Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chapter 3 of Random Story

Cayle sat by the fire and watched the sun rise over the hills. He’d woken up an hour before dawn.
He didn’t sleep good, tossing and turning, and when he did sleep, nightmares showed their unwelcome faces.
He hated what he had become, what he had been forced into. He thought back to why he had resorted to this and sighed, depressed.
He heard a sound behind him and turned, seeing Cadman crawling out of his tent and stretching.
Cadman was a soldier who had been in a similar predicament as Cayle. They had decided to split the reward money.
“How long have you been up?” Cadman asked, seeing Cayle by the fire pit.
“A while,” Cayle answered.
“Couldn’t sleep, could you?” Cadman asked. Cayle shook his head, turning back to the cold fire pit.
There was a long silence.
“What’s for breakfast?” Cadman asked, making Cayle laugh.
“Are you ever not hungry?” He asked. Cadman thought for a moment.
“No, not really,” he said.
Cayle got up and started making breakfast.
As they were eating, Finn also came out of his tent, smelling the food. He was a scrawny boy of about eighteen, with light brown hair that fell to his shoulders and covered most of his eyes, creating a veil.
"Can I have some?" He asked. Cayle handed him a plate in answer; Finn took, and, with a nod of thanks, started eating.
He had come with Cadman, as sort of an unofficial squire.
Cayle got up and walked over to the washing bucket and looked up at the sun, sitting above the hills now.
"We had better start moving," He said. Cadman also got to his feet and, after depositing his plate into the bucket, walked towards his tent to start packing it up. Cayle did the same, while Finn continued to eat.
After Cadman and Cayle had finished, they found that, while they had been working, Finn had washed the dishes, and was currently struggling with his tent.
The two men shared a glance, and then walked over to help him.
Deanna finally came to a stop, nearly falling out of the saddle from exhaustion.
She had been riding all night, occasionally leading and checking his hoofs. She didn't stop to sleep, but ended up dozing in the saddle.
She dis-mounted and started to lead Krennan again, but she ended up stopping and leaning on him.
"OK, this isn't working," She said, she lead him into the trees, where, after a while, she came across a clearing.
"I just need a few hours sleep," She mumbled as she tied Krennan to a tree. She pulled a blanket from her pack and leaned against the tree. Krennan got down on his knees and neighed quietly.
Deanna opened one of her eyes and saw him watching her. she smiled and moved over and leaned against him instead.
"Thanks, boy," She whispered. A few seconds later, she was asleep.
"Where should we start?" Cadman asked, looking up and down the road.
"She should be going to the sea, right?" Finn asked. "So wouldn't it make more sense to go up the road?"
"Yes, but we're not sure if she's going to the sea or not, she could double back, and she's searching for that Herndon, who may or may not exist," Cadman said. Cayle remained quiet, debating on a course.
"I think we should split up," He said finally.
"What?" Cadman asked. "That's insane; what if you find her? I won't be there to protect you."
"I can take care of myself," Cayle responded, a little indignantly. "It will give us a better shot, I can go up the road, while you go down, and then we can meet up in two hours; what could be easier?"
"Getting yourself killed for one thing," Cadman said, crossing his arms.
"Well, do we have a better plan?" Cayle asked. Cadman hesitated, and Cayle seized his advantage, seeing that Cadman was starting to budge.
"Come on, do you have a better plan?" He asked. Again Cadman hesitated.
There was silence, and then Cadman sagged slightly.
"Fine; just try not to get killed," He said, walking over to his horse. "Finn, climb into the wagon."
"See you in two hours, Cadman," Cayle called as he walked over to his own horse. "See you Finn,"
 He mounted and sat on his horse and watched as Cadman and Finn went down the road. He turned his horse and started up the road.
After an hour, and not finding anything, he thought maybe it was time to turn back.
He started to turn his horse around, when it did something he didn't expect. It neighed, loudly.
"What's wrong?" He asked, surprised. This horse had never done that before.
It ignored him and tried to keep walking, but didn't get far.
"Come on, we have to get back, otherwise they'll think we got ourselves killed," He pleaded. Eventually, the horse gave in and allowed itself to be turned back the way they had come.
When he got back to the meeting point, Cadman and Finn were already there.
"Sorry, the horse started acting strange," Cayle explained as he dismounted. "Did you find anything?"
"Nope, not a thing," Cadman said.
"Maybe we should go out farther," Finn suggested.
"I agree," Cayle said. Cadman sighed.
"I see I'm outnumbered." He said. "I suppose you want to split up again,"
"It's our best shot at finding out which way she went," Cayle said.
"I guess you have a point," Cadman said. "Fine; let's meet up after three hours,"
"Alright, good luck." Cayle said, moving to re-mount.
"You too, and don't get killed, she's very dangerous," Cadman said, moving towards the wagon.
"I'm not an idiot, but I thank you for your concern." Cayle said.
He turned his horse to face up the road again, and let him walk. He heard the wagon also start moving.
Krennan woke her up after what she guessed was two hours. She got to her feet and stretched; Krennan also stood.
"Thanks boy," She said, patting his neck. She dug around in her pack and found a treat and gave it to him. He ate it and wickered appreciatively when he had finished.
She untied Krennan's reins and led him out of the trees. She was about to step on the road, when she heard another horse. She stepped back into the shadows of the trees and waited until whoever it was passed. The rider got closer, and she looked up to see his face, and caught her breath: it was the singer.
She stayed perfectly still and waited for him to pass. He went a few more feet, and then stopped and dismounted. He bent to look at something on the ground, and then raised his head and looked around.
He stood and lead his horse into the trees.
Deanna quietly tied Krennan's reins to a nearby branch and followed him.
He followed a trail, his head down, until he came to the clearing where Deanna had just been. He walked over to a tree and tied his horses reins to one of the branches and walked around the clearing, looking at the ground.
Deanna hid in the trees, watching him. He crouched down near where she had briefly slept and studied the ground, his back to her.
She walked quietly from the trees and walked over, drawing one of her swords, she held it to his back. He stiffened.
"Don't move," She said.
"You're her aren't you?" He asked.
"Don't talk, either," She said. He stood and turned, the sword not wavering, and now pointed at his chest.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chapter 2 of the Random Story Thingy

Deanna had been traveling for three days with hardly any rest. She would stop to water her horse, and then she would be off again. She ate and slept in the saddle, and was thankful that she was used to it, otherwise she would never be able to pull this off.
She would dismount and lead her horse for an hour and a half, and then remount; determined to catch up to Herndon.
On one of the intervals of her leading the horse, she came across another Inn. She led her horse into the stables, and walked inside.
She came out a half an hour later, frowning. He hadn’t been here, but it was the only Inn around for miles, unless he took the East road, whereas she had taken the North. But it didn’t sound right; going east would only lead him deeper into the country, whereas going north would bring him to the sea.
She mounted her horse, and considered turning him around and going east. But Herndon could have just road past this Inn, preferring to sleep on the ground than in a bed; she rode forward at a trot, moving in the direction she had been going.
Four hours later, she came across another Inn, and came across the same result as last time, and as she rode out onto the road, she frowned thoughtfully. Could he have doubled back? She kept asking herself. Or had she been tricked?
An hour before dark, she dis-mounted and led her horse into the trees, where she found a small clearing. She tied her horse to a branch and unsaddled him; she rubbed him down and then got out his food, and poured it into a fold-up bucket.
She leaned against the horse for a moment, listening to him eat his oats in that grinding way horses have, she set the other fold-up bucket next to the one with the oats and poured the rest of the water from one of the water skins in it, and then she walked off to go find a stream to refill the them; finding one about ten minutes later.
As she was filling them up, she heard a sound she was not expecting: singing.
She paused in her task and looked around for the source, finding nothing, and the sound having died away, she dismissed it and went back to filling up the water-skins.
As soon as she had finished that, and was walking back up the hill, it started again. She froze in place; the singing stronger, more confident.
She could now tell it was a man who was singing. It wasn’t an unpleasant voice, just unexpected.
It sounded as though it was coming from the other side of the stream. She walked slowly back towards it, hesitantly at first, but, as the singing continued, she walked with more confidence.
Dropping the skins by the shore, she hopped on rocks to the other side silently. The singing continued.
She ghosted through the trees, following the voice. She came across a clearing.
Hiding in the trees, she watched as a young man, who looked no older than she, sat on a rock with an instrument and sang.
The singing was louder now that she was at its source. And she found herself enjoying it. And, no matter how hard she tried to contain it, a small smile broke out on her face. The singing stopped.
At first she thought he had seen her, but saw that he wasn’t looking in her direction, and she relaxed slightly. Another man was walking towards him.
“You ready to go; now that you have alerted the whole forest that we’re here?” The man asked sarcastically. The man who had been singing smiled, taking no offense; suggesting that this was the other man’s nature.
“I apologize, Cadman, I did not intend that; but it relaxes me.” The singer said, getting up from the rock. The man named Cadman waved his hand in a dismissive gesture and nodded towards a wagon that Deanna hadn't noticed until he had motioned towards it.
They moved off and bent over a table that had been set up, looking at what looked like a map of the area.
“Where do you think she is?” Cadman asked. “We have scouted the whole area, she couldn’t have gotten far.”
Deanna knew that he was referring to her, and she stiffened. The singer shrugged.
“No idea; who knows how her mind works?” He said, not taking his eyes off the map. Cadman shrugged. Another man started walking towards them at a brisk pace, holding something in his hand. The singer looked up at his approach.
“What is it, Finn?” He asked. The man, Finn, walked towards them, his pace slowing until he stopped beside them, handing the singer a piece of parchment.
“She was spotted at Horse’s Grove Inn about two hours ago.” Finn said. There was a moment of silence.
“I knew we weren’t that far behind her,” Cadman said triumphantly. Deanna caught her breath and slowly backed out of the trees the way she had come. And, once the three men were a safe distance behind her, she bolted.
She ran back through the stream, picking up her water-skins as she passed, and ran up the hill towards her camp.
As she flew out of the trees, she tripped on a rock and rolled, landing in a crouch. Her horse, startled at her sudden and her very graceful entrance, panicked and tore at its reins, still tied securely to the branch.
Deanna got to her feet and walked over to her horse, talking quietly in a soothing voice.
“Easy, Krennan, easy boy,” She whispered, trying to keep the panic she was feeling out of her voice.
After a few moments, Krennan calmed down and Deanna could breathe again. She picked up her packs and loaded them back onto his back, apologizing as she did so.
She picked up the buckets and also secured them to her packs, along with the water-skins; after everything was secured, she mounted and turned him east, the way they had come and pressed him into a gallop.
After she was a safe distance away, she tried to think of something that she could do to shake the three men on her tail. She wondered if a man with such a sweet singing voice could really be capable of being an assassin, she thought that the man with him could be quite capable, but she wasn’t sure about the singer. And she realized she hadn’t heard his name, only the ones called Cadman and Finn.
After about an hour of hard riding, she stopped and dis-mounted to check Krennan's hooves; finding them clean, she re-mounted. 
She patted Krennan’s neck, feeling guilty for pressing him so hard.
"I'm so sorry for this, boy," She whispered to him, kicking him into a gallop again.
Three hours later, she came to another fork in the road and groaned.
She didn’t know if Herndon had gone this way, and, after deciding to come back and look for a trail when there was daylight, she went left.
After hours of being in the saddle, even the hard ground seemed appealing, and that made her depressed.
Forcing those thoughts from her mind, she dis-mounted to lead Krennan for a while.