I’m really trying to decide how I want this to work… on the one hand, who doesn’t love long drawn out adventure tales (which *ahem* this story’s first three parts are linked to on the side bar) but also, there are things to be said for a nice and succinct short story. Let me know what you think!
Description: The journey continues on… and certain things come to light
They left before morning really hit the valley. They would not, as Louis hoped, be riding horses or be using strange wheeled contraptions. Rather, they would be walking, and at a quick pace. Bernard was a man on the larger side, so his steps were worth about two of Louis’s own. They said nothing for a good while. Bernard simply did not know what to say, while Louis had nothing to say. At last, they reached the welcoming sign to the farmer community, and Bernard made to turn westward towards Driscoll.
“Wait, can we just stop, for just a moment” Louis asked Bernard, nervously fingering a piece of paper he had retrieved from his pocket,
“A moment” the giant man said, before turning to take a drink of water from a river running nearby. Louis chanced a glance back and noticed the man watching him strangely as he placed the letter behind the welcome sign. One last goodbye to a lifelong friend, of which, he thought distantly, he might never see again. He turned back, catching a glance of Bernard’s sympathetic visage.
“Alright, I’m ready” he said, and they were off.
Louis learned Bernard was not much of a talker. After five misled attempts at conversation, the words he had prepared lay flat. Soon they reached a gate informing them of Driscoll’s upcoming state. Beside himself with excitement, Louis had to control himself as they walked on. Finally Bernard opened his mouth,
“If you’re preparing yourself for excitement” he said dryly, “I’d think again. Driscoll is the lowest of the low. We’ll be staying there tonight so you’ll get to see what you want, but I warn you. It’s a city of dogs”
A smile slowly falling from his face, Louis walked stoutly forward,
“You never know though” he piped up, “There are great people in every city, regardless of the lowlifes”
Bernard grunted, and no other words were said until they reached the city. It was twilight by then, and the shadows lengthened as they entered the city. They turned left and right so many times that Louis lost himself, so entranced by the city was he. Bernard was correct, it was a city of dogs. Stray dogs, homeless men and the sounds of fighting and desperation. But Louis didn’t mind. Bernard steered him along with a steady hand and soon they reached a small inn,
“Ah Mr. Mentrond, good to see you again as always.” An oily voice reached over the counter.
“One night, Quent” Bernard said swiftly, “I don’t have time to deal with your likes right now”
Louis knew enough that if he spoke now, there would only be trouble. So as Bernard haggled out a price, the young boy simply stared around. The inn itself was unsavory. Walls covered in flamboyant pictures of woman combined with the stale smell of beer and moldy bread made him wrinkle his nose and cough out lightly.
“Whats that?” Quent let out a snarl, “Is that an intruder? Show yourself”
“Stop your moaning, man” Bernard was quick to strike down the violent urges of the short man, “It’s just my new servant”
“I thought the great Mentrond took no servants” the voice forming a sneer,
“Circumstances change” he said smoothly before walking quickly upstairs, Louis following like a lost puppy at his footfalls.
As they reached the door to their room, Bernard rounded on him,
“Keep in mind, Louis, I will say many things on our journey, the majority of which will be false. It would be best if you kept your mouth quiet and play your needed part”
“Right, sir” he gulped, shivering as the two of them entered the room and the temperature dropped drastically,
“Was that you?” Bernard seemed furious, “You cannot do these things in public, don’t you get it? If any one of these scumbags managed to find out about your gifts, you’d be taken alive and used until you were worn out like an old doll. Be cautious and we might live to see morning”