Sunday, May 20, 2012
Face In the Water Chapter 1.
1 1600 The assassin stared at King George, his expression stern. “Why do you want me to do that again?” he questioned. King George sighed and rubbed his hands over his eyes. He was very tired. He had stayed up all night, drinking, and he didn't want to be bothered by this man-he was paying him to do the job, and he had to do it, without complaining. He didn't like all the complaining, and he especially didn't like explaining things he didn't understand. “Because they haven't been paying their taxes. I have no choice but to exile them.” King George rose and stretched, letting his hands dangle at his sides. He shook his shaggy, brown head. He wished he was a blonde. He should steal money from the next blonde guy he saw. It would be interesting. “Do we have a deal?” he demanded. He shrugged tiredly; he was very hungry, and his eyes were sagging, and his skin was sagging, also; he was not a spring chicken any longer. He hadn't even bed a wife; he had many lovers, oh how many there were, he had lovers and he had beautiful maids and servants. None of them were powerful enough for him to wed. None of them were nearly close enough. And then, he realized he was getting low on cash, and left his home-he had to eat, or else he would die. He thought he had enough money saved. All he had was his mother's diamonds, and he didn't want to sell it. It was the only thing in the world. “Okay, we have a deal-now, where's my money?” The king couldn't help but laugh; laughter fell from his lips like waves. * * * “What's wrong with your eyes?” The knight almost wet himself. He stared at the assassin, wearing black clothes, a black hood over his face. “Nothing's wrong with my eyes, boy,” he hissed. “You know you go to give me your treasure.” He looked down at the assassin's hands, and realized they were furry. He was terrified, in shock. His mouth hanging open. “What did you say you're from again?” The assassin gave a shuddery laugh. “Didn't. I'm part Anglo-Saxon, part Spanish.” “Do...most of the Spanish look like you?” He shrugged. He was playing with a blade, wielding it around like it was a toy. Dangling it from his hands. “I was inside a lot. I didn't notice much of the other kids. My mother didn't like talking to strangers.” He scowled. “I'll say,” he replied. “What are you doing in my house?” “I didn't want you to wake up. I thought I could get away getting in and out without you hearing me. I guess I'm not as old as I used to be.” Breaking and entering didn't seem to bother him. Bellinmore Reed wondered if he was a pirate. The knight ran through the trees-his breathing was labored. He looked behind him; the stranger in the shadows was still pursuing him, even though he couldn't see him. “Where'd he go?” he asked himself. He knew the man was somewhere, running along behind him. He could sense him. His extra sensitivity was something he didn't tell a lot of people about, but he still had it, stick as stone, and it was in his mind and heart and body. He was a man, but no one who had to go through something like this. He hadn't done anything wrong. The assassin said it was because he didn't pay his taxes. He was a weird man, and had whiskers, and eyes black as night. The eyes followed him wherever he went, and it made him scream and cry and squirm. It made him shiver. He wanted to go home...no home had he. It was gone. They'd destroyed it, taken everything, and had even taken his family's servants. How could his family owe taxes? He didn't understand any of it. But they blamed him, the last living heir, even though they were the ones who had probably killed them, and blamed the robbery on him, and he was due in court. “I don't know why we have to leave home,” Allister Spencer sniffed. He ran his hand over his mouth, trying to blot out the images of the fire in his mind. The smoldering smoke; the darkness; and the ashes. Bellinmore Reed shook his head. “It seems like the King of Scotland has gone mad,” he answered. “He says the English are fighting farther east-he says we have no way out.” He shrugged his shoulders, looking morose. He didn't know how to tell Allister there were knights in the forest beyond the fortress. “Maybe it has something to do with Church vs. State,” Bellinmore suggested, making a face at him. He hated history stuff; and school. He hadn't been to school in years. He remembered very little about it. “Get your stuff together-we'll be leaving shortly.” He ran a hand through his hair, wishing he could cry openly like Allister; he couldn't, and he held still, and he ran back to the campground, and set up a fire. The cook's name was Meadow; he had scraggly blonde hair and blue eyes. His face was longish, and he had a long nose. “What are we having for dinner tonight?” he demanded of the cook. He had found the cook several months ago, wandering alone in the marshes-it seems he had misplaced his home. The knight took him under his wing, and bred him and fed him, and he turned into the glorious creature standing before him. He was learning, oh, how he was learning. The cook hated learning just like Bellinmore, and it suited them both fancy. They were great allies in times of trouble, and good conversationalists.