Friday, 8 July 2016

Artel p.2

Artel shivered as he opened his bleary eyes. In the twilight of dawn the world was still and cold and he rolled over gently, trying not to wake the sleeping Millon. The last thing he wanted at that moment was to have the small man fussing over him. Being fussed over got old quickly.
The meagre fired had quickly died overnight, all that remained now was a ring of blackened ashes and a few charred sticks. So much for breakfast, thought Artel as he glanced around. It looked as if the bare landscape was completely devoid of any trees or bushes until the edge of the forest, still far in the distance. There would be no more wood to build a fire that morning, it would be cold yar bread for breakfast again.
Slowly Artel pulled his stiff body from the sleep sack that was barely warmer than the chill air outside. He stretched and groaned slightly as he did so. All this walking was making the muscles in his legs and lower back complain. He had wanted them to journey on horses, he had even found two particularly strong horses that would easily carry them the distance, but one look at the terror etched onto Millon's face at the sight of the horses told him that that was not an option. What kind of a man was afraid of horses?
Artel walked down from the small rise they had made their camp upon, just far enough that he could relieve himself without having to worry about Millon waking and watching. The man had a strange tendency to watch him at every moment possible, as if he thought Artel might disappear if he took his eyes off him for too long. He was certainly the strangest, and most frustrating, travelling companion Artel had ever had. Nonetheless it was quite evident that he did his best to accomplish the tasks given to him, even if his best was a bumbling mess.
Artel almost laughed out loud thinking about it as he strode back up the small rise to the pitiful camp he had spent the night in. How had he, a celebrated knight of the kingdom, ended up walking across the most desolate part of the kingdom with a fool for a page on a quest that could be complete and utter nonsense?
He emitted a small snort as he leant over Millon's sleeping figure and shook him gently. The small man grunted and rolled over, curling himself up in a ball and grinding his teeth in a most unattractive way. Artel grimaced and shook Millon again. This time he woke, blinking slowly and peering up at Artel as if he could not quite work out who he was or what he was doing there. Then the recognition hit and he leapt up at an alarming speed so that the top of his head hit straight into Artel's chin. Artel recoiled immediately with a small yelp, his hands going to his face while Millon shrunk back into his sleep sack, a look of absolute terror etched onto his uncomely features.
"Ooohhh S, Sir," The small man wailed, "My complete and sincere apologies, I cannot believe my haphazardness, I did not mean, so stupid, Oh Ar - Sir, a thousand apologies, a thousand times a thousand apologies!"
"Millon! Shush, stop talking please. It's fine, really, it's fine. It was just an accident, these things happen, OK?"
"Y - y - yes Sir." Millon nodded enthusiastically as he replied although the look of terror did not move from his face.
"Good, now please go fetch the yar bread from your pack, we must break camp soon." Artel's voice hid the frustration that he could feel bubbling just under the surface and he rubbed his chin with one hand. It had been a hell of a bump, by the feel of it it would probably leave a bruise, great, just what he needed.
They ate their breakfast of plain yar bread in complete silence, Artel did not feel like trying to make conversation and Millon seemed to think that he should not speak unless spoken to, Artel was quite happy to let him keep thinking that.
When breakfast was done they quickly packed up their small camp and set off down the small rise in the direction of the distant forest and the faraway mountains.
They walked in silence, their moods glum as they looked out across the many leagues of rolling green landscape they still had to cross before they even made it to the forest. There would be many more evenings like the last and mornings like the one they had just left and neither man particularly welcomed the idea.
Artel wondered for the millionth time how he had ended up on this quest, this fools errand. Still, he was here now and there was no turning back.
One foot in front of the other until we get there, he thought to himself.

2 comments:

  1. It's good a good flavor Rach! Really liking it :D Good skills x

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    1. Thanks! & Thanks for encouraging me to write more of it, beginning to get a bit more into the characters now and i'm liking them, they may have potential :) x

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