The Epic of the Bard

Author’s Note: I have never written in second person before so I just had to try it. I’m not sure if I will keep this story in second person though. Also, this is most likely going to be a novel but I figured this first chapter fits quite well as a short story. Comment if you like it or even if you hate it.  I used the five words given to me by a friend who happens to be a fan of my work. This story did originally start out as a poem but this rendition seems to fit better.

Dedicated to Melissa Longo

Words: Suffocation, Divine, Attributes, Feebleminded, Denounced

Chapter One

You sit down at a stool in the tavern, dressed in full knight gear. You don’t want anyone to know you’re a woman otherwise you’ll be beheaded. They certainly went backwards in these parts. You’re only here, because your army fell to the foe and you seek your way back to your queen. No, it wasn’t your fault. You weren’t the leader in this small platoon that has since passed. You were a soldier, a knight like any other. Only for some reason, you survived the slaughter. Never one to get into politics you never knew what was coming. In hindsight, you could have been more prepared but it was in the past now.

You watch the blond minstrel play her lyre in the corner of the tavern and assess her attributes. Undressing her with your eyes, you wonder what the slick folds between her legs would taste like and how her breasts would feel with your hands cupped over them. A man slams his fist down next to you on the table and your attention breaks and gets drawn to him instead.

“Take that helmet off,” he shouts drunkenly. “Don’t you know it’s disrespectful to leave it on in a tavern, you fool!”

‘How can someone be so feeble-minded?” You think and suppress a sigh.

He throws a punch in your direction and you block it with your gauntlet covered hand. You pick him up and throw him into a gaggle of men that have crowded to see a bar fight. Taking your sack from your waist, you open it and pour some coin on the counter for the bartender. With the rest of the coin in the sack you toss it lightly in the bard’s direction and walk out of the tavern. You’ve had enough excitement for one day.

Evening will come soon and you still haven’t found a place to sleep. Nothing is safe in these parts especially being a woman warrior.  You make do with a tree on the outskirts of town and hope none of the wannabe bar brawlers come looking for you. Before you get a chance to rest however, the bard comes up to you.

“Thank you for your coin,” she says.

Even her normal speaking voice elicits a reaction from you and for a moment you are glad you are not a man. Taking a deep breath, you wait for her to fill the silence. Talking will give you away and you can’t afford that.

“I apologize for those arses,” She says to you and seems to be playing the same game. “What is your name?”

You shake your head and hope that is answer enough. Your name is your own and although this blond bard makes you think things that would make anyone else blush, you aren’t taking any risks. Waiting for her to go away, and possibly assume you are a mute, she does not give up.

“I asked you a question, Sir Knight,” She said. “Are you denounced and have no business being a knight? Your chivalry or lack thereof is showing.”

You sigh, knowing she is right. Removing your helmet and letting your red locks of hair fall to your shoulders you wait for the initial shock. It is not forthcoming.

“If I was into chivalry, not only would I be dead but you would be punished for being out of line,” You say, annoyed that you have to explain something that so many people don’t truly understand.

“Agreed,” she says and touches your face.

You want to melt at the touch, but you know better. Standing with a hard façade you wait until she has her fill. It’s already risk enough to have revealed your gender to one of the enemy, as beautiful as she may be. She takes her hand away, sensing your discomfort.

“Are you not into women?” She asks.

“On the contrary, I find you beautiful and am surprised at your directness,” You answer and wait.

“I wish we can spend more time getting acquainted but you should put your helmet back on. They are coming,” The bard informs you.

Quickly, you follow her advice and turn around. The wannabe bar brawlers have found you and have brought some others with them. You turn to the bard who has taken out her lyre. Confused you place your hand on your sword and wait, not willing to take it out unless you absolutely must.

“Hey, bard or should I call you Elena?” One of the bar brawlers, the man who punched the table earlier taunted.

“Why don’t I call you Clay or better yet fool,” Elena taunted back.

“You know woman warriors aren’t welcome here, even ones posing as bards!”

You lift your eyebrow in wonder at this blond attractive bard. She quickly turns to you.

“I hope you’re worthy of that armor, because if we run they will just keep coming.”

You sigh. You didn’t want to fight so soon after your fellow knights had been slaughtered but farm people should not be an issue. Instead of fighting however, you figure out a way to talk it out.

“Everyone,” You say and are thankful you can pitch your voice to a baritone. “I am seeking to arrest this bard for crimes against our noble government. Have no fear as I will be taking her into my custody.”

You hope they believe the bluff and they slowly back off. Disbelief crosses your features as you turn to the bard.

“Shall we go then?” You ask her.

“They will be back you know,” she explains. “This time in larger numbers and with more knights.”

“I expect to be gone before that happens and never to come back here,” You say. “You’re welcome to accompany me if you wish.”

“For such a divine intervention on your part,” she says and you enjoy the sarcasm. “You haven’t told me your name and you know mine.”

“My name is Jillia,” You reply.

“So Jillia,” Elena says. “Where are we headed?”

“My queen,” You say and hope she doesn’t want you to elaborate.

There will be plenty of time to share stories later and all you want to do is find a place to sleep. Perhaps having the bard’s warm body next to you would do you good. There was plenty of time for that as well and you don’t want to encroach on a newfound friendship. Plenty of time for that type of suffocation would happen later, though you don’t think of it as suffocation but perhaps a romance in the future? You shake your head. Too much is at stake right now and you need to get back to your queen. It has been an extremely long day.

(The End for Now) (Look for a New Story Next Week)

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