Monday, May 17, 2010

Morning Gates

A response to Mary Catelli's blog post,
Bit Characters and Greek Gods.

Wagons queued to enter the city gates along the sand road with the wind kicking up dusty swirls that beat sand against the farmers covering their mouths with thin white cloths. Rae watched Emman approach the next wagon, a farmer and a woman too young to be his wife with a wagon covered with a canvas tarp. Emman asked the man his purpose, all the while eyeing the daughter and winking when he caught her glance. The daughter looked down but not before a smile, quick as the wind, touched her lips. Rae flipped the tarp, nothing but turnips here. Rae nodded to Emman and he waved the farmer into the city.

"Nice gal," Emman said. "What brings you out here? Don't you usually work the market?"

Rae looked at the dark figure -- you couldn't see the crossbow from this distance -- standing on the top of the cupola on the merchants guild perched several blocks away in the city just barely peeking above the nearer rundown buildings surrounding the gate. The captain never told him whether Emman was involved in the plot. Captains never seemed to think to tell you what you needed to know. "Yeah, I guess you were short out here." Rae tapped Emman on the back and pointed at the next cart. Even with a tarp, the wind flung feathers to fly into the sand studded grasses. No lady riding on this wagon so Emman went to check the hens. The old man driving the horse watched Rae approach with half-lidded eyes. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a ragged man behind him the wind blowing at the straw hat roped on his neck until the wind caught the hat blowing it off his head to fall against his back. It was Corvin. Without much of a glance, Rae pounded the side of the cart and told the chicken farmer to go on through. The farmer's eyes opened wide as he hitched the horses forward.

Rae ran to Corvin's side. "Lord, your disguise wouldn't save a bird from a blind cat. Run ahead, get under the tarp on that chicken farmer's wagon." Continuing past Corvin, Rae tipped over a pig farmer's wagon with piglets that escaped outside causing a ruckus.

"Don't know how a clumsy oaf gets the easy jobs in the market," muttered Emman chasing piglets down the line of carts.

Rae looked back at the assassin, hoping the assassin had missed Corvin sliding under the tarp.

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