The Dawnstone Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


After an extremely brief time as debt-free, Keinigan has a rude awakening. Literally.

Chapter 2 (v.2) - What did I hear you say?

Submitted: July 20, 2019

Reads: 39

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Submitted: July 20, 2019

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, Myretrae.

By a hostile midnight, Keinigan found that his problem had compounded as a noise broke into the erotic peace of his dreams. A loud, repetitive noise. His mind tried to push against it and stay asleep. Dreams were much nicer than the real world.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

What was that? He squeezed his eyes tighter shut. A cannon? A battering ram?

Boom!

Damn it, he was being relentlessly plucked out of his pleasant land of soft, richly scented pillows and lovely faerlin beauties caressing him in friendly ways.

Boom!

What the ?” he shouted, as his reluctant eyes peeled open. There was no war raging or ballista firing. The noise was coming from his inn door. The groaning frame shook and splintered.

As his attention finally focused, the door flew apart to reveal a huge, pale green-skinned ogre standing in (or rather blocking) the doorway. The beast was massive, easily eight mark high. His forearms were as thick as Keinigan’s torso and a mop of black, greasy hair framed his square head. His eyes burned with a fiercely intelligent glow, which was unusual for ogres.

Bastid!” Keinigan knew him from past misadventures, thus he also knew that this meant he was in serious trouble. The ogre made a living as a bounty hunter, and a very good one at that.

You little figshat,” Bastid rumbled as he advanced on Keinigan.

A hairy arm shot towards the fae, one huge hand ready to engulf his whole head. Keinigan dove out of bed, rolled to a stand, and deeply wished that he were wearing more than just his breeches.

The door was obstructed by the ogre’s bulk, and the only window was on the other side of the bed from where he stood. The best chance he had was avoiding contact until he discovered what this was regarding.

What do you want with me? Hold on a minute!” He ducked under another swipe and glanced around for his sword, but he doubted that it would aid him much against this creature. Keinigan had seen him in battle before.

Going from deep sleep to this kind of panicked adrenaline rush left Keinigan shaking and disoriented.

Damn it, you arse-kecker! Giv’me a second to say two words, will you?” he shouted as he leapt over the rickety bed towards his sword. He heard the heavy whoosh of Bastid’s hand behind his head and felt a few hairs pulled out. His hand closed around the hilt of his sword just in time to feel the hard weight of one huge fist land in the middle of his back.

The blow sent him into the wall; the impact bruised his shoulder and bloodied his lip. Slipping to the floor, stars sparked in his vision.

He’s going to kill me, Keinigan’s mind shrieked as it raced over his past crimes trying to fathom who had sent this beast after him. He shook his spinning head to clear it. The ogre’s enormous fingers closed over his sword arm and yanked him close to the pallid, unshaven face.

What do you want?” Keinigan wheezed, finding breath difficult.

Your hide!” Bastid growled.

Why? What did I do?” There were too many answers to this question in his own mind, so Keinigan was not even going to start guessing. He would only incriminate himself.

You robbed a whore and apparently bought new boots with the money, said the bounty hunter with a wicked sneer.

Recognition dawned on the faerlin. “Correction,” he snapped, offended by the accusation that he would be so petty. “I stole it from her pincher. And, how did you know it was me?”

Bastid snickered. “I didn’t know for sure ‘til just now, you idiot.”

The ogre tossed Keinigan across the room like a rag doll. Hitting a small table that sat in the corner, he landed hard with a groan; the wood drove into his groin as his weight toppled it to the floor. His sword was jarred from him.

I had a hunch,” said Bastid. “When I heard from the wench that one of her clients had been a smart-mouthed faerlin with blonde hair, a desperate need for money, and the habit of washing his hands a lot, I knew it must be you. But, I never thought you would be stupid enough to rob a Council whore.”

Keinigan was slowly pulling his bruised body up to face his attacker again when he stopped, realizing what had been said. Ice shot through his veins like a bolt.

What?” It was barely a whisper, but the ogre heard it. Bastid began to shake with hearty laughter as he saw that Keinigan had been ignorant of his own danger.

You didn’t even know it?” he bellowed with a grin as jagged and ugly as broken rocks. “What a kecker you are, Keinigan! I should have guessed. You’re too much of a coward to rip off the Council on purpose.”

I’d be offended by that if I weren’t in so much pain.” He tried to regain some composure. “You’re working for TheCouncil, as in the Journeymen’s Council?”

Bastid wiped a tear from his eye. “Yes. And, they want you.”

Dead?” he asked warily.

Maybe. It depends. They want their money back. You got it?”

Keinigan felt trapped. He had paid off Big Lukas with most of it; bought himself some new boots and tunics with some; had even put a deposit on a new sword that he was to pick up today. A mere fraction of the booty was left. His heart and mind raced.

Do they know who I am? Or are you the only one that knows that it was me that stole it?” he asked.

You’re stalling. You spent it all, didn’t you?” Bastid heaved a dramatic sigh, his face cracking into jagged teeth. “I’m going to have to hurt you, then.”

Scrambling away from the ogre, Keinigan verbalized his plan as it came to him. “Hear me out, Bastid. If you’re the only one that knows it was actually me, then we can work it out. You pretend not to find me for a few days, and I will get you the money. Plus some! What do you say?”

Come now, it wouldn’t look very good on my reputation if it took me a week to find the scad that stole the loot, and then I neglect to bring him in. Besides, there are others looking for you.”

Me, specifically? Or just a thief?” Keinigan hedged.

Just a thief, s’far as I know. But, it won’t take ‘em much longer than me to find out who’s been spending money that he doesn’t normally have. You’ve been careless ever since Northgate, Keinigan. It makes for an easy trail.” The ogre almost sounded concerned for the fae.

Can’t help it, I needed new clothes.” He dodged Bastid’s grip once more. “Look, bastard, I can get you the money and disappear. Com’on now, for old time’s sake? Don’t turn me in,” he pleaded while ducking out of the ogre’s reach.

The name’s Bastid, you kecking faery!” A fist came out of nowhere and slammed Keinigan to the floor, then a heavy boot pinned him. He sucked in a painful breath. The ogre snorted into his face, “And, you got one day, understand? If you run, you know that I’ll find you. Then, you’ll be a dead man.”

Thanks be, Bastid. I owe you one.” He gasped from beneath the ogre.

Bastid began to leave, but shoved a warning finger into the faerlin’s face. “No, you owe me sixty. Silver. And, if they find out I let you off, you’ll owe me a lot more than that!”

Keinigan laid his head back on the floor and tried to breathe without pain as the huge ogre left his room with a thunderous stride.

Draek,” he cursed, “my life stinks.”


© Copyright 2019 R L Davis Hays. All rights reserved.

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