Author: Sophia Rose Brentwood PM
I never asked for any of this. How did I go from what I was to the lowly servant of this egotistical, narcissistic, rude, obnoxious man? Oh yes, I forgot. Because Fate hates me.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Words: 927 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 06-02-12 - id: 3028524
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I leaned down, cupping water in my hands and bringing it to my lips. I drank quickly, taking a moment to splash my face with the cool water. I stood, and glanced at the sun. It was midafternoon, and the warm summer air was thick and humid. There was a faint buzz of insects in the forest around me, and various other animalistic sounds as well. I continued through the foliage, my already torn-up clothing catching on branches. Suddenly, my foot caught on a loose root, and I fell into a patch of nettles. Cursing loudly, I untangled myself from them, their sharp points dragging across my skin, opening old and new welts from other encounters with nettles and pricks. Scowling, I continued along, brushing myself off.
Eventually, after another few falls, I emerged upon a dusty pathway. I grinned in relief. That shady merchant I had spoken to in the last town I visited hadn't been lying after all when he said there was a path here. I had been almost to the point of giving up when I finally came upon the dirt road. Walking along the path proved much easier than any of my past escapades in the undergrowth over the past fortnight. I raked my hand back through my unruly black locks, letting out a huff of frustration when my hand became ensnared. I yanked my hand out of the tangles before giving up completely on the lost cause that was my dirty mop of dark hair.
Behind me, there was a thud of hoof beats growing louder. I gasped and dove into the bushes, cursing once more as the prickly leaves and branches of the undergrowth pulled and tugged at my skin. Peering out, I saw a party of three horses with knight riders coming up the path. To my relief, they were neither guardsmen nor squires from the palace. 'They haven't found me yet…' I thought, studying the coat-of-arms on the men's shields and armor. I recognized it as the coat-of-arms for the merchant family Deiga. They were based in the town Garude, the capital of the kingdom of Jiorei. As two more parties of knights from the Deiga household passed by my hiding spot, I figured I must be near Garude since such a large number of people of their domiciliary were traversing the road I traveled. At least, I hoped I was near Garude. The town itself was known for showing hospitality and kindness, especially towards those less fortunate. 'And,' I thought, looking down at my ragged stable boy trousers and shirt, 'I do look like fate has done me a wrong turn.'
After a small while of watching and waiting, I deemed it safe to emerge. I began to walk, hoping the town wasn't much further. I wasn't accustomed to hard travelling, and I had walked through many nights without stopping to rest. As a result, I was completely worn out, but, being the stubborn girl I always was, I refused to stop until I reached Garude. Being so far from Salouta was exactly what I was aiming for.
"Miss?" A voice broke into my thoughts. I turned, startled, to face a young girl. She looked to be around nine or ten years of age and carried a woven basket filled with plants, some of which I recognized as herbs used for treating common illnesses. "Do you need help?"
"I…" I began, studying her for a moment. Her clear blue eyes were worried as she cocked her head to the side. As I looked into them, I saw child-like innocence that immediately won my trust. "Yes, could you tell me how much further it is to Garude from here?" The child smiled.
"Oh, yes. We are really close. Garude is where I'm going. I can take you if you'd like!" The girl came up and took my hand. "Come on. You can come visit me and my granny. She's really nice, you'll like her! She can help you too! She knows a lot of things." She nodded wisely as she pulled me into motion again.
"Um, well, thank you. What is your name, little one?" I asked, smiling down at her.
"Oh, dear! I forgot to tell you! My name is Constance. What's yours?" I thought quickly. I couldn't use my actual name so instead I blurted the first name that came to mind.
" Fay." I replied, remembering the name from a tale I heard from traveling bards
"That's pretty! I wish my name was something prettier. Like Farah or Laila or something, but granny said Mama liked Constance the best." I chuckled as she rambled more about her name.
The entire time we walked, Constance talked. I could hardly open my mouth to reply to a question before she began speaking again. She jumped from topic to topic, almost randomly, and spoke so fast that her words almost slurred together. Suddenly she pointed.
"There's Garude!" I looked around, surprised. While I had focused on deciphering her words, the path had gone up a hill, and now Constance and I stood at the crest, gazing down at the large town. "If you look close, you can see Granny's shop! It is right there, see it?" She asked pointing again. I peered closely, and, even though I couldn't tell if I was looking at her granny's shop or not, nodded.
"Yes, I do." I said. Constance smiled happily.
"Good! Come on, let us go. I'm sure Granny is anxious about me taking so long getting home."