She woke with a hammering pain inside her skull. There was a twinge in her shoulder and all her limbs felt as if they had been smashed and patched up again. She felt queasy. Maybe the latter was a good sign, she thought after she had rolled over and layn on her back for a few moments. One hand slid down to her belly to palpate it. It had not been unperilous to engage into a fight with Sean and Nanon. If one of them had hit her here… but everything seemed to be alright.
She tried to get up, but her head was so heavy and her arms trembled so much that she had to try four times until she managed to get on her knees. With teeth grit she ignored the pain in her shoulder. The next moment, however, she felt the sickness shooting up her throat and the contents of her stomach dispersed on the floor. She murmured a curse and took a few seconds to breathe deeply. Good Gods, she thought, at least give me the strenght to stand up! As best she could, she tried to get her feet on the floor and her head upwards. She stumbled against the wall, but she didn’t fall down again. Grimly she waited until the dizziness passed and wiped over her mouth, when she realised that her left hand was clutching something. She frowned and slowly opened her cramped fingers.There was a crumpled slip, blotty with her own sweat and a little blood. While she wondered how it had gotten there, she carfully unfold the paper. She had no idea what it was, until she saw the tall and angular letters, smudgy in some places. This note had been written by Raoul.
They’ll take your husband to Drear Mountain. You know what they will do. This is all I can do for you, Odile. I’m sorry.
Odile closed her eyes. Drear Mountain. Did she know what they would do? No, she didn’t. Drear Mountain. There was nothing up there. It was a desolate, bleak and barren place. There was absolutely nothing up there! What would happen to Bela? And why?
She took another deep breath. She could not just stand here and speculate about questions she wouldn’t find an answer to by just wondering about them.
Slowly and carefully she made one cautious step, then another one. She should have kept Bela from coming here! Only the Gods knew what Corin was about to do with him – and just now, Odile didn’t see any possiblity to get in his way. What ever it was.
With insecure and painful moves she stepped out on the street. A dull morning had broken not long ago. A few people were already pursueing their daily buisines, but altogether the streets were still empty. It was the fourth time she had to cover the distance, but the way had never seemed so long. Doggedly she dragged herself further. The stabbing pain in her shoulder went worse with every instant, and the rest of her body didn’t feel much better, but still she kept on going, trying to ignore the bemused glances of the people.
When she finally reached the palace, her legs trembled so heavily that she feared to break down the next moment. Nevertheless, she forged ahead. She was fed up with this accursed weakness. There were more important things. Things that were too important to collapse now!
Bela’s composed face appeared before her eyes. How? Where? Why? The questions rushed through her head like anxious insects. She couldn’t catch them and she couldn’t kill them. Not even for the moment. She still felt too muzzy to get at a clear thought.
When she arrived at the drill ground outside the walls – she stumbled more that she walked – she saw Vincer and Broscie practising in the middle. Vincer first caught sight of her and immediately dropped his sword to the dusty ground. Hurriedly, the tall man came running towards her, followed by Broscie, who needed a moment to realise what had happened.
In no time Vincer had reached Odile and put an arm around her waist to help her. “Is everything alright, captain?” His rough voice seemed worried.
“Do I look alright, lieutenant?” Odile pressed forth through her clenched teeth.
“No, Ma’am.” Vincer conducted her towards the entrance of the barracks. “You rather look as if you had been mightily beaten up.” He briefly glanced at Broscie who watched the scene dim-wittedly. “Don’t stand there like an idiot!” he bawled out. “Go and get a doc! C’mon!” A little startled, Broscie salutated and ran ahead. “What happened, captain?” Vincer asked in a lower voice.
Odile shook her head. “Later”, was all she said. She didn’t feel able to give a long explanation right now.
When they reached the corridor to her quarter, two physicians in long, white robes approached them with speedy steps. In an assertive tone, the taller woman instructed Vincer to carry her inside.
“Those people are all the same”, he muttered. “Always try to give orders you already carry out.” No doubt, Vincer was right, and despite the pain his proposition brought a small smile upon Odile’s face , but it vansihed only an instant later. With the wariness of someone who had cared for many injured soldiers he helped her to sit down on the bed. Immediately the two women began to remove her bloody shirt. One of them murmured a prayer, the other one a spell that helped her to close the newly opened wound in her shoulder. It would still take some days to heal, but this was better than to wait for weeks.
“Ma’am?” Vincer had taken two steps backwards to be out of the physicians’ way. Odile looked up and waited what he had to say. She thought she knew what it was. “Captain Bela?”
Odile turned the note she still held in her hand. Finally, without a word, she handed it to Vincer. “Go and continue your training, lieutnant.”
He briefly stared at the few lines. For a short instance it seemed as if he wanted to say something, but Odile’s stern expression caused him not to do it. Instead he swallowed visibly. “Aye, Ma’am”, he said after a long moment of silence, then he salutated and turned around to leave the room.
“Vincer.” He hesitated. Odile fixed her eyes upon his. She still felt the strain of the previous events, and her body was stiff under the experienced treatment of the two white-gowned women. The gleam that had appeared in Vincers light eyes when she had called his name told her that he had noticed her insufficiently surpressed zest for action. And it also told her that he felt the same. “Inform the unit. We will leave tomorrow morning.”
|13 Aug 2006|| Musty Zein|
Wow! This is pretty good and would love to read more, you stories are well written so keep writng! Sophie Hollmann
replies: "Thx! If I find the time i'll continue this... pretty busy at the moment..."