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Author Topic: My latest writing exercise - Comments are welcome  (Read 5247 times)
manwitch
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Last Login:February 10, 2010, 08:20:05 am
United States United States

Religion: Brighideach Greenwitch
Posts: 14

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« Reply #1: February 01, 2010, 05:15:23 am »


STANDARD COPYRIGHT:
The following text, in its entirety, is copyrighted 2010 by the author, who is registered on ecauldron.net with the username "manwitch." No authorization to redistribute the text in any format is given under any circumstances. 

---

   Later that evening, Danni and Helen were sitting at the table eating dinner, a hearty stew of red roots, venison, and onions, with horseradish greens on the side, along with hot biscuits, and butter that had been made the day before at a farm two miles away.
   “I wonder what the princess would want with a tracker,” Danni said.
   “No idea.”
   “Maybe she lost an earring,” Danni said.  She tried not to think of the much worse possibilities.
   “I have a feeling that’s not it,” Helen replied as she was staring into her bowl of stew.
   “Maybe her dog ran away,” said Danni.
   “I somehow doubt if that’s it, either,” Helen said as she dipped a biscuit in her stew.
   “Maybe she lost her mind and can’t remember where to look,” Danni said.
   Helen chuckled.
   “Maybe she’s pregnant and the father left town, and she wants you to find him,” Danni said.
   “Ooh. What a scandal that would be.”
   “Maybe someone’s impersonating the queen and the guards can’t be trusted,” Danni said.
   “I guess it’s possible,” said Helen.  “But I wouldn’t put any money on it.”
   “Maybe she met someone and forgot to get his address,” Danni said.
   “I doubt it,” Helen said, but this nonsense of Danni’s was starting to give her the inkling of real possibilities. Helen doubted if the princess was in any danger, otherwise why send a messenger to take a message to someone four days away, when there would probably be a guard stationed at the end of the hall.
   “Maybe she wants to be a tracker like you,” Danni said as she gestured toward Helen.  “Learn from the best.”
   Helen chuckled.  “I doubt if her mother would let her.”  That was another possibility.  Someone wouldn’t let her do something?  And she wanted outside help?
   They sat in silence for a few minutes, until Danni said, “In all seriousness, Hel -- Just so you know, I was tempted to burn that letter while you were in the back,” and she nodded toward the stable door.   
   “I don’t doubt it,” said Helen. “If I were you, I might have been tempted to do the same thing.”
   “But then it would be a matter of trust, wouldn’t it?” asked Danni.  “You wouldn’t trust me anymore, would you?”
   Helen said nothing, but didn’t deny it.
   “I really don’t think I could handle that right now,”  Danni said.
   Helen looked at Danni and smiled, but said nothing.   
   “Maybe I could have lost it by scrunching it into a ball and throwing it outside somewhere,” Danni said, failing at being humourous.
   Helen still said nothing.
   “I don’t want you to go,” said Danni.
   “I don’t really want to go, either, said Helen.  “I mean, I’ve still got a lot of things to do around here.  Like that shed we were talking about the other day.”
   “No. I mean, truly, with all my heart, I don’t want you to go.” Danni’s voice was getting higher in pitch, which it always did when she was getting upset.
   “I know,” said Helen.
   “There are other trackers.  Lots of other trackers. Let one of them take the job.”
   “She asked for me,” said Helen.  “What do you want me to do?  Tell her ‘No.’?”
   “I want you not to go.  You’re retired.  Write her back and tell her you’re retired.”  Danni’s voice was getting louder.
   Helen said nothing.
   Danni pushed her chair back and stood up. “Dammit, Hel.  What’s the problem with that?  What?  Because she’s your princess?  Is that what the problem is, huh?  Because she’s your _princess_?  She’s not your princess!  You weren’t even born in this country!”
   “Danni...”
   “Dammit!  Don’t ‘Danni’ me!  Dammit, Hel.  Dammit.”  Danni’s voice was starting to crack.  “I don’t want you to go.  Please don’t go.”
   Helen sighed and stood up.
   “Don’t you remember what it was like?  Huh?  Don’t you remember almost dying -- how many times?  Don’t you remember all the nightmares?”  Tears were starting to form in Danni’s eyes.  “How can you throw way the past eight months?  How can you...”
   Helen reached her hand over to touch Danni’s arm which was immediately slapped away.
   “Don’t.  Don’t.  Just.  Don’t.”  Danni hugged her arms to herself and backed up to the sink staring at Helen, trembling and trying to will herself not to cry.
   “Danni.  I...”
   Danni turned around to face the shuttered window over the sink.  A moment later, she heard Helen close the door behind her.

* * *
 
   Two hours later, Danni was sitting at the table with the glow of the oil lamp relfecting off her swollen eyes, staring at the front door, when Helen came in. She hung her coat up and walked to the table opposite Danni.
   After a long silence, Danni asked in a choked voice, “So, are you going?”  She already knew the answer, but she still needed to ask it anyway.  Danni had already packed most of her supplies an hour prior.
   “I suppose I have to, don’t I?”
   “So it would seem, at least to _you_,” Danni said. 
   Helen was silent.
   “So, how long will you be gone?” Danni asked.
   Helen sighed.  She knew that she was hurting Danni, probably more than she had ever hurt her before.  She couldn’t blame her if she wasn’t here when she got back, _if_ she got back, that was.  Helen knew that Danni worried about her, that Danni had thought most of her worrying days were behind her.  She knew that Danni had no problem with her tracking down a long lost family member or similar, but Danni hated it when she would be commissioned to track down murderers or other criminals.  Although this request seemed more the former than the latter, she couldn’t know either way until she actually got there.
   “I really have no idea,” said Helen.  “I could be back in less than two weeks, or it could be significantly longer.  You know how it is.”
   Indeed, Danni did know how these things were, but she said nothing, only nodded.
   Helen said, “I’ll probably leave in the morning.”  Something which Danni also knew, and again she nodded.
   After a long pause, Helen said hopefully, “I know I don’t deserve it, but if you come with me, I won’t accept the job unless it’s okay with you.”
   Danni said nothing.
   Helen realized that that wasn’t enough.  She had spent the past two hours trying to figure out what would appease Danni, and the runner up hadn’t worked.  “Whenever you’re with me,” Helen said, “I’ll never accept another tracking job ever again unless it’s okay with you.”
   Danni still said nothing, but Helen could now see in her eyes that she was waiting for something else.
   Helen knelt on the floor beside Danni.  “I’m sorry.  Please, will you come with me?”
   “Promise?”
   Helen took her partners hands in her own and looked up into her eyes.  “Heart and soul.”

---

STANDARD COPYRIGHT:
The above text, in its entirety, is copyrighted 2010 by the author, who is registered on ecauldron.net with the username "manwitch." No authorization to redistribute the text in any format is given under any circumstance. 



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