed in the general direction of the Mystic Mountains. I have never heard of them, but it sounds really interesting. To think I bragged about reading maps all the time. She has forgotten more places than I have ever heard of.

[06] I made some more dinars yesterday, but I did not count them until this morning. I was just too tired. All that walking and then telling a couple of stories, then more walking. The cook at that tavern sure knows how to season his food. It smelled wonderful, but off we went when I was finished. Xena seems to be really reluctant to sleep anywhere but outside. I do not know why. At least she is not asking anymore about me not riding. I guess that crazy chariot ride convinced her.

[07] She has been really quiet lately, even for her, and I am worried that maybe she has changed her mind about me travelling with her. She disappeared for a couple of days. Xena wouldn't leave me, would she?

Day 13, Still Somewhere outside Thrace

Xena, eh? I could latch myself on to her, ditch Perdicas, and leave this cowtown at last!

Gabrielle about to go into some talking action

[08] A breakthrough day! Xena asked me a question about one of the stories I was working on! I was glad to see her look a little happier, and I told her every story I could remember. She looked so worried the other day when she asked me if I missed my family. She needed something more than a yes or no from me, so I tried to find the right words to say. I guess I found them. At least they were not too mushy (that is what she calls emotional stuff), and it helped, I think. Her eyes changed, anyway, and that is often the best indicator of what she is feeling.

[09] For the first time neither of us rolled up in our blankets right after dinner. I made up a story to tell her while she sharpened her sword. She just listened. Talking is not one of her skills, although she sure has many others. She also has nightmares. Bad ones. She woke me up again last night. I guess I am not supposed to know about them. She has not mentioned them. She probably thinks they are a weakness or something. I will have to think of a way to draw her out. Nobody should suffer like that.

[10] In the meantime, I have been trying to polish some of the stories I remember and I wrote a complete story for the first time. It was about how Xena rescued me and the others in Poteidaia, and how I followed her to Amphipolis. When I told it in a tavern, where we stopped for a break a couple of days ago, it made us some money which I used for supplies. I do not think Xena liked that much. So far for what little we have bought, she has paid for, and I feel bad. I want to be able to contribute my share. I already feel like enough of a burden. I bought her a flask of that port she likes with some of the money I had left over. Judging by the look on her face, you would think it was the treasures of Athens I had just dropped into her lap. She kind of fumbled around trying to thank me, and it was pretty obvious that she was not used to having anyone give her anything. Has she no friends?

[11] I loved telling those stories. Everyone seemed to like them, and it is still a bit of a shock that people will pay to hear them. Xena sat in the back, probably to make sure some drunk did not give me a hard time. I wish she did not feel like she has to protect me. If I can talk her into teaching me how to fight like she does, she would not have to worry about it. I have only mentioned it a couple of times and that got me those looks that make me cringe inside. I guess she figures I can be kept out of trouble telling stories in taverns, so she was willing to put up with sitting there, listening to me talk about her.

Day 16, The Mystic Mountains

I know my contact is somewhere around here. Keep looking Gabrielle!

Ah, life on the hidden trail!

[12] Sharing is not one of her skills, either. I cannot believe she would get shot with an arrow and not tell me, but she just shrugged, as if it was not a big deal. Maybe it was not to her, but to me, it was.

[13] One thing about telling stories in taverns, you hear a lot of gossip, and lots of it around here is about Xena, the warlord. It is hard, in a way, for me to look at her and see that person. I see pain, regret, all kinds of things, but not bloodlust. All things considered, she has actually been gentle with me. This was the first time she did not come into the tavern with me. She waited outside. I could see how she tensed up when I came out. I think she was worried about what I might have heard about her, and that maybe I would not want to be with her anymore, as hard as that is to believe. Who would think that the woman known as the Warrior Princess would ever worry about what anyone else thought about her? She has hardly said a word about her past. I think she does not want me to know about it.

[14] One thing is for sure: she is magnificent when she fights. It is like a dance, and I know she loves it. Some guy tried to get friendly in the market, and suddenly, there she was, towering behind me (she is really tall), with this little smile on her face. I would run if I saw it, but he didn't. I hope he is going to be alright.

Day 22, The Mystic Mountains

Before Xena learned of the Ambrosia breast enhancement side effect...

Xena confiscating Gabrielle's breast dagger

[15] This is hard to write. I have just lived through the scariest experience of my life. I was the intended Bride of Morpheus, and a dead bride at that. It sounds kind of funny now, but not at the time.

[16] I now know for sure just how much Xena has changed, and, whether she likes it or not, all of Greece is going to know about it. I learned a couple of things about myself I wish I did not know, but the trade-off is what I learned about Xena. I can hardly imagine how difficult this was for her, even if she will not say so. Facing yourself is never easy or painless.

[17] She caught me with her sword again, but instead of ignoring me this time, she tried to explain why she did not want me to learn to use it. She did not explain it very well. Xena is definitely more of an "actions speak louder than words" type of woman, but in the process she gave me what turned out to be good advice. Good enough to save my life. I did not think of using it until it was almost too late, though. While I was trapped in that fortress, Xena found someone to help her, and risked her life to reach me just in time. I was going to try and kill that warrior. I could not think of what else to do. I did not want to die. But there was Xena, at almost the last moment, looking like the Warlord she used to be. I have seen her fight before, but she laid into those guys as if killing them was what she most wanted to do. I was embarrassed to say that I had my doubts about whether or not she would come, but I will not ever doubt her again. If I need her, I know Xena will be there. I do not know who was more surprised when I slugged that creep priest, her or me. Probably him.

[18] I now understand what Xena was trying to tell me about learning the sword. I did not actually take a life, but knowing I almost did, that I could, is terrifying. Xena has killed many, and it has changed her in ways that maybe I understand a little better now. I am going to have to think about this. I cannot even explain it to myself very well, yet. All I know is that I will never ask her to teach me again.

[19] We had a long talk by the fire tonight. I talked mostly but she opened up enough to explain what she was doing while I was a prisoner. I asked her why she would risk her life that way, and she just looked at me. I did not think she would answer, but finally she said because I was her friend. I had to look away. I did not want her to see the tears in my eyes. Xena's not good with that sort of thing, it makes her nervous. She asked me if I was going to make a story out of this, and when I said I was, I asked her if it was okay with her. She made a sarcastic comment about how she could not stop me any more than she could stop the wind from blowing. I got one of those incredible, rare smiles, and I knew everything was going to be alright.

[20] Looks like I am going to have to buy more parchment, after all. And a map.

Uh-huh. Yeah, right, Xena. Man, am I ever bored. Maybe someone will attack...

Xena being philosophical and taking a toss at making a point to Gabrielle

Continued next month in Scroll 2. Be there or be square.

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