Or at least I hope so. I'm going to try and go with this as far as I can because there's a special idea I have for it that I'll talk about more later if I go through with it. But this is just a short intro to the main character. And I do have a couple titles in mind, but I can't use any of them without spoiling my plans.
bob “Did you call for me?”
bob “Close the door, you’re letting in a terrible draft.”
bob “I’ll close the door, but please tell me what you want quickly as I still have patrons to attend to. You should know better to call for me during our busiest hour.”
bob “And you should know that I wouldn’t call for you at all lest I truly required your presence.”
bobThe man shifted in his chair leaning closer to the crackling hearth, gathering what little warmth from it he could.
bob “Well then tell me what you want.”
bob “How fast could you prepare for my leave?”
bob “Leave? But you just arrived!” Closing the door suddenly, she ran up behind him. “It is too cold right now to go anywhere.”
bobThe man stood up and turned to face the lady. His cloak, covering all but his grim, scarred, and bushy bottom jaw and reaching down to his knees, was torn and caked in mud. His leggings were heavy black leather stuffed at the end into two large boots. He walked to the lady and stopped before her, lifting his hand to slowly caress her cheek.
bob “I’m sorry, Julia, but the dreams. The nightmares. I thought coming home would help them go away, but now that I have left Misdon they only grow wilder. And now there is something new, something that is trying to reach out to me. My answers aren’t here. I’m sorry.”
bob “Sorry? But Izzy, you haven’t been here but a week. Am I to understand that there really are nightmares out there looking for you, or am I the fool that let her past climb back into her bed? Into her heart?”
bob “I would never do that.”
bob “Just like you said you’d never leave! Like you said you’d never pick up another sword after what had happened to your brother…”
bob “My brother died from his own consequences! I was young when I made that promise. And a different man.”
bob “Too different, you are a stranger to me now Iz. You even fuck differently. All the love in your touch has gone. Who are you?”
bob “I…do not know.”
bob “Well then…your saddle will be ready by noon tomorrow.”
bob “I love you, Izzy. For what you were, and not who you’ve become. Maybe one day when you face your nightmare you will be able to be the cute and innocent boy you once were, instead of the cold and empty man you are now.”
bob “You pierce me with such words.”
bob “Only because you know them true.”
bob “I had hoped you’d take this better.”
“You…don’t understand. The person you are never will.” She walked back toward the door, opening it up and letting in snow and cold.
bob “I’m sorry, Julia, but will you at least say good bye to me tomorrow?”
bob “No, Israel. Not this time. How could I say my good byes to someone who has never returned?”
bobAnd with that, she closed the door. I have never seen her again, and of all the things in the world I have left behind, she was what I have…had missed the most.
mdMy life, as it was, was none too interesting, but I’ll give you the story to catch you up. My name is Israel Black of Weaton. I was raised by a farmer and former soldier of the now conquered kingdom of Noxin. My mother was a sow, only living to birth children and clean house. I had three sisters and two brothers, and all but two of them, Marcus and Sally, survived the disease outbreak of our childhood. And while Sally was married off at the age of 14 and hadn’t been since then, I grew closer to my brother than I had with any other children of the town.
mdI knew Marcus was special when he first bested me in swordplay. While younger than me by 3 years, his grace and finesse with a blade was like watching a storm give birth to a rainbow. He was soon selected by a knight traveling through to be a squire and died at the age of twenty in the attempted sacking of a far-away town. He was captured, and hanged. His head was sent back home in a jar, while his body was most likely left in the woods to feed the wolves.
mdI had sworn to my love that I would never follow in those footsteps, until war came to our kingdom of Dhas. The king, who had used the magics and powers of the land in which he had come from to conquer, decided to outlaw and kill those who still followed the old ways. Rebellion erupted and faith was turned against faith, and while I never had interest in other-worldly things, my hand was forced by threat of death to take the side of the King. I killed and maimed and learned to enjoy it. The sound of agony awakened a cold love of death inside my heart.
mdAnd then the war ended, and the nightmares began. I regressed from the world and became my own entity, and constantly searched for salvation. Until it found me.
md “Now, fellow. Did you truly believe you could so easily just make camp in a forest clearing with no one around to come say hello? I should just put you out of your own stupidity and kill you now. But if you go ahead and give me your coin and that sharp sword of yours, I’ll just knock you out and leave you on your way.”
mdThe dagger was tucked snugly under the chin, angled slightly toward the right side. Although I couldn’t see him, I could certainly smell the forest shit permeating from his presence. His body was behind the trunk, only his arm reaching out.
md “I don’t have all day, either tell me where your purse is or let me be on my way so that I don’t have to dull my sword on your throat.”
mdIt was almost too easy. “I don’t believe straw men carry coin. Though they certainly aren’t strapped for attention as you’re the fifth one this month to try and kill the poor fellow.”
mdThe thief shit himself and ran to the front of the tree in order to try and find me.
md “Where in the hell are…SHIT!”
md “Fourth to actually fall for the trap, though the one that got away decided to run rather than stay and talk. He even left a trail of piss.
mdAs the thief sways and struggles, dangling freely from the rope wrapped around both his feet, I jump to the ground and land softly. I quickly root through his pockets and find a handful of jerky and a small sack of coins.
md “You know, I’m really a self-sustaining kind of guy. But the irony of these situations makes it so much of a treat.”
md “Please let me down, I’m getting a horrible headache.”
md “What was that?”
md “I said…GAH!” His face contorted wickedly as I plunged my knife deep into his chest.
md “Always worse to use dead bait rather than live, but if the wolves are hungry enough then I need not worry.”
mdIt took all but an hour to cut the body into pieces easy enough to carry. It took longer to bury the straw man, but within a morning I was on my way to the nearest town. The idea was a simple one, leave enough pieces of dead people in the town square until the local guards were called to investigate the woods in search of the killer. And once they were all busy, sneak back into the town and into the town hall. That was where I could get the answers I was wanting.
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- Spaced Ape
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