Tradition stated a bride that ran had to be returned and given to her husband-to-be as she was his to have. Tradition also stated there was a single moment in the ceremony when the bride belonged to no one but god, when she had stepped off the platform that she was brought in on but before her bare feet touched the grass.
Someone did not stop to think there were large walking stones. Right where the platform had been stopped. No one thought this might be a problem with a young woman who really did not want to marry the local baroness’s son. Or that the stones weren’t really too far away to jump to. Or that they led to the street.
Truly there was a great deal of poor, or amazing, planning on someone’s part.
And so, Greer ran and jumped across the stones to the road and was now a bride barefoot and running through the town as far and fast as she could.
She stopped at a stall in the market, seeing guards and others looking for her. She quickly took off her earrings and handed them to the merchant. “I need shoes quickly please.”
Not questioning it, the merchant handed over the shoes which she quickly got onto her feet and continued to run, the local guards starting to close in on her. She ripped her dress and threw the pieces down she didn’t need and quickly climbed some boxes to get upon the roof on a nearby building. Alright, now what? She had to stay off grass and get as far as she could. She looked at the roof across the way. She could make it couldn’t she? Maybe…she walked back and ran and jumped as hard as she could, missing the roof and scraping down the wall a bit as she tumbled onto a balcony. A small bit of red left behind. She felt dizzy and the world felt uneven for a moment. Alright this was fine. She just had to go into someone’s home and hope they weren’t there. That could work too.
Greer walked inside and looked around. Ok, no one here… water pitcher. They had been to the well today. She was so thirsty… hungry too. Stupid fasting. Making herself pure… for that asshole. They claimed pure but really, after what he did? She carefully drank some water and started looking for a window or door. She could keep moving. Just keep moving. Just…
She stopped, seeing a very pretty woman with red hair in front of her. “…Ohhhh grass blades…”
The woman looked Greer over and carefully went and grabbed a pot. “I don’t know what’s going on… but I’d like to know why you are in my home…”
Greer looked at the woman and carefully put her hands up. “I’m not married…”
“Then where are your parents?”
“It doesn’t matter, they already gave me away.” Greer stayed very still, not wanting any more injuries today.
The woman eased her way forward, ready to throw the pot. “Then where is your groom?”
“He doesn’t matter either… my feet never touched grass.”
The woman stopped and stared. “Your f…. your feet. Never… touched...” She started to laugh. “A true escaped bride? A real one?! Oh, grass blades! This is… hahahaha!”
Greer slowly started to move towards the door, to feel someone else poking something into her back. “Ah…. Really… I just need to be running now… You really don’t want to look like your holding me here…”
The voice behind spoke up. “And why is that?”
“Well…. The baroness will be shitting ore when she finds out I’m here. I’m supposed to marry her son.”
She felt the object move off her back a bit. The voice behind staying calm. “You ran from tht marriage? Why?”
“Because her son is a disgusting chunk of quicksand, so I got away as fast as I could. I want to stay free as long as I can… so if you don’t mind me and my new sh-“
There was pounding on the door. “OPEN UP! We are looking for the missing bride.”
That was it. She was done. They’d throw her on some grass, cut her feet showing new ownership, and she’d be stuck with the slime. Happily, never after her heart. There wasn’t one with someone like him. She was about to try and make a run and jump down when the voice from behind silently grabbed her and dragged her into another room, putting her into a small storage under a rug, locking her in. It happened so fast she couldn’t react. She heard the woman talking to the guard as the guard went around the room searching for anything and everything. Greer felt like she was in her tomb. Any moment she’d be found and sprout into the new life of that thing’s wife.
Despite the darkness and how long she was there, Greer was too nervous to sleep. Maybe she could threaten to kill her groom. They might arrest her for that and send her away. It depended on the guard. Or she could bite them maybe or...
She heard footsteps above her. Greer got as ready as she could. The woman’s voice from before could be heard. “Don’t attack, they don’t know you are here and are gone for now…”
The woman pulled Greer up. Greer couldn’t even imagine how she looked right now. Between the blood and the dirt and the ceremonial painting on her face and arms… not to mention the blue and red shoes she was wearing. The woman had some warm water and soap ready, and some men’s’ robes. “My clothing won’t fit you. I haven’t seen a woman with muscles like yours…”
“I helped my family a fair bit.” She carefully took it as the woman looked at the wounds Greer had. She even looked around the feet best she could. “No cuts from the grass… you weren’t lying you aren’t owned by anyone but God… You could become a priestess.”
“No, I couldn’t… I’m not pure.”
The voice from before floating from the doorway as it entered with some bread and vegetables. “Want to explain?” the man asked as he knelt down with the food, his black hair falling in front of his face a bit.
“Her son and his friends technically took me… not the normal way but badly enough the Baronness wanted me married to him before word could get out. She didn’t want the embarrassment. But if I marry him someone will be dead before the next day.” She made a fist, squeezing the dirty water out a bit onto the floor. “I won’t …”
Blake gently put a hand on her. “It’s alright Greer. The guards won’t come back. You’re safe for now. Destiny and I will keep you safe as long as we can.”
Destiny nodded. “Blake is a respected story keeper. We can hide you for a while here until we can get help from the others.”
Greer nodded, though she stiffened when she saw a third form coming, a blond-haired man with red tips. He came up from behind Blake and gave him a hug and kiss. “Hello loves. Is this the one making a fuss in the town?”
Destiny nodded. “Oh yes… Dewi you’ll need to help us take turns watching her.”
He smiled. “Sure, thing Des.”
Greer cleared her throat. “I… ah thought… you two...?”
Destiny nodded. “We are but so is Dewi. It’s complicated but it works. But for now, change and eat… you were fasting for the last two days. You need some food to regain her strength.”
Greer slowly did so, watching the three of them be warm and affectionate with each other. She had to wonder where she found herself, and if perhaps she hit her head harder than she thought.