Maimed (Working title)

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

This is a short prologue I wrote as a building block towards a moderately formed idea I'm still in the works of fleshing out fully.

It's set in an unnamed world in a time period similar to that of what you might have seen in Pirates of the Caribbean or Fable 2 and 3 with gunpowder, swords and a little magic here and there though the classic bow and crossbow is still present.

I'm submitting this purely to get feedback on how it's structured, how well it flows or if the pacing is good but any and all feedback, good or bad, is welcome.

Personally I find it cheesy and a little fluffy but I'll leave that to you readers to decide. Thank you

 

PROLOGUE

 

Garick stared across the table at the girl who hungrily spooned the warm bowl of stew brought to her by Alison. Her very appearance seemed to unnerve him, the way the stubs where two fingers on her right hand had been moved as if they were still fully formed digits, the way her single eye would look up occasionally while the other empty socket was just that, empty.

The clothing on her back didn't leave much to the imagination. Just a simple dress cut off just below her collar bone with no sleeves and only knee length while her feet remained bare. Her arms and legs were covered in bruises, some old and some new, as if she had been beaten regularly.

He leaned forward, resting his chin on his hands and simply watched her eat.

Then her eye met his, a cold stare that seemed to hide fear.

“Is something wrong?” she asked, her voice quivering ever so slightly.

Garick waved a hand, “Nothing,” he cleared his throat, “I...I just want to ask about your eye?” He pointed to his own left eye and the mere mention of it the girl covered it with her left hand.

“Why do you want to know?” her gaze still met his and she continued to eat.

“Well how did it happen for one?”

“Garick let her eat,” Alison came up behind him and pressed a pointy fingernail into the back of his neck, making him cringe, “She needs to be taken care of right now, not interrogated.”

Alison sat down beside the girl and handed her another small loaf of bread. “Here you go,” she folded her arms and watched her eat, “You've got quite the appetite.” Garick watched as the bread was dipped into the bowl of stew.

The girl smiled and nodded but said nothing more, “Garick, the Master needs to speak to you.”

“About time,” Garick sighed heavily and stood up, “Has he got my payment ready?” Alison nodded, “Good.”

“Bye Garick,” the girl said out of the blue.

He gave her a small wave, he never was any good with children. He walked away from the dining area towards the bar where a door to the Masters office was beside. He knocked before entering then opened the door.

Behind a desk of fine wood sat an old man. He had flecks of grey in his black hair but apart from that he didn't exactly look all that old. “That's quite a feat Garick,” the man said in his usual deep voice, “Beating down two couriers of the Cartel and freeing one of their Slaves.”

“They were just grunts,” Garick saisd modestly, “Not exactly difficult to subdue.”

“Still, the Cartel will know that the Band of Steel did it and maybe think twice before abducting more children so close to Port Vill.”

Garick nodded in agreement, “And my payment for the job?”

The Master chuckled and placed a heavy sack of coin on his desk, “So did the girl give you a name?” Garick shook his head, “What about the cause of her maiming?”

“Whose to say she wasn't born like that?”

“Because the Cartel doesn't pull a little girl off the streets for basic labour,” the Master sighed, “Alison told me she tried to kill you when you rescued her?”

Garick couldn't help smiling. “When I cut open the grain sack they were transporting her in she got me right between the eyes,” he pointed to a bruise on his head with a small grin, “Then she went for my sword.”

“That's probably why they beat her,” the Master's voice sounded heavy all of a sudden, “The Cartel don't like it when their Slave's are that gutsy.”

“So why were they going to all the trouble of moving her, why not just kill her?”

“Because some people enjoy the thrill of breaking such spirit,” the Master pointed to his door, “What should we do with her then?”

“You're asking me?” the Master nodded, “Well she's got nowhere else to go,” Garick mused, “So why not keep her around, teach her to defend herself?”

“Very well,” the Master waved at the door after handing him a registration note, “Go tell her that yourself, good work.”

Garick nodded, “My thanks, Sir.”

 

*

 

“So why do you call him Master if you're not Slaves?”

“Well, mainly because he's the leader of our Guild and it's his title,” Alison explained to the girl, “But we're free men and women, we do as we please.”

“So the other kids that are here aren't Slaves?”

“No, all the children here have no families so the Master keeps them here as trainees,” Alison picked up the now empty bowl and stood up, “We teach them how to look after themselves, you could stay too if you like.”

“You stole my line,” the girl looked over at Garick who sat back down opposite her.

“You want me to stay?” she asked curiously.

“Do you have other family?” Alison asked and she shook her head, “Well you can choose to stay or go, we'll not abandon you either way.”

“I was always told to take what I was given,” the girl admitted, “Choice was never an option.”

“Well that's not the case now,” Garick told her, “But if you do stay you need to tell us your name?” She looked at the two adults who were making such a fuss over her and let slip another small smile.

“Back at the estate they called me Miria,” she told them.

Garick smiled, “Can you write?” she nodded, “Alright, well fill these in.”

“Welcome to the Band of Steel."


Submitted: December 18, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Melanu. All rights reserved.

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