Nadine could not remember the last time she was so happy. It seemed to her that even the birds were joyous for her in their morning song. She hummed a tune of her own while she carried her son down to the dining hall for breakfast. She sat and smiled to the servant who brought a crib for the baby, but did not utilize it. Instead she sat the toddler with his back against her belly, and began handing him pieces of soft potato. Continue reading “Promises – Part 23”
The road was full of mid-day bustle when the cart pulled up to a quaint shop in the southern quadrant of the city marketplace. Through the windows of the shop one could see beautiful suits and gowns of varying style and color, and a clientele primarily made up of dragonians eyeing the apparel and having it fitted. As the cart rattled to a halt, Jannette hurried out the front door with a broad smile on her face. Continue reading “Promises – Part 22”
A knock on the door woke him from a fitful sleep. Jack’s eyes shot open, and he looked frantically around the room. The first rays of sunlight were creeping through the curtains of the window. The knock came again, and Jack leapt from his bed and headed to the front door. Along the way he picked up one of his sturdier canes, but did not use it to aid his stride. When he reached the front room he saw a woman peering in the store window. When she saw him her expression perked up and she waved excitedly at him. Jack wracked his brain about who this woman was, and why she was at his door so early in the morning. It wasn’t until he reached the front door that he remembered her: Krissine’s friend Jannette. Jack opened the door and greeted his guest.
“Good morning, Jannette.” Continue reading “Promises – Part 21”
It took both Jack and Charles to restrain Cathy when she jumped out of her seat and began storming to the door while spouting vulgarities and brandishing a knife that neither of the men were sure how she kept it in her cleavage like that. Continue reading “Promises – Part 20”
This is going to leave a scar, Jack though while he inspected his wound in the slanted mirror that he had for customers to see how his wares looked on them. Especially if I let it heal like this. The cut had been closing crookedly on the ride back to his shop, with nothing holding the two sides of flesh together to have it knit properly. Jack pulled out his knife and positioned it very carefully at one corner of the still-open slit in the skin. At the first, sharp pain he was suddenly very far away from it all. He watched the blood flow in the wake of the metal, vaguely aware of the pain, but with a heavy veil of mental fog between himself and the reality of what he was watching. His hands moved the skin more evenly next to each other, and the two sides re-knitted themselves back together more efficiently than the previous attempt. When the hole seemed like it would hold itself closed, Jack’s hands carefully moved away, and he watched it become a fresh, pink line of scar tissue. At least this time it was more of a straight line. He leaned forward and pressed his palms onto the countertop, closed his eyes, and breathed slow, shaking breaths. When he opened his eyes again, the world was real, and he focused on cleaning the fresh blood off himself, his knife, and the counter. The shirt was unsalvageable. Jack began unbuttoning it with shaky hands, struggling to keep a slower, normal speed at the task. When he reached behind his back to undo the two lines of buttons that closed the shirt around the base of his wings, though, he lacked the dexterity, and instead fumbled with increasing frustration. No matter what he did, he could not get even a single button through the damned hole. The side of his fist slammed into the wall. His eyes burned with the threat of tears. Why was this happening? Why was he like this? Why today?
“Do you want some help?” Continue reading “Promises – Part 19”
Jack was sitting on the bench of his cart. Now that he was alone he was having a hard time bringing himself to function enough to take the reins and go back home. So instead he sat with his elbows on his knees, absently playing with his knife. He traced a thumb along the silver inlay in the blade. Then he slid the thumb down to the edge, and let the minor pain give him something to focus on. Slowly, achingly, the panic faded. It was just him, in his cart, alone, and safe. When he heard the woman’s voice, he didn’t understand the words at first. It was the second time that he heard a “Hey,” and turned his head. The woman speaking to him was a dragonian in a modest dress, with piercing eyes framed by dark hair. Continue reading “Promises – Part 18”