Jack was turning the medallion over and over in his hands. The weight of what the woman had said was heavy on him, and though he smiled and chatted and made an effort to interact with those around him, his hand was often holding the strange object as if he might glean answers from it. Meanwhile his ruse of enjoyment seemed to be working on Cathy, who had finally stopped glancing at him with worried eyes when she thought he wouldn’t notice. Around the time the sun was beginning its descent, they made it back to their tent, their bellies full of food and drink and their eyes full of marvelous sights. Charles was inside, looking over offers and contracts from his presentation while jotting numbers and calculations onto scraps of paper. A pile was forming next to the table made up of crumpled and torn sheets. Continue reading “Promises – Part 10”
“I see no reason to strike an agreement with vagabonds and swindlers,” said an old naga who sat languidly in a large carriage. To either side of him sat his wife and daughter, both elegantly dressed for the evening’s events. Across from them, a naga was scribbling onto a stack of papers. Continue reading “Promises – Part 9”
The festival grounds were located in a large field at the center of the long, sloping city. The center-most point of the field, and by extension, the city, was occupied by a grandiose statue of a dragon with a snake coiled around its body. It had been commissioned in honor of the treaty signed to end the species war, and the meaning of it depended wholly on who you happened to ask. Throughout the year the field was host to whatever events the citizens of the city fancied, all scattered among the rolling green. Today the entire field was united to celebrate the anniversary of peace across the country. Hundreds of delighted citizens milled about in finery and costumes; local farmers came up to sell their wares; travelling troops from far flung lands set up in the green to entertain and sell foreign and exciting items. These were strange creatures who were neither naga nor dragonian, and who called themselves “human.” Continue reading “Promises – part 8”
“Thanks,” Nadine said. Her face was flushed with alcohol, and she would have collided with a lamp post if Jack didn’t have hold of her arm. “You’re very gentlemanly.”
“Ah it’s nothing,” Jack replied. “Someone has to make sure a lady gets back home safe in these dangerous streets.”
“Pish Posh,” the words were less said and more spat by the inebriated naga. Continue reading “Promises – Part 7”
Fred walked down the steps to Charles’ basement to find Jack standing, leaning on a stack of crates and sifting through the top most container. His expression was twisted into a strange mixture of pain and determination.
“Doin’ a lo’ be-er ah see,” Fred greeted his friend.
Startled, Jack lost his bracing on the boxes and flailed to regain it. Fred was there in a second to give additional support in the struggle. Once Jack was repositioned and steady, he laughed and said, “I thought Cathy was with you for a moment, and my heart nearly leapt out of my chest.” Continue reading “Promises – part 6”
Nadine was so very tired of looking through gowns. For every gown the servants brought in, she heaved a sigh. For every gown she waved away lethargically, her mother gave a bigger sigh. Even the servants were visibly becoming tired of the parade and declination of clothing. Continue reading “Promises – part 5”
The time Jack was healing was mostly spent reading Charles’ books and getting caught up on the gossip: the shifting of relationships and businesses, the conception and birth of a variety of babies. What caught Jack’s attention, though, was the news of the summer festival.
“Is it that time already?” he asked Cathy. By now he was sitting up against the stone wall.
Cathy’s eyes glinted with mischief when she said, “Thinking about doing a little mingling?” Continue reading “Promises – part 4”