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 My First Novel...(Scene 1)

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bookwormsub
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Posts : 102
Join date : 2012-12-13
Age : 45
Location : Florida

PostSubject: My First Novel...(Scene 1)   Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:58 pm

The sun shone brightly and the morning breeze was cool, promising a very comfortable day. Adora breathed in deeply and smiled. It was a day that one waits all through the summer for - the welcoming coolness of fall. Adora sat back in her chair under the awning and relaxed. For a few minutes anyway. A man with thinning brown hair and a thick waist came over to her table carrying two mugs. He set one before her then he sat in the chair next to her and began to sip from his own mug.
“Hello Carl,” Adora smiled. “Won’t the other barflies miss you?”

Carl laughed, “No Adora. Suzette is filling their orders. You don’t come here too often, so when you do, I make it a point to sit with you.”

Adora nodded, “So who’s fighting today?”

Carl looked out across the yard from where they sat. About 10 yards in front of them was a large square area that had four posts, one at each corner. A shimmer could be seen between each post, rising about 18 feet high. There were other tables set up around the ring in the sun. Most of the tables were full of people, and armed in some fashion. No one was inside the ring yet. Carl answered her question, “There is, of course, Chenka. You remember him.”

Adora nodded, “Oh yes. He is one of your regular fighters here. He’s good.” Then Adora spotted him at a table on the opposite side of the ring with two other men. Chenka had red hair, an eye patch and several scars. He was sipping from his mug and chatting with the others at his table. He seemed more inclined to watch the show than to participate.

Carl nodded, “Yep. But now there is a new guy, named….Samual. He is quite a braggart but I don’t know if he can back up what he claims. No one has fought him. Of course, he only showed up yesterday.” Just then a young man with light brown hair stepped through the shimmer wall of the ring and began to walk around the square. He was wearing leather armor and a sword at his side. He had a smirk on his face. “That’s him,” Carl said.

“Anyone care to challenge the greatest fighter in all of Braxland?” Samual called out. “I can beat anyone here, but don’t worry, I’ll go easy on you if you’re too scared. Come on, who’s first? I’ll buy the winner drinks for a week.” He continued to walk around, yelling out challenges and taunts, but no one stood up. Adora took another sip from her mug and stood. Carl immediately put a hand on her arm. “Adora, be careful. I don’t want to have to explain to your father how you died.”

“Thanks Carl,” Adora smiled, “That shows real confidence in me.”

Carl shrugged, “I’m simply telling the truth. You know your father wouldn’t like it and he would keep you from coming back here.” Adora’s smile faded and she nodded her understanding. Then she walked out into the sunlight towards the ring.

“You talk like a fighter, but can you really fight?” Adora challenged Samual. All eyes swung around to her. Several of Carl’s regulars began whispering amongst themselves. Adora walked closer to the ring, her left hand resting on the hilt of her sword. She was wearing just a plain shirt and leggings.

“Ha!” Samual laughed, “Are you the only brave one to accept my challenge? A female?” He turned to the tables, “Will none of you men accept my challenge? You would have this woman shame you?”

Adora listened without emotion, “Who are you, boy?”

“Boy?! I’ll have you know that I’m the greatest fighter in Braxland! I have top honors in three sword competitions! Who are you?”

Adora raised her eyebrows, “You come here, looking for a fight and you don’t find out who the best fighters are first? You are either stupid or naďve; I’ll take your challenge.” Instantly all around the tables, the whispering grew in volume and coins began to quickly change hands. The betting had begun. Adora continued, standing just outside the ring, “With magic or without?”

“Without.”

“Cheating or no?” Adora asked. Some in the past were honest enough to say ‘cheating’, but most said ‘no’.

“No.”

“Conditions?”

Samual thought about it, “The first person to draw blood three times.”

Adora nodded, “And no killing.”

Samual smiled, “Agreed.”

Adora returned his smile then stepped into the ring. Adora drew her sword and held it pointing to the sky in front of her face. Samual did the same. Then they bowed, both keeping their eyes on each other. The fighter’s greeting over, they relaxed and circled each other, looking for an opening. Adora took an easy swing toward his shoulder which was easily blocked. She jabbed, he knocked her sword out of the way. She made a couple more easy attacks, which he countered each one. He has some skill, so let’s pick up the challenge a bit.

Her attacks now became faster and stronger, but so did his. He was a more aggressive fighter than she was, often trying to take aim at her chest and head, while she danced around him, poking at him here or there, making him jump, but not hard enough to draw blood.

The crowd, now including people from inside the tavern, began to yell encouragement and suggestions to the fighters.

“Come on man! Give it to her!”

“Quit playing with him Adora!”

“Where’s all the talk now Samual?”

At the mention of her name, Samual paused and Adora quickly took advantage. She moved in and put a good slice into his arm. A cheer went up from the crowd. Samual cried out and both fighters backed away. “You’re Adora?” Samual asked, shocked.

“Yeah. So?”

“The Adora? Lord Nicholas’ daughter?”

Adora rolled her eyes, but kept her sword up and ready. “Unfortunately, yes.”

The crowd, sensing the pause, began to roar in disappointment.

“I can’t fight you,” Samual continued. “They say you’re the best fighter in more lands than Braxland and the surrounding lands combined!”

Adora smiled and shook her head, “I doubt I’m that good. You shouldn’t believe everything you hear. Shall we finish now?”

Samual shrugged and came at her with his sword swinging. He must have found new inspiration because he was beating her back and around the ring. He knocked her down and, before he could react, she reached out her arm and pulled his legs out from under him. They both quickly got to their feet. This time Adora came at him and for a while they fought in the center of the ring, neither giving ground to the other. They were starting to sweat and they were tiring, but the fighting continued. Finally they both paused to catch their breath and Adora took a few steps backwards. “What do you say to a draw?” Adora asked, her breathing labored.

Samual’s eyebrows raised in surprise, “Why?”

Adora smiled, “I have other, more important matters here to take care of and if I stay to finish this, I’ll be late in doing them and will get into a lot of trouble. I frankly didn’t think it’d take this long to defeat you. You are good.”

Samual smiled, held up his sword in the same fighter’s greeting and Adora did the same. Then they bowed to each other and sheathed their swords. They shook hands and turned to leave the ring. That’s when Adora saw him. The man was standing in the crowd, watching them. He stood taller than the other men in the crowd, and the crowd backed away from him. He wore a well-tailored, dark blue shirt with silver trim and pants. Adora stood frozen in place.

Everyone around her seemed to disappear. Her vision was centered and taken up with the man. She fell to her knees and bowed her head. Samual saw this and stopped just outside the ring. He turned and stared, his questions all too plain on his face.

“You were sent here with a purpose, Adora. Not to show off for the locals.” The man folded his arms and stared at her.

“Yes, Father,” Adora said, keeping her eyes lowered, “I was just finishing up here since the market doesn’t open until now.”

Her father approached her, his eyes wide, “Are you suggesting that I don’t know when the auction block opens?!” His voice grew louder with every word until it was beating against Adora.

She cowered and lowered her forehead to the ground. “No Father!”

“Get up,” he growled.

Adora quickly rose to her feet, but kept her eyes on his chest. Her heart was beating so fast, she thought she would faint.

“Look me in the eyes,” her father demanded.

Adora slowly raised her eyes to his. When she did, he took another step toward her, through the barrier and grabbed her throat. She tensed, but didn’t try to avoid his attack. “Do I need to prevent you from coming here, Adora? You should have been looking over the girls and deciding which would best serve my needs. Not playing around here trying to forget that you are a slave.” His grip tightened around her throat. “My slave.” Adora grabbed his arm, but didn’t fight. Her eyes were still locked onto his. “Do I make myself clear?” Adora tried to nod as best she could, then he dropped her and she quickly got to her knees again and bowed her head. He turned and left the tavern grounds. Adora stayed just how she was for a few moments more. Finally, she sighed and stood up.

The regulars quickly turned back to their drinks and low conversations, acting as if they hadn’t seen anything. Only Carl and Samual came up to her. She fished a gold coin out of her pouch and handed it to Carl. “Sorry Carl, but it looks like you were right. I probably won’t be back here for a while.” Carl pocketed the coin and smiled, “You are always welcome here Adora.” He then turned and headed back to the bar.

“What the hell was that about?” Samual asked her.

Adora turned to him, “What? Carl’s kindness or my father’s visit?”

“You know damn well which one I’m talking about.”

Adora chuckled, but shook her head. “Another time. As he said, I’ve got work to do here, but if you want answers, you’re welcome to tag along. We possibly can talk while I finish what I need to.” And with that she turned and left the tavern grounds. But before she had taken five steps, she heard steps running behind her. “Adora! Wait!”

Adora stopped and Samual stopped next to her. She continued walking again but not quite as fast this time. “I’m confused,” Samual said. “He called you his slave? Why? And why did you kneel before him like that?”

“When you own a slave, don’t you call that slave your own? And if you are a slave, don’t you kneel for your owner?”

“Well…yes,” Samual said, “But you’re not a slave.”

Adora snorted, “What gives you that idea?”

“Well, you’re not marked. You not only carry a sword, you are quite skilled with it. And you are not dressed as a slave.”

Adora sighed. “Never-the-less, I am a slave. I’m just a well-trained one.”

Samual shook his head, “If you say so. You are heading to the auction block? Why?”

“Father wants me to buy him new slaves. About four or five. Common ones unless a good trained one is available.”

“A slave buying more slaves?” Samual said. “I don’t get it.”

Adora shrugged and couldn’t say any more as they headed for the auction block. Adora turned between two booths, cutting behind them as a shortcut. As they walked, she could feel Samual looking at her, but she ignored him. She heard a deep chuckle in her head, [Remember, my dear, you are mine. Remember what happens to those who help you.] Adora frowned and quickened her pace, not caring if Samual kept up with her or not. Let him fall behind. Let him forget about me. Suddenly they heard a dull thudding noise and they stopped to listen. “Someone’s running this way,” Adora said as she reached for her sword. They were behind several kiosks with thick woods about 8 feet from them. Suddenly some birds burst from the trees as a girl wearing a torn plain shift ran out of the woods and straight to Adora.

“Help me!” the girl yelled and fell to her knees in front of Adora. Samual gasped and took a step back. The girl grabbed Adora’s legs, “Help me, please! They are almost here!” The girl was crying and breathing hard. Adora looked up towards the woods, but so far, she didn’t see anyone. Adora reached down and pulled the girl to her feet by her arm.

“How long have you been running, girl?” Adora said.

“About…three days, I think.” The girl said as she tried to pull away, but Adora held her arm tightly. The girl stopped struggling and gave Adora a confused look. “Come on! They’ll be here any moment!”

“Who?”

The girl starting pulling away from Adora even harder, “The Huntsmen! Please! If you’re not going to help me, then let me go!”

Adora’s eyes narrowed, and she gripped the girls arm tighter. “No.”

“Adora,” Samual said. “Just let her go. Why not?”

Adora looked at Samual, her face horror stricken. “Do you know the penalty for slaves helping others escape?!” Samual shook his head slowly, backing away from Adora’s wild stare. Adora turned back to the girl, who was crying again, and trying to jerk her arm out of Adora’s grasp. “Stop struggling!” Adora began to pull her toward the woods. The girl tried to plant her feet into the ground, but Adora simply jerked her forward with each step. Finally they heard others walking through the woods.

“NO!” The girl screamed and clawed at Adora’s hand.

Adora jerked the girl closer and Adora stared at her in the eyes, making a noise that sounded alarmingly like a growl. The girl paled and froze. The about three men came walking out of the woods, saw them standing there and smiled. The men were dressed in well-worn leathers and though they were sweating from their walk, they seemed quite comfortable in the woods. The tallest one approached Adora and held out his hand. “I believe you have someone we’re looking for.” Adora scowled and shoved the girl toward him. She stumbled and fell at his feet. Before she could recover, the man grabbed her and had her hands shackled behind her by the time she thought about struggling. “Thank you, Adora, you’ve been most helpful. I’ll be sure to tell Lord Nicholas of your help in her capture.” The girl gave Adora a murderous glare, but Adora didn’t even glance her way. She was instead staring at the Huntsman while making her growling noise. The man laughed and the three of them turned and disappeared back into the woods. Adora stared after them a moment longer, then turned and continued her way to the slave block.

Samual quickly caught up to her, saying softly, “Adora, what…” but his words stuck in his throat as Adora whirled to face him. Her look said more of “Leave me alone,” than her words ever could. Samual held up his hands defensively and Adora turned and stormed off. Samual let her get a few feet ahead before following.

The slave block set-up reminded Adora of a cheap theater. There was a large tent set up on a large stone foundation that raised the tent about three feet off the ground. There was an enclosed space behind the tent that simply had canvas stretched between two poles for walls. There was only one opening that people could enter to look over whatever was being sold that day. Since she was just in time for the auction, though, Adora went straight to the crowd already gathered at the front of the tent. Several nods of greetings were given her which she returned and finally stopped in the middle of the crowd.

They weren’t kept waiting as the curtains disappeared and a fat man walked out onto the stage. “Welcome one and all! We have many slaves for sale today so we’ll get right to the point. As usual, we will go through our male slaves first.” Another man walked out onto the stage, his wrists and ankles linked with chains. He was human. His left cheek bore the slave’s mark, but his forehead was clear of an owner’s mark. He had his eyes lowered and stood hunched over. He was bare chested and wore thin pants. “Here is a common slave, strong as an ox mind you and perfect for lifting just about anything required or working any menial jobs.” The announcer went on about who owned him before and what the slave’s abilities were. Adora looked at the slave and shook her head. She leaned over to Samual, and whispered, “That slave won’t live much longer. He has lost his will. Men don’t make good common slaves.”

Samual whispered back at her, but unable to take her eyes from the slave on stage, “How can you tell? That he won’t live I mean?”
Adora smiled, “I’m a slave too, remember? It’s something you just notice after a while. Most men are too independent to be comfortable as a common slave. They fight it too much. And when their will is finally broken, they quickly deteriorate. Father never buys male common slaves. Trained male slaves are a different matter.”

The bidding began but it wasn’t in earnest. Most were saving their coins for the females. He was sold and another male slave was brought out and the whole process began again.

“So why does Lord Nicholas have his daughter, who is a slave, buy slaves for him? Surely he has others who could do the job besides you?”

“Oh yes,” Adora said, “But this way, I am constantly reminded of my position and how grateful I should be that, one, I’m not up there, and two, that I am a trained slave and therefore have more freedom than common slaves.”

Samual nodded, but didn’t reply. The male common slaves were quickly sold and a subtle change came over the crowd. They grew quieter and paid closer attention to the announcer. “I’m sorry, but we don’t have any trained male slaves today, but don’t worry. We have plenty of female slaves of all persuasions. Let’s get to the ladies that you came to see.”

The first female was brought out and she also had her eyes lowered but she stood up straight. The announcer expounded on her traits and abilities and the bidding began. This took a bit longer than for the males. The girl wasn’t what her father was looking for so Adora kept quiet.

“What type of common slave is Lord Nicholas looking for?” Samual asked.

“I’ll know her when I see her. Or at least my father will tell me when I see her.”

Samual nodded. “How long have you been a slave, Adora?”

“Since childhood. I don’t believe I was born a slave, but I can’t really remember anything before living with my Father.”

“And now,” the fat announcer said, “I have a treat for you. She is listed here,” and he checked his paper once again, “as a common slave, but after you see her, I think you’ll agree that someone has not been using the girl to her full potential.” A slave was brought out with the same slave humility as the others, but even without seeing her face, she was gorgeous. She had the dark brown skin of the Bonites and long thick black hair.

Adora leaned forward in her seat. [I must have her Adora. No matter the price.] “Let’s see her face,” Adora called out over the crowd. The girls chin was lifted and no mark was seen to mar her looks. She had large brown eyes and a pouty mouth. Adora bid even before the announcer was able to give her abilities or previous owners. “Uh oh gentlemen, it looks like Adora is interested. That means Lord Nicholas is interested and he always gets what he wants. Still,” he winked at the crowd, “Why let him have this girl cheaply? Come on, who’s the next bidder?” The bids were yelled out quickly and for a while it climbed and climbed. As it got higher, the bidders began to drop out. Finally it was between Adora and one other bidder. Adora looked around to see this mysterious bidder that could stay with her this long. It was Mikal, the leader of the largest thieves guild for many lands around. He smiled and winked at her. She rolled her eyes, but smiled back. [Bid a few more times, Adora, but then let him have her.] Adora did as she was told and when Adora shook her head, refusing to bid more, the announcer stared at her. “I don’t believe this. Incredible. I never thought I would live to see the day that Lord Nicholas lost on a bid.” The announcer turned to Mikal and smiled, “But sir, it looks like you have been rewarded for your persistence. This beauty is yours. Use her well.”

The announcer marked on another piece of paper and snapped his fingers. The paper then appeared floating in the air in front of Mikal where he grabbed it and put it in a pouch on his belt. The paper summarized his purchase so that he could pay for the girl when he wished. As another girl was brought out, Mikal made his way to Adora and Samual. “How many are you planning on buying today, Adora?” Mikal asked.

Adora shrugged, “I was told about 4-5 common and possibly a trained slave if one fits my father’s needs.”

Mikal nodded, “Well then, I guess it’s a good thing that I don’t have plans to buy more than this one. You made me spend quite a bit, but I will get my money’s worth out of her.” He looked over at Samual and watched him for a moment. “Who’s your friend, Adora?”

Adora smiled, “Mikal, this is Samual. I just met him during a fight at the Flaming Phoenix. Samual, this is Mikal, one of my previous owners.”

Mikal laughed, “Adora, just about everyone here of any importance is a previous owner of you.”

Adora shrugged and smiled, “True enough.”

Mikal and Samual shook hands just as another common slave was brought out for bidding. For a while, Adora’s attention was taken up by bidding and though she knew Mikal and Samual were talking, she wasn’t listening. She ended up buying 4 slaves, with only quick questions sent to her father for about 200-300 coins a piece. After collecting the claim slips, she turned to Mikal and Samual who were still heavy in conversation. Adora walked up to them and smiled, “If it’s about me, it’s nothing but lies.”

Samual smiled back, “On the contrary Adora. I’m told it’s all the absolute truth. You are very fascinating.”

“Oh yeah, fascinating,” Adora rolled her eyes and snorted. “Now if I could just have my freedom to go with it.”

“That is one thing I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around,” Samual said, shaking his head. “but Mikal says it’s all true, and from what I saw earlier I’m forced to believe it.”

“Speaking of my father, I need to collect these girls and get back. Mikal, it’s been great seeing you again.” Adora shakes his hand, which he returns warmly.

“I need to see about buying you for a longer period,” Mikal said, “and not just for whatever job I have lined up.” Adora smiled and they said goodbye.

Adora turned to Samual, “Well, I guess this is where we part company.”

Samual shrugged, “Actually, I was hoping I could meet your father, Lord Nicholas.”

Adora’s smile dropped and her face became stone. “Why?”

Samual was puzzled, “Because I think he’s fascinating. I mean for one thing, he is Lord over a vast amount of land and two, he has a highly trained daughter that he keeps as a slave. I mean what kind of man would do that?”

“Exactly; I would think that would turn you off, but I’ll take you if you really have your heart set on it.” [Father, the man I was fighting at the Flaming Phoenix wants to meet you. Yes, he is very skilled with a sword.] “Ok,” Adora said after a moment’s silence, “He said he would gladly meet with you.” Adora voice was flat.

“Wait, what? What do you mean ‘he said’?”

Adora rolled her eyes and sighed, “Sorry. I keep forgetting you don’t know. I have a permanent mental link with my father. We can send messages back and forth at will. He can also read my mind when he wants to. I just told him that the man I was fighting at the Flaming Phoenix wanted to meet with him and he agreed.”

Samual whistled, “A mental link? That’s efficient.”

Adora’s eyes narrowed, “Yes, isn’t it.” She suddenly turned around and strode toward the partitioned area where the bought slaves are kept. There was still a line, so Adora was forced to stop, but she refused to look at Samual.

“Adora, what did I say?” Samual was looking at her, obviously confused.

She shook her head. “I was just beginning to like you Samual, but when you started admiring my father for what he has done and wanting to meet him,” Adora couldn’t finish and simply shook her head again.

“I’m curious about him, yes, but I don’t necessarily admire him.”

“It certainly sounded that way to me.”

“I don’t have to meet him if it’s going to bother you this much.”

Adora laughed, but it was a harsh sound. “No, you have to now. Otherwise, I’ll get blamed for talking you out of it. Then I’ll be punished.”

“Punished for what? It’s not like…oh,” he said. Samual was stunned into silence, so Adora paid for her slaves and made sure they were securely chained together by their collars. She had their ankle chains shortened before attaching the lead to the first slave’s collar. It would make their walk slower, but it would keep them from breaking away.

Most of the walk was in silence. Thankfully the girls were not new slaves, so they didn’t cry or struggle. They were just about out of the marketplace when someone called out her name. She stopped and turned toward the sound. She hissed softly and stiffened when she saw who called her. The man was tall – head and shoulders above Adora - and well built. He has deeply tanned skin and his blond hair was striking against it. His eyes were of a blue so clear they were almost colorless. He walked with a confident swagger and his long sword kept the beat as it tapped against his leg as he walked. “Well, well, well. I had heard that Lord Nicholas was buying slaves today, but I see the report was not quite true.” The man looked Adora over for a moment with shameless lust. “Still, it is good to see you again. I so enjoyed our time together, but it was a shame I was not able to do more.” He looked her over again and smiled. Only a two-year-old would’ve missed his meaning.

Adora was shaking with anger and she spoke through gritted teeth. “Hello Kevvin. I’m no run-away slave, so why don’t you leave me alone and go find whatever poor girl is your target.”

Kevvin laughed, “But Adora, I have no mark yet. I just checked in with my guild and there was nothing new. So I thought I’d just wander around the market to see what trouble I could get into.” He looked at the slaves behind Adora, all keeping their heads bowed. “I will gladly escort you back home.”

Adora hissed, but took a moment to collect herself. Finally she bowed slightly to Kevvin, “Thank you for your assistance. I’m sure Father would be very grateful if you would, but I would hate to trouble you.” Her words caused her pain coming from her throat and it was plainly written on her face.

Kevvin laughed, “Why it’d be no trouble at all.”
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