Chapter One

The dream was there once more, the heat the flames, it was just one of the dreams but the singed smell was still in her nostrils. She awoke to scratchty cloth in many shades of brown, course and itchy, she was breathing in the straw dust of a stable floor. A weak watery sun was shining through the slates of the barn or stables or what ever it was, she moved her head and felt something go ping in her neck, slipping on the floor never sat well with her and this time she’d crooked her neck.

Coughing out the damp and dust she sent a glob of phlemng into the stray, a disapproving wicker startled her and she looked into warm brown eyes and the smell of horse. A hunting horse she was sure of it. That all they seemed to do in this place, hunt the wildlife, she remembered the isle when it had been wilder, when the world had been wilder, but also when it had been tamer, she coshed the thought before it bloomed into something she could not kill.

She felt grimy but the weather had turned viscous and she could not risk the cold to bath plus that sort of behavour could get you into trouble if you weren’t careful. She wrapped the woollen blanket turged in colour and rank in smell, around her shoulders, it had several wholes in it and it had been infested with nasty biting things when it had been given too her but it was all she had and so was more precouse than a coat of the finest silk from the far east.

But she missed her armour, missed the heavey chain link, but she also missed fabrics that could not be made, thin water proof fabrics that did not smell of fat or pitch, of lights that were not sickly yellow and rank with tallow. She looked at her hand, it was ingrained with grim and the nials flaked and broken, there was a red swelling along the side of one nail that burned and stretched the skin. A hang nail infected – in this age that could kill.

She was infact covered in scabs ranging from insect bites she’d scrathed in her sleep to burns that just had never quiet healed. She had thorn scratches and whip marks and all itched every single last one. Her skin was on fire – she ignored it. She wanted a bath.

Opening the stable door jingerly she looked out at an insiped dawn, watery sunlight in a pearlised sky. The damp had gotten into her bones, the sky above rammed that fact home and she shuddered. Slopping through the mud and feasces mix infront of the doors, she headed out of the clearing where the great estate obviously stood. She hadn’t seen the buildings during the night, had walked straight by them until she had almost collided with the stable. The place was an island clearing surrounded by forest.

She headed for the trees, she didn’t want to be found in guilt of vagrancy, there were laws against that here. Her feet were vagually damp from the puddle the hides she had rapped around them must have supped the fetited liquid up through the different layers, she cursed it was in French, she wondered how much of a problem that was going to course her? And how much the English language had changed since she had last been there.

Looking at the trees she realised she was in a beech wood, dense and thick but with obvious hunting paths, that ment deer, and looking at the broken limbs on some of the trees possibly cattle but they did not concern her overlly it was the thought that there would at least be wild bore lurking in the woods. Hairy, balls of fury the size of a good dog with tusks long and pointed and ready to skewer any fool who thought that ‘piggies’ where harmless, even the farmyard ones would eat you if you couldn’t move – she’d seen them eat their own young if not seperated from them in time.

Plus they were intelegant. She shivered – she hated pigs.

Hunger gripped her belly, keen enough to make her feel sick, like she’d eaten too much! She became awear of a leather sack she her taken subconcously from the barn – the horse feed, oats barley, grains mixed up and slightly mashed. She sighed, she’d stolen horse food and she knew she was going to eat it, but she was going to have it warm, she needed something warm but was she far enough away from the estate? The trees around her where dense but they wouldn’t mask the smell of woodsmoke and this was a mantianed woods, between the beach were copiced hazels. The husks laying squirrel chewed around her feet.

She located a small trickle of water mainly by stepping into a boggy part of the leaf mulch, scrapping the soft rich soil away with her fingers revieled water but it was orange with rotting organics, undrinkable but she tracked its source and begain to make a fire. She still had some of the supplies the monks had given her, monks who were supposed to have killed her but believed that she was some sort of saint.

There was no food left of course that had gone before she had even left france. But there was a wooden bowl and spoon no metal that was too precous and would be stolen, or have her accused of stealing, a flint and oil cloth lay in one of the many festering folds of her clothing. She set the fire and lit it she then gathered enough wood to keep it going a fair while, she was shaking with hunger and exhorstion but if she didn’t push herslef now she would be signing her own death warrent. Using her knife she hacked a few fallen branches in suitable bits to construct a frame for cooking, she then filled the leather satchel with water and hung it over the fire.

Then there were snars to be laid, there would be small animals she could eat scuttling about in these woods and she needed the protien.

She dished the grey, thin looking mixture into her bowl and spooned it into her mouth machanically staring into the middle distance thinking on creamy porrage. It filled her belly and stopped the aching – at least for a while.

She piled leaves into the hollow of a tree trunk and curled up as tight as she could and slept, buried in the damp leaves fearing a consumptive cough that could ensue from suck tacteks. It was late afternoon with fading light when she awoke, more oats filled her belly and she rushed to check the snars, two squirrels hardly worth the cooking and one rabbit that definatly was worth the cooking. She threw the meat in with the remainder of oats, craving fish, and thinking of the sea.

She improoved her shelter and settled down for more sleep. It was deeper this time and less cold. She awoke with a headache and drank some water. The morning was bruised and as insipid as the one before it, she checked the snares collected the bounty and packed it all away carcouses and all into her many crevices. Though she wanted to eat and sleep more it would be stupid to stay that close to habbitation especially when there was frequent hunting – she could be killed as a poacher if nothing else. She broke her shelter, eat a good helping of now cold porrage and meat stew, tied the sopping satchle up the best she could and slung it on her back. Scattering the fire she felt guilty about not putting it out properlly but hiding she’d been there was more important to her than forest fires.

She looked around wishing she had a water flask, decided that it looked a little disturbed but nothing an animal couldn’t have cuased and set off – deeper into the woods and hopefully away from civilization.

The light in the woods was darker than it would have been outside and the sky through the almost barren branches was still a perlised white that hurt her eyes and made her brian feel as though it was wrapped in a heavy blanket. She sneezed.

She didn’t stop for lunch and only stopped when the light started to fad – she hadn’t ment to carry on for so long but had felt a panic pressing at her, fear of being cuaght, she was in no state to run, her feet were in a dreadful state having been trapped in the damp hides. She needed to find somewhere to set up for a while she really did. And then there was the issue of food, the horse feed was becoming very watered down now and though she should be able to catch plentiful meat for a few more weeks before winter truelly hit she had missed most of the autum bounty. The branches were devoid of vittles, it would take alot of hunting to find anything worth eating at all.

She built another fire but no shelter and ate warm broth. Her stomach still felt empty, she had no bread no carbohydrates, delwt with the carcouses in her coat and added them to the mix for a meater breakfast. But see need vegetables and the like she could feel her gums receeding.

The next morning she regretted not having built the shelter as a fine mist had soddened her, she hacked up more phlem, and just about saved the fire so that she could have a warm breakfast. Then she was off again, this time keeping a look out for foodstuffs other than meat. She found a briar patch with mostly yellow leaves the blackberries that were left were mostly furry white or shiveled black but there was maybe a dozen good ones and their sweetness was that of burnt sugar. She licked at the remnants on her fingers and lips greedily.

But there was no other natures bounty and she set the snars again that night.

The next day saw actually rain and she decided that by mid afternoon she would just have to risk being far enough away from the estate and any major roadways other wise she would not last out the autum let alone the winter. She built a shelter in the bowl of a large oak, one of those truelly ancient trees that seemed too wide. Getting the fire alight was – well interesting, damp wood, damp kindling, she sighed and removed a slender cylinder from her pocket. She praised the young novice who had given it back to her thinking it contained a remnant of some saint she held dear.

He had loved her and torn himself apart inside over his faith and how she had tested his relience. She place her finger in little smooth depressions in its oily looking surface and pressed in a sequence, different pressures in a specific order, it thrummed slightly, suddenly alive in her hand. She turned parts of the cylinder into a configuration she had learnt before she had ever known there were others like her.

She pointed it at the pile of damp wood and squeezed, a light errupted from it, red and mottled, like it was made up of dust, she ran it back and forth over the wood. It sizzeled. Eventually a flame sprung up from the mass of wood. She fanned the flames and made the fire good her hovel was still rudimentary and rain trickled in still. The pour was not torrential and the tree shelter her from the worst. With a belly full of warmth she slept knowing she would wake sick.

Shivering she got up to a misty but not raining day, she checked her snars and reset them, collected wood and fixed the shelter, then hunted for some food that wasn’t meet, she collected a few handfulls of hazels but most of them had withered in their husks. Those that were good she devoured with lust. Her priorities where to get food, make a water receptical and improove the shetler for the coming snow. She would also need a huge store of wood and preferably some new clothing and bedding though how to do that without hunting the larger animals and risking injury she didn’t know.

Posted: Monday, November 2nd, 2009 @ 2:38 pm
Categories: Uncategorized.
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One Response to “Chapter One”

  1. Purple Monster » Blog Archive » The Punk Chapter One Recap Says:

    […] Chapter One The Beginning […]

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