Author Topic: Story beginning - Fantasy - 1329 words. part 6  (Read 2784 times)

Offline Andrewf

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Story beginning - Fantasy - 1329 words. part 6
« on: April 23, 2008, 05:15:47 PM »
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

The first 5 parts are linked above with this part 6 continuing on below...
And sonce it stretched, part 7 will be along shortly (oops)  :-[

Please let me know what you think to this.

I led Dawn out of the inn into the cool night air and casually looked around. Knowing that there was no gang threatening Dawn’s safety allowed me to relax my vigilance, but I still kept a wary eye out for thieves.
“Which way do we go?” I smiled at her.
She looked up and down the quiet street before replying, “I, erm... I don’t know... I’ve never been here before.”
“Ok,” I shrugged. “How about this way then,” and set off north.

We strolled along Guildhall Street in companionable silence while Dawn dawdled and stared into the large shop windows at the exotic merchandise on display. At the end of the street, I stopped and looked both ways, hoping for a clue which direction to take. In the distance down the east road, I saw a number of carriages lined up beside a coachman’s rest. Why not ride in comfort rather than walk?

We approached the line of carriages and I could only see one driver tending to the welfare of his horses. The others were gathered around the unlit brazier, chatting to each other. I stopped beside the working driver and asked, “How much to take us to...” not knowing where Dawn’s home was, I prompted her to continue.
“Alden House.”
“That’ud be thruppence,” he rasped, continuing to fuss over his horses.
“Very well,” I nodded, opened the carriage door and handed Dawn up into the body of the carriage before climbing in after her.

The ride through the streets of the city was smooth and pleasant. The buildings that could be seen out of the carriage windows grew steadily larger and more grand the further we travelled. As the carriage turned and began to pull up an incline I looked at the passing scenery and wondered once again about my past. Did I have a family? Possibly a wife and children of my own, wondering where I might be?

The carriage swayed to a halt, forcing me to put aside my wondering thoughts and return to the present. I climbed out to find we had stopped at the entrance gate of a walled garden. The gravel carriageway curved through open lawns and behind a large mansion building. Dawn jumped from the carriage and set off up the driveway towards the house.
“Could you wait for me here?” I called up to the coachman, “I’ll need to return when I’ve delivered my charge.”
“Righto, guv’.”
The gravel crunched underfoot as I trotted after Dawn, catching up with her about half way to the large stone building. The pale stone walls looked ghostly in the moonlight amid the dark expanse of lawns as we approached, like an iceberg in a dark sea.
Not willing to use the front door of the mansion, I followed the gravel carriageway around the house to find a stable yard at the back with a stable building opposite.

“I wonder if Kori will still be up?” Dawn murmured.
“I would think that the whole house will still be awake,” I replied softly, “and worrying about your safety.” With Dawn ahead of me, I slowly pushed open the black iron-bound door and stepped inside.

"Oh, Miss Dawn! We were so worried!" A large woman dressed in a voluminous striped dress and white apron charged through the kitchen towards us. She grabbing Dawn up in her meaty arms and hugged the child to her ample bosom.
“I’m fine, Kori.” Dawn protested, muffled by the hug. “Honest!”

“Mistress Kori,” I bowed slightly, “I’m here to investigate Miss Dawn’s kidnapping.”
“And by whose authority are you here?” A man appeared at the doorway from the kitchen into the house. He was tall and skinny with white hair brushed back close to his skull and pale eyes over a beak of a nose. He was wearing black household livery and looking down his long nose at me haughtily. I guessed that he was the steward, Chester, who Dawn disliked.

“I serve Magistrate Tabarez,” I replied as Kitten had instructed, and stepped closer to him staring intently, hoping to unnerve him.
“I don’t understand why Magistrate Tabarez, or you, would be involved in this matter,” he blinked, “when it is clearly a matter for the city watch.”
“I was available.” I replied unblinking. “Where were you when Miss Dawn was kidnapped?”
“What?” he stammered and took a pace back, “I-I was at the market.”

“Then why’d you send me to market this morning?” Kori demanded, “I could’ve finished the other chores that needed doing here instead!”
“I-I had to replace a bottle of Lord Alden’s wine,” he said, “that I carelessly dropped this morning.”
“Uh huh,” I sniffed deeply, hoping that my shaggy appearance might bluff him into thinking I was a werewolf, “I don’t smell any wine on you.”
“Of course not!” he replied affronted. “I changed clothes!” he then drew himself up even stiffer and protested, “I’ve had quite enough of your bullying!”
“And I’ve had quite enough of your lying,” I growled and stepped close again. “But I’m sure that Magistrate Tabarez would be interested to hear your lies.”

Chester paled and quickly protested, “N-No, it wasn’t my idea! They threatened to kill me if I didn’t do what they said!”
I was sure that he was still lying and was about to reply but Kori roared, “You let them take Miss Dawn?” and reached past me to grab Chester’s skinny throat.
I quickly darted to the left and looked on appreciatively as Kori shook Chester like a terrier shaking a rat.

“Enough!” a man barked firmly from beyond the doorway.
Kori dropped Chester and stood trembling with fury, glaring at him where he lay on the floor.
“Papa!” Dawn cheered behind us, dashed over Chester’s limp form and jumped into the man’s arms.
I could clearly see the family resemblance. He had dark hair pulled back into a tail and dark eyes that stared at all of us intently.
“Who are you?” he asked, his eyes flicking over me and taking my measure. His voice held the assurance of being obeyed and I found it difficult to resist the urge to tell him everything.
“He’s the man who saved me, papa!” Dawn replied for me.

“I serve Magistrate Tabarez,” I replied formally with a slight bow, “and I’m here investigating your daughter’s kidnapping.”
“And why were you shaking Chester, Kori?” he asked her.
Before she could reply, I explained, “I have good reason to believe that Chester was involved with the men who took your daughter. He had professed to being threatened by them and Mistress Kori simply... allowed her emotions to run away with her.”

I was sure that he knew I was actually in Aran’s employ when he looked at me again for a long judging moment before nodding. “Then I suggest that you take Chester to your employer and get to the bottom of this.”
Chester whimpered on the floor between us.
Lord Alden looked down at him and continued in a voice as final and cold as death, “Chester, if you were truly threatened, you will have nothing to fear from the Magistrate’s judgement. But even if you are innocent do not bother to return. I have no use for a steward with such a lack of loyalty to my family as you have clearly shown.”
Chester flinched with each sentence, like they were physical blows raining down upon him.

Lord Alden looked at me again, his face softened into a smile. “I cannot thank you enough for Dawn’s safe return. You have my gratitude... I am in your debt.”
“Simply seeing Miss Dawn home safe is reward enough for me,” I replied. “I think it is time that Chester and I took a short walk.”
I hauled Chester up to his feet by his collar and led him out of the kitchen door into the yard. He stumbled and faltered as we walked down the gravel carriageway to the front gate.

Thanks for reading   8)
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read.
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Re: Story beginning - Fantasy - 1329 words. part 6
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 02:58:38 PM »
Well I thoroughly enjoyed this. I went looking for some of your other work Andrew and I wasn't disappointed. It seems to be coming on nicely. I especially liked the dialogue.


Offline Andrewf

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Re: Story beginning - Fantasy - 1329 words. part 6
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 07:52:12 AM »
Thank you Hunter, glad that you enjoyed it.  ;D

Currently writing a short-short SciFi story, so watch this space. :)

"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read.
Ask about eBook versions if required.