Originally hosted on https://illoria.wixsite.com/annamittower/anthology-of-speculative-scribbles
Edana struggled to draw water from the well, her young arms too feeble to lift the heavy bucket smoothly. Only the thought of having a small sip of the cold water to moisten her parched throat made her persist in her effort. She lifted the bucket out, set it on the lip of the well, and, after stealing a look about her, dipped a gourd into it. It had just touched her lips when she heard footsteps. The gourd splashed back into the bucket as she stood up straight, just in time. Her mistress, Drysi, came around the corner into sight.
“So yer still ‘ere? I told ye to ‘urry so get movin’. There’ll be guests t’night for the feast and I wan’ this place clean as can be by then. I am going to the village to pick up me new gown from the tailor. I won’ be back til dusk and I expect to see ev’rythin’ done. D’ye ‘ear me? Or else it’ll be the whip for ye.” Drysi clambered up into the wagon and was off before Edana could say a word in response.
The young girl sighed and waited till the wagon disappeared round the bend before sneaking a sip of water. Then she began her duties. She hated Drysi and what she hated even more was that she was Drysi’s slave girl. Once she had been Drysi’s mistress and Drysi had served her, but those days were long gone and were just memories now. That life was no more. Not after what had happened. Not after both her father’s and mother’s death. Those had been happy days when she was young and innocent of the dangers around her. Another unhappy sigh escaped her lips.
She worked steadily and was finishing the last of the chores when Drysi pulled up in the wagon. Two new people accompanied her and helped her down from the wagon. The two newcomers eyed her patched boy’s clothing and short, roughly cut hairstyle with distaste. Edana was used to the stares by now though.
Drysi surveyed the work Edana had done and gave a small, stiff nod of approval.
“Get inside with ye now and start gettin’ the meal ready. I’ve ‘ired ‘em to ‘elp tonight, but I won’t ‘ave ye standin’ ‘round when there’s work to be done.” She swept inside leaving Edana and the others to unload the wagon.
Once everything was inside, Edana directed the others to start cooking. She could finally sit down and rest, as long as she kept her hands busy. She decided to work on peeling the vegetables. As she peeled, her mind drifted again to her childhood. When she was a child she didn’t know that her father had many enemies. The most formidable of those said enemies was the Lord Bradwr. Her father had managed after some time to dispatch of all his enemies except Lord Bradwr and the Lord had been her family’s downfall. Bradwr had contrived her father’s ruin under his very nose. After falsely declaring peace between their houses, he became close enough friend that he was able to sit at her father’s table to dine regularly. Then, he finally showed his true colors when he poisoned Edana’s father and mother. The only reason Edana was spared from death was because she had been sick at the time and the poison had had a quicker affect on her. She had left the table after only a few bites and had not eaten the full dose of poison. After that incident, the slaves and servants had either rebelled or left, taking with them the family fortune and leaving her a poor sick orphan with no one to turn to. Drysi had proved to be the most ambitious of the lot. She stayed, but only to claim the house and lands for herself. She declared herself the guardian of the poor child while actually forcing her into slavery. Eventually she dropped the pretense and took over the entire house becoming a self-proclaimed “lady”, but there were no complaints from anyone in the town. She hid Edana’s origin by chopping her hair off and saying she was a new boy slave she’d hired and the former little lady had gone away to relatives.
Edana began attacking the potato she was peeling as if it was Lord Bradwr himself.
A clatter of horse hooves announced the arrival of the guests. Servants assisted their masters and Drysi pompously waddled about directing Edana and the two new hires, looking like an overstuffed turkey in her new gown. After placing all the food on the table, Edana stood in one corner of the room watching the guests as they came in. The last one to come in caught her attention. There was something familiar about him. She gasped when she saw his face. It was the Lord Bradwr! His eyes met hers and she wondered if he recognized her after all these years. Her boy clothing was now a shield against him and she hoped it would work. He seemed not to recognize her, merely moving his gaze away from her and continuing on to the table. Her heart beat wildly in her chest as she retreated into the kitchen.
Thanks for checking out my first web novel ever! Lots more are planned for the future, though. This anthology will contain a mix of genres in no particular order (just whatever I feel like writing). There will be one story released a month so put the 1st of the month on your calendars so you know to check back in!
This particular story is a 2 parter so you don't have to wait a whole month for the next chapter. Multi part stories will release 1 chapter a week. Thanks again for tuning in to read my story!
You can find more about me and my writing at https://illoria.wixsite.com/annamittower and https://annamittower.blogspot.com/.
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