Many authors are starting to add some free fiction. This is from a novel I’m working on now. I’ve no idea if it will end up working but it’s sure been fun. The city is Whynd and I have some short stories written in this city. I hope you enjoy
Some people are born lucky. Not Trace. Trace was born with the dark hand of fate over his head and most people had the good sense to avoid him. Not Fancy. She’d loved him from the moment he’d attempted to steal a farthing from her father while he paid the butcher. The butcher’s hand had shot out from his stall and grabbed Trace’s wrist, holding on tightly.
She’d giggled over the way he’d blushed and fumed when he’d been caught. She’d covered her mouth with a hand that was browned from the sun, indicating that while her dress was clean, she wasn’t rich. Even the brown of her hair had hung down along her back and not done in fancy braids like so many others.
Trace remembered what she hadn’t done too. She hadn’t been holding a white handkerchief over her nose to block the smell of blood and gore. She hadn’t been fidgeting, hurrying her father along. She’d merely stood there, stoic and waiting. They had a wagon waiting to carry the side of beef they were purchasing. Trace had never in his life knew anyone who purchased a side of beef.
But Fancy’s father knew something about preserving. And they had enough cold storage to last until the beef had all been preserved. Then they’d go about the market selling it and some meat pies that her mother made. Trace thought those were the best pies ever but it would be a very long time before he got to taste them.
The butcher had grabbed his arm and threatened to call the guard but at Fancy’s small sigh, reminding him that she was a young woman, and that she just might be forever traumatized by an arrest and foul language, he’d let Trace go.
That was the best luck Trace had had in his life. He’d courted Fancy as best he could for the next year and a half. He’d brought her things he’d filch from the market. She’d take them and shake her head, even if it was just a ribbon that no one would ever notice missing.
“I can’t take this Trace. If you want to court me, you need a real job.”
“And who’s going to hire the likes of me?” Trace had asked. He wasn’t trained in anything. He was reasonably strong but not disciplined enough for the guard. He didn’t know sword fighting and he certainly didn’t have the birthright to guard the king.
“Maybe you could be a sell sword?” Fancy suggested. “They do real well now. Lots of merchants traveling around since the Wraith War.”
Trace’s own father had been killed in that War. Not that Trace had lived with him then, exactly. It’d been a place with a roof and he could grab some food but his father had always been gone more than not. He’d signed up for the wars, thinking of the plunder and riches and perhaps the ability to find himself a wife, buy a wife if nothing else.
But it hadn’t gone that way. He’d died the day he’d arrived at the Desert, shot by arrow when he’d been getting settled. There were four other men died that same way, at least that’s what the officials who had come to tell him about his father said. Right before they told him he had to pay rent or move out.