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|Well, I tried putting this one up earlier, but the stupid thing didn't put it up because it didn't have black text. Anyway, I hope you like this one.||
“What’s goin’ on?! Don’t ya know that this is…HIC! … my ladyyyy…?” the drunken man drawled.
“I don’t care WHAT you say she is to you…you have no right to treat her like that…especially in the middle of the village! Get out of my sight…” Finn retorted, throwing the man on the ground. He kneeled down to Althea and helped her up. She fell into his arms, deeply upset.
The drunken man just lay where Finn had thrown him. He had passed out because he drank too much. The spectators gradually dispersed, a few dragging the drunken man to an inn nearby so he could sleep until he recovered.
“Are you okay? What did he do to you?” Finn asked genuinely, wiping her tears from her cheeks.
“I’m b-better…He j-just started grabbing at m-my shirt…” Althea sniffled.
“Well, you’re safe now. Why don’t we just go back home? I think you’d feel better if you went home to rest and calm down,” replied Finn.
“No…I have to get that medicine for my mother. She’s so sick…She can’t wait any longer,” Althea said, gathering herself.
“Are you sure? Maybe I can go get the medicine once I take you home…”
“No, I can do it myself,” she told him, walking towards the apothecary.
Finn followed her, still unsure. She opened the door, her eyes drinking in the surroundings. As they stepped in, they were surrounded by strange and unfamiliar sights. The apothecary was a cramped room that was dark and damp. Hung from the ceiling were some odd-looking herbs and roots. Bookcases filled with jars containing all sorts of disgusting items lined the walls. At the far end, a small, stooped figure sat at a table, apparently engaged in creating some spectacular potion. Althea cleared her throat lightly, and the figure swung around rapidly, revealing his cataract-covered eyes. “Yes?” the old man croaked.
Althea was stunned by his quick response. “Um…my mother’s very ill and I was hoping you’d be able to help me…” she stammered. Finn laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
“Yes, yes…what exactly are her symptoms?” the old man grunted.
“Well…Everything began with a dry cough. I had noticed her cheeks growing rosier, but I never thought anything of it. When I was helping her into bed, I noticed she was burning. She hasn’t been hungry for the past few days, and her figure has grown smaller and smaller. I’m not sure exactly what she has, but it resembles what my younger sister had before she died,” Althea explained.
“Hm…it sounds like dry lung. Very dangerous…indeed. I can try to help you, but there really isn’t anything you can do that will save her…” the old man grimly replied.
Althea’s eyes grew wide. “Nothing?”
“Well…I can make the potion to relieve her pain…but don’t count on it saving her life,” he retorted.
“Anything! Do anything! How much will it be?”
“Well…The potion involves some very rare herbs…I’d have to say anywhere from 60 to 70 forls, depending on how much you want,” the old man said.
Althea’s face fell. She didn’t have enough money whatsoever. Finn spoke up. “Come on, Rudy! Don’t you have a small place in your heart to spare her a few forl? There was a time that you would have done it…”
The old man sighed. “Fine…I’ll change it to 30 forls…but I am only going to give you two packets!”
Althea smiled and hugged Finn. “Thank you so much…” she whispered.
The little old man hobbled over to his huge cauldron, and began instructing Finn to bring him certain herbs and jars. In about half an hour, the potion was ready. Althea paid the old man his money and she left the store with Finn. The found a small bakery on the corner and bought a few loaves for Althea to take home to her family.
The sky was overwhelmed by ominous-looking clouds and a rumble in the distance warned the villagers of what was coming. Althea decided that she should begin back home, but Finn told her to wait until the storm had passed. A heavy rain began to fall as they made their way into a small tavern to eat. Most of the villagers took shelter inside the inn and the tavern, while others waited under overhangs. Inside the tavern, Althea and Finn had just gotten their food.
“Thank you so much for everything you’ve done today…I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come along,” she said.
“Oh, you’re welcome…” Finn smiled. “I’m just glad I was there to help when that man grabbed you. Imagine if you had been by yourself! That could have been awful. Funny how things work out like that…”
“Hopefully next time we come back, things will turn out better.” He looked out the window. “It looks the rain has let up a little.”
She smiled slightly and looked out the window. The sun was beginning to break through the clouds, but it was still lightly raining. A rainbow streaked across the sky.
They finished their food as the rain stopped. As the two stepped outside the tavern, a wave of thick air met them. It was warmer than it had been when they entered the tavern.
“I better go back home…it’s getting late, and my mother needs me,” Althea realized.
“Let me accompany you back. Maybe I can help you with you work,” Finn offered.
Althea smiled and nodded. What an incredible day it had been! Little did she know what would come next…
|Battle of Love|