Tailmar

They rode for three days, and it rained the whole while, making the ocmpany feel even more depressed. Angela sat huddled against Golden Star, who was trying to eat her hair. Despite the gloomy aura, she giggled, twisting her fingers into the filly's short mane. John turned around and smiled softly at the pair.

"Where are we going, John?" Angela asked, tickling the horses nose with her hair. The filly snorted.

"Yer father told me t' take ye t' Tailmar. We'll sell de horses and hopefully find jobs in de Queen's stables there."

"Why didn't he come with us?"

"He said he had t' leave in order t' keep ye safe."

Angela frowned. She would rather be with her father than be safe.

"Will we keep Star?"

"That's yer choice. She's yer horse."

"Then I'm keeping her and Ace. This filly needs her mama."

The stable master nodded, his back to her as he gently clucked his tongue to calm the horses pulling the wagon. Angela settled against the filly again, pulling her cloak closer as a cool wind swept over the company.

Where will I stay? she wondered silently. She didn't know anyone in Tailmar, and she had no money to buy shelter. John'll take care of me. I'll probably get a job in the palaces as well.. as a servant or something.

She fondled Star's head, and the little horse nickered quietly, settling her head on Angela's lap.

"Everything's going to be alright, Star. It'll be alright." She just wished she knew how.

************************************************************************

Two days later they arrived in Tailmar, muddy and tired. Star was trotting happily at her mother's side, nipping at Ace's mane, while Angela walked alongside.

The city was huge, and the streets bustled with activity. Merchants shouted their wares from colorful shops at the roadside, and beggars pleaded from the gutters. The people looked at the company curiously, but seemed not to notice anything amiss, and continued on thier way.

By midafternoon, they had sold ten of the horses, eahc for good price, and a couple of the stable hands had hired themselves off to work in the stables of the people who bought them. Only The two horses pulling the wagon, Ace and Star were left. The cook, 2 of the maids and two stable hands, along wiht John, were all that was left of the servants from her father's estate. John sighed.

"I'm gonna sell these two blighters and de wagon now, Angela," he said. She nodded understandingly. Then the cook looked ot her.

"Miss, if you don't mind, I'd like to find some work here in the city." The two maids and stable hands murmurred that they'd like to as well.

Angela looked at them. "Go ahead. I'll be fine. You are no longer under my charge."

A merchant in a large shop to the side of the road looked up. he was wearing an apron and his hands were covered in flour. "Did you say you were looking for work? What's your trade?" Five minutes later, the cook and the two maids had jobs in a bakery.

The stable hands left with the horse and wagon, and then it was just John and her, with the two horses.

Angela sighed. They were very much alone.

The End

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