Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tribes Of The Earth - Part One

Okay, first TOTE post! For those who may be new please check out the prologue at the tail end of this post. You really should read it before continuing on. Unless you've already read it, in which case, jump right in! 
Oh, one more thing. 
Feedback is not only appreciated, it's sought after. I wouldn't be posting if I didn't want feedback. I want the good and the bad. If something didn't make sense, or there was a confusing change in POV, please tell me. I can take it, I'm a big girl. All I ask is that you keep...
A: mind I have not gone through to edit most of these sections yet.
B: ...your comments clean, or I'll vaporize them with my dragon fire.

100 Years Later - 
“Argh!” Deidre snarled, clutching her upper arm. Blood poured from the wound.

Her attacker said something in a strange language, obviously taunting her.

Deidre grimaced and replied in kind, startling the man. She continued speaking, then darted forward in the middle of her sentence, iron staff whirling. The butt of the staff hit him soundly in the gut. He doubled over even as Deidre scolded him in his own language. He heard a dull whir, then crumpled to the ground.
Back in the land of the conscious, Deidre was examining the knife that had wounded her. It was dull where it wasn’t nicked and rusty where it wasn’t dull. She curled her lip in disgust and flung it as far away as she could, which was a good distance.
Keeping one hand pressed to her upper arm, she started going through the man’s duffel bag. She couldn’t help but smile as she as she unzipped it, once, twice, three times. She hadn’t seen a zipper in a long time. The fact that he carried such an antique meant that he was a desperate man. Most people these days carried leather bags with straps to hold them shut. To have an actual duffel bag would mean he had ventured into one of the Old Cities, a dangerous proposition.
She rummaged through the contents. There were several pretty baubles, a sharpening stone, three old books, as well as a collection of dirty garments, most of which had been wrapped around the baubles. She lifted one up to catch the fading sunlight. Though tarnished, the necklace sparkled with jewels of every shape and color.

“Worthless.” Deidre murmured regretfully. She liked jewels as much as any woman, but her lifestyle forced her to be practical. A necklace like that would make her a target. People would be too busy ogling it to notice her long knife or her heavy staff.
Blood dripped onto one of the books, reminding her of her current plight. She hurriedly pawed through the rest of the contents, but couldn’t find any medical supplies. With a sigh, she selected the cleanest shirt she could find and began tearing it into strips with one hand and her teeth. Before she began binding her arm, she took a close look at the cut and sighed again. She wished she could wash it out, but the only clean water she had was for drinking, and she couldn’t spare any for anything else.

It’s been well flushed by the blood, she assured herself. I’m fortunate it was a downward slash, and not sideways. I probably wouldn’t be able to move my arm otherwise.

After binding it up tightly, she pulled a length of rope out of her own pack, cut it into two shorter pieces and used it to tie up her attacker, hand and foot. She paused, then, with a smile, attached the ornate necklace around his neck. Finally, she slipped the sharpening stone into her pack and stood, holding her staff. It was completely dark now, and a full moon loomed huge in the sky. In the distance, a wolf howled. Much closer, another answered.
Deidre hesitated, glancing at her captive. She had fully intended to leave him to his own devices, but with the wolves out, he would almost certainly be seen as an easy meal. On the other hand, if she had only two days worth of water left and the nearest safe water source was exactly two days away. Any delay cold mean going without water, something she had had to do before, but was loathe to do again.
One of the wolves howled again, joined by several of it’s brethren.
Muttering at her conscience, she unslung her pack, retrieved her flint, and set about building a fire. Once she had a nice blaze built up, her captive finally began to stir.

“As ye heid feldin?” Deidre asked, asking him if his head still hurt.

“I feel like I’ve been stomped by a horse,” he growled in reply.

“You do speak a civilized tongue, then.” Deidre sat cross-legged on the opposite side of the fire.

He struggled to sit up, his movements awkward. “Is that what you call this tongue? Civilized?”

“Yes,” Deidre said calmly. “That’s what I call it.”

She drew her knife, laid it across her lap, and began to run the sharpening stone across it.

“That’s my stone, grisfath!” He cursed.

“Watch your mouth.” Deidre’s voice remained even, but her glare was dangerous. “It was your stone, and you’re lucky I didn’t just leave you here for the wolves.”

As if on cue, the wolf pack gave up it’s cry once more.

“What’s your name?” She asked, not looking up from her task.

“Gavin.” He answered, after a moment’s hesitation. “Aren’t we going to eat?”

“Even if I had food, what makes you think I’d give you any?” When he didn’t reply, she added, “I may go hunting later.”

“With what?” He snorted. “Your knife or your stick?”

Deidre reached over and picked up her staff, holding it up for him to see. It was about an inch and a half wide on one end, narrowing to a point on the other. Near the sharp end, a wide leather band was wrapped around it. Deidre set it upright, wide end in the dirt and grasped around the leather band, pulling it downward in a quick motion. The top split apart into three razor sharp prongs.

Gavin shifted uneasily. “You gonna throw it? A deer won’t stand still for you.”

“Why would I hunt a deer when there’s so many wolves about?” She asked quietly, reverting the staff to it’s original form. She sat back down and continued sharpening her knife. “You’re a strange man, Gavin. You expect to be served, yet you’ve been in one of the Old Cities, where only the desperate and insane go.”

She paused her work and looked at him. “You have been in one of the Old Cities?”

“I’ve been in many of them.” He said, sounding cautious. “How did you know?”

Deidre answered with another question, “Why did you attack me?”

“I thought you were someone else.” His reply was curt.


“None of your business, grisfath!” Gavin snapped.

Deidre didn’t say anything more. Despite her calm demeanor, though, she was furious. 
Not only had she kept him alive when it would’ve been more practical to kill him, she had delayed her journey to protect him. As if his apathy wasn’t enough, he continued to insult her.

After several more minutes of working silently, a thought came to her. It was so brilliant, she laughed aloud.

“What?” Gavin demanded.

Deidre put the stone back in her pack, sheathed her knife, and picked up her staff.

“Where are you going?”

Smiling, she winked at him and said, “Hunting. I’ll be back very soon.”

As she checked his bonds over again, he asked, “How long does it take you to track and kill a wolf?”

“I’ll be back very soon.” She repeated. “If I even have a suspicion that these ropes are looser when I get back, I will kill you.”

Gavin snarled, but didn’t doubt her.
True to her word, she was back very soon, with a rusty knife in one hand and a squirrel over her shoulder.

“That won’t feed us both.” He protested.

Deidre shot him a look of disgust. “I know that.”

She knelt behind him to check the ropes, and once satisfied, she moved to the fire, building it up twice as wide and three times as high. Gavin scooted away as the heat intensified.

“What are you doing now?”

Deidre picked up his rusty knife. “You posed quite the problem for me, Gavin. My conscience did not allow me to kill you for the sake of convenience. Nor did it allow me to leave you at the mercy of the wolves. So here is my solution. This fire will burn for several hours. Long enough to ward the wolves away until they’ve settled for the night.”

She tossed the knife into the center of the blaze, where it was quickly obscured by the flames. “At that point you can make a choice whether to use the remaining wood to stoke the fire back up or wait for it to cool enough to retrieve your knife and cut yourself loose.”

She slung her pack over she shoulder, her water skin across her chest, attached the squirrel to her belt by it’s tail, and picked up her staff. “Iysh hyoe pahth eigns gowe llwe thye.” I hope things go well with you.

He glared into the fire as she walked away, then said in a grudging tone, “Ansh llwe thye. Ye hawe lin gatatin.” And with you. You have my gratitude.

Deidre turned and nodded once. “I’d leave the squirrel with you, but it would only attract the wolves.”

“Just go!” He snarled, not looking the least bit grateful.

Deidre adjusted her grip on the staff and sprinted off into the woods, satisfied with the arrangements she had made. 

So don't. 
Because these works are my babies.
And if my babies get stolen...
I become a territorial, fire-breathing, revenge-driven dragon, that in my rage and grief I will tear off the roof of your most sacred dwelling and turn your electronic devices into a mass of molten metal and plastic.
And you don't want that.
(Also, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons 

1 comment:

  1. I think Deidre should tie Gavin up first, And then look through his stuff.
    I liked the way she left though.


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