Haidley XXVI-XXIX

Never let anything like
honour cloud your vision.
Only the foolish and
the dead favour honour.

XXVI

In his cell, a

cube barely able to

stretch out or up,

Haidley sat cross legged.

Morning still hadn’t awoken.

And the Warren was

already alive with goings.

His night had been

filled with cold fury.

Banyon had betrayed him.

Again. The plan he’d

devised had been greatly

received and for a

brief moment, he had

believed he might have

gained an ally. But

the thief captain had

only been playing him.

“Me boy, a great

idea you’s got there.

You think it’ll work

tho’ cos I seez

lotsa flaws in it

that cain’t be hid

from any sensible thinkin’.”

Haidley then explained every

little step, breaking it

down into great detail.

From time to time

Banyon glanced at his

lieutenants, who seemed convinced

the young thief’s plan

would indeed bring success.

And once Haidley had

finished his briefing, the

boss man stood up

and ordered him seized.

In a moment’s flash,

Haidley knew he’d been

played for a sucker.

Again. The beating was

almost a relief now

as the sinking realisation

his youth would forever

be this way unless

he quickly grew up

and cast aside his

silly notions of hope.

 

XXVII

Days, weeks, months, and

years followed. Haidley seemed

to change as his

body grew quickly. The

beatings now were lesser

but then his defiance

had also abated. As

had his youthful cockiness.

Some thought it was

the daily beatings that

did it; others reckoned

his spirit had broke.

Especially after news had

been circulated that the

Ravens had been outlawed

and the clan broken

up. The fate of

Senna, and the survivors,

was not known however.

Haidley wept alone for

many a night and swore

vengeance on the Rabbits.

Life went on regardless.

One autumn day, when

the winds sailed in

off the coast and

swept an icy chill

through every nook and

hidey-hole in town,

Banyon, now a wealthy

thief chieftain, had him

bought before the assembly.

A gathering was common but

it would be a

first for the youngster.

 

XXVIII

“Do yah kno’ why

yah here, me boy?”

Haidley waited patiently. But

a swift rap about

the shins brought him

low. He grimaced but

hid it while saying,

“No sir.” Banyon seemed

pleased today for he

laughed in response. “Well,

I go’ good nooz.

Seems ya’ ol’ hagz

been found. Blind as

batty witch tha’ she

is. And crooked as

th’ starf sh’ held.”

Haidley’s eyes tightened but

he kept his head

bowed as he waited

for more. Banyon obliged.

“Boss Thormo has requested

your presence in the

capital. Seems h’ has

a speschul ‘vent happenin’

an’ he wants awl

his guests present,” he

said. “Even you.” The

sound of laugh was

echoed by the assembly.

But Haidley didn’t care.

Senna had been found.

 

XXIX

The journey back to

the capital was uneventful.

Once there, Haidley discovered

much had changed. The clans

had by now a centralised

authority, called the Guild.

What fancy name it

was called didn’t change

its charter though. And

Haidley saw now a

different mindset. No longer

a loose grouping but

tightly bound and wound

well structured and run.

What surprised Haidley most

though was learning that

Boss Thormo now headed

the Guild. As he

was led underneath the

Guild’s headquarter Haidley’s mood

grew chill and dank,

like his narrow cell.

“Who’s there?” a voice

called out. Haidley heard

the shuffling feet before

he smelt the other.

Haidley waited as hard

hands suddenly grabbed him.

He fought briefly and

found himself struggling to

cope for the hands

gripped him with clawlike

tenacity. A low growling

emanated from the throat

of his attacker. Haidley

somehow got free and

cried out: “Stop that!

I’m not here to

harm you but if

I have to, I

will knock you down!”

Suddenly the assailant stopped.

The growling turned quizzical

then whimpering. “Apologies, friend.

I thought you were

one of them sent

to torment me further.”

Haidley saw the silhouette

of a figure as

tall as he. It

stopped before him and

he somehow sensed the

stranger would not hurt

him. Which was an

odd thing to think

given his past few

years. The gripping stopped.

“I am Hason, formerly

of Owso. Carpenter, tinker,

even mercenaire. Now prisoner

of these thieving turds.”

 

© 2017 L. Tafa

 

 

 

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Author: b20f08

I enjoy solo wargaming and writing. The first caters to the boy that never grew up; the latter satisfies a deep desire to communicate. Cheers.

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