Testing Fate

I’m posting this here because I can’t get myself to continue it. I definitely want to continue writing, but the closer I get to that edit box the more reluctant I am to put anything down.  I’ve even written out a lot of what is going to happen in my physical notebook, but I just can’t get it in the wiki.  Halp!

This occurs before [[Draconic Beginnings]].  There are two chapters I have to write to catch up to Draconic Beginnings and this is the first one.

Update: I decided to break this up into several chapters.  This is the first chapter and the end has been cut off, so this chapter is complete

Testing Fate

Another restless night. Michael laid in bed staring at the ceiling while he mind wandered aimlessly. He felt fortunate that he had a decent job and a place to stay, even if most of his pay went to the school that trained him to be a guard. Ah, Alnara Reloryn. His job was to be her protector and, despite not ever having a terrible amount of extra coin in his pocket the job did come with a lot of perks. Alnara was a very nice girl and enjoyed having a good time, meaning she wanted her friends to enjoy themselves as well. Since Michael couldn’t afford her lifestyle, Alnara was generous enough to give him what she could and usually it was more than enough. He was in charge of her personal safety and needed to be with almost at all times, so he was enrolled in her classes as well. Michael had always wanted to go to one of the high elven schools but never thought he’d get the chance and knew he would never be able to afford it, but having employers in high places has its benefits.

Michael’s thoughts continued to wander; he knew he wasn’t going to get any sleep without clearing his mind. Throwing off his blankets he got up and got dressed. A short walk in the fresh autumn[1] air should help him relax so he can get some sleep. He headed downstairs, through the kitchen and out the back door.

“Where do you think you’re going?” came a perturbed voice. Captain Isilen stood outside eying Michael.

“I’m just going for a walk.”

“This late? What are you up to?”

“Nothing. I can’t sleep so I wanted to get some air.”

“Listen, chell, I’m watching you. You think just because you’ve won Alnara’s favor that you’re sitting pretty, but don’t rest easy. You’re going to screw up and I’ll be there to watch you drown.” he glared at Michael before walking off, continuing his rounds.

Captain Isilen has had it in for Michael since they first met. He was Alnara’s personal protector and had developed a bit of a crush on her as she grew up but her father didn’t feel it was appropriate. Michael was hired to replace Isilen as Alnara’s guard and Isilen was promoted to the Captain of the Guard. Publicly it was a promotion, but he loathed being further away from his love especially since he was replaced by a worthless human. Matters were only escalated a few months ago when the councilor changed Isilen’s orders based on Michael’s opinion. Isilen was losing influence and he didn’t like it.

Michael closed the door tightly behind him and walked through the garden, leaving out the back path of the house to the roads. It was very quiet this night save for the soft chirping of crickets. It was also especially dark, he noticed as he looked up to the sky. The thousands of visible stars did what they could to make up for dark shadows cast by the moons. It was just bright enough for him to see where he was going. With his hands in his pockets he rounded a corner.

“Mew” came a soft feline cry from an alley. Michael looked and saw a siamese cat licking its paws.

“Orion? How did you get out here?” he half expected an answer. “Lets see if we can’t get you back home.” He reached down to pick up the cat but it had no intentions of going with him, darting down the alley. “Orion!” He chased down looking for the feline.

Where did he get to? Michael thought to himself, scanning the for the feline. He caught glimpse of the cat’s black tail squeezed inside a nearby open door, creaking it slightly. He went over to the door and peeked through the door. “Come here, Orion,” he whispered. He hesitated about opening the door, knowing he shouldn’t enter an unattended store. But why was the door open? Michael notices that the lock has been jimmied open. Suddenly he heard the shattering of glass from inside. He creeps inside quietly, looking around the room when he spots a woman on the other side. She’s behind the counter going through alchemy supplies on the shelves.

“Damn it all” she whispers having dropped a small jar on the ground, its content spilling on her feet. She ignores it, tapping the powder off her shoes as she continues looking at the labels on various containers and tossing them in her bag.

“Hey! Stop right there!” calls out Michael. She looks up at him and brushes a few strands of her brown hair out of her face.

“I was sure I had at least three more minutes. Wait a sec,” she shines a light in his face from a glowing sphere, “you aren’t a guard, but you are kinda cute. You don’t see that many cute humans around this town.”

“Put down the bag and put your hands in the air.”

“But sir, this is my store. I’m just clearing out the expired products.”

“I’m not buying it.”

“Well if you’re not a customer then you shouldn’t be here at night. We close at 8:00.”

Michael hesitated for a moment, slightly confused. “You’re not getting out of here, put your hands up.”

“All right, all right, I’ll cooperate. But I’ll have you know I’m not robbing the place. I’m just… reallocating the inventory.” She sat the bag down on the counter and put her hands above her head. “So, What are you going to do to me? You don’t even have a weapon.” she grinned.

“We’ll see what happens when the guards get here. Come over here, slowly.” Michael looked around the room, finding a length of rope. She slowly walked towards him then stopped suddenly.

“Wait, how do I know you’re not just going to rob the place yourself? Hey! You’re just going to leave me here and take the goods for yourself, aren’t you?”

“What!? I would never do such a thing.”

“Why not? Alchemy supplies sell really well. Take this for example.” she tossed a large glass jar at him. Michael dropped the rope and reached up, catching it but stumbling backwards over a stool and falling down, landing on the cat’s tail. The screech from the cat could be heard throughout the neighborhood. Michael picked himself up off the ground.

“Don’t move! Put your hands up!” came a familiar voice from behind. The city guard had arrived. “Just going for a walk, huh?” said Captain Isilen. “I knew keeping an eye on you would pay off eventually.”

“Isilen, I’m not the one you’re after, it’s her.” He motioned towards the counter, but the girl was no where to be seen. “Look, there was a human girl here a second ago. I came in when I heard the ruckus.”

“So you had an accomplice? Search for her.” He signaled to the other guards. “As for you, you’re coming with me.” One of the guards took the jar Michael was holding as Isilen pulled his arms behind his back, binding him.

“You know you’re making a mistake, right?”

“No, chell. You made the mistake when you crossed me.”

Michael laid in bed staring at the ceiling while he mind wandered aimlessly. He couldn’t believe his luck; arrested for the crime he was trying to stop and forced to spend the night in a jail cell. He knew he would go on trial for it in a few days, but Isilen would likely push for it to be sooner. Perhaps Alnara could… no, it wouldn’t be right to ask Alnara to jepordize future to help him. In fact, it would be best if the Reloryns never learned about it at all. Not that Captain Isilen would allow that to happen. Michael turned on his side, facing the wall. Maybe he could get some sleep, for he would definitely have a long day tomorrow.

Michael slowly began to drift off to sleep, his mind somewhat clear of the haze of the previous day and the events of the night. Just as the cool refreshment of slumber entered his mind, the sound of metal slamming against stone jolted him awake. He could hear voices coming from down the hall, but barely make them out. It sounded like two guards yelling in High Elven and a girl screaming back at them in Common. Oh no… Michael sat up on his bed as the two guards brought the girl to his cell, opening the door and shoving her in and on to the floor. The guards slammed the door behind her, locking it tight, and went off.

The girl lie face down on the ground for a while, without moving. Michael sat up and looked over to her, expecting her to get up at any moment, but she didn’t. She was perfectly still. He sat up on his bed and continued to watch her. “You okay?” he asked. She said nothing. He stood up and began approaching her, but she began softly tittering. The tittering grew to chuckling as Michael watched, and she continued to laugh as she rolled onto her back. Michael was very confused by her behavior, but she really appeared to be enjoying herself. Her laughs continued until it was an outright guffaw. “What’s so funny?” He asked, confused.

“Ha ha ha! Oh man, I am such an idiot. I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming.” she snickered.

“See what coming?”

“I had a clean break and I was in the clear, but I had spilled something on my boots. I stopped to try to clean them off and that’s how the guards found me. They followed the trail of dust and there I was sitting just in a corner with one shoe off, trying to get that crap out of it. They dragged me here with just one shoe on.” She laughed as she picked herself off the ground, dusting the dirt off of her cloths and untying her remaining boot.

“I don’t see why that’s so funny. You got caught and now you’re going to be on trial in a few days. Serves you right.”

“Eh, it’s not so bad.” she went over to the other bed, unfurled the blanket and sat down. “I get a warm bed, a free meal, and someone to talk to for a few days. Living alone on the streets isn’t the glamorous lifestyle you read about. Just trying to get by. Never knowing where your next meal will come from. Fearing what will happen if you’re caught. Of course, sometimes when you’re caught your conditions just end up better, like now!” She placed her boot under the bed.

“That’s an interesting perspective, I suppose, but you still are going to pay for your crimes.”

“Eh, I’m not worried about it.” She lied down in the bed, wrapping the thin blanket over her. “You’re a hired guard, right? You were just doing you job; what you believed was the right thing to do. Looks like it got you into a mess of trouble though, huh?”

“Yeah. Captain Isilen really has it out for me. Hopefully this doesn’t get back to the Academy.”

“The Academy?”

Michael hesitated since he just met the girl. “Just a school I went to. Don’t worry about it”

Kismet looked over at him. The discontent was palpable. “Okay, I know I got you in a mess and you probably don’t like me for it, but we’re going to be cellmates for a couple days. Let’s just try to get along. You can go back to hating me once we’re out of here.”

He sighed. “Fine, whatever.”

“So you know the Guard Captain and he still threw you in jail?”

“He’s had it out for me for a while, since I replaced him.”

“These elves can be pretty uptight. Wait, you replaced him, doing what?”

He turned over on the bed, facing the wall. “He use to just be a bodyguard which apparently he was happy doing. When I arrived here he got promoted to Guard Captain, above a lot of the officers. It was a huge promotion, but he detested it. Anyway, it’s late. I want to try to get some sleep.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” she yawned. “Talk to you in the morning!”

Michael made himself as comfortable as he could in the bed. He wish he was at the Reloryn’s place in his normal bed. “My name is Michael, by the way.”

She turned over and face him with a smile. “You can call me Kismet. Nice to meet you!” She snuggled up in the blanket, closing her eyes.

“It’s too bad it wasn’t on better terms.”

“That’s Fate for you.”

Michael McElrath

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