It had been a busy day for Keith as he finally finished up his day's work by stopping at Lady Hart's hut. The smell of stew filled his nostrils. It was bird soup... Mmm... I hope I'm invited to dinner, he thought with a smile. Tapping on the entry way, he stood sniffing the inticing air... "Come in, Keith... And, yes, you are invited to dinner," her voice called from inside the hut. Smiling, he entered, it was always funny how she always seemed to be able to read his mind. Placing his pack at the entrance, he looked up to see Lady Hart staring at him from the corner of the room. She had apparently been working on a potion, a healing potion. "Who's injured?" he asked meeting her stare with a nod. She was not so young anymore, and things were getting more difficult for her. He remembered when he had first arrived in this village, alone without any family, how she took care of him like a mother for their child. She had always been there for him, and soon, not so long from now, she wouldn't be there to make him stews, or heal his wounds. She looked back to her work as she replied, "the son of Jarek... he fell out of a tree the other day, and broke his arm. His bone is not healing as it should. I fear we will have to break it again and reset it." Wincing, he remembered when they last had to reset his leg. Poor kid...
Looking towards the fire where the stew was slowly cooking, he stared into blazing light as it licked the bottom of the pot. Memories flashed before his eyes. Fire. Screaming. Pain. Tears. Death.
He will never stop remembering that day will he, Lady Hart thought as she watched his facial features change from the handsome looking man he had been a moment before, into a man in agonizing emotional suffering. It has been three years, yet he hasn't moved on. Will he ever move on? Will he ever forget about her? Dropping the knife on purpose, she gently leaned over trying get it off the floor. Keith got there first. Picking up the knife, he brought her to a standing position. "Ah, these poor old bones of mine," she said with a smile. "It hurts to even hold a knife!" Her roose had worked his mind was pulled from the memories back into the present.
"Maybe you should sit down, old woman, and let a younger, more capable man do the work for you," he said in the deepest voice he could muster. Smiling he helped her sit near the fire.
"Don't forget the canre," she said in a motherly voice.
"I think I know how to make a healing potion. After living with you for so many years, I had to know!" Turning to his work he began to cut apple into slices, pulling out the seeds one by one. Popping the rest of the apple into his mouth, he smashed the seeds, pounding them into powder. Yawning, he suddenly stopped. Sniffing the air, he walked towards the door followed closely by Lady Hart who had apparently smelled it too. Two scents, one that was obvious, it was the scent of the Artic tribe to the South, an enemy, and the other was strange. Sweet and different, yet quiet obviously the scent of a young woman. Stepping out into the street, he noticed how all the other men, had also noticed the bizarre scents. Looking towards the house of the village leader, he saw Chief Flornic on the stoop of his hut sniffing the air. Catching his eye, he looked to him questioningly. What is going on? The Artic Clan never comes this far north, much less only one. And what kind of being is it that makes such a strange scent? Suddenly, a peircing scream filled the air. Reaching for his sword he took off at his full speed. A new scent filled the air. Fear. Charging ahead, he heard the sounds of those following him. They were all curious, but not worried. Memories of death filled his head as an all too familiar yet different scent filled his nostrils. Blood. It was pure and plenty. Changing directions, he headed toward the smell. Entering a clearing, he immediatly found where the smell was originating from. A tree containing three large gashes, was soaked in blood. As was the ground. Following the trail and the scents, he ran toward the lake. More screams filled the air along with fear. This time, they were shouting out for protection. "The Lake! The Lake! Help!" He knew where she was. Plowing into the clearing next to lake, he saw a young woman laying beside a young man of the Artic Tribe. Looking at her face, he saw her horror, and confusion, mixed with pain. She was covered in her blood and his, and yet she suddenly seemed oblivious to her surroundings, nothing but the man in front of her. He watched as she reached out and touched the young man's face. Her eyes, and all her mind, completely concentrated on his eyes. Walking towards them, he found that everyone from the village had arrived.
Several young girls, dressed only in their bodices pointed down at the blood stained girl laying at their feet and told everyone how she had run in on them while they were washing clothes and protected them from the Artic Tribes man, while he had been transformed. Looking down at the girl again, she was completely oblivious to their coversations. "Let's kill her!" One man shouted, holding his spear at his side. "Yeah!" Several others shouted! "Why?" Keith asked looking at the girls eyes. They were blue like the sky. They were beautiful, she was beautiful, but she was small. Too small to be almost full grown it seemed. "Why kill her? She hasn't done anything wrong." Leaning down he gently touched her small face, she was weak, even if she hadn't been in shock and could understand what they were talking about, she would never have been able to stop them from hurting her, or even killing her. He found he felt a strange protective sense growing inside him. He needed to protect her. Why her, he did not even think about it.
"She is not of our tribe!" A older man shouted from the back. "And she has killed an Artic Wolf, if she lives the Artic Tribes will attack!" Ignoring the man completely, Keith watched in utter horror as her eyes began to flutter closed. Adrenaline rushed through out the entirity of his body as he thought, she will not live either way if I don't get her help now! Scooping her up into his arms, he stood with his eyes set. "She will be my responsibility," he yelled as he ran towards the village, completely ignoring all the shouting and yells of the people left behind.
With every one of her heartbeats, he felt her blood soaking his arm. She was getting weaker and weaker and the chances of her living getting smaller every second. He felt a reguvinated sense for life as he ran, and an unnatural strength and speed flowed through his body as he ran. Stopping in front of Lady Hart's hut, he ran inside. She had everything set up for a patient already. Laying her down on the mat, he applied pressure to the wound in her side. Lady Hart moved also seemed to be moving with unnatural speed for her age. Pushing him out of the way, she yelled out a series of medicines she needed. Ripping them off the shelves, Keith rushed them too her. Urgency, filled them both. Reaching forward Lady Hart, began the girls strange clothing as she shouted to Keith to leave the hut.
Outside, Keith stood, unable to contain himself. This attatchment to this girl was uncontrollable. Running his fingers through his long dark hair, he paced back and forth listening to the sounds from inside the hut. The people came back from the lake and a girl who had been washing clothes at the time of the attack came jogging towards the hut. Brushing past him, he heard her say to Lady Hart, "I will help. She saved my brother's life, and mine. I will help." She was determined. While she worked, she told Lady Hart everything that had happened to them.
The sun had been set a long time before Lady Hart came out of the hut followed by the girl, both covered in blood. The girl bowed to Lady Hart, before turning and leaving for her family's hut. Turning to him, Lady Hart led him inside. Entering he looked down to see the girl's pale, blood stained face and hair. Listening, his breath caught in his throat as he stood looking down at her. Her chest rose and fell rythmically, and her heart thumped, slowly and steadily against her chest. She was alive and stable. Sighing, he looked at Lady Hart. She looked tired, yet pleased. "She's fine, Keith. I'm proud of what you did, as you should be." Smiling, she placed a hand on his shoulder.
"You look tired, Lady Hart," Keith said, gently leading her to her mat. Smiling, she sat on her mat taking the blanket he offered her. "You look worn out too," she responded.
"So true," Keith said as he walked to a corner and gently slid down the wall relaxing.
"Rest Keith, she will not wake for several hours. I gave her sleeping liquids and pain relievers, she will sleep well," Lady Hart said as she curled up on her mat and pulled the blanket over her body. Closing his eyes, Keith sat silently, listening until Lady Hart's breathing had slowed and she was asleep. Looking up towards the young woman's face, he watched the fire light dance and flicker across her delicate features. The question still remained. What is she? She was a woman, that was obvious, yet she didn't smell or look anything like the woman of any tribe he had ever seen. And how horrified she had seemed to be to realize that the Wolfman she had killed was man. Possibilities and reason ran through his head as he fell asleep. He did not sleep well, memories of the past, of the death, and hate that had overshadowed his life, came to him through nightmares, and dreams.
Keith sat outside the hut, listening and watching as the morning and rising of the sun changed the darkness of night into the bright and crisp morning. Lady Hart had woken earlier and left to gather morning flowers from the far side of the bank. He didn't feel comfortable staying alone with the girl he had taken full responsibility for. There was something strange about his attatchment to her, and he knew it, but honestly didn't care that much. The girl was still asleep after four long agonizing days, but the potion should have long since worn off. Lady Hart had re-bandaged her side again this morning and reported that the wounds were almost completely healed, but her skin was still inflamed, as though she had an infection to fight off. Which is probably not that uncommon for a wound so deep. She gave her some medicine for the inflamation and more healing medicine.
The girl who had helped Lady Hart with the girl, had returned several times each day, whenever she could. He now knew her name, Tamer, and that she was the daughter of a farmer on the other side of the village. He remembered meeting her several times over the years, but never had gotten to know her. Cheif Flornic had also come by to see how the "pale one" as everyone in town called her, was doing, and to try and talk Keith out of being her Guardian. It would mean death if the Artic Tribe found out she was still alive. Even though, Keith had also been part of a different tribe as a child, everyone still loved him here, and trusted him. Of course, after the occasional fight, people would call him a Sasenach, or one without a Tribe. Looking up, Keith noticed Tamer out at the market. "She's a pretty girl isn't she?" Jarn said. Jarn had been a friend of Keith's for what seemed like forever. She is a beautiful young woman, and will be full grown in another year or so... Keith thought as he sat in silence. After a few moments, Jarn sighed and crouched beside Keith. "I need help fixing the Kentel's hut, Keith. Do you think I could steal you for a few hours?"
"I don't know, she might wake up," Keith said, quietly. Everyone thought it was obsurd how attatched he was to this girl.
"It's just down the street, and if she wakes up, it's not like she'll run off anywhere without someone seeing her! Come on, I need your help..."
Sighing, Keith took one last look at the sleeping girl. She won't wake up. "Okay, just let me get my stuff."
"Don't worry,"Jarn said as he stood up, "I have all your tools already." Getting up, Keith followed, smiling.
Amy lay silently, she could here movement and talking all around her, but she didn't want to open her eyes, to realize the truth. That she had murdered somebody. It was a terror that haunted her. Could I have truely killed someone... she thought remembering his eyes as they faded. Slowly, faded from life to death. Opening her eyes to rid herself of the visions, she found herself looking up at a strange ceiling. From what she could see, it looked like a hut you always saw . Moving her body, she rolled onto her stomach and pushed herself into an up right position. A gasp escaped her throat as immence pain shot through her right side, blinding her and reminding her of her injury. Sitting for a moment she let the darkness clear from her eye sight before removing her hand from her side. Standing, a blanket that had been covering her rolled off onto the ground as she looked around her. She was definatly in a hut. Looking down, she noticed that someone had cleaned and bandaged her wounds, as well as dressed her in a strange looking nightgown, similar to the ones the girls at the lake had been dressed in as they washed clothes. They're eyes, the looks of fear, the screaming, they were terrified... Amy thought as she continued to study her surroundings. Walking across the room to the entrance, she peeled back the hanging door, just enough so that she could see. It was a village. Many people, men, women, and children were walking, talking, playing, and bargining in the apparent market place. Suddenly a thought hit her, what if the people of this village knew the man I killed...
I killed...those words seem to echo throughout her mind every second. I need to get out of here, to get home... But where home was she didn't know. She didn't even know how she had gotten here. The last thing she remembered from her world was her bedroom melting from in front of her eyes. Shoving the memories back away from her conscience, she knew she needed to get out of this town, village, whatever it was. Staring out at the people she noticed their attire. The women were all dressed in what appeared to be middle age peasant clothes and a cloak, of black or brown color. Suddenly she noticed that all the people, young and old, had darkly tanned skin, dark brown hair, and brown eyes. She would not be able to blend here with her blue eyes, blonde hair and fair skin. She would stick out like a sore thumb.
Thinking quickly, she new she would need to find something to cover herself with. Backing into the hut she looked around once again, looking for anything she could use. There were several pots, jars containing all sorts of things, a table, knives, a sword or at least what looked like a sword in a sheath, two mats and blankets, one set hers and one obviously belonging to someone else, and near the door there was a bag. Reaching over to the bag, ignoring the pain shooting from her wound, she pulled out a cloak. It was huge compared to her, and heavy, but it would have to do. Walking across the room, she picked up the sword like thing, pulling it out of the sheath. It was beautifully made, and clean. She didn't know how to use a sword, but she hoped it would protect her in her time of need. Wrapping the cloak around her body, she felt the pain in her side worsen. Placing her hand to her side, she felt something warm and sticky, blood. She was bleeding... I need to get out of here now... Amy thought to her self as she pulled the cloak hood over her head. It was definatly to large, it took her a moment to situate herself to were she thought she might pull off being a normal person on the street. Holding the wound and sword in one hand, she reached to push open the door to the hut, but before she could reach it, it opened for her....
**Author's note: I love leaving you on cliffhangers! I should have another chapter out within the next week. :)