2013-04-05

Cold Cure


Once again I've jumped into the dusty vault and reappeared with one of my old stories to share. This one will probably only be four installments, but please don't hold me to that. You never know when inspiration might strike to expand it. :-)

This isn't, actually, the story I had in mind. I couldn't find an electronic copy of the story I intended to post. Apparently it's so old that I wrote it before I got a computer. Can you believe it?

At some point I will type it out on the computer so I have an electronic version, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this (hopefully) humorous fantasy story in it's place.


* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *


Old Gorn was, by profession, a thief, with sixteen children to support and a wife whose constant nagging drove him to the taverns. He wasn't much liked at the best of times and when he'd been drinking it was best to stay out of his way.

Passersby on the Street of the Blue Bull lingered in anticipation of entertainment as Gorn staggered home from the tavern. They were not disappointed. There was a murmur of voices, the scurrying sound of rapidly moving bodies, then a thundering crash.

"You pustulant little blots on my manhood. Get out! And don't come back 'til you learn to talk proper!"

The yelling was accompanied by assorted rattles and bangs and a door bursting open. Two figures came tumbling out onto the street, two knap sacks landing in the dirt beside them. The door slammed shut again.

Excitement over, the audience dispersed in search of more interesting entertainment.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Peg stood up and held out her hand to her sister. "No humour, that one," she stated, picking up one of the knap sacks.

"What's done is done," Meg sighed.

"I warned you to keep silent, the only way to keep Gorn pliant."

"The fault's not mine we speak in rhyme," Meg snapped. She picked up her knap sack and started off down the street.

Peg glared at her back, then followed. Meg never let her forget that one little mistake. How was she to know the pocket she'd picked belonged to a wizard? A wizard with an unforgiving nature at that.

The twins headed for one of their regular haunts, the market square. They wandered between the stalls, fingering the merchandise, drawing angry looks from those who knew them. As the day wore on the market began to empty and the twins found themselves wandering aimlessly.

"We've no place to live unless Gorn will forgive."

Peg looked at her sister. "No more Gorn, no more scorn," she said emphatically.

"Then what will we do? It's almost curfew."

"We -"

"That's them! They're the ones who picked my lock! I'd know that rhyming anywhere."

The twins looked up to see a very irate tanner, flanked by two city guards, bearing down on them. Only last week they'd been in his shop. While Peg kept the man talking about the merits of pigskin as opposed to calfskin, Meg snuck into the back and picked the lock on the tanner's strong box. It was pretty slim pickings, but a theft's a theft.

"Run?"

"Done!"

They raced back the way they'd come and when they reached the center of the market they split up, Peg heading towards the temple district, Meg towards the docks. It was an all too familiar pattern to them. The tanner, being as big around as he was tall, was quickly left behind. The city guards were not so easily disposed of but theirs was not the world of hidey-holes and short cuts, and soon enough, they, too, gave up.

Meg reached the hidey first, a nest of empty crates in a forgotten corner of a dilapidated warehouse. She dumped her knapsack onto the floor and curled up on a heap of sacking, arms wrapped around her knees.

She and Peg had discovered this place a few weeks before the unfortunate incident with the wizard. Budding thieves, they decided they needed a hideaway and the warehouse district seemed perfect. They'd never accumulated enough loot to keep a cache, but they did pilfer several pillows and a couple of blankets to make themselves comfortable.

The warehouse was damp and chilly, and it smelled like old fish. Meg hoped they would not have to stay long. Her stomach rumbled. All that time spent wandering in the market, why hadn't she thought to steal some food? Finally, she curled up in a nest of pillows to nap until her sister joined her.

"The first thing we must do, is find a wizard, this curse undo," Peg stated, climbing down from a window. She threw a half-eaten loaf of bread and a heel of cheese to Meg.

"Magic-workers are scarce these days, and how do you propose we pay?"

"Have no doubt, we'll work it out."

Meg snorted and attacked the bread and cheese.

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