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|I wrote this a while before writing Flower of Grace and it was previously unnamed. I pretty much quit with it when I had the idea to put Flower of Grace's character in this one.||
Flower of Fire
She was having the same dream again, the dream that had haunted her sleep since as long as she could remember. Tossing and moaning in her sleep, tears mixing with cold sweat, she was comforted by a huge warm body. The fur tickled her nose and she breathe in the musky scent of the tiger lying next to her. With a final sigh she unconsciously hugged the tiger close to her and fell into a softer, and deeper sleep, one void of dreams.
She was brutally awaken before the sun had peaked her window by the shout of a palace servant, "Wake up worm! You have work to do."
The palace servants always stopped short of physically harming her when the tiger was near. Many years ago the tiger had escaped from the palace bizarre, and had been found the next morning curled up next to this girl. At first the people from the bizarre tried to recapture the tiger, but all the attempts ended with nothing but frustration. Whenever the bizarre keepers got enough ropes around the then little tiger, the ropes would ignite and fall as ash. The capturers would turn around to see the fire reflected in the girl's face. Her face was as it always looked, calm and guarded. The slave girl and the tiger were inseparable.
The girl rolled over and sat up. She glared up at the palace servant who involuntarily took a step back as he saw her eyes, so much like the tigers. He'd never get used to the way the steel look came from gold eyes with slitted pupils. Anyone whose eyes matched hers were immediately reminded of predators and many had the distinct feeling that they might be her prey. A growl rose in the throat of the tiger and the servant needed no more encouragement to leave and quickly scurried away.
After the servant was gone the girl reached under her tattered blanket and pulled out the biscuit she had managed to swipe from the kitchen yesterday. She patted the tiger on the head while popping the biscuit in her mouth then stood up with a nimbilty that belied her looks.
The tiger got up with her and rubbed the length of it's body against her thigh, purring loudly. "Alright, alright, lets go." said the girl with a surprisingly gentle voice now that she was talking to her tiger.
She went outside followed by her orange and black striped shadow and stopped near a pump. Although the sun hadn't risen yet, the sky was already filled with the gray light that hangs in the air before actual dawn. Taking one of the buckets hung near the pump from a wooden stand she started working the pump and filled the bucket. She gave the bucket to the tiger to hold in it's massive jaws, then took two more buckets to fill and carry herself and walked to the kitchen. The slave put the two buckets she was carrying on the counter, then did the same with the tiger's.
The kitchen was filled with busy servants readying breakfast. People bustled from fire to dough back to fire again, throwing some more wood in there, kneading here. Through the window the girl saw the first rays of dawn just peaking over a hill. She looked around for the pan of leftovers set aside and picked it up. She snuck a glance around, and assured that everyone was already caught up in what they were doing, plucked the most choice bits of half rotted or eaten food unnoticed. Still carrying the pan she walked to the kennels. The tiger went off to do its own scavenging.
The kitchen was on the outside of the manner, and the kennels were in a separate building connected to the stables. Even before she got inside she could hear the friendly greetings of the king's hunting dogs. She entered the warm wood building full of hay and fed each of the dogs and talked to all of them. Caring for the baron's animals was one of many tasks she had, but unlike her other tasks, she enjoyed this. She carefully went over each of the hounds, running her hands over their sleek, muscled bodies, checking for any burrs or ticks and then washed them thoroughly until each of their coats were spotless. Afterwards, she swept out all the old hay and brought new hay in. The girl giggled as the dogs began administrating a bath of their own on her. She went to the connected stables to the horses and gave them the same care as the dogs.
The slave stopped in mid brush stroke as her sensitive ears picked up the sound of hoof beats coming. She quickly ducked in the stall of the horse she had been brushing, leading him in as well. He pressed his big soft nose against her palm and snickered at her. "Shhh, big fella."
The sound of the hoof beats grew closer and soon riders came into view. Two riders in front and two in the back, wearing the town colors, and in the middle rode another horse, but unlike the other riders, the one on this horse was wearing plain, simple, brown garb. He was also shackled. She knew he was a fairly important prisoner otherwise he would have been unconscious on the back of some one's horse.
He looked up as if he could feel her eyes on him. She gasped as their eyes met. His eyes were black, but more than that, it was the shape of them, they were so much like hers. Then she let her gaze fall on the rest of him. He had ears like her, long, slender, pointed. She felt her own ears as she looked at his. He was slighter then the soldiers, yes thatís what they were, they were escorting him. More delicate, his build was so similar to hers. A bird crested on a warm draft of air onto his shoulder. It was a raven, as black as his eyes.
|Flower of Fire (Chapter 3)|
|Flower of Fire (Chapter 4)||Flower of Grace (Chapters 1-3) updated|
|Clown gang story?||Flower of Fire (Chapter 2)|