An Encounter.

Fiction By Anna // 4/15/2010

A single road plowed through the village. This road carried news, letters, gossip, friends, family, and—at least that day—two wanderers. One was older than the other, and they kept to the side of the road as they passed through, neither going further in nor wholly leaving it.
The older man was a middling person: middling height and build, plain, middling sort of features, and probably middle-aged. He attracted no attention, but the younger stood out.
He was not very young, not an adolescent. He had hair of pale brown and a beard that was either newly trimmed or, more likely, merely new. The short beard, new though it might be,  made him seem older than anything else on him did. His features, though clear-cut and well-defined, were unlined, fair, and soft. The eyes of that handsome face were light green and glided over his surroundings like birds, always aware. But once they had passed over, lacking what they sought, they did not return to any former perch. They were a wanderer’s eyes.
The green-eyed, fair-haired man was walking fast as if to continue from the place, but the faint sound of jingling arrested him.
A procession of horses kicked up dust. No—as it got closer, the two strangers could see there was only one horse, with a single white donkey behind it. Mounted on the horse was a giant of a man, all brawn and ferocity, scowling in a ghastly manner at the passerby.
What a contrast was the sylph rider of the donkey! She rode side-saddle, , clad in a long dress of misty grey that draped over her tiny body as if to drown the glint of silver bells on the harness of her white steed. The gown mingled with a black cape, the collar of which hid half her face. The rest of her face was covered by a grey veil, and her head bowed as if with grief.
Presently a gust blew the veil and cloak back, and they saw that this girl seemed no older than ten—she was constructed like a pixie. Her face was pale and tired, but cold of expression, and her eyes had a hollowness that was life yet charged. A soul was behind them, however frozen it might be. Before the veil settled again, they saw plaited hair, golden as wheat, twisted into a bun.
The girl noticed the wayside villagers and gently pulled her beast to a halt. Though she said nothing, the muscular man did likewise, eyeing them suspiciously. Finally he removed his stare and gave the girl a crisp nod.
Facing the crowd, she carefully lifted her veil and arranged it so that her face could be seen. She gestured without ceremony, yet with grace and sad dignity. Under a delicate and beautiful face, a black ribbon closely tied a blood-red jewel to her white throat.
The villagers recognized her with hushed ohs and whispers as they began to bow, curtsy, and dip their heads with great care. The middling wanderer caught on and touched his hand to his forehead in deference, but the young-seeming girl transfixed the younger. His eyes riveted to her.
Before he was aware of it, her companion bore upon him. “Show respect for your queen!” he bellowed, beating the much-startled, -weaker man to ground.
The middling wanderer reacted with distress. “Good sir, please,” he cried. “We are guests in your land!”
Still the huge man stood over the green-eyed one, ready to strike him if he so much as twitched. The fellow traveler turned to the guard’s mistress, begging her with his eyes. He began, but did not finish, “Your Highness—”
The girl surveyed them with cool eyes, but soon dropped into the dust beside the young man. She touched his shoulder, and he looked her in the eye and nodded slightly in respect.
“Enough, Iwan.” The girl nodded to the big man. Her voice was weary but clarion, sounding far older than she looked; it was distant, but its compassion spoke volumes.
She drew the grey veil over her face and mounted again. “Ride on, Iwan,” she said, her voice clipped.
“Yes, my lady,” said the powerful man, his voice remarkably subdued.
As the bells on the donkey’s harness began to jingle again, the middling man turned to the younger, helped him to stand, and brushed down his shoulders. “What do you think of that, Your Excellency?” he asked.
With keen, quizzical eyes, the one addressed watched the girl-queen go off, and said nothing…

Comments

Guys, I am so sorry. I have

Guys, I am so sorry. I have no idea what is up with the format. Ignore the jargon at the beginning and end and whatever comes after... Just ignore it, for me?

Anna | Thu, 04/15/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

*ignoring the jargon* That

*ignoring the jargon*

That was pretty cool! Although it leaves me hanging and wondering... :0)

Heather | Thu, 04/15/2010

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

You must right more.

You Absolutely Must.  I must know what happens.

That said, here's a helpful tip for avoiding formatting jargon:  When pasting your work into the section called 'body,'  (1) click  'source;' once clicked it should be highlighted a blueish color.  (2) Then paste.  (3) Then, select what you just pasted, (4) copy it, and then (5) un-click the 'source' button.  It should now be not-highlighted.  Your text should appear at this point to be one giant paragraph.  (6) Select this super-paragraph, and then (7) paste what you just copied: Now your text should appear formatted the way you want, without all the weird jargon.  Hope that helps.  (or is it confusing?)

(Incidently, part of the jargon is that the whole story was pasted twice...  oops, wasn't supposed to notice that if I'm ignoring it.)

James | Fri, 04/16/2010

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

Heather: Mwahahaha... James: 

Heather: Mwahahaha...

James: Yes, that was part of what you were supposed to ignore, but I'll forgive you since you were so helpful in my cleaning-up. :) In fact, otherwise it would still be that way.

Anna | Fri, 04/16/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

:0) I suppose I can't

:0) I suppose I can't complain since I've done it to y'all enough...

Heather | Sat, 04/17/2010

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

That was so great! I adored

That was so great! I adored it. Please, I hope that you continue ;)

Erin | Mon, 04/19/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Please, please write more!

Please, please write more! This is so good, and intruiging...

KatieSara | Thu, 04/22/2010

Katie:-)

"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"
-Idris/TARDIS

Iwan.  Welsh for John, isn't

Iwan.  Welsh for John, isn't it?  I love that name.

That being said, this is a wonderful story.  I'd almost say "continue, please", but I sort of don't want the mysteriousness of it to go away.  I love how you end it with a dot, dot, dot. :)

Clare Marie | Sat, 04/24/2010

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Writing more...

Dont. I know everyone wants more, but to me, it feels like it ends there. I suppose if you already have more in mind it might be a bit difficult to erase it from your memory, and if you have another strong ending, go for it, but strong endings are so hard to write and it seems to me that you really have one there. Exquisite diction!

maria.lord | Tue, 05/04/2010

wow.

THAT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so maybe i'm exaggerating a little bit.

But it was cool! I liked it!

Plz write more.

Arya Animarus | Tue, 06/01/2010

Oh for the times when I felt invincible.

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