Where Anyone is Possible
The First Chapter in Ska's story. Please comment on what you think. I am open to all feedback, but please I'd prefer a little more than 'oh this is good!' or "I really liked this'. Critique helps the best and that's what I'm looking for. You won't hurt my feelings. Enjoy!!!!
The green hills rolled on off into the horizon. Clouds the color of oranges spotted the evening sky. A small bird chirped on the tree branch above. The soft whispers of the trees carried on the breeze. Nothing in sight but nature as it continued on its merry way. Even now the sounds of the city behind the wall couldn’t be heard. It was but a small nuisance, like an ant crawling up a tree. Humanity was nothing compared to nature, and here untouched by the axes of the wood cutters, not tainted by the blade of a solider Ska found a small amount of peace.
She found peace that she did not find within the walls of the Arthurian City amongst the corrupted souls. Walking the cobble stone streets, the market place or even the city square danger lurked around every corner. Pick pockets did the dirty work of the ‘good’ citizen, bringing in what money couldn’t be made in the market place. Blood was spilled in the midst of the night simply because one could. It was a fight for survival, a fight that Ska was determined to win.
The deafening screech of an Eagle drew Ska from her thoughts to look at the mighty bird. It flew overhead gliding on the air stream circling the tree Ska was perched in.
“Alright, alright I’m coming.” Ska mumbled to the bird.
Any mortal would have thought the bird a normal predator, but any creature with power running through its veins knew better than to just trust the judgment of the eye. Ska knew it best. She wiggled her way down the tree, hooping from branch to branch before landing upon the grass. One of the few places untouched by the dark magic of the Horned Demon, this was one of the few places Ska could be, and she knew in an instant it could be taken from her grasp.
Just on the other side of the hill was a small wood cabin. Nothing fancy, enough room for a bed, a bathroom, and a kitchen. Mortal entertainment didn’t suit her needs so there was no use for it within her home. The barren walls were a comfort, knowing she didn’t have to return home to useless items that only got in the way. The birds call echoed in her ears again before it flew at the ground next to her. She didn’t turn to watch it but simply went inside and grabbed her daggers, strapped them to her thighs underneath her skirt. She tucked her long waves of hair into a hat, hiding what many have told her she got from her father. She heard he was an honorable warrior, died serving in the royal guard. As for her mother Ska knew nothing of the woman, and wanted to keep it that way. If her mother didn’t want to be in Ska’s childhood, she sure as hell didn’t want her in her life now.
Ska opened the door to find Sebastian with his hand raised to knock upon her door. He didn’t have to be polite, but she was glad he had some manners unlike most of the men within the city.
“Ready to go madam?” His question but a small annoyance. She wouldn’t have opened the door if she wasn’t ready.
“Can we make this quick?”
“I’ll do my best.”
Turning on his heel Sebastian lead the way. It was a short walk to the white stone wall that rose, towering over the citizens and their city. Ska imagined it was like living in a box. They couldn’t see the nature outside wall, couldn’t see the rolling hills that lead to the eastern plains, or the desert that was off to the south leading to the tropical cities of Atarera. They couldn’t see the towering mountains of the Emerald Glades off to the west or even the empty vast waste lands of the north. Though Ska couldn’t see them from her tree perch she knew they were there. At least she wasn’t caged and limited only to what was within the wall.
Sebastian handled the guards, convincing them that we were only travelers visiting the city on grounds to see the market. No questions were asked and they weren’t searched. Surely by now the Guards recognized them as regulars that return to the gates. After all, this wasn’t the first time entering nor their last. It was a weekly return when Ska was summoned to the Horned Demon’s castle for another ‘secret’ assignment. Surely all of them were not secret and all of the royal guard knew about it. How could they not? She would show one night, and the next night some mangled dead citizen would turn up.
They all made their assumptions about her, she didn’t care. They could think what they wanted and she wouldn’t tell them otherwise. Unless she wanted it known to the world she kept her business privy to her own mind and that of the one who sought her out. Being seen wasn’t her thing and that was exactly why Sebastian took her within the crowd of the market place. All gathered here, business or not. This was where the gossip spread, pockets were spread, and deals were made. After all how could you really here over the shouting of the carriage men, the guards and the thieves, and even the whispers of the those close to you. If you wanted to listen you could, it took some time to follow the topics correctly but it could be done it was how Ska gather her Intel.
Yet being here most of all put her on edge, looking around every corner, watching ever movement of anyone close to her. She didn’t like being touched. It always meant someone was too close to her. The crowd shuffled this way and that, Sebastian close in front of her. Only a few more yard and they were at the steps of the City Square. Only a few more steps and they were in the aristocrat quarters, where the lower class could not go. A few more steps and she would be free of the people who were in so many dark ways just like her.
The secrets. The power. The death. The fear. The lies. The charades. It was all here, out in the open. One could act upon it and get away simply with how big the crowd was. How do you point a finger at the man who just stole your coins when you can’t even see past the people around you?
Sebastian’s order had come quick and low. So much so that she didn’t have to time follow after him quick enough to escape the sight of the warrior on the white horse. He spotted her in her blue hat and white skirts and she recognized the call of his loud voice immediately.
A murmured curse left her lips. Ducking her head to her chest she pushed as best as she could through the crowd, wondering if she even had hope to escape. She didn’t look back but by the hushed voices and parting crowd he would catch up to her. Turning she aimed instead for a dark alley in between one of the fruit stands. She knew the city well and its allies were like a maze. If she could be quick enough to get out of sight there wouldn’t be a problem, no scene, no blood, no fight.
Three steps. Two. One. His hand grabbed her hat gripping her hair through it. His vicious hiss in her ear.
“Gotta, little pretty.”