Zeven Chapter 3

Zeven Chapter 3

A Story by Silvario
"

Friends of Old Friends ... The outraged villagers demand protection from the evil that plagues thier town

"

Zeven

 

Chapter 3

 

Friends of Old Friends

 

 

"Braydon ... Braydon! ..." The big man shouted as he moved with haste. Even Dayne's strong deep voice couldn't compete with the constant, screeching buzz of steel ripping through soft wet wood. "Braydon!" He shouted again, his long lumbering strides bringing him closer as he cursed the noise around him with a frustrated look.

 

          A giant, tree trunk size, log lay on a long raised platform as two thick leather belts squeaked and groaned, pulling the heavy lumber along. Off to the side a worker poked at the sturdy gray mule that walked in circles at a brisk pace, heaving hard against his tack and harness. The gearwheel device turned as the mule plodded along, its teeth intersecting with the vertical wheel next to it. A slim, yet strong, leather strap connected it to a similar cogwheel system which drove the endless motion of the dual leather conveyer belts.

 

          Near the end of the platform the twelve foot steel monstrosity stood tall and menacing, seeming to spit and hiss, the gleaming metal spraying water from its jagged teeth as it whirred at unthinkable speed. Secured half below and half above the platform, the large circle-shaped saw appeared as a slavering beast about to devour its prey. The log squealed as a pig might, the beasts razor sharp fangs biting into its meat; deep and hard. An ear piercing shriek cried out across the mill as the conveyer fed the lumber into the monsters maw, a spray of wet pale dust soaking the ground below. The trunk of the once mighty oak seemed to resist, but was no match. The massive blade spun true as the crushing weight of water, falling from on high, forced the system of gears and belts into violent rotation. The raging water fell over two hundred feet as it slammed down onto the wood and iron catch-wheel near the bottom. The reluctant timber never stood a chance.

 

          "Braydon!" The lumberman called out once more despite the unyielding uproar. Another stride brought him to Braydon's side as he reached out to grab at a shoulder for his attention.

 

          Braydon looked up from the swath of heavy leather he was attempting to mend to see his friend standing over him with an anxious look, shouting something he couldn't understand. He reached up and removed the molded wax from his ears, as he asked in a raised voice. "What's the fuss Big Dayne?" The Foreman needed to yell at the top of his lungs with any hope to be heard.

 

          "Horns blow in the village!"

 

          "What?"

 

          "Horns blow in the ..." The frustrated logger waved his arms, dismissing another attempt to be heard. He hurriedly walked away, motioning for Braydon to follow. Once they made their way down river enough to have left a suitable amount of the mill's commotion behind, he turned to his friend once more. "The Watchmen blow their horns, there's been another murder."

 

          A look of dismay crept across Braydon's face as he asked, "Are you certain?"

 

          "My boy rode out to tell it to me and he's not one for lying, raised him right we did."

 

          "My God, this makes three inside a ten-day. Did he say who was killed?"

 

          "The Butcher Aston Cob, word is his wife found him this morning slumped over on the privy, his trousers still down around his ankles, poor old man. His throat was cut like the widow Krista Lannis'."

 

          "Damn. Cob was a good man, kind and always smiling. He ran his shop, kept quiet and minded his own business. Who could have possibly wished him harm?"

 

          "I'm not for knowing about that. I am for knowing when it's time to be leaving though. I won't be putting my family at risk. I told the boy to get his mother and sisters packed up. We're riding out soon as I make it home." Dayne studied his good friend for a moment, who seemed to be deep in thought. "I'm going to round up some of the others, let them know what happened. I expect they'll be for leaving too. You with us?"

 

          "I will be." Braydon replied as he broke from his thoughts. "I need to speak with Mr. Enderson. Surely now he'll agree to make audience with Baron Arlen. These murders are no coincidence, and this town will need more than drunks with horns to help keep us safe." 

 

          "I'll meet up with you back in town, but I won't be for lingering. No work is worth the life of me or my own."

 

          Braydon nodded as Dayne turned away, rushing back towards the mill. He stood there for a moment to gather himself before making his way to the makeshift stables where he hobbled his horse. Once tacked, he swung up into the saddle of his black and white charger. Reeling him around, he dug his heels in, sending the sleek muscled courser into swift motion. Braydon sprinted back to town, a concerned, almost fearful look openly displayed on his weathered face.

 

 

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          Villagers converged on the street in front of the large, log wood lodge. Randal Enderson had anticipated this response when he heard the news; rushing out the door to stand on his porch before them. The crowd was growing dense and angry, screaming complaints and demanding action.

 

          "No one's safe! The Butcher Cob was a gentle old man and not even he was safe, not even in the privacy of his own home! Something must be done!" One man yelled from the back of the crowd.

 

          "Evil has come to Timberdale! None of us are safe! Evil sees all! We can't hide from a ghost!" Shouted an elderly woman in the middle of the gathering, her finger wagging all around as she turned to face those near her.

 

          The assembly erupted in response, some shouting at the old woman and others shouting back at the crone's aggressors in her defense. Everyone joined in and the cacophony of differing opinions, curses and threats escalated to a disturbing roar.

 

          "Good people! ... Good people of Timberdale calm yourselves! ... Calm yourselves, please!" Randal Enderson held his hands up and out towards the mob as he called to them. "Please good people, listen to me." His hands slowly lowered as he scanned the simmering group of agitated citizens. "The good Mr. Cob is yet to be laid to rest and here we gather in the streets, nigh to a rioting mob, polluting the respect he and his grieving family deserves. No doubt they hear us from their home as they prepare, in tears, for his procession." He spoke with a kind yet sincere voice as the villagers watched and listened, some looking down at the ground; perhaps in shame for their sudden outburst, perhaps in unspoken disagreement. "I assure you Karl Rain is looking into the nature of what exactly happened. Until we learn more, I suggest we pay our respects and go back to our homes. Karl and I will call a more official meeting on the morrow, when it may be considered more appropriate."

 

          "You can call your meeting on the morrow Randal; I will not be in attendance. I'm taking my family and heading back south, we're striking out tonight. I, for one, will not wait around for help that may never come." Came the call of a man near the steps of the porch, one arm wrapped around the waist of a worried-faced woman, the other resting on the shoulder of a small boy with hair as red as his.

 

          Calls of agreement rang out randomly from within the crowd and Randal Enderson raised his hands once more, motioning a reminder for them to remain settled. "You are all free to do as you wish, of course. I, as many of you, have too much invested in Timberdale. I will not abandon her so readily, and certainly not to some supposed ghost; who by my speculation is no more than one man, a coward who kills from the shadows, too afraid to show his face."

 

          "Does that mean you'll be riding to Evensbreath?" Asked a voice from beyond the crowd, as a man astride a black and white steed trotted up near the porch. "You will speak with the Baron and demand he send support?"

 

          All turned to regard Braydon atop his mount as Randal Enderson responded. "Good Braydon Shaw, well met. I am afraid Baron Arlen does not suffer demands from commoners, or any man, I presume, common or noble. I do, however, intend to learn all that I may from this most recent and tragic of occurrences. On the morrow we shall meet again. I will then divulge what information has been discovered and my plan for confronting the Baron." He turned his attention to the now silent group of onlookers. "Until my return, I strongly urge everyone to be patient and try not to panic. I know this is a horrible string of events, but I promise we will make it through. Now please, attend the services, then go to your homes. Stay there and stay together."

 

          "I agree with Mr. Enderson." Braydon put in before anyone else had a chance to speak up. "I know many of you are considering leaving town. I can't say I blame you, just hear this. Timberdale is our home. Many of us were here at the beginning, we built this town with our own sweat and blood, we continue to build even now. Some of you traveled here for promised work and good pay, or to take advantage of starting a business of your own in a young, expanding village. We all have our reasons, but one thing is certain, we love Timberdale most for her peace. The cities are full of crime, so much more than what we've witnessed here. The outer roads are wrought with highwaymen, bandits who would not hesitate to take all your possessions, steal your children and leave you stranded if not dead. It could be more dangerous to leave than to stay and fight for the town we created. Let us not allow those responsible for these atrocities to murder the peace that is Timberdale. Let us not walk away from what we all have worked so hard for. Stay and show your support. Stay and fight for your home. Do not simply let them take it." The crowd had grown larger as he spoke, he looked to them one and all, meeting their eyes with confidence in his words before turning his gaze to Randal Enderson. "We will have help soon, for I trust in Mr. Enderson. He will return with the answer to our troubles."

 

 

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          Jaxis leaned against a post at the side of the porch of the Cutters Comfort Tavern. He watched the discussion unfold next door, while slicing off pieces of an apple with a small sharp knife. He listened with great interest, despite his relaxed posture and nonchalant demeanor, when Braydon Shaw rode up and began to speak. The slight rogue plucked slice after slice of the juicy red fruit from the tip of his tiny dagger with his teeth, chewing as if he'd not a care in the world. Once the town folk began to scatter, he eyed Braydon intently until his gaze was recognized and returned. The two men exchanged knowing looks as Jaxis nodded, grinning with a hint of approval before casually strolling away towards the alley.  

 

 

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          "They have convinced you to ride to Evensbreath, have they not?" Melina asked as Randal closed the door behind him, making his way through the foyer and towards the stairs.

 

          "I see not how I have a choice in the matter."

 

          "Not have a choice? You have the freedom of making whatever choice you wish. Is that not what you just told everyone else?"

 

          "That is different dear." Randal replied with a sigh as he stopped at the foot of the steps, turning to face his wife. "They look to me for leadership, for answers. Am I to ignore our neighbors in this time of crisis?"

 

          "Of course not, it is good of you to want to help, to see that everyone is safe. To see the village continue to prosper as we always wished for it to. But to do so at your own risk ..." Melina stood tall, her well practiced posture showing true, though she was unable to hide the look of worry on her comely face. "Randal, it is noble of you, but the out roads are dangerous; just as much for you as they are for anyone. I can not bear the idea of something dreadful befalling you."

 

          "My dearest Melina." Randal took a step towards his beautiful wife, slipping his hands into hers. He smiled as he looked into her luminous sapphire eyes. She was the loveliest woman he had ever known. Her twirling locks of auburn hair tumbled down the length of her back. A clasp, of sorts, held much of it back and off of her neck, leaving long tresses to loll and roll down the front of her shoulders. The cascade of hair outlined her alluring figure as she stood before him dressed in slim fitting satin and velvet of varying shades of blue. "Your concern for me warms my heart. I am deeply touched my love. I swear to you, I will be most careful. I will petition Karl for a couple of his best Watchmen as escort. The ride home will be even more secure as I am certain to return with aid. I assure you I will be safe. Now please, go on ahead to the funeral. The widow Cob will need your support and kind words. I will join you there as soon I have redressed."

 

          Melina matched her husbands smile, speaking as she turned her head to receive his kiss on her lightly powdered cheek. "Very well darling, as you say. I shall look for you shortly then." Her smile faded as she watched Randal briskly ascend the stairs, pausing a moment to ponder before making her way out the front door.

 

 

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          "A coward who kills from the shadows, too afraid to show his face?" Asked the man in the corner of the room, stepping forth as he spoke; a wry grin on his hooked nosed face.

 

          Randal Enderson jumped with a start, letting out a stifled shriek before attempting to recover; one hand held close over his chest, the other half supporting his weight on the nearby dresser. "Jaxis?"

 

          The bantam smiled in response, spreading his arms out wide as if to allow Randal a clearer inspection of his identity.

 

          "You startled me half to death!" The merchant hissed in a hushed, yet berating voice. Quickly moving to the door and peeking out before quietly closing it. "If my wife finds you here I will have more explaining to do than I care to even think about. Daris would be furious."

 

          "Relax yourself my friend." The rogue eased himself into a cushioned rocking chair, kicking his feet up onto the edge of the bed and lacing his fingers behind his head as he spoke with a teasing tone. "Your sultry spouse has long since gone; I watched her strut away to blend in with the Cob procession. Were it not for necessity that we meet, I may have followed her a stretch, the very sight had begun my blood a boiling."

 

          "I will thank you not to speak of my lady wife in such a manner. As for the comment regarding Daris' assassin, I had to make it sound believable for them. They trust in me and I mean to maintain that trust."

 

          "Hmm." Jaxis offered in response as he used a fingernail to pry a morsel of apple from between his teeth.

 

          "Your ghost is causing quite the stir. Is your lord certain this is what he wants?"  

 

          "I've learned long ago not to question Daris Reeve, especially when he's in a good mood. And I honestly can't remember the last time I've seen him so pleased. In regards to our little ‘ghost', his eyes light up like a child with a new plaything. But I never doubt his judgment. And you'd do well to do the same."

 

          "Yes well, speaking of judgment. What am I to do? The people demand I go to the Baron for aid. If I refuse again, I may begin to lose any pull I have over them. The same will happen even if I do go and return empty handed. On the other hand, if I am able to talk Lord Arlen into sending me back with some sort of support, it will be that much more trouble for Daris and his pawn to carry out their business."

 

          "Pawn? That's the second time now you have insulted this most dangerous of men. Good thing for you I'm not too fond of him, I'll keep your remarks to myself." Jaxis grinned as he looked directly at Randal, locking eyes. "At least until such time that I might be in need of something from you."

 

          "Perfect, I will add you to the long list of those to whom I owe favors. I am afraid your lord takes up a great portion at the top of this list. So, you may have quite the wait."

 

          "You're confusing favors with extortion my friend. There's a big difference, you'll do well not to forget that. Daris is fond of you, you serve your purpose and in the end you'll make out better than without our support."

 

          "And what of Braydon Shaw? He will ‘make out better' as well I presume? I can only imagine the amplitude of coin the mill turns. I wonder how much of it actually makes it to the Baron."

 

          "Braydon serves his purpose as well. But worry not about him. He isn't your concern. As for what to do, well ... Do as you promised. Convince the Lord Baron to send you back with trained soldiers, or anything of the like. It will make no matter. Daris' ‘pawn' will slip past them, if need be, just as easily as he slipped past the butcher's wife. A ghost is a ghost after all. Being skilled in arms won't change that. Speaking of the butcher's wife ..." Jaxis rose to his feet, casually making his way to the window he left open from his arrival. "I should be heading to her home and politely letting myself in. Let us hope, for her sake, she's a more reasonable businessperson than her recently departed husband."

 

          "And I should be getting to the funeral before my sweet Melina begins to wonder what became of me."

 

          "Aye, that you should."

 

          "Should I also be expecting to attend another upon my return?" Randal asked, with an almost sarcastic tone as he watched the little thief begin to gracefully step through the window.

 

          "That all depends on the widow Cob's good senses." Jaxis nimbly climbed out, turning his head to flash a grin the merchant's way before lightly dropping out of sight as he spoke. "And worry not for your delectable wife while you're gone my friend. I promise to keep a close eye on her for you."

 

          Randal Enderson shot a look of contempt back to where the rogue had been as he spoke at emptiness within the window's frame. "Tease all you will, slimy little rat. My lady Melina would never betray our love, and most certainly not for the likes of you."

 

 

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          Evensbreath was beautiful to behold from afar. The sprawling white stone city was nestled in a lush green valley, between the rolling foothills of a nearby snowcapped mountain range. Once under the archway of the walled city's southern gate, through which Randal Enderson had passed too many times to count, the beauty gave way to the hustle and bustle of its over populated state. People, with no where else to turn, pitched makeshift tents in the streets. Litter of all sort laid scattered about with no apparent effort to countermeasure the foul smell it produced.

 

          Guards in suits of chain mail and gleaming metal plate, draped in a snow white tabard emblazoned by a rearing black stallion, stood about at various posts. The Evensbreath City Guard dwarfed the Watchmen of Timberdale in style, posture, discipline and skill; just to name a few qualities that were noticeable by looking at them. Two of the impressive guards fell into formation ahead of Randal and his pair of escorts as they made their way through the city's Outer District.

 

          Deeper into the heart of the white stone metropolis, Evensbreath grew taller, its architecture grander and its homeless peasants fewer. Replacing the tattered canvas shelters and clutter of the streets were finely crafted carriages pulled along by majestic, prancing horses. Citizens of obvious wealth and high status smugly walked about with polished canes and raiment of colorful silks, satins, velvets, suede and soft fine cotton.

 

          The Baron's manse was easy to spot as they approached the center of the Capital District. The white stone and black marble trimmed edifice cast a shadow over the many other fair size homes and business' surrounding it.

 

          Once inside, Randal Enderson was led down a cavernous, seemingly never ending, red carpeted, hall lined with mirrors that reached to the ceiling, pale stone sculpted busts and pristine polished suits of armor.

 

          The imposing ash wood doors, with its intricate black oak trim design, opened as they neared and the escort announced his presence. "The Merchant of Timberdale, Randal Enderson, to see you My Lord."

 

          "Send him in." Came a reply from the far end of the deep, commodious room.

 

          Randal entered. The audience chamber was as decorative and ornate as the remarkable hall before it. Crossed weapons behind shields dressed the walls along with mirrors, statues, tapestries and suits of differing styles of armor. Silver and bronze framed sconces accompanied the multitude of decor about the voluminous room. No flame was alight however, as the glass wall of varying vibrant colors at the rear of the chamber allowed the bright glow of daylight to illuminate all within.

 

          "My Lord Baron Arlen, thank you for accepting my request for audience." Randal Enderson spoke in his most respectful and formal of voices as he stood opposite a massive marble desk. "You are most kind, good sir, to find the time in your busy schedule to meet with me."

 

          "Pleasantries annoy me Randal." Baron Francis Arlen sat in a tall cushioned, black oak chair as he spoke, his baritone voice deep and strong, resounding throughout the expansive room. The mountain of a man leaned over his desk, reading and then signing parchment after parchment from a neatly stacked pile. His meaty hand engulfed the white feathered quill as he dipped its tip into the jar of black ink and penned his name. Even seated, the behemoth of a Baron was nearly as tall as the erect merchant. His muscular girth was no less impressive, his broad shoulders as wide as the mammoth chair supporting him. "Tell me, what is happening in my little timber town that is so imperative it brings you before me?"

 

          "A string of murders My Lord. I believe them not to be coincidental."

 

          "Murders? That's it? You steal away my precious time to trifle me with the insignificant deaths of dale peasants?

 

          "My good Lord Baron, with all due respect, the village is in an uproar over these events. I would not be here were the situation in town not dire indeed. The villagers fear for their lives, many have took to leaving."

 

          The Baron looked up from his work to regard Randal for the first time since his arrival. His cold grey eyes locked onto the merchant's as he replied. "And what of the mill? Have I lost workers?"

 

          As intimidating as Francis Arlen's stature was, his stare was worse; penetrating and overwhelming. His face seemed incapable of producing a smile with its wide set cheeks and sturdy square jaw framed by the thinning light brown curls of hair that fell to the nape of his thick taut neck. Randal met the glare with his best efforts to not look away as he answered the question. "Several My Lord."

 

          "Hmm. Several aren't enough to impede production. Tell me Randal. Are men of the Dale so inept they can't resolve their own troubles?"

 

          "My good Lord, we of Timberdale are merchants and mill workers. And as you know, members of our Village Watch are volunteers, many of whom have never before lifted a blade. We fear that which we face to be a trained assassin. His victims, at first, appeared random, but could just as easily be specific targets; though to what end we could not even venture a guess. If this is the case My Lord, the village, as is, does not stand a chance against such a skilled killer. If this is the case, then surely there are to be more victims. If this is the case, it will lead to more desertion, which will certainly include more and more of the mill workers. I ask you Lord Baron, with respect, how many workers can your timber mill lose before it must cease operation?"

 

          "You've made your point Randal. I see your plight, and mine. What exactly do you ask of me?"

 

          "Any skilled arms you deem reasonable and can afford to send back with me, My Lord."

 

          Francis Arlen stood, one hand tucked under an arm, a finger from his other, lightly tapping his chin as he pondered. Standing at nearly seven feet, his colossal size eclipsed the radiant rays of day that poured into the room, engulfing the nervous merchant in shadow. "Armed men standing about, skilled or not, will do nothing for you if your speculations are correct as to the nature of these killings. It is my thinking you require those of a more ... aggressive attitude. Those who would consider it necessary to seek this villain out, discover him and dispatch of him. Those who are highly skilled and well prepared in dealing with such monsters, this is what you need. I know of such people, friends of old friends. But they won't come cheap. I ask of you, Randal the Merchant. Do you agree we each have respective interests here? Interests we both wish to protect?"

 

          "I would agree, My Lord."

 

          "Then for my part, I offer to recruit these ‘friends'. And for your part ... well, Randal, I certainly hope you brought your coin purse."

 

          As it turned out, Francis Arlen's face was indeed capable of producing a smile.

 

 

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          The room was all but dark as the soft white curtain dampened the moon's glow. The hushed glare off the sensual contours of her soft, naked back was all that could be seen. But Jaxis wasn't using his eyes. He lightly kissed his way down her spine to the small of her back where the ruffled blanket foiled his progress. "I do so relish these moments when we've no need to rush, no sense of urgency."

 

          Melina Enderson took a deep breath and released a sigh of contentment. A beaming smile eased across her flushed, pretty face as she lay on her belly with arms restfully folded under her pillow. "I do as well." She purred in reply.

 

          "Perhaps we've time for another go?" The rogue teased as he gently tickled her side.

 

          The merchant's wife giggled and shifted, coming to rest on her back, pulling the blanket up to cover her chest as she turned. She reached up, softly running the back of her hand down her talented bed mate's cheek. "If it is to be anything like this time before, I should say we don't." She answered with a smile, which then slightly faded as she went on. "Though, it is my hope that someday soon there will no longer be the need for these pretences and all our secrecy."

 

          Her lover's smile was genuine with sympathy. "We share this wish equally my little minx. It upsets me just the same that now is not that time. I curse our misfortune that we did not meet prior to Daris' hold over your husband. Were that the case, this game of charades we play would never have been needed. Daris wouldn't have, and still doesn't care a thing for Randal's, or anyone's matters of romance. He would, however, care very much if suddenly your ‘not so' better half came unhinged in a jealous rage upon discovering our veiled affair, that his responsibilities to the coterie were adversely affected or worse, completely ignored."

 

          "Yes Jaxy, I understand well the reasons for our cloak-and-dagger routine. I only wonder if there might be a way to ... accelerate our position to a place where it will no longer matter who knows of us."

 

          "Minxy, the only way that could come to be is ... well, is if Daris Reeve were ..." Jaxis broke into a wide smile, chuckling as if he'd just heard a choice joke. He regarded his companion, awaiting her to join in at any moment. His face relaxed into a look of wonderment as he recognized the serious nature of her statement, as supported by her most somber glare. "My devilish minx, while I applaud the bold cunning of your thoughts, to consider such a feat is audacious to say the least, and borderline suicidal; most especially with his new favorite ‘friend' around."

 

          "Then perhaps we devise a way to eliminate this ‘friend'. I can be extremely persuasive. Men are never truly on their guard and clear of mind when the tantalizing touch of a woman is put to good use." She replied with an alluring grin as she lightly ran her fingers down his stomach. "You know his identity; you could point him out to me."  

 

          "I, for one, would never call to question your powers of seduction. They work their magic on me even now." He admitted as he reached down to gently catch her hand before it slipped any lower. "But please believe me when I advise to not underestimate this man. And don't get me wrong, my minx, I'm thoroughly intrigued. Your plot has potential. I'm only thinking it's too soon to be hatched. If we're lucky, the sell swords your husband brings back will take care of Daris' pet for us. Then there's the matter of Daris himself. That task would require much contemplation, much planning. For now I believe it best to sit back, play our parts and see what unfolds. All in good time my Minxy."   

 

          With a frown, Melina conceded, falling back to lay flat on the bed once more. "Then we wait, if we must."

 

          Jaxis smiled. "As always, you're as understanding as you are beautiful."

 

          "My husband returns this day. And the sun will be up soon. You should take your leave while you can still go unnoticed."

 

          "As you say, my minx." The rogue replied as he leaned down to his magnificent lover with pursed lips.

 

          Melina Enderson turned her head to receive his kiss on her, now pallid, cheek.  

 

 

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          The sun neared its apex as all in the village stepped from their homes to line the streets in anxious anticipation, as if awaiting a parade. The eyes of Timberdale examined as one, the caravan of riders who marched into town. Their procession led by the trusted Randal Enderson who proved to make good on his word. Behind the merchant rode one of the two Watchmen sent to accompany him. The other had returned to town the evening prior to announce their successful negotiation and arrival for noon today.

 

          The band of riders that followed were five in number, rough and weathered looking, boasting stern expressions and as a whole bore an eclectic appearance. An assortment of various gear and weaponry was strapped to their mounts and on their person, giving the group a foreboding look. Alongside one of the formidable riders loped a rather fair sized dog. Its medium length coat was dark brown, black and grey in color, but solid black around the face. The beast's tongue was hanging half out of its opened mouth which displayed its large, yellow stained and dangerous looking teeth.

 

          The village watched as the riders slowly made their way through town. Most exhibited expressions of awe and hope, some of fear and uncertainty. A wave of whispers rippled through the streets, but Zeven heard the words of only one voice.

 

          The child sat cross-legged at the end of the wood plank walkway, scribbling letters in chalk on the rough wood surface beneath her, when she looked up and asked. "Who are they?"

 

          "Hunters" Zeven responded, knowing the girl was speaking to him despite the many town folk standing about.

 

          "What's a hunters?"

 

          "People who find and catch whatever it is they're looking for."

 

          "What are they looking for?"

 

          "A ghost." Zeven replied with the hint of a smirk.

 

          Lissa crumpled up her face in earnest contemplation. "Mommy told me a story about a ghost. It was a little bit scary."

 

          "Ghosts often are."

 

          "But how do you catch a ghost?" The slightly confused girl looked back out to the street where the last of the riders strode by. "Do you think they can catch a ghost?"

 

          Zeven allowed his smirk to spread. With a wickedly eager smile he answered the girl. "I honestly do not know. But I look forward to finding out."        


© 2011 Silvario



Author's Note

Silvario
As always, any and all feedback is most welcome and appreciated.

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Featured Review

You are adding more and more layers as the story progresses, now slamming adultury, bribery, scheming and a new "game." It is growing more interesting and only making me want to read more. The town you set up as a peaceful, seemingly innocent small town composed of honest people is beginning to shed it's skin to reveal the corrupt innards. Another great one

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Lissa is backk :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You are adding more and more layers as the story progresses, now slamming adultury, bribery, scheming and a new "game." It is growing more interesting and only making me want to read more. The town you set up as a peaceful, seemingly innocent small town composed of honest people is beginning to shed it's skin to reveal the corrupt innards. Another great one

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love how you put Lissa back into your story :)) Wonderful chapter and it pulls me in. I find this funny how Randal has said "Tease all you will, slimy little rat. My lady Melina would never betray our love, and most certainly not for the likes of you." and yet as we read on, we find she DOES in fact betray him. Even coming up with a plan to get him out of the way!! Beautifully written :))

~Skulli

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

"The beasts tongue was hanging half out of its opened mouth which displayed its large, yellow stained and dangerous looking teeth." --- beasts should be beast's... lol. And lovely turn about with the involvement with the little girl. I guess she is becoming more like Zeven because she is alone in the world with no one to teach her. I just hope Zeven doesn't teach her his craft of killing for money, or killing at all for that matter. Or maybe he is attracted to her sweet innocence and maybe that's why he has befriended her... Hopefully he has a heart left, just enough for Lissa. Lovely chapter Hal.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I knew Zeven was awesome =) He appeared and finished the chapter off nicely.
I love the way your characters are all so believable. There's nothing worse in a story than characters that seem fake.
Your story line is amazing and the imagery is so plain to see =)
It reads so well. Love it ^_^ Can't wait to read the next chapter.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You made Randal sound like an imbecile..
I don't like him anyway..
I had respect for Zeven in Chapter 1, lost it in Chapter 2, and regained it in Chapter 3... The fact that the little girl is at least his friend says alot. And there was some repetition but all in all it was a wonderful read. :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think you mean morrow, not "marrow" thats like the stuff inside bones. On the morrow is tomorrow.
The paragraph Where Randal's talking to the Baron, you have some repetition with "If this is the case" you may want to reword some of those.Other than that, again you have a fabulous piece here. Theres a lot going on and you turn the complexity up a notch. I'm excited to see where this one leads, how everything turns out. You do a remarkable job of keeping the plot lines seperated but intact and in correspondance to everything else thats going on. Marvelous.

And i'm glad to see that Zeven's actually talking to Lissa. =]

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Simply amazing...your strong use of imagery is wonderful! You have a way with words that make them jump right off the page. The story is progressing wonderfully. It is getting more complicated, but not too complicated. It is still easy to understand and overall is a delight to read.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

yet another lesson in creative writing. so fluid and beautiful. the best descriptive writing ive seen thus far. this chapter was chuck full of palpable imagry. things seem to really be getting intriguing now with the relationship between Jaxis and the adulterer, Melina. their sceming raises a brow for certain. not to mention the interesting end scene with Lissa yet again. on to Ch 4!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Interesting story. You are good writer :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on March 10, 2009
Last Updated on January 5, 2011

Author

Silvario
Silvario

Charleston, WV



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"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They.. more..

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