Monday, June 28, 2010

298 - Ouchie Call an Advocate!



Report: Joras put the pen down and rubbed his fingertips as if they stung.  It was so hard to just write as if to another person at home rather than an official report.  Reports were so easy.  You just took the required words, slotted the new information around them and then signed one’s name.  There was none of this ‘friendliness’ nonsense to hide code in.

He burned the first page and took up his pen once more.

Dear Cousin Amitzas,
I’m going to be coming home soon because our dear friend is all healed up and has left Haiu Menshir.

I would have been most diligent in passing on your felicitations to him, had I seen him, but he was healed and had left before I arrived.

I’ve consulted with the medical glassworkers here and they tell me that glass needles, while a good idea, are unlikely since they are so brittle and are likely to cause more harm than good if used.

I send this letter on ahead to herald my coming and hope to see everyone hale and whole soon.

My best regards,
Joras

**

“What the kyash are you doing here, Arkan?” They were swigging out of flasks in their hands, the stenches of alcohol on their breath. Who do you think wants to see your ugly slab face?”  It was all confusion, my hair in my face, my scholar’s robe tangling around my limbs as they pushed me.  I took a deep breath.  Idiots. I was starting to be afraid because Mahid are Mahid even if they aren’t trained.

“Go back to kyashin Arko where you belong!”

“There were enough of you ass-suckers here long enough!”

They were shoving me back and forth between them, too many to fight. I was unarmed and if I killed someone I’d be discovered. I had that flash of thought as my glasses hit the ground and crunched underfoot. I struggled upright and snarled at these young thugs. “ War’s over!  You won. I can walk where I like!”

“No.” The next shove half threw me into the arms of two behind.  “You can’t, you straw-haired piece of kyash!

I cried out “Hey!” even as they thrust me upright and forward, hard and I took advantage of their pushing me, dove under the outstretched arm of the ring-leader and ran like a rabbit.


I heard a flask smash as it was dropped, and cursing. The deep shadows around the rose-bushes gave me a head start and they were after me like a pack of hounds, baying human sounds.

“There he goes!  Get him Fin! No, cut him off! Ouch! That was me! There, look there!”

I ran for the bridge thinking that if I could get to the other side, it was that much closer to people, to an inn or something…  I tried to dodge, hearing their panting breaths come up faster than mine, they knew the ground better and  one flung himself at my heels and both of us landed hard, my chin hitting the grass on the edge of the pavement just at the bridge, with a smack that had me seeing stars.

My breath was knocked out of me and they hauled me upright as they all came up again.  They were mostly shaking me around as they spoke.

“What shall we do with you?”

My breath came back with a half-sob and I heaved my chest open enough to snap back “Nothing, shen you!  Leave me alone!  I’m no warrior!  I’m just a scholar!” 

“Hmm.” One of them said.  “We hurt you, kill you… a jury would take one look and go, “Oh, an Arkan!” They won’t give a flying kyash about what we did.”

I started struggling harder.  One of them cuffed me in the back of the head, another jabbed me in the kidneys, though fairly lightly.  They were working themselves up to it.  “Let go of me!  I never fought! I never hurt a Yeoli!”  That was a lie.

They were ignoring me, egging each other on.  “We could… strangle you…” one of them said, thoughtfully.

“Or smother him,” said another.  I got an elbow into one gut and he grunted.  I could hear bracelets rattle.

“I think we should beat the kyash out of you before we decide what else to do to you,” he said.  The edge of my hand cracked into someone’s temple but I was held hard enough it only staggered him.

A fist drove into my gut and I snapped forward around it, vaguely grateful it was only a fist and didn’t have a knife in it. Yet.  It was getting more vague as another fist glanced off the top of my head.  They were getting in each other’s way.

“How about flog the kevyalaseye  to death?”

“Fik you, you dirty wool-heads!”

They were laughing.  “Ooooh! Tough Talk!  I feel soooo mortified.” “Ouchie, Ouchie, call an advocate!”  “Whooo! The boy has words! Got any more for us, bumboy?”

“Filthy beasts!”  I was on one knee and struggled up to standing, my arms over my head.  Don’t go down unless you want to get kicked to death. I hurt.

“That’s what we should do!” One of them exclaimed as I tried to kick, with my robe binding around that leg and one kicked back, hitting my calf.  “The Arkan thing!  That’s kyashin’ perfect!”

Shen, shen, shen!” I was yelling now as much as I had breath for, one backhanded me across the face and I tasted blood.  A hand slapped itself over my mouth.

“Where do we take him?  We can’t do it here by the bridge, my mother might see.”

I bit the hand over my mouth and he yanked the hand away. “Kyash! I’m gonna get a disease!” “Take him into the woods, rape out his brains there.” A knee slammed between my legs, doubling me over, gasping, making me sag for a moment in their hands. “I don’t know how.” “Now’s your chance to learn, Kam. If you don’t do it with your dick, cause you're too drunk, you can get a tree-branch.”

I have to do something to get them off this. I don’t want to die, Sinimas, Ancestors… I surged upright, struggling hard enough that the robe tore, leaving me with my shirt and kilt, the one sleeve of the shirt already ripping. Can I convince them…? I thrashed and smashed my toe into one gut and half freed myself, but shied away from the bridge.  “Gods! Oh Gods!” I started screaming, as the knot of us lurched toward the canal. “Not the water!”

One of the younger ones sounded uncertain and a little sick.  “I don’t want to do this.”

“You can stand guard, then…and watch our flasks,” and to me, “Shut the kyash up!”  And his fist hit my face hard enough to almost stun me.  I sagged a moment then scrambled up, trying to thrash away from the water again.

“Not the water… Gods, no, no, no… oh Gods… anything but the water…”

“The little kyashaseye is afraid of water, just like his fikken Imperator…  Shut the kyash up or we’ll throw you in!”

“Hey, Fil let’s show him the deep part!”

“AHHHHHHH!” I screamed as if completely terrified.  Oh Gods yes, let them try to drown me.  “Shen you, shen you, you kaina…”

They dragged me, struggling, screaming almost as high as Kyriala, to the middle of the stone bridge and heaved me up slamming my gut into the stone rail so I was looking down into the black water.  “Shut up or we’ll throw you in!” 

“HEEEEEELLL—“ I got hauled back and struck again, open handed across the mouth, by the leader, I could see the mole on his chin in the lamplight. “Yeola-e doesn’t want you, you kevyalin ass sucker… I wouldn’t soil my dick with you.  Shut up or you go swimming.”

I managed a sniveling, half scream… “I can’t swim!!!!!!  Hellllllp!  Assssakkkkkoooooo.

“Then it’s straight to the bottom of the canal you little asshole…”

“Throw him over! Throw him over!” I managed to let go enough to piss myself as if I were that afraid of the water.  “Eww! Throw him over!”

I was screaming again as they hoisted me up in their grip, struggling… “We’ll say we were just joking around and he slipped… oops…”  They heaved me back and swung me forward hard, arcing up and I caught a glimpse of the stone flying under me and the black water below before I hit with a huge splash, flailing.

My belly hurt where I’d hit. I thrashed as though struggling, flailing the water up all around me, gurgling and coughing.  I went under once, struggled up, splashing, screaming for my mama.  I kicked with the current as much as I could and though it was hard, through the flying water, I thought I could see pale faces along the rail of the bridge watching me.  “Mikas help m-glgleleph.”

I flailed and splashed and went under again.  “I’m too yo- cough-ng to die!  I –akkkaffspcoug—never fought—“ I gagged and made retching noises. I hope you feel guilty you fikken wretches. I was trying to give them enough of a show of drowning I caught a breath of water and coughed and choked for real for a bit, slowed my thrashing, gulped a lung full of air and made myself drop under, pulling myself down hard with the one arm, reaching up with the other, till the water closed over my fingertips.

Then I turned and swam as hard as I could underwater in the direction of the trickle of current.  My sandals dragged but weren’t as bad as boots. Thank the Gods the robe was torn off. I have to get as far away as I can, underwater.

It’s black as a Srian’s armpit I can’t see anything how far? OUCH.  The current had banged me into something a rock or a log, I was lower than I thought.  I was running out of air… I struck for the surface and tried to come up quietly.

Thank my Ancestors the water is cool.  Sinimas pass on a thank you to the Gods, please.  I’d be hurting a lot more if I weren’t in the water.  I struggled not to gasp in a lung-full but it was so sweet.  I was perhaps ten manheights down the canal, clinging to a set of steps leading into the water for harnessing the tow-animals.

There were no more heads fringed along the bridge and I could hear fast fading feet. However much I wanted to, I wasn’t going to complain to the authorities... or show up as a bloated corpse, so my torn-off robe probably wouldn’t cause anyone to raise any kind of questions. I heard someone in the distance, but I couldn’t make out the words.  Probably coming up with a story of some kind. I stayed still and was so glad it was summer so the water was just cool, hanging on to the edge of the steps in the shadow and enjoyed breathing.

7 comments:

  1. Oh, no, Br'er Fox! Don't go throwin' me in th' briar patch!

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  2. Jess us tar babies in heyar, Br'er Fox!

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  3. Lol
    That was great, I'm sure Minis would like to thank the Academy for this award...

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  4. I'd like to thank my heart'sbrother and my little brother and... oh, sorry...

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  5. That was traumatic.

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  6. That was priceless! Made me think of Uncle Remus too.

    RavenRux

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