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by Dr. D
Rated: 13+ · Book · Action/Adventure · #2091655
When your godlike family betrays you, how to you seek revenge?
#888651 added July 28, 2016 at 6:59pm
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Chapter 2 In the Dog House
Durina was breathing heavily as she crouched behind the moss ridden wall. Her 12 year old frame, average but thin for her age, was tense as she clutched the small knife to her chest. It was supposed to have been so easy, sneak in and steal a pouch of coins and leave. It should not have caused the stir that it did. It seemed that most of the city guards were out searching for her. While catching her breath she started reflecting on what happened the last few days.
Yesterday morning was not that unusual. She was dragged out of bed by Kek by her hair and thrown in front of the other Dogs. That is what he called the street kids he ruled over. “Yesterday” he yelled ”you were supposed to steal some meat and all you came home with was a loaf of moldy bread. Look up at me Gray Rat” and as she did he slapped her hard and she went to the ground again. She so hated her gray hair that was not like the others. They had red, black, yellow, brown, but hers was stripped of any color like the old and useless people, and some even have accused her of being a mutant, though she felt fully human. She was afraid of Kek but did not hate him, he only confirmed what she knew about herself that she was useless and could not keep her mind on task. Without thinking she glanced northeast and for the millionth time she told herself that there is nothing out that way, it is in the west where the last big cities are that I will make my fortune. “Dogs” Kek continued breaking her out of her reverie, “You have a chance to make me a happy man”. For them that meant that they would not be beaten for a day or two. “The Spring Caravan will come late tonight and they will drink a lot. Tomorrow their wits will not be so sharp and we will scrape a few crumbs off their tables. Now I want you all to go to the river and wash, I can’t have them smelling you when sneak up on them.” Kek took them down to the river and had them all strip naked. He gave them some soap to wash with and to wash their clothes then he left. The water was cold and Durina helped to wash the younger ones and showed them how to wash their clothes by putting soap on them and pushing them every which way on the rocks. She washed herself and tried to wash her hair. When she was all rinsed off and coming out of the river, Kek was there staring at her and her skinned crawled. “Come here Durina”, Kek never called her that, it was always Gray Rat. “I have not noticed before that you are budding nicely” as he brushed his hand on her chest. She wanted to run but she couldn’t. “Hmm, soon you may have the pleasure of being my girl, but first the Caravan”. She wanted to hide, to kill him, to kill herself in her shame. He then yelled “Everyone get dressed. I don’t care if the clothes are wet you can’t go to town naked.” She walked over to her clothes but she could feel his eyes on her as she put them on. Kek lead them back but she tried to stay in the back and look small. She knew she would have to leave this town very soon and maybe she could go with the caravan as it left. Even if they could not take her she could follow it and steal food along the way. That afternoon Kek had them do thieving exercises and cautioned them to not take big things that might be quickly missed, just small coins or small clothing items. He then left them to take inventory of what they had taken from the last caravan and would sell it to this caravan tomorrow.
That night after she had put the others to bed, she lay unsleeping she was thinking of how she could leave. Her goal was to get to one of the last cities to the west. She knew the history of their planet. That the Goddess had brought the people here and she lived in her great city and the rest of the world prospered and built cities on every continent. But the people grew proud and did not want the Goddess to rule them and she was angered and sent monsters to harass the peoples but they hid behind their walls. Then the Goddess brought flying creatures that dropped magic that caused the walls to crumble and the people still did not give in. She in the last of her anger sent her champions, the Meklor, to wreak her vengeance. Where the monsters killed their thousands the Meklor killed their ten thousands. Even though most the Meklor were killed or at least had not been seen for decades, it left the world on its knees ready for the Goddess to take away her anger. But she had bequeathed that until she is ready to forgive, the world must live with its sins. There is even rumors that she has sent out “Truth Hunters” to search the world for faithful people and hunt down monsters and rebellious warlords and wizards and that perhaps the end is near. Durina could not imagine why anyone would want to get the Goddess mad. She would have loved to live in a world of marvelous cities.
The next day they were woken up early and quietly. Kek sent Durina to watch the trading tables while he set up the rest of the dogs. He came up on her mid morning. “I saved the best for you and do you know why?” and She shook my head. “Well since you will be my girl and now I can trust you I will let you in on a little secret.” He said this as his eyes lingered on her chest. “I stay alive by being able to notice what it going on around me at all times. I can stare straight ahead and still see things clearly to the side of me except for you. Your crazy hair makes you disappear in my side vision, and if your hair is in front of your face, I almost need you in front of me to see you. I thought it was just me but I notice the other towns people react when they see you because you seemingly appear out of thin air and I have heard their comments. Now this mainly works when people are not looking for you. Today we will use that to our advantage. There are several bags of coins on those tables. I want you to steal one from the nearest tables” he pulled out a brush and started to brush her hair in front of her face. He could not get too far as she had a lot of tangles.” Well good enough, now go”.
Durina went as carefully as she could go and went behind the tables. She saw the bag Kek was probably referring to but a guard went by and she froze. His gaze went over the stand and passed right through her and then went on as if he saw nothing unusual. While her eyes followed him she spied on a bag two stands away. It was a small coin bag but it was beautiful and burgundy and she knew that if she could get that one Kek would leave her alone for a few nights. The merchant beside the small bag seemed enamored by a girl across the way. So she stealthily crossed the distances and slowly took the bag and the man never noticed. Stupidly, after she had grabbed the bag, she knocked over a sword leaning on the wall she had not seen and everyone seemed to look at her at once. “It’s the street urchin, after her.” and as she ran the spice merchant threw the red tochen root powder vessels at her, she dodged it but the powder covered her leaving her upper body red. She heading into the street and she saw Keks angry face across the street in front of her so she dodged down the street heading for the east end. Durina knew the market place and the backside of the town and she used every trick she could to avoid capture and she might have gotten away with it had not the Captain of the Black Guard shouted into the market place. “A reward to any that captures that gray haired street rat, and any that help her or don’t give back what I seek, I will cut their hearts out.” Her heart dropped, he is the very man that would carry out that order precisely and with pleasure. She was not necessarily liked in that town and friendships change quickly here when money or death is involved especially Kek. She snuck the best she could to the east edge of town as it somehow occurred to her that safety lay there. She finally sprinted to the east wall but someone yelled “There she is.” as she climbed a tree next to the wall to leave the village. She dropped to the other side and ran and dodged through the farm fields and now was on edge of the forest at an abandoned shed behind a moss covered wall. She knew she had been seen a few times and that the pursuers were near.
Now here she was, crouching behind the last wall of civilization known to her with her knife the only protection but she knew it would not help. Ahead of her was the haunted forest or a mountain full of monsters ready to eat you alive. She had heard all of the stories and then she decided to look in the pouch before she took the plunge She cringed. Inside was a large jewel, was green emerald? “Holy Krak”, she swore, “what have I gotten myself into?” She knew that she could not stay here so she ran into the forest and she heard a horn behind her. Someone had signaled that they saw her. She just ran and she knew it would be better to go straight up the mountain to the right, but she felt as if she were pulled left a little north. She was confused, was she running from something or to something? She could not think but just let her body go. She must have left an easy trail to follow as there were horse hoofs fast approaching. She knew they were close and she had a strong desire to go right up a rise so she with gasping breath sprinted that way. She was confronted with a sudden drop of about thirty feet. She panicked and stood there. She was almost ready to jump when she saw him, a man in that ravine, odd and old and worn. He was leaning on a stick and just staring at her. He looked as if he knew her and his face hardened and a hateful smoldering eyes just bore into her.
*****
The Captain knew he was close. The girl had earned his respect for eluding him and his men most of the day. She had also embarrassed him today before his men and she would pay dearly and die slowly. Someone in the group following, uneasily said to the captain, “These woods are haunted, we do not know what beast may be here.” The Captain replied. “I am the only beast you need to worry about now. If you do not follow, I will make sure to bring your body back to feed any beasts that may reside here”. They all continued. Even the Captain could feel the dread about this place, but with 10 men he was not too concerned. They found her at the top of a rise and she was standing there apparently she found a cliff. He saw her turn slowly and she with shaking hands threw the bag towards him. “I’m sorry, here is your jewel, just let me live”. He smirked. He could see the panic in her eyes and took his bow out and notched an arrow. “Will you promise never to steal again”. Her eyes widened with hope. “Yes Captain sir, I will never...” and he released the arrow and it pierced her upper left chest and she twisted and fell backwards and he could hear a thud. As he and the others got off their horses he said to the now vanished girl, “Well now, that is a probably the only promise you have ever kept”. He walked to the bag and picked it up looking inside without stopping and his lieutenant continued with him to the top where they could see the body of the girl about 30 ft down. It was almost nightfall and the uneasiness and oppression was almost tangible. A few of the horses were getting skittish and whinnying and he turned around and examined his men who were nervously looking around. These were trained troops who had dealt with human and inhuman monsters in stride looking like new recruits and yet he could feel it too. He loudly said “She is almost certainly dead and whatever evil roams these parts will feast tonight, let’s get back.” And with relief they mounted and left at a quick pace. The wind whispered through the trees but no other life could be heard in these woods. At the bottom of the cliff a small moan came and the broken body of that child moved slightly. The hand, almost without volition, reached into the ground and found a small gold stone and that body arched. She screamed as a mist attached itself to her arm. Distantly the Captains troupe heard the painful cry faintly and then a deeper roar and they shuddered and some could be heard lightly praying for their lost souls. Even the Captain felt a shudder go up his spine, knowing that one day he may be required to end whatever evil has taken home there.

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