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Verses of the Black Sands

Part 6

By E.B. MahoneyPublished 5 months ago 2 min read
Verses of the Black Sands
Photo by Moritz Kindler on Unsplash

TW: Themes of violence and gore. The following is a work of fiction.

Thankfully, it seemed they had no intention of lingering.

“You are beautiful,” Laukey said roughly, pausing to touch her elbow. “Are you pledged to a man?” Urla stopped walking to frown at Laukey’s unrestrained smirk. Liret and the other guard, Sheril, lifted their spears. Laukey dropped his hand.

To Sheril and Liret’s barely restrained shock, she signalled that they stay behind as she and Laukey moved on. Best if the stranger remained unprovoked. Any moves on her men’s part might stir Laukey to unwanted action.

“Then do you mock me?” he demanded. “You wish to send my men to their deaths?”

“I do not mock you, Lord,” she said, frustrated. “But I cannot prevent you from seeing it as such. I merely ask you to take what we offer and leave us in peace.

“Do not for one moment,” she continued, grey cloak flapping in the wind, “think you can take what you want by force, we could kill you easily enough, I assure you.” She smiled up at him with a quiet confidence. His long black hair had a strange red hue when the sun caught it.

Laukey bit his tongue, choosing his response carefully.

“I find that hard to believe,” he said.

“Then you have underestimated me,” she responded.

“You did not answer my first question,” he said. “Are you pledged to a man?”

“Yes,” she sighed, looking away. What did it matter if he knew, as impertinent as it was to divulge such a thing. “I am vowed to wed.”

“But you do not love him?” he said. It was not his place to make such guesses.

“What does that matter? It was arranged when I was no more than a child. But it is to a good man. Better than you.” She allowed her own smirk at that.

“How would you ever hope to know, my Lady?” his tone was teasing. She couldn’t be sure if his use of the title was intended to be mocking or respectful. The Capelli held no use for titles unless earned. Laukey was apparently a lord and as a humble host, she respected the ways of the man of the north enough to address him as such.

“I am a good judge of character,” she said. Perhaps not good enough.

“So where is your betrothed?”

“I am to remain here, as I pledged seven years ago, caring for my people until my future husband sees fit to retrieve me,” she said. Laukey didn’t miss the bitter edge in her voice.

“Why do you linger?” he said softly, “These people are as good as dead.”

“They are not dead yet,” she countered, a cold feeling gliding through her belly. “Until then, they are under my protection.”

Laukey turned with a light smile to look back at Belfin. A small collection of timber shacks and a well, some livestock and a desolate crop of some unknown food plant. The dark haired man raised his hand.

“It will seem you are freed of your pledge.” It was a long moment before the meaning of his words made sense.

surreal poetryheartbreakCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

E.B. Mahoney

Aspiring author, artist, and sleep deprived student. Based in Australia, E.B. Mahoney enjoys climbing trees, playing a real-world version of a fictional sport, and writing in the scant spare time she has left.


Pax tecum Tom Bradbury

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