~The Market~ pg 2

“Birchwood brothers?” She thought she had heard the name before back in Kavaccet, from one of the sisters in waiting, perhaps. Or was it at an event?

Demil smiled wide at her question, glad that he now had her full attention. “Yeah! Alex, Borris, and Chink all go by that name. Chink’s not a real Birchwood but they’re practically family so he uses it. I started using it, too, seein’ how I had no one else when they found me.” His normally jovial expression darkened and he lapsed into an unusual bit of silence.

Fiora took the opportunity to offer him her condolences. “I’m sorry,” she started, “about your parents.” His eyes met hers half filled with the sorrow of remembering, the other with surprise that she knew. “Alex told me that they died in a battle.” She was going to leave it at that but something in her needed to see his reaction, “…with The Wisdom.”

His shoulders slumped and he sighed. “Honestly, I didn’t know much about the ‘who’ or ‘why’ until Alex told me. People just said it was a reaction to a revolt and I believed it. I know Alex fully blames the Lady, fer all our parents’ deaths, but the five years between losin’ my parents and meetin’ him, I made my peace with it. A sad peace. There wouldn’t have needed to been a battle if there wasn’t a revolt, eh?” He gave her a weak smile but she could tell it still pained him. She didn’t know how to respond so she just rode on next to him in the silence, the muted clip-clop of their horse’s hooves on the widening dirt path steady in contrast. 

Finally, he lifted his head, his normal grin back on his face. “I wouldn’t change it if I could, though,” he announced. “No I wouldn’t. It’s what brought the Birchwood brothers to me, and that’s been the best thing I could ever imagine happenin’ in my life. The very best! Who wouldn’t want to live a life of rescuin’ little ladies from dire straits, eh?” He laughed his normal jovial laugh even hardier than she’d heard it from him before and she couldn’t help but smile. How he managed to bubble over with such enthusiasm for life was beyond her, but she found she rather liked it.

Soon enough, the path became rode as trees were replaced by wooden and brick homes on either side of them. “We’re here, where do you want to go first?” he asked.

Fiora didn’t need to think for a bit, there was only one reason she needed to be in town. “Take me to your finest tailor’s shop.”

He gave her a doubtful look, “The finest?”

“The finest!” she nodded for emphasis.

He shrugged but led her on through the winding streets. The village was laid out erratically in her opinion. All streets curved and twisted and turned. Some streets dead-ended at a group of homes, but Demil led her in between the houses, spaces so tight, her legs rubbed on the sides if she wasn’t careful. It didn’t take long for her to lose her sense of direction. The only thing she could tell for sure, was that they were headed for the center.

The End

0 comments about this story Feed