Abishai Luxonem: The Maiden with Flaming Hair

      Twang! The hand-crafted arrow zipped past a delectably juicy pheasant, only an inch off course, causing the foul to flap away in sheer terror. Cursing under her breath, Abishai looked around the small coppice. It was only just starting to get dark, but she knew that dusk would be upon her in less than an hour;  the foiledge from the trees was already creating dark shadows that crawled across the forest floor. There wouldn't enough light to search for any more game. Cursing again, Abishai snatched up her failure of an arrow and trudged out of the copse, the setting sun sparkled in her brilliant, emerald green eyes as she scanned the horrizon. In the distance, a large city breeming with life and flashing lights, Jerus, was calling for her, and her stomach answered with a loud, eager growl. Sighing to herself, the girl compacted her collapsable cross-bow and placed it in her pack with the rest of her things. Abishai stood and reajusted the hood of her long, tattered cloack. Her never ending journey of city-hopping was about to open a new chapter.


     The sky shifted from blue to black and the stars came out of hiding, but they paled in comparison to the sparkling lights of Jerus, a grand city full of wonder... and danger. Abishai recalled her first visit here, when she had begun her erratic lifestyle. She had hoped to find the acceptance she had always sought at home among the diverse variety of races and creatures that made this place their home, but she learned then and there that a person like her had no place in the world. Not at home, not in the mountains, not at the capitol. No where.

     The scent of sizzling meat drew her in like a mouse to a pile of cheese. Her mouth watered; she could almost able to taste the gravy covered chicken roasting in the resturaunt to her left, and feel the tenderness of the of the steak grilling in the bar up ahead, even the odor of the boiling pig head in the beggar's pot down the alley to her right was enough to make her groan and clutch her empty belly. Sifting through her sack, she yanked out what small amount of change she had left. Two silver pieces, three copper, and one gold. Not much, but it should suffice for one meal, and she could start looking for a job in the morning. Clutching her coins, Abishai skipped off, a filet mignon was waiting with her name on it.

     Unfortunately, two silver pieces, three copper, and one gold, were apparently not enough to get a good meal. All piteous Abishai could afford was one tiny, slimy, two-headed fish, caught in a polluted river and a bowl full of rotten vegitable soup-- not her idea of something edible, much less a dinner. Obviously, prices had gone up since her last time at the capitol. Staring longingly at her handful of precious metal, an idea hit her. Smiling once again, the young woman skittered down the backstreet behind the nicest facilities she'd passed.

     After stubbornly knocking on the door for a minuite and a half, a grimey satyr robed in nothing but a greasy apron and wielding a dirty spatula answered her pounding. His dirt brown hair formed small, curly ringlets might have done something for his apperance-- if only he'd washed them in past month, and his face was so contorted that Abishai wondered if he'd stolen the boiled pig's head from the beggar and placed it atop his shoulders. "Watta'ya want?" he barked cantankerously, causing his cheeks to flap about as he shook his spatula at her.

     "Please, sir," she began, "I don't suppose you could spare me a slice of your lesser cuts of meat, a slab unfit to serve?"

     "This ayen't no charity, girlie! If I went aroun' handin' out hunks 'a meat all day an' all night, I'd've ne'er made a profit fer myself. Go away!" the pig-faced man squealed and started shutting the door.

     "Wait, sir! I--"

     "You gunna pay fer it, girlie? Gotta show it up front, cha know."

     "I can pay! I don't have much, but it might be enough. I--"

     "Show me watt'cha got." He stared at her with black, beedy eyes.

     "Here," she said, holding out her hand full of change. "It's all I have, sir."

      He scowled, deforming his features even more. "Thas' not watt'a ment, girlie." A smirk spread across his grungy face. "No show, no meat. Now show me, girlie!" Abishai realized he wasn't looking at her face anymore, but leering at the clasp of her cloak.

     "Oh, no, sir. You know what?" She took a step back. "I think I'd better be going now. Thank you for your time." She turned to flee, but too quickly were his sausege-like fingers wrapped around her arm, tugging her back.

     "I think'ya ought to show me, anyway, girlie, fer waistin' my time."

     Anger rushed through her as she spat, "Unhand me, you filth. I'm warning you, now. Let. Me. Go. I won't say it again."

     "Oh! A fighter, arez you?" He leaned in closer to her, his hot breath as rank as his appearance.

     "I told you to LET ME GOOO!" she screached, as burning tongues of fire spat forth from her lips, licking at the grease on his skin and burning the hairs on his legs. Wrenching herself out of his grip, she dislodged her hood, revealing a tangle of long, vermillion locks. The pig man had no discernment as to what had just occured; all he knew was that his skin was burning and that a beautiful girl with flaming hair had just eluded him.

     Running as far from the alley as she could, Abishai could barely breath. Her face was still warm from the fire, but she didn't want to think about it. Roaming the streets, she cradeled her stomach in her arms, until she finally found the beggar and his pig head, still in the pot. She traded him one of her silver pieces for a slice of its cheek, but as she watched the poor man cut through the pig's face, she suddenly, for once in her life, lost her appetite. Before he could hand it over to her, she turned and walked away, leaving her silver coin in the man's pocket.

     The vagabond lass continued wandering the streets until she found herself on a street full of lively bars and night clubs. Her spirits perked up, if only a miniscule amount. Where there were parties, there were servers, and where there were servers, there were gigs. Maybe her job hunt wouldn't have to wait until tomorrow.

The End

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