Chapter Three

Pain sliced her, the dream was murky, the dark swallowed her, shadowy shapes drifted around her, explosions popped all around her, there was crying and the sky had grown dark. Hiding and hidden as small as she could make herself. Blood dripped from the wall next to her, her head hurt she opened her eyes light glinted in – she wished it hadn’t. She groaned and tried to turn away from the light only to find a iron ring, black and pitted fastening her to where she was.

There was a taste of copper in her mouth and her teeth felt wobbly when she probbed them with her dry tongue, she remembered the pie and moaned in hunger. She opened her eyes squintily this time to check out exactly were she was. A small stone room, damp with brown slime oozing down the walls and green moss in long tooth like straggles from where light came in a high window behind her. In front of her was a barred opening – she looked at the stone and realised they’d pretty much just put some bars on a cave. It wasn’t a very deep one, there was a wooden bench half rotted to one side of her – the shackles had obviously been put in afterwards.

She’d been stupid, so unbelieveably stupid she should have taken the pie to the woods to eat it, the way she was dressed would have told them all she’d been living a life of vagrancy.

However there was no point in dwelling on her mistakes what she had to worry about now was how the hell she was going to get out of this mess. There was no priest to rescue her this time, her and the Father had split company before she’d even entired the town. At the least she was looking at a two week stay in the stocks at the worst a hanging. She wasn’t sure which she would prefer to be honest, stocks hurt – alot. And she’d survived hangings before her neck was harder to break than it should be and her wind pipe seemed somehow… well armoured but it wasn’t very nice and there was always the chance that this time she wouldn’t be so lucky.

She wondered if the English judicial system had any reprieve for women – some did some didn’t some wouldn’t allow pregnant women to be locked up other’s didn’t care. She had no idea what this one was going to be like – was it best to pretend to be a boy agian?

It was chilly and her sacks were just out of reach – this was a shame becuase she was awfully thirsty, though she did feel a tad sick. She begain to get bored, humming to herself rocking trying to keep the chill out. A while later, a time expanse that could have been minutes or days but was probably about an hour and a half a shadow fell across the bars and a youngish man in armour appeared. This wasn’t the sort of armour nights had but the sort that let you walk about and generally still function properly.

He begain to speak to her roughly in English again she could under stand sort of what he was saying but only the over all meaning not the individual words really. ‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand.’ She said shaking her head wondering if she should have used Latin instead of French. The man puased and looked at her, as if for the first time. She remembered how the soilder on the road had done something similar. She tired the same sentance in Latin. His eyes went wide.

He turned and left and she wondered if she had just signed her death warrent. A while later just as she was beginning to get really bored again with the danger of thoughts turning to memories the man turned up again to block out her light – this time he had a portly middle aged man with him.

‘He says you speak Latin and French?’ he asked in a booming voice in French.

‘Well yes of course.’ she said falling back on her normal personality trait of being sultry and defient. The big man sighed his nose was a virolent red she notted with little viens running across it.

‘How old are you?’ he asked.

She hesitated, what should she say?

He looked at her and she tried to make herself small with the idea that maybe she wouldn’t be a threat to him that way and that he might not notice she was female. Not that it was really very obvious with all the layers of clothing she was wearing.

‘Thirteen?’ he asked. She shrugged, to be honest she didn’t have a clue how old she was.

‘I think and this is only a guess mind,’ he said in an annoyingly perental manor, ‘you’ve decided you don’t like your place in court and run away thinking you can get home and have gotten lr yourself?’ She stared at him blankly wondering what he was talking about.

‘Common young man – I think we should get you cleaned up and into some proper cloths before we send you back, tell me are you a new title or old?’ She didn’t really get what he was talking about so she said old – it was always best to tell the trueth it saved making up and remembering the lies.

He nodded sagely, the younger man unlocked her manckle and then she was being sheparded out of the cell and into the town. Straight to the mancipal buildings. He saw he staring at the building grand for its day with the new archetecture that would come to typify the time period. Big thick oak beams making a pleasant geometric pattern in a light brown with yellow paste panels between. It had elaborate scroll work on the coving on the window and door gables. This was an expensive building. ‘I’m the Justice of the Peace. And you are lucky that Sid here realised that your nobility other wise you’d have found yourself in stocks though if it is Henry’s court you’ve run away from you may well find yourself in them anyway to teach you a lesson!’ He chuckled aimably and she relaxed slightly though what she was going to about keeping up this fortuatous deception she wasn’t sure.

‘What gave me away?’ she asked becuase she needed to know so she didn’t undermine her position.

‘You can not speak English, French and Latin you excel in though and then the older more educated styles of them. I think you may like court English if you give it a chance, it is less rouhg and the King is quiet keen to have it used. Your actually from Europe aren’t you?’ She shook her head – well she wasn’t.

He looked at her questioningly, ‘I just spent a lot of time there.’ he nodded in that sagely I know everything manor again that was starting to really get on her wick.

‘Word to the wise then be careful which religon you show allegance too the Holy Emporer is fast going out favour but the there are militant factions who would chew up and spit out a lad like you if they supected he favoured the new religon. It is a dangerous subject do you understand me?’

‘Yes sir thankyou.’ it was a dangerous thing for him to be telling her, she could report him for it if she was actually what he thought. She was in the middle of a war zone it seemed, again.

She was taken into the building and led into a side room with a wash stand, the basin full of steaming water, a serving girl scutteled and came back with a suit of cloths, fine and ornate and she wasn’t entirely sure she knew how they were supposed to be put on and on top of that there was a a shiny leather piece that looked like it was designed to make any man look well endowed. She was going to feel so stupid. The material itself was buetiful though with ornate patterns and puffy sleeves.

The girl and the judge left but the younger man didn’t, she was just starting to wonder what she was going to do about washing without blowing her cover when he spoke in broken Latin, ‘Are you tell your Lord that hit?’ She frowned and then realised he thought he’d hit a young noble and was going to be punished for it. She wanted to laugh.

‘No, I want tell I stole a pie you cuaght me it was fair.’ He looked relieved but also like he only half believed her, of course he may not have understood half of what she had just said!

He left and she hurriedly washed, the water was streaked with filth before she’d finished her face, it was black by the time she’d washed most of the rest of her – she dunked her hair in it anyway. I was so matted and greasy she though that it was probably just repelling the water.

She brushed it out ferroucly and it hurt but she felt much better for it. The cloths were hard to put on and bizzarly not as comftable as the rags she had been wearing. They were stiff and formal with very little give. She felt like a prize plum and thought she probably looked like one.

At least this fashion ment she didn’t have to worry about bit showing that shouldn’t be there and bit not being there that should be. She looked in a large burnished mirror made from a polished metal sheet. She looked, well like a young noble he was preening, urg! She hated the fact she did that.

She should be worrying about how she was going to get round the fact she didn’t know the names of any Lords or anyhthing.

The Justice came back after a while adn took her down to a large room with shiny polished wood paneling, there were long banquet tables stretched out, three of them to be presiss stretching the length of the entire room. There were stools at them adn it was obviously some sort of canteen.

‘I assume that if you were stealing pies and from the hollows of your cheeks that you are very hungry?’ She nodded and he grinned perternally again.

They sat at a table and a girl borught them over plates and goblets and the like. She then begain putting food down on the table. To her relief a huge fish was placed before her, mouth watering she breathed in its aroma, the silver scales gleamed at her, she felt she would devour the whole thing.

She was cut a goodly stake from it and was served it with some chicken, and a few sort of cursory green vegitables. She begain craming it into her mouth and then remembered she was supposed to be a noble and so watched what the Justice was doing so she could copy but he was sitting there laughing at her, she flushed and felt angry.

‘You really are hungry!’ he laighed a full roaring belly laugh that had her wanting to hide. She ginerlly picked at the rest emmulating how others in the room were eating. Many were moaning that it was the wronge day of the week and how they longed for a good steak pie. She made a mental note. Food appeared to be subject to legal monertering. Of course this was the case in a lot of Europe but was rarely strictly enforced. No meat on Fridays etc… it was in the Bible. She gritted her teeth at that thought and hide the unbidden memories that tried to stream in.

The fish was good, the chicken was well chicken and the greens were boiled enough to make them pretty much pointless. The doors of the banquest hall opened just as she was sipping some more of her drink – it was some sort of strange alcoholic beverage, but not very strong, it wasn’t cider and it wasn’t beer, but it was frothy and full of enough muste to give just about anyone a headache. But water in a town was not really to be drunk, she had learnt that one the hard way.

The young solder came in followed by the Priest she snorted into her goblet.

Posted: Sunday, November 8th, 2009 @ 1:02 pm
Categories: Uncategorized.
Subscribe to the comments feed if you like. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Chapter Three”

  1. Purple Monster » Blog Archive » Chapter Three Recap Says:

    […] Chapter Three the Beginning […]

Leave a Reply