Exert From a Temporarily Untitled Story That I'm Writing. part two.

Fiction By Arya Animarus // 1/25/2011

 

In the days to follow, Emily often found herself looking out to sea. She had gone back to the palace and took up her queenly duties, since she was the oldest daughter. Every time she saw a sail, she would run to a window and watch it carefully until she could see the name on the side. Then she would wander back to whatever she had been doing before. One day as she was gazing out at the bay, a ship rounded the point and sailed into the bay. Her sails were ragged, and her deck was devoid of life. She listed in the water, apparently without crew or captain. A single young man lay on her deck, unconscious from lack of food and water. The name on the side of the boat, The Courage. Emily leapt to her feet and raced to the bay. She jumped into the royal longboat and rowed out to her side. She grasped the headrope that was trailing in the water and hauled herself onto the deck. She ran to the young man's side and dropped a little water through his lips. He coughed and woke up. He looked at the woman kneeling over him.

“Princess Emily!”

Emily waved the title away.

“Please, just call me Emily. Where is the rest of the crew?”

The messenger pushed himself to a sitting position.

“Dead. After Dan was killed, we didn't stand a chance.”

Emily's throat constricted. Her voice squeaked.

“Dan is...dead?”

The messenger nodded.

“Many of us saw him die.”

Emily forced herself to relax.

“You must be hungry. Come to the palace with me. I'll get you something to eat and drink.”

 

Meanwhile, Dan awoke slowly. His head throbbed and his back ached. A blurry form leaned over him and pushed something to his lips. A warm liquid slid down his throat. It tasted rancid, but it cleared his head beautifully. An old hag was leaning over him. She was quite ugly, but her eyes held a kindly light.

“Stay very still. By all rights ye should be dead by now, but you're not. Ye have several bones broken, not to mention the wound on your head. Nay, don't talk. I fergot te tell ye. Many of your ribs are cracked. It wouldn't be a very good idea te talk. Jest lay still now. I'll get ye somat te eat. How'll that suit ye? Young 'uns these days're allus 'ungry.”

The old woman bustled around the hut and brought a mug full of some sort of broth.

“Here. Drink this down slowly. The best thing for ye te do now is rest. I'll wake ye for meals. Now go back te sleep.”

Dan drifted back into darkness.

 

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