Chapter 2:

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

Reads: 156
Comments: 1

Chapter Two

When I entered Murra, I walked straight to the biggest inn in the town, as they were the most likely to need help. I walked around to the back, crossed my fingers for luck, and knocked loudly on the door. Immediately, it swung open, and a large, cheery-looking woman peered out. The illusion of cheeriness was quickly dispelled.

“Whaddya want, ya little rag-bag? I’m busy, and can’t be bothered by the likes o’ you.” Well, she certainly could use a dose of her own cooking, if the smells coming from the kitchen were anything to go by.

‘If it please you, ma’am, I’m looking to do a bit of work in exchange for some traveling rations.”(Inns often sold journey-food, just in case a traveler was going off the beaten path.) She looked at me askance. She looked back into the kitchen. She looked at me again.

“Well, I suppose that you can chop some wood for the fire. How much food you get depends on how much you chop.” I agreed to that. After chopping wood for about two hours, I returned to the kitchen to ask her how much more she wanted. She glared, and walked outside. Her eyes widened. “Saramanere!* How many people do you think we feed here, boy? That wood will last us a good month!” I was surprised. I hadn’t realized that I had that much extra energy. I looked up at the cook. She grimaced, led me inside, and fed me a meal so large that it could have fed my family for a day and a half. She said that I was too skinny, and needed some fattening up.

As I was finishing, a handsome young man walked into the kitchen, and headed straight for the cook.

“Why hello, Esmeralda!” (Esmeralda?! Good grief.) “Do you need me to chop any wood for you?”

“No, Torlas, this young man over here has beat you to it. He chopped enough to last us a month!”

The young--I guess I should call him Torlas--walked over to me and gave me a friendly grin.

“You chopped enough wood to last a month? I have to see this!” He strode outside, peered around in mock confusion, did an exaggerated double take, and whistled soundlessly. “Saramanere, boy, who are you mad at? I’d hate to be in his shoes right now, that’s for sure.”

His manner was so friendly that it was all I could do to keep from breaking down right then and there. I swallowed the lump in my throat and addressed the cook. “Could I have my travel rations now, ma’am? I’d like to leave at first light, and I’d rather not disturb anybody.” Now really, I had no such plans. I was going to leave as soon as they were all asleep, for the more miles I could put between me and my former home, and as soon as possible, the better.

She marched off, presumably to get my rations, leaving me (relatively) alone with Torlas. There were a few moments of uncomfortable silence, after which Torlas asked, “So, what’s your name? And where are you from?” These were the questions that I hoped he’d not ask. Avoiding it, however, would only be more obvious that not answering. I looked him over, then I tried to sense whether he was trustworthy or not. It seemed that he was. I decided to trust him with the smaller of my two secrets. “My name is Bran, and I’m from Seri.” He blinked at me, obviously wondering how the fair-skinned villagers could produce offspring that looked like me. I decided to clarify. “I was born in Seri, although my parents are from a different land.”

“Ah. I see. What land?”

“Is that really any of your business? Even if I knew, which I don’t?”

“I just like to know where people’s loyalties lie. Just in case they conflict with mine.”

“Well, I have no loyalties, so you’re welcome to try to convert me to your way of thinking. Just in case you’re wondering, I have no loyalties to kings in other lands. I don’t have much loyalty to the king in this one, either, but only because I don’t know a thing about him. Kind of hard to be loyal to someone you’ve never even seen.” Torlas looked relieved. He had kind of tensed up when I said I had little loyalty to the King, but relaxed when I elaborated. He smiled again, and said “I’m glad that you aren’t loyal to another king. If you had been, I would have killed you.” Now that scared me. And what’s more, I don’t think it was a bluff. I think he was perfectly capable of killing me. Just then, the cook came back, laden with things. Apparently, for the amount of wood I chopped, I not only got travel rations, I got some stout traveling clothes as well. Praise be! The pile included boots! I was so happy I could have hugged the woman. Almost. I settled for thanking her profusely. She waved my thanks away, and led me to a corner where I could sleep. I thanked her again, and settled down to wait. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long.

*Saramanere is the name of a local deity


Submitted: September 10, 2008

© Copyright 2021 Eresed. All rights reserved.

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ixluvx2xwritex2

This was good too, once again bigger font would be awesome! I cant wait for Ch 3!

Thu, September 11th, 2008 9:21pm

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:D I'll be sure to fix that...sorry!

Sun, September 14th, 2008 8:41am

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