She has no name only a title. No one knows she exists but now someone has found her again
|It was early morning when he first appeared in the town. He came with the rise of the sun, striding confidently into the market-place. At such an early hour the town center lacked its usual hustle and bustle. He was not bothered by the quiet atmosphere, actually preferring the near silence to the havoc of so many people gathered in one place.
The stranger never stopped to indulge in the gossip with fellow early birds, going about his business methodically. Instead he became the topic of whispered conversations. Stealthy eyes slid over the hefty figure of the unfamiliar man before rapidly darting away at the first sign of him looking their way.
A stranger in such an isolated town was a cause for intrigue on any day but this particular traveller drew more attention than others had. His attire was enough to draw attention, never mind his odd mannerism.
An aroma of the earth clung to the dark haired man, spreading whiffs of the forest in his wake. The thick cloak draped around his shoulder carried all the evidence of the harsh life it had endured. Patched and stitched, dirt clung to it while a few red stains stubbornly refused to be removed. The cloak’s bottom billowed around his thighs with each step.
The hilt of a sword of a broad sword, on which the stranger’s hand rested, came into view as the fabric brushed back before it was pulled back into place by the man, once again hiding the weapon. It was not uncommon for travellers to carry weapons, seeing as not all roads were friendly. Under the cloak he wore a dark pair of pants and tunic, in similar shape to the cloak.
The stranger moved through the streets with ease. His gaze met each person's as he passed. He never hesitated, fully assured of what must be done. No doubt was held in his expression, there was an utter certainty about him, a calm rationalization. His hand on the hilt of his sword belonged there, there was no mistaking that. The steady self assurance and calm about him spoke of a seasoned fighter confident in his abilities.
He turned down one of the many streets branching out from the central square. Small clouds of dirt kicked up behind him as he progressed down the road at a brisk speed. There was no time to be slow about things.
Tightly nestled buildings soon gave way to smaller and shabbier houses, and then finally faded away into farming land. Tall trees loomed overhead on either side, shading the road. The presence of the towering forest calmed the man; in fact dark eyes were trained on the forest for movement in the far reaches of the dark woods. Content for the moment he looked ahead, watching the path.
Ahead he could see the trees give way to open ground where a small house was nestled by the trees with a long area of farming land stretching out to the west. The house, though closer to a cottage, was by no means lavishly decorated, no there was too much work to do on the farm for that he guessed. But fine exteriors, or interiors was not what mattered to him. Those were the least of his interests.
Instead he focused on a young girl, standing by the road in front of the house, a rag doll clutched in her hand. Her grip firm on the toy. A patched and faded scrap of fabric for a dress and frayed yellow yarn for the hair. It was missing one bead eye which a crow had plucked out before the girl could rescue the doll. Considering the doll was carried everywhere with her, it was in fine shape, well taken care of.
The young child was dressed in a faded skirt and simple blouse, both soiled with dirt from life on a farm. She watched the man coming down the road intently. For one of her age, she was eerily still. She looked to be no more than six, but was so calm. Red curls framed her innocent face, large green eyes never leaving the man's figure.
The man studied the child all the while that she studied him. Casually he stopped, leaning against the tree as if to take a break. He pulled out a tobacco pipe from his cloak, he chewed on it thoughtfully, not lighting it.
Quietly he spoke, certain that his words would not carry the distance to the intently staring girl.
"You are sure that she is the one?" He seemed to carry on a conversation with the air, for there was no one else in sight on the road. However he seemed to receive a reply because moments later he spoke again, this time in a tighter tone.
"Of course you know what you are doing, I don't doubt you. Now go wait with Muirín, I will be along in a few moments."
Replacing his pipe back into his cloak after a few moments thought he started back down towards the girl. He shook his head in annoyance, and then snorted. The girl didn't look like she could defend herself against a dog, never mind do the job they had selected her for.
The girl however regarded him silently as he crouched down in front of her, her green eyes never leaving his dark ones.
"Would you like to come with me?" Was all he asked, extending his hand to her. Her skin was pale and soft looking, smudges of dirt on the tip of her nose and cheeks. She was much too innocent looking.
Without hesitation or a word she placed her small hand trustingly in his, her other hand still clutching her doll.
The man straightened to his full height again, his hand closes around the girls. He turned towards the forest, leading her along. Her hand was small in his, not even spanning half his palm.
And she was the one he was to train. He had always know that he would someday take on an apprentice. But he had never thought that it would be a girl, never mind one this young or small.
He let out a sigh, this must be some kind of test. A quick glance was cast down towards her. She was much too innocent and fragile for this life. Regardless of his own doubts, he had to obey. This was one thing he could not dispute.
As they neared the stream he let all thought of such things fade away. There were other things to deal with now.
"Muirín. Laisrén." He called, still leading the girl along.
As much as a burden as they were, he was always relived to see them and this time was no exception. As he came into view of the two pegasi he let out a quiet sigh. It was nerve racking to be away from them, even for short periods of time.
He realised the girls hand and strode towards the pair. Silently he patted each Pegasus on the neck before beckoning the girl forward.
She approached willingly, having never taken her eyes from the two creatures of myth. The power their presence exuded was enough to leave the mind boggled, but the pure beauty was another thing to hold altogether.
Their powerful presence was only enhanced by the muscle that lined their bodies. The male carried a hide of brilliant oranges while the female a cool shade of blue and white. Luxurious wings spread out from both their shoulders, the fine detail that set them apart into the land of myth but here they were in living breathing, flesh and blood. In unison they lowered their majestic heads to the girl's level.
The girl's hand slackened, letting the doll fall to the leaf covered ground. She placed one hand on each of the winged horse's nose instinctively, remaining silent the whole time.
Her palm tingled with pins and needles but she maintained the contact until the pegasi broke away. Two dark marks left behind.
The man stepped forward from where he had watched in silence. He picked up the little girl and placed her on the back of the blue Pegasus.
"Very good my apprentice. You will ride Muirín for we must be going. There is no time to waste. Hold tight to her mane."
He tucked her legs carefully behind Muirín's wings before he turned and lead the way into the heart of the forest.
With him he took the odd first born of a new family. She had always been so quiet, and quick to pick up on things and it seemed that she had never always been there, her mind off wandering the hills.
And soon she was forgotten by the townspeople, her parents. Even the strange man who had come to their town that morning was forgotten as business went on. By the next morning people no longer thought of him nor the missing girl.
She had not been witnessed standing hurriedly in the middle of tending for her doll and going to the road. Nor how she had watched intently and motionless, down the road for twenty minutes until the stranger had finally appeared. And no one had seen the strange man come and lead the girl into the forest, never to be seen again.
Only the cherished doll, which she no longer needed to care for, now lying abandoned in the forest was evidence of the girl's existence. And like the girl had forgotten about the doll, so was the day's strange events forgotten by the people.