WritersPost Blog Hop Week #57
Hosted by Suzy Que
Lord Alfred and Gorgan were obviously related. Both of above average height. Both men had flashing blue eyes. Both men were fair haired; Alfred’s yellow hair shone as the corn tassels in August while Gorgan’s hair was the color of an Indian paintbrush. More orange than red. He had grown out of his freckles, thankfully. They had only incited his fury if anyone took notice of them.
Physically, the two men were evenly matched. In temperament, they were as different as up and down. Gorgan still held a grudge against his father for allowing Alfred to take the “seat” when his father had died. If only Gorgan’s father had stepped up and taken the seat of power from Alfred…If only his father had put Alfred to death when he had the chance….Alfred looked around at the cozy campsite and sneered.
“Where are your banners? Where is the fanfare? How do you ever expect to woo this woman when you do not show her the courtesy of elegance? A picnic, of all things. Drag a lady out to the woods. Is this the sort of thing your advisors tell you to do? Those fat, balding dotards don’t have a clue. I rather doubt I will be attending a wedding any time soon.” Downing the last of his ale, he signaled for a refill.
She seemed to glide over the rough ground. She barely made a footprint as she found her way to the chair at the end of the table. The two men stood abruptly, nearly tipping over their chairs.
With a sidelong glance at Alfred, Gorgan smiled broadly as Lady Anita began to sit carefully down. He noted her moderately disheveled hair and cut of her secondary gown. “Lady Anita, allow me to introduce myself. I am Gorgan Wymark, only son of Osmond Wymark, holder of the lands to the East. How has your visit been so far, M’lady? Has the peasantry treated you well? Has my good cousin taken time to show you his holdings? Pray, you do not intend to spend the night out here, do you?” Gorgan masked his teasing smile with a look of dismay.
“Other than some slight mishaps, this has indeed been a most pleasant journey.” Lady Anita quickly scanned both men’s faces. “We anticipate leaving this very evening, isn’t that right Alfred.” Neither men seemed to notice the insistence in her voice. Or if they did, they gave no visible notice. Looking at her hands, neatly folded in her lap, “I’m afraid I no more changes of clothing with me.” She smiled and looked at Gorgan. “It seems I have been the brunt of some imp’s joke, this day. I have fallen in the river, fallen in the only mud puddle around for miles and then fell into the privy. I’ll not be spending the night.”
“What?!” Gorgan began to bluster, “I had not heard of these unfortunate mishaps. Alfred, why was I not told.” Gorgan feigned concern well.
“I am afraid, cousin, this is the first I have heard of these myself. Lady, please tell us please. You have been here such a short time. I had thought you resting.” Alfred was genuinely aghast.
“I am told I tripped or sat down too quickly and heavily, but I tell you I was pushed!” Anita’s cheeks took on the red hue of anger. “Was I not pushed, Mildred?” Mildred had just joined the group. Her eyes quickly darted between the men.
She had to judge her words wisely, for someone could get flogged over this and she did not want to be that someone. “All is as you say, M’lady.” Setting the tray of steaming tea onto the table, Mildred took one of the cups and began to serve Anita.
Gorgan leaned forward eyeing Mildred more closely. “This face I have seen before.” He announced. “I do not like it and I do not trust it. Leave my presence wench.” Thrusting his hand outward, he pointed to the door. “She is filled with trickery! Send her away or I shall run her through!” Without waiting for action on Alfred’s part, Gorgan ran Mildred through her heart.
Collapsing to the floor, Mildred’s body began to spurt it’s lifeblood. Black oozed from the wound. Reeking of brimstone, Mildred’s mouth smiled. “You will not win, there are more. You will not win.” With that, her body shriveled and writhed into black dust and blew away.
Alfred broke the silence. “Lady Anita…”
Seeming to come out of a trance, “She was a gift. She was given to me by my brother’s wife.” Lady Anita rose to stand, her faltering steps belied her distress, she fainted.
Scooping Anita into his arms, Lord Alfred folded the tiny woman to his chest. He turned to face his cousin. Glaring into one another’s eyes, Gorgan spit out, “It would seem my family’s destiny to always come to your rescue”.