They took me by surprise while I was just having lunch. Verily, I can tell you that it is no minor issue for me. I had to interrupt that exquisite pleasure because I did not expect to see how they were pushing a woman down the street in such an despicable way.
I do not recall her and I do not think that I had met her anywhere else, yet, I felt as if some invisible hands were pushing me towards that enigmatic girl. Well, my fellow diners also did the same, they had almost passed over poor me.
Pressure was so great that I gave in to their stubbornness and left my chair without paying any tab for my meal. In fact, they did not even blame me for it, as far as I can remember at least.
“Yes, she’s gonna meet her very own end”, a passerby told me.
“Oh come on! They are headed to the stake and she definitely deserves it”, added another female with a mouth full of visceral hatred for her.
Why would I remain watching her among all those thousands of voices filled with such an intense bloodthirst? My best choice was to go after that woman. It would be convenient to find out what had led her to such a terrible destiny or see if I still had a chance to free her and run away from that rowdy place. Later on she could spend as much time as needed, feeding me with all the details.
Now you got to be asking this: how is it possible that I could get infatuated with such a girl already, after having seen her for just a few moments?
OK, they turned right, after finding one of the most iconic signs of this city. There it says “Via Draconiana” and I am convinced its name is quite meaningful indeed. At the same time, it does not fit very well with the Germanic or Nordic style of the surrounding buildings.
That poor victim, or that criminal based on people’s vile accusations, is not the most beautiful gal out there, nor can I claim she is high breasted or curvy at all. If talking about her long hair, I got to say it is quite matted indeed. Somehow she still manages to captivate my dull senses, but you gotta have noticed that by now, right?
Curiously, I have never made a remark on her buttocks or her legs. I might only add that her arms had seen better days because now they are quite bruised, her wounds can be found everywhere. It is truly embarrassing to look at her in her current state.
Perhaps they are right when they tell me I am more interested in her appearance than anything else. I hope they are totally wrong about that. Man, I got to be gross…
Right, it is about time that I propose in my heart to go save her from that cruel fate, still, I am not sure if there is something I can do to free her from her captors. It seems to me that it is a titanic task for a single guy, especially one like yours truly…
“Keep moving if that’s what you really wanna do!”, another voice uttered but for some reason I could not recognize it at once.
I do think I am the best guy here to accompany a girl like her. I mean, I gotta be kind of handsome due to the fact that so far no woman has ever made funny faces after staring at me. Except for those days when my hair was as messy as my latest target’s, he, he. Add to that list that I practically have got a slim body.
“I thought I had been crystal clear!”, that unknown guy yelled at me once again, not showing me any kind of consideration.
He got a point here, I have been hesitating a lot lately. I spend more time thinking than acting. That should be a bad trait for a guy like me, isn’t it true? I gotta get moving…
“That guy is beyond any repair”, explained a middle aged man. “It doesn’t matter how many times I tell him to take his sacks away, he never listens to me.”
Alright, he was not addressing me at all. It has been my fault, nobody else’s. If I were not still here like a statue, waiting for reactions like that guy’s, I would not be wasting my time thinking that everything is spinning around me or my prey. Fine, she is no bird in a cage, at least not in a literal sense.
“There he goes after just another tart!”, a lady shouted aloud.
“Erik has always been one of those fools that believe their latest target is their true love”, a neighbor responded as if she knew me ever since I was a little kid.
I am not anything the like, although I must admit I have been tailgating here for several cobblestone streets. I have not even noticed I had walked round a city without taking a single break. Nonetheless, I have not gotten any closer to her. They always stay ahead of your servitor. How do they do that!?
“It’s about time to burn up that darn witch like charcoal”, a disrespectful old timer commented in regards of my most recent obsession.
“Bravo! That evil girl won’t curse us anymore…”, asserted another neighbor until he unexpectedly forgot what he was about to tell next.
Then those insensitive brutes dare to claim she is some sort of witch. It is alright, we already know how ignorant guys get confused after meeting those people with unique or special skills. No matter how long they have been cultivated for generations, they are not recognized for all the time and effort spent learning such amazing things. I do believe I can relate to her way better than anybody else!
It looks quite odd. If they badly pretended to take her to the stake, how is it possible they have not reached such a place after walking around the whole city? She should have no strength left in her bruised body by now!
“What a fuss!”, another local youngster insulted me then. “Right now she gotta be glad that she’s able to go for a walk after spending a long time rotting in a forgotten dungeon.
Yeah, it was self evident that her clothes and her limbs belonged to a poor victim only. There is no other way to clear up that submissive attitude of hers. By the time she left that foul smelling cell, she had already been domesticated.
Err, what should I do if I get close to her and notice she smells terrible like no other woman ever has? I gotta be standing at a crossroad! I might take some wooden clamp just in case I am right about that and her enticing smell could knock me down otherwise.
“Once again that olive-skinned watches how that stinky witch passes by and isn’t brave enough as to do something about it”, remarked a second middle aged man that seemingly looks like an acquaintance of mine.
“I dunno what you’re talking about”, I told him while removing his hand from my shoulder.
“As if I didn’t know you very well, Erik the Faint-Hearted!”, that imbecile complained showing me no respect, as if he had lost all common sense.
“This gotta be the twentieth time that you take this unending walk around the streets without ever reaching her a single time!”, declared that vile liar without thinking it twice.
I did not thought I should have ever reacted then. Even if I am a strong willed guy, this time I could not refrain from turning around without any hesitation. My frustration for not helping her moved my lips at will all of sudden.
“It’s very clear to me that your reasoning is as faulty as my very own haircut, idiot!”, I replied showing there was no decency left in my troubled mind.
“As you wish, your Majesty, Erik the Faint-Hearted!”, exclaimed that irreverent moron with an evil and dark smirk on his stupid face.
It is very curious, extremely curious indeed. It feels like I could already listen to the crackling flames, longing for consuming firewood as well as that poor woman at any time. When did we ever get to the central plaza? Has the market been demolished without warning? I cannot find it anywhere around.
I suppose I can see another sign up there. We are at the Strata Amarga. Again I got to accept that they truly know how to pick the best route for their sorrowful parade.
The reason behind her long travail was they did not want to show her any mercy because they could not execute her in the presence of their beloved public. I am referring to the mayor’s special guests who refused to presence the slay of such a “spoiled beast”, as they considered that it was too vulgar for their refined taste.
Even so they still wanted to watch her being turned into ashes, treated like a mere fatling destined to be sacrificed for the greater cause. How despicable they are!
“What are you complaining about now?”, that hateful guy inquired of me. “It’s a thousand year long tradition of theirs and they don’t see why they’d ever stop it. Even less like they’ll do it for an imbecile, the biggest coward in history. It’s about time you give up on her.”
“I’ll never do that and you know it very well!” I cried out loud, as if that fire had entered my lungs back then.
What I am about to tell you is going to sound weird indeed. Nonetheless, I am suddenly in my bed. I have recently waken up as I could confirm by touching my face with my right hand. There was some saliva left on my cheek and I did not know about that. That weird dream left me astonished. At least that is what those bizarre characters living in my crazy mind would have ever noticed.
“And did you ever get up, oh faint-hearted Erik?”, a not so sweet voice was asking me then.
“But I’m not a coward at all, my dear lady”, I cleared up at once.
“Oh please! What did you dream about this time?”, she interrogated me like a real pro.
“Well, I did have a vivid dream or the like and it’s not about to happen in real life any time soon just because the lady’s asked me about it”, I threw in without hesitation.
“It’d have been better if you could not remember it but I knew it because I had always been there, a few hundred steps away from you”, affirmed the unknown girl as if she were a relative of mine.
Once my sleepy eyes got used to the sunlight, I could clearly see that young woman standing in my room. I got paralyzed inadvertently. It was her. The very same person but without all those bruises and wounds on her flesh.
“Undoubtedly, what you have seen is my past as well as my destiny”, she confided me her secrets. “That’s what happens when you get involved in the life of a woman after she has been and will be accused of committing the worst atrocity ever, casting spells like any good witch does. At least everybody says so.
Miraculously, I could talk to her without issues, although I cannot recall how did I get there. Without a formal explanation, I was sitting on my comfy bed with tender sheets. I also had a wooden nightstand with two shelves on my right. My beloved captive was wearing the typical medieval maid’s outfit, and she was right there to pull me out of that tempting bed.
“You might mean this time, at least this time, I managed to reach you, ¿ain’t I right, my sad sweetheart?”, I quickly questioned her regardless of her feelings.
“Reaching me you say? It’s been dumb luck, although I gotta admit you’re no longer a newbie…” the root cause of my insomnia revealed.
“I don’t understand your obsession with self-immolation”, I scolded her out of deep my concern for her.
“Depends, for some people it’s immolation while others would call it immolation for me and a punishment for the rest of you”, my mortal delight delved into it.
Once I could react back after such terrible news, I was back in the restaurant, sitting at the table; about to get a snack.
I limited myself to taste that awful defeat of mine, while biting a not so juicy meat at a very slow pace. Later I sensed the sight of someone that knew everything about me. That woman was passing by and that tremendous uneasiness did not allow my whole body to ignore her.
After the whole walk around, I cannot remember what is the color of her eyes and I have no explanation on that.
Yes, I ran after her once again.