The Rogue and the TeethMature

A 488 word story about a small girl's interaction with the Rogue.

How old is the Rogue? Many have asked this. Some have their answers, their theories. Some claim to know the truth, and these are fools or demon-haunted. I do not know. When I saw the Rogue, I was a girl-child and he was a young man. Now I am old and blind, and still he is described as young, as full of life.

When I saw him, he was in a parade, a part of a demonstrating mercenary company who served the Red Lords of Chy. We were far to the south, in the dry lands, the land of dates and figs, and this mercenary company had been driving by swords a tribe of sea marauders back to the coast.  

Our ancient city of clay had been occupied by them and we had spent many months under their captain's cruel rule, were forced to serve up our stores, our meat, our water, and valuables to him. He was Bijilk the Tyrant.

But he was a coward. When he heard the Red Lords of Chy had dispatched the Company of the Fanged Mouth, he organized his men and fled, leaving the city starving and wanting for fresh water.

Many had died when the Rogue and the company he was a member of came to us. They were good soldiers, for the most part. Many stayed and fortified the city, and shared their rations, and helped us replenish our stores by finding game and wild oats and spearing fish for us. We were very happy to see them. 

On the third night of the Fanged Mouth's stay in our city, I saw the Rogue in a tavern. Desperately hungry, I tried to take coin from his pouch and he caught me by the wrist. He could not speak my language. And yet--he ascertained my need, and instead of punishing me and calling the brutes, he gave me meat, bread, milk, and a bowl of dates with cheese.

The following day, the mercenaries left, and the Rogue with them. They were gone for many days. But then word reached us that they had burned the marauders ships and crucified those that they had captured and that Biljik the Tyrant was dead. Thus, passing through the town again, after the battles, I saw the Rogue for the second and the last time.

This time he was resplendent in armor, beautiful armor, armor still glimmering beautifully in the sun despite that it was besmeared with gore and dented with many blows. It was the very armor that I knew had belonged to Biljik the Tyrant, the leader of the marauders. 

"Did you kill Biljik?" I asked him as he walked solemnly by sitting a charger, but he could not respond. He did not speak my language. Instead, he held out his hand and into my tiny palm place a cluster of human teeth, bloody, pried from mouths, filed with flecks of gold.

I sold them for food, and for parchment, and for ink, and yet I kept one, and drilled a hole, and I wear it around my neck, and this I show you now.

The End

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