[Ash]: 102.Tales by Firelight.001
Stepping across newly fallen snow in her leather boots she carefully approached. The single light in the cabin went out. As the door burst open she turned to run. The town was close, she could make it. The snow was hindering her movement, but she knew stopping could bring about her death. That’s when she heard it, a voice calling to her, softly, sweeter the rain. Ignoring the pleas to stop she came across a tattered wagon, with a lone person aboard.
She screamed as loudly as she could manage, her body exasperated, the woman collapsed. The wagon stopped, the driver in a wide rim green hat and red cloak stepped casually into the snow. He grunted, long and deep, as he slowly lifted the woman off the ground, letting her face up.
The man suddenly smelled the profuse odor which one gets from whoring and drinking coming downwind from the forest. He lay her softly in the back of the wagon with the hay an put some over her in a hope to warm her. When he came round the cart the odor had a face. Belching, a huge man in the skins of animals stood staring at him. “Eh, your not my wife…” Hideous laughter roared from the throat of the drunk man. “You see ‘er you kill ‘er for me okay.” He laughed some more turning to go back to his house.
The man underneath the hat smile. “By God ve pray,” said a harsh whisper escaping the man’s lips. The drunkard stopping looked back o the man who was pulling off his hat to unmask long braided black hair. “Lead us, thy lambs to thy sveet charity and compassion, lead us not to temptation, for the lion shall do away with all those unbefitting thy mercy. Amen.”
“That was a bit messy, lad, you said it wrong.” The man said in a stupor. A hush fell over the men.
“To admit, I’ve never been much of a Christian, too many rules… ‘ut I figured you vere.” The hat was throw in the air as if by reflex, two highly skilled hands went to either side unsheathing two large guns that had had obvious alternations. “Say goodnight.” In unison the guns flared, the drunkard dropped. The guns were holstered again and the man turned around as the hat gracefully found itself the usual resting place. “Merry Christmas… Bastard…”
The town was settling in for sleep, the lights on the frost glistened through the few remaining windows of the wakeful. The wagon was noise against the walked on bricks. When he arrived at the house at the end of town he wasn’t surprised to find the inn keepers wife well awake and waiting on the steps. “Did you get the hay I asked for, Anton?”
“Ve have a guest staying vith me, I hope you do not mind, dame. She vas being attacked by her husband, so I stepped in.”
She rolled her eyes as he stepped of the wagon and headed to the back. “Anton… where is the horse…”
“I did not take him, he does not follow directions.” Anton lifted the girl out and proceeding in the inn smiled.
She put her hand in the air to try and help herself think, but nothing came. Seeing no logical explanation she shook her head. “Just get the hay to the stable. That’s all I ask.” Suddenly the cart came to move slowly round the back of the inn. She shrugged and walked inside closing the door behind her. Making her way upstairs she walked in Anton’s room to find him heating water.
“Do you recognize her, Dame? I think she lives close by.” Anton reaching for the blanket remembered something and quickly looked to the wife. “Dame, vhen vill my cloak be sown?” Setting the blanket down across the woman he sat in the chair and pulled out a marvelously crafted pipe.
“It’ll be easier to buy you a new one, and I’m pretty damn sure I told you that.” Anton smiled and laughed while dropping in some tobacco and a stick to light fire to. “Goodnight Anton.”
“Goodnight, fair dame.”