Posts tagged ‘Anders’

A travelogue for exiles

Anders finished writing his report for the land they had just left. He was still amazed at all the new ideas he kept encountering as he traveled. He’d always seen himself as one of the more sophisticated members of the Snow Lions. He was beginning to see how wrong he was about that… and other things.

He crafted a copy of the report and set it aside with the others. Then, he tucked the original into the box of trinkets. This box would join the others making their way back to Captain Hummel and his home.

An Affair to Remember

Prompt: errands and affairs

Anders stared straight ahead as they spoke around him. He knew what he’d done was wrong. They’d both known it wasn’t right when they’d started seeing each other. Neither of them had known – had ever even imagined what her husband would do if he ever caught them at it.

“What happened?” Rune said, his voice soft. “Start at the beginning of the day’s events.”

“Einar was supposed to be out,” Anders said. He looked down at his hands. He sighed and shook his head. “He was running errands. We thought we… had time.”

“Clara was married to him,” the commander said, frowning. “Why were and she spending time together at all, especially when you knew her husband would be away?”

Anders grimaced. “He… mistreated her, Commander,” he said, his voice soft. “He’d get angry – over the smallest, most empty things – and fly into a rage and – and beat her. I was trying to convince her to leave him, but… one thing rather lead to another and – and it was foolish, I know that!”

“He beat her and you didn’t think he might kill her?” Yori said, his voice soft. When Anders looked over at him, he could see that Yori wasn’t angry, only concerned. The captain sighed and shook his head. “He came home earlier than expected, clearly?”

“And… it wasn’t a rage,” Anders said. He shivered at the memory. “It was this… cold anger. I think it would have been better if he’d screamed and yelled. Then, I might have seen it coming.”

Knowing Too Much

Prompt: over-educated

Ephsie frowned slightly at Anders. After several moments, she sighed and he stopped short. He looked at her, his expression one of intense confusion. Before he could speak, she said, “Do you ever shut up?”

Anders blinked and looked at Josiah, who was chuckling. “Do I… talk too much?” he asked.

Josiah shrugged. “You know about a lot of different things,” he said. “It’s only right that you should share your knowledge.”

“He doesn’t need to go on and on about things no one cares about,” Ephsie grumbled. Then, she pushed ahead of them.

Scowling, Anders said, “I… never imagined it would be annoying. I mean, obviously, I care enough about what I’m saying to have learned about it.” He looked at Josiah. “Does that mean there’s such a thing as knowing too much?”

“Maybe Ephsie just doesn’t know enough,” Josiah suggested.

No Longer The Same

Prompt: you are due to be transformed

Anders looked at Josiah and held up a long, flowing cloak. “What about this?” he asked. He ran his hand over the soft, woolen fabric. “It certainly looks warm enough.”

Josiah bit his lip and shifted from one foot to another. “I – I couldn’t wear something like that, Anders,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s so fine and I’m… I was a slave.”

“You’re not a slave anymore, Josiah,” Anders said. He handed the cloak to his young friend and a faint smile touched his lips. “I think it’s time that your look was updated a bit – to fit your new status as a freeman.”

For a moment, Josiah wanted to protest. Then, he smiled. “You’re right,” he murmured. He hugged the cloak close and added, “I – I’ve earned the right to have comforts. I’m free.”

The Fates to Guide

Prompt: the esthetic of lostness

When the sandstorm was finally over, Anders stepped out of the copse of trees and looked around. He blinked in surprise as he realized he had no idea which direction they’d been traveling in when they arrived. The winds had changed the landscape into something wholly unrecognizable.

“It’s sort of pretty, in a way,” Josiah said. His brows furrowed. “Which way do we go?”

“I was wondering the same thing,” Anders admitted. He smiled faintly and said, “We’re lost and yet, somehow, I don’t much mind.”

“Well,” Josiah said, frowning. “It’s not scary and… everything looks so different, it’s like the sandstorm plucked us up and dropped us someplace else.”

“Which way is Kaatslund from here?” Ephsie said, blinking in shock. She looked horrified when Anders and Josiah both shrugged.

Anders smiled. “We’ll get there… eventually,” he said. Lifting his pack into place on his back, he said, “For now, let the Fates guide our steps.” As they set out, Anders couldn’t help but smile. Yes, there was something beautiful in being lost, but there was more beauty still in being found.

On Pilgrimage

Prompt: where people go

Anders sighed softly. The sandstorm was still raging around them. It seemed they wouldn’t be going anywhere soon. He glanced over at the girl they’d rescued. Her eyelids were fluttering. He sat up and watched her a moment longer.

She woke with a gasp and looked around. “Oh,” she said, when she noticed Anders.

“We found you, collapsed in the sand,” he said. He tilted his head to one side. “Are you feeling better now? Feel dizzy at all? Any pain?”

“My… head hurts a bit,” the girl said, blinking at him. “Thank you, I suppose,” she added. “Are you on your way to Kaatslund?”

Anders shrugged. “We could be,” he said. They weren’t traveling with a specific destination in mind. Kaatslund seemed about as good as any other place. “Why do you ask?”

“Everyone seems to be headed there. It’s a popular place to make pilgrimage to,” she said. She smiled and held out her hand. “I’m Ephsie, by the way.”

“Anders,” he said, taking her hand. “What about you, Ephsie, were you on your way to Kaatslund?”

“Aren’t we all?” she replied, smiling.

Unexpected

Prompt: without sense of time lost

Anders settled down in the cover of the trees with a sigh of relief. “I was afraid we wouldn’t make it,” he said, shaking his head.

“Me too,” Josiah said. He shook his head and growled. “That sand got into everything! It’s so itchy!”

Grimacing, Anders looked at Marcus. “How is he?” he asked, looking at the person they’d rescued. He noted the soft features and the gentle curves of the body and blinked in surprise. Then he said, “Rather… how is she?”

“I think she hit her head,” Marcus said, as he finished settling her in. He frowned. “What’s a little thing like her doing all the way out here?”

“Hopefully,” Fiona replied, “that’s something we’ll learn when she wakes.”

Anders merely nodded in agreement. It remained to be seen if the girl would even wake. Besides her concussion, there was no telling how long she’d lain out in the sandstorm. Anders prayed the Fates would protect her.

Sandstorm

Prompt: wanderer broken down before the wind

Anders squinted against the wind that was stirring sand and dust up from the roadway. “Should we seek shelter?” he called, glancing back at the others.

Josiah was clinging to Marcus, hiding his face. His ears were pinned and his tail was curled between his legs. Fiona was covering her face, except for her eyes. Marcus was the only one who seemed unbothered by the wind.

“There may be shelter in those trees up ahead,” he said, pointing ahead of them.

Anders nodded and turned back the way they were walking. He nodded and pressed onward. He stumbled and fell with a startled cry. When he turned around, he saw a huddled form, half-buried in the sand.

He brushed off the sand and called, “Marcus! Help me out here!”

Soon, they had the person up off the ground and they were moving towards the copse of trees that Marcus had spotted. They could check their patient better when they weren’t fighting against the wind.

The sweet sound that calls

Prompt: the call of sea, stars and sky

“What made you want to travel?” Anders said, looking over at Marcus. Of the four of them, he seemed to be the only one who’d chosen a life on the road. “Were you seeking adventure or was it something else?”

“I grew up in a little town,” Marcus said. He shook his head. “After a while, it got to feeling cramped – like I could never really be myself there. I felt like I needed to see everything, so I left.”

Anders nodded. “Sometimes, people will leave the Gardens and go out to sea,” he said, his eyes getting a far away look, as if he were seeing those young people setting out on their ships. “It’s said that they hear a voice calling to them on the wind and they need to find out what it is.”

Say What?

Prompt: grin like a dog

They were walking along the sidewalk in front of the row of houses. It was early yet. People were just beginning to stir. Anders heard a call from above and then a splash as water hit the ground and splattered across the back of his cloak.

He turned to see Josiah. His ears were pinned and his tail was lashing angrily. He was soaked. The water had just missed him. Josiah had not been so fortunate. “Are you all right?” he asked.

“No,” Josiah wailed. He shook himself, sending water in all directions. Marcus chuckled, earning a glare. “I’m soaked to the skin and you stand there, grinning like a dog! What’s so funny?”

“You – you shook off,” Marcus said, waving at him, as if it were obvious.

“I’m wet!” Josiah replied, his tone petulant.

Fiona hid a laugh and said, “Grinning like a dog?”

Josiah sighed. “You might say… like a fool?” he ventured.

Anders smirked. “We might,” he said. Clearly Josiah was even more feline than he appeared to be.