Monday, June 16, 2008

Shannelleran, Day 5

By: Michael Akerman


She glared at him icily as he tried to right himself. “Pervert!” she barked, “Stay away from me!” Kilrick lifted himself to a sitting position.

“I didn’t mean…” he started, frowning. “I wasn’t trying to…. It’s just that you were wounded, and I…” he blushed, glancing over at the crumpled form of the large attacker, who lay still on the floor.

The girl stared at him for a moment, watching him as his deep brown eyes considered the cobblestones. His visorless helm betrayed a clutch of light brown hair draping to the nape of his neck, outlining his strong jaw. His face was young, but lightly creased and worn. He was adorned in full plate mail, his mostly constructed from a motley assortment of mismatched pieces. These were made of a dingy, cheap iron, save for his greaves, which gleamed with the indefatigable shine of whitesteel. His longsword was sheathed at the belt, but the visible sheath and hilt were well-wrought in a matching motif: gold filigree traced the outlines of countless small wings along the length of the sheath, meeting the gold guard, which stretched out in paired quillons. The walnut grip tapered toward a decorative wing, crafted of gold, which graced the pommel of the sword.

Slowly, she smiled. “Okay, I believe you.”

“What?” Kilrick looked up, surprised.

“Let’s go!” she exclaimed, standing gracefully and clapping her hands together, pleased. Her voice rang in dulcet tones through the square.

“Go? What do you mean?”

“Elsewhere! Away from here! Let’s leave the general area and travel to a different general area. You and I shall escape, scurry, scramble away! We shall sojourn, we’ll ambulate in a specific direction!”

“No, I’m familiar with the idea of going! But why am I going with you? Who are you? And most of all, why should you trust me to go with you?”

She frowned. “That last question is backwards from what I expected. Well, you’re a knight in partly-shining armor and I’m a damsel in distress, so you’ll be protecting me. As for the last part, the knight is always a good person in the storybooks!”

Kilrick rose to his feet. The girl faced him, her head level with his shoulder. He looked down at her, his eyebrow arched cockily. “First, I’m not a knight, at least not now. Second, the fellow with the staff seems to have been knocked out or killed, and besides, his weapon is broken.”

“All the more reason for you to come! You shall have to explain how that happened. I’m afraid I fainted for a bit.”

He blinked at her. She smiled back. Kilrick incredulously gaped, “You mean you didn’t-“

“Besides,” she interrupted, a note of weariness and wariness beginning to tinge her voice, “the townspeople have been staring, and my unconscious father is going to wake up soon, which are two good reasons for both of us to get out of here.”

“Your father?” Kilrick asked, looking in surprise at the massive, beastly man, who was beginning to stir next to the hut with which he had collided. As Kilrick glanced around, he noticed the dozens of shocked eyes which stared out of filthy windows and partly-opened doors. “Yes,” he nodded slowly. “I think it’s a good idea to leave.”


~Michael Akerman