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Greetings lovelies! Today is my birthday! *throws confetti and does the jiggy* Now, I know I promised a celebration and you *WILL* get one, but it will have to wait until Saturday. Life has gotten pretty hectic and I want to do things right so that you all have fun. *smiles* Anyway, on to today’s Wednesday Brief, which as you can see is quite short too. Regardless of this, the prompt is in bold and I hope you enjoy!
Rodric grunted. A tick made his eye twitch as he looked around the dirt coated streets. A whore tried to grab his arm and he shoved her away without an apology. How could he not be anxious when they were in uncharted territory? After the incident in Fairy land Arjä had directed him to this place. How she knew of it was beyond him. Of course, he’d heard of it. Any pirate and ill reputed sailor had, but no one ever stepped on Fire Island unless they had a very good reason. The place was the home of the cream of society, aka, coat-throats, thieves, bounty hunters and worse. This is where you went if the law was after you and you had nowhere else to go. Rodric’s nose wrinkled in distaste as Arjä led him further into the city and into the tanner’s quarter.
“Where is everyone?”
Not a soul could be seen in the street, the hovels to each narrow side of the street standing aside like abandoned ghosts.
“Out and about, I suppose,” Arjä replied without breaking her stride. “It is of no consequence to us where the people of this town lie.”
Roughly, Rodric grabbed her arm and turned her to face him. Her eyes widened in surprise for an instant, before narrowing in annoyance.
“What is wrong with you?”
It was hard to believe that the woman standing before him was the same one that had departed with him from Arvynen. Arjä whole manner had changed since the visit to the fairies. Her long light blonde hair was gone, replaced by dark locks cut in a boyish fashion. To her already manly wardrobe she’d added a jacket with belts and brass buttons that gave her an elegant yet seasoned air. Rodric released her and stepped back, giving her room. She ran her fingers through her hair and glared at him. For a moment, he glimpsed her innocence again but it was gone as soon as it came. She was becoming one of them. Fearless and deadly. What had changed in her, he could not say, but suddenly he recalled what her mother the Queen had said: “Arjä has things she must accomplish in the human world if she is to become queen of Arvynen one day.”
Was that it? Was she to lose her cheerful nature to become dead inside like them? Like her mother. Rodric sighed.
“Empty streets are not a good sign, especially in a place like this.”
Arjä shook her head. “I am aware of it but it is none of our business what happened or is happening to the people in this town. We must reach the forest.”
Rodric grabbed Arjä again as she turned to walk away.
“Are you out of your mind?” he hissed. “No one ventures into the forest. There are—“
“Cannibals, Captain Belavue. Aye, and we’ve been expecting you.”
The sound of metal filled the air around them as he and Arjä drew their weapons. Swiftly, like an experienced swordsman, she pressed her back to his. They turned in a circle, searching for potential enemies. There was no one around them. Dark laughter echoed around them and goose bumps rose on his flesh. Arjä cursed. Then, the sun vanished. An enormous winged shadow passed over them and the world turned black. Rodric blinked, attempting to see something, but just as he started to make out shapes in the darkness, it passed. His eyes watered as light blasted into them.
“Arjä, levo, wol mo.”
Rodric’s jaw dropped as he realized there was a man in front of them wearing little else than dark trousers and a smile that could only be described as sin incarnate.
“Raskard, you bastard, I am not your love and have never been. Yeu ruano thi. ”
The man threw back his head and laughed. His long dark hair whipped around his face as he shook his head, clearly amused at Arjä's retort.
“That’s not what you used to say,” he replied, his accent thick in his melodious voice. The man named Raskard looked at Rodric with curiosity. Rodric narrowed his eyes and pointed his sword at him. Arjä might know him, but he didn’t. The man shook his head and smiled. There was no warmth in the gesture. “It matters little now, eh, levo? You and your friend are to come with me for you have caught the interest of the Lord.”
To be continued...
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