A Budding Story
I don't see myself as a writer.
Whenever I attempt it, I focus too much on either the micro or macro scale, never seeing the balance. Regardless, last night in a lull of half sleep, the start of a story began flowing in. We'll see if it actually goes anywhere.
I don't generally see the world the same way as most of the others do. They weep and rage at the coming of the end; the prophesied end of even the gods themselves is on the horizon. It looks to me like just another war. And as time has always held true, no matter the scale, war always presents opportunities. Especially for those of us that live with steel in our blood. They all wish for the happy end, but as I said, I just don't see things quite the same as they do.
Take the bulging coin bags at the waist of the large Varl ahead of me in the food merchant's line. To me they only look like any other cut, empty satchel. The giant's arm reaches back to habitually touch his purses as he finally reached the front of the line.
"Yes, I would like...WHAT!? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!"
The crowd and merchant briefly freeze as the thunderous cry erupts. After a moment's hesitation, I step forward and place a hand upon the giant's tense frame.
"This Varl is with me. We need a week's bread and dried meat for..." I appraise the Varl briefly. "...three."
We sit beside each other, silently eating a simple meal. He hasn't spoken yet, most likely from shock and possibly mistrust. It seems opportunity is already on my side. I think on my identity briefly before he finally gives in to ask about it. Quick preparation always was my strong point.
"I have nothing to give you in repayment but my name. I am Alveror. What may I call you, brother?"
"I am Oddr, a blade-for-hire." He takes a moment to breathe in the name through his wide nostrils. "I noticed that your coin bags had been cut, and going by your looks it seems we are, indeed, brothers. Brothers in arms, that is. Am I correct?" He simply nods with a thoughtful expression on his face. "It seems to be unpredictable and volatile times, and I would be lying if I said I helped you without any of my own needs in mind."
He turns to take a long look at me, eye to eye. It's clear that he's no simpleton, but I've already won this battle.
"I do not give my services lightly. I live fully up to my name, and can make a hefty sum from any given merchant band looking for an impenetrable shield to protect them. I am appreciative for your deed, brother, but do not make the mistake of thinking this has indebted me to you."
A corner of my mouth turns up as my eyebrows relax slightly.
"Of course. I'm not looking for a servant or bodyguard. I seek companions. Have you thought of what will happen after the gods exhaust themselves with the war above? Gold and glory only follow those with ambition and the courage to stand when all others fall."
I haven't spoken much, but the flame alight in his eyes signal that it's clearly more than enough.
This makes three.
The other two should already be on their way, hidden safely among the northbound caravan that left earlier. They're all the same; motivated so easily at a brief taste and an implied promise. They want glory, and they'll have it in the end. But I...well, I see things a little differently after all.
With a full stomach, a full purse, and a mind full of the next steps, I take a rest.
I enjoyed this, it was well done and I look forward to seeing more.
Please, don't build up too many expectations. I don't have any plans for this; it's not even outlined or anything.
In other words, I'm just fucking around.
"It would seem that we're almost there, Mistress."
I grimace at the word "mistress". Regardless of what appearances we have to keep, isn't this just a little too much for me to bear? I'm a warrior, not some high-born pillow ornament to be appraised. I've half a mind to strangle the bastard who sent us up early in this prison of luxury.
A sigh escapes my lips.
I gaze at the caravan guardians, riding out there in the cool day. Only a bit longer and we will be within the city gates, at least. No use agonizing over it. I steal a glance at the plain, youthful girl poised as my servant. I still don't know who she really is or why she was chosen to be a part of our group. She plays the part of a handmaiden so well, it makes me question if that is really her profession after all.
Another sigh breaks free.
Is she going to be able to take care of herself when the fighting breaks out? I'm good, but a warrior can only defend another for so long before... I shift slightly in my seat, mirroring my desire to turn away from my thoughts. Her sharp eyes catch my discomfort as my own dart back outside.
"Mistress? Is something bothering you? Shall I grab another pillow?"
Yet another sigh runs off.
"Please, if there's anything I can do..."
"I'm fine. I just want this trip to be over already."
After a brief moment of thought, she moves in closer and lowers her voice slightly.
"May I ask about your experience with the man?"
She doesn't specify, but I know immediately who she's speaking of. I hesitate on my words as I think. There really wasn't much to say. He didn't actually talk much about what was going on besides what I should do on reaching the destination. Really, I may be a fool for following him in the first place. I suppose I was just swayed by him treating me...well, like a man. Like an equal. But some equal I am now, riding along in this damned cart instead of out there with the rest of the blades.
A large sigh takes flight.
"You know, it's said that every sigh releases a small bit of your happiness, Mistress."
Caught off-guard, I give a half laugh and look into those clever eyes of hers. They were smiling.
"Well, there isn't much to tell of. I imagine we met in much the same way you did. He approached me with a proposal and I simply found the offer attractive."
I imagine anyone listening in would mistake us for a bitter wife and love-stricken servant of some wealthy man.
"He actually...caught me trying to steal from him." She giggled under her breath, as if chastising herself. "I was really impressed, you know. I hadn't been caught in a long, long time...ah! This reminds me. Here is your knife, Mistress."
My eyes widen as I realize she slid over the knife that normally decorates a sheath on my inner thigh. I hadn't even recognized its absence. How long had it been missing? My eyes relax knowing that I'd have this person in my shadow. I shouldn't have underestimated his choice.
"...thank you. I should apologize for misjudging you. May I have your name?"
She bowed her head. "Mistress. My name is Henrietta."
Some sort of foreign name? Well, real or not, a name is a name.
"Henrietta...interesting. You may call me Johvit."
"I could never be so bold, Mistress."
As a broad smile played across her lips, the caravan came to a gradual stop.
Last edited by LoliSauce; 05-09-2012 at 06:29 PM.
Reason: oop, grammar fix