DP Gregoire Fiction - An Adventure Lost - Chapter 7: Grime & Sunshine
Sunday November 22nd 2020
“So, what are ye lads doin' out in the woods this late?” the man asked, a serious expression across his face.
Maegrin & Clambaugh look each other in the eyes, Clambaugh turning his face toward the man as he speaks, “Ya see, sir, we've been traveling, seeing the world. We camp out in the woods, and as I said before, we were attacked by bandits,” they must of done this ruse a few dozen times, maybe even hundreds.
Maegrin chimes in, “Aye, sir. We was campin', mindin' our own business as per usual. Then, outta nowhere, the bandits attacked us.”
A lady walks in as the conversation continues. Just as the man is, she too is middle-aged, her hair long, red, with strands of gray in it. She brings a tray of steaming bowls over to the group of men and the troll.
“Evening to ya,” she greets the two men, “Visitors, this late, Romrick?”
“Aye,” he nods to her, “They were just telling me how they were attacked by bandits a bit back and happened upon our cottage.”
“Ah,” she says, a slight smile spreads across her face.
Clambaugh watches as she exits the room, a sly smile on his face “Nice lady you have there. What's her name?”
Romrick's stern expression doesn't change as he answers Clambaugh's inquiry, “Marrium.”
“Aye?” she calls from the other room.
“No, I was answerin' the man's question,” Romrick called back to her.
As those two conversed Clambaugh nudged Maegrin, handing him a slender looking blade. He then winked at Maegrin, who sprung into action, coming at the man.
Maegrin first threw the hot stew at the man as a distraction, yet the man was a bit wiser, barely able to block it from hitting his face. But that was all the distraction Maegrin needed, he closed in with one beefy arm grabbing at Romrick, the other with a dagger raised. Unfortunately for Romrick he was caught in Maegrin's grasp, but was fortunate enough to stop Maegrin's blade arm.
The two tussled for a bit, the middle-aged man proving age hasn't slowed him down one bit. In fact, he was able to keep himself well defended against the larger Maegrin. Maegrin shifted his weight, trying to knock Romrick off balance, furniture fell over in their scuffle, and yet Romrick was able to maintain enough control so the fight wouldn't sway in Maegrin's favor.
Romrick fell hard to the floor, Clambaugh smashed an empty bowl over the man's head, “Maegrin, you watch the man. I'm gunna go sniff out girlie here.”
He grabbed a large blade from a sheath hidden in his boot, a crazed look across his face, “Ooooooh Marrium!” He stalked around the cottage, peeking behind curtains, behind furniture, and even in cabinets.
“C'mon, Marrium, it's been a long, cold, lonely road, Maegrin can only do so much. It's been a while since I've been with a soft, warm, lovely lady such as yourself,” Clambaugh yells, his mouth rabid with anticipation.
Troll was confused, were they going to eat all of these people's food or not? Troll decided to go look for the pot of stew, which didn't take long. Troll didn't worry about human affairs, instead, troll worried about troll affairs. Though it was a bit warm, a bit too warm for troll's sensation, troll climbed into the giant pot of stew, swimming in, and eating it.
Romrick struggled against Maegrin's hold on him. He was pinned, a knee on his head, his arm wrenched back, “What, what do you two plan on doin?”
Maegrin looked at the struggling man beneath him with a smile, “Oh, what we usually do in these situations. Clambaugh's going to have his way with your wife, maybe once, twice, three times, or as long as he feels the need. When he's not havin' his way with her, Imma have mine. Of course we'll kill ya rather quickly, don't need ya causin' any trouble. But her, we'll keep her around for as long as she's convenient. We'll eat ya outta house & home, take anything of value, and move onto the road again. Is that what ya wanted to hear? Or would ya rather have the fairy-tale version?”
Romrick had a slight suspicion that these men were vile, but he wasn't a hundred percent certain. It was his good nature that put him and Marrium in this predicament. He struggled to free himself from the big man's grasp, but it was of no use, Maegrin was the more powerful man, even if he was recovering from roughly a dozen stab wounds.
“Maaaaaarriiiuuuuuum! Come out an' play-ay!” Clambaugh exclaims tauntingly. “C'mon, Marrium. What is the problem? Afraid of a havin' more of a man in yer life?” Clambaugh said with a sick, twisted tone while creeping up the stairs.
Marrium was hiding in an armoire upstairs in their bedroom, clutching a candlestick tightly. Her heart rate was elevated, he breath panicked. She felt a cold, clamminess over herself. 'What is with such sick, vile men? What would drive a person to do such a thing?' Those are the things she wondered while waiting for a doom she hopes never comes.
The sun came, but not quick enough. Denderin was cold, damp, and muddy. He had a horrible night, didn't sleep well at all. The weather kept him up, that, and the thoughts of bears ripping his belongings to shreds.
He was tired, achy, hungry, and really irritable. He wasn't sure when to go back to his tent to check on it, so he waited around. He waited so long he forgot what he was waiting for, and then he remembered. And in that case, he headed back toward the direction his tent was in, but only if he could remember what direction that was...
Denderin had wandered for what was hours more, looking for the place he left camp a few nights prior. He was turned around in the storm from the last night, but eventually he happened upon it.
It was as bad as he had feared. Torn to shreds atop the hill, and scattered all over its side was his belongings. His tent, his bags, everything, strewn about like garbage. What was left?!?
Looking over his stuff, he could see that the tools were in good shape still. But unfortunately for him his tent was ruined, his blanket ripped, has sacks torn, his food eaten, and his waterskin destroyed. Other than that, everything else seemed to be in decent condition, all things considered.
As he was picking through the leftover remains of his destroyed belongings, a glint of metal caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. He looked to his left to spot it. GOLD! His gold was still intact. Thankfully he had that. It was going to be the lifeblood of his journey, and at least with some of what he has he can replenish any missing supplies. But first he would need to find a town!
“AH HA! GOT CHA!” Clambaugh exclaimed as he opened the armoire.
Marrium smashed the candlestick down atop Clambaugh's head. The blow cracked the skin on the crown of his head, blood dripped down, covering his face. Using the distraction she created with that blow to his head, she fled the room on her way to the stairs.
Clambaugh was stunned for just a moment. He fought with Maegrin enough, a blow from a candlestick wouldn't be enough to put him down. He was just behind her. Marrium descended the stairs in a hurried fashion, Clambaugh right behind her, his arm outstretched, his hand gripping her hair. His hand on her head caused her to stop immediately, yet the force of her attempting to come forward dragged Clambaugh with her.
Both of them tumbled down the stairs. Marrium landed just ahead of Clambaugh, she was dazed by the incident, but was too tough to be out. Clambaugh shook off the fall, clawing his way toward her.
Marrium scuttled herself away from Clambaugh. She noticed a knife off in the distance. Clambaugh must of dropped it in the fall. She was inching her way toward it.
Clambaugh clawed himself forward, his fingertips touching her feet. His blood was pumping, his heart racing, 'It's been a long time,' he thought to himself, licking his lips. Her feet kicked at him, batting him away. Yet her attacks were fruitless, Clambaugh was able to climb atop and mount her.
Marrium was able to grip the knife, cutting Clambaugh across the arm. He paused for a moment to watch the blood soak his clothes, it ran down his arm, dripping from his fingers. He looked up at her, anger in his eyes.
She sprawled to the floor after receiving a harsh backhand from Clambaugh. The back of her head smashed off the ground, causing her just enough pain to wince and drop the knife.
Clambaugh picked up the blade, grabbed her by the wrists, and stood her up. He put the blade to her neck and walked her into the room with her struggling husband. His tongue caressed along her neck up to around her earlobe. He ended with a suck on the end of her earlobe, his eyes locked with Romrick whom was still pinned beneath Maegrin.
Denderin spent the last hour gathering his supplies, wrapping it all up inside of his ripped up tent. He used the shovel as a handle. The whole thing looked like an over-sized hobo sack. Denderin looked like a hobo, a well worn one who has seen a lot of bad times.
Though he had faced many set-backs, Denderin's spirits were still high. He had most of his gear, and it was in relatively good condition. He only needed to buy new bags and sacks to carry his gear in. Perhaps a new tent, a blanket, waterskin, and maybe some changes of clothes. Oh, of course he needed food as well. He could sure use a resupply. Maybe even a bit more variety!
Denderin was daydreaming as he often does. Staring off, watching the clouds, the birds, listening to nature. He walked, imagining what the far away peoples of Tatuague would be like. He's excited at the prospect of meeting an exotic people with a rich culture, and deep roots related to the land.
“Lock them up,
throw away the key,
stock their stuff,
leave them be!
It is fate,
not so great,
feel my blade,
it is the way!”
Denderin thought he could hear the faint sound of singing off in the distance, but he couldn't be quite sure. Perhaps he was just hearing things. After all, he has had a rough few days, so he didn't think it unusual to just start hearing things.
“Show your wares,
we do care,
don't mind my stare,
it's why you're there!
Sing this song,
you don't belong,
stop the wrong!”
Yup, he was hallucinating. He thought he heard Axe Hammer songs off in the distance. Heh, how ridiculous, Axe Hammer. Now why would Axe Hammer be all the way out here? WAIT! AXE HAMMER?!? They were on tour! Perhaps they are out here, roaming in the woods, on to their next show!
Denderin quickly looked for a place to hide. If Axe Hammer was indeed out on these trails, he didn't want to run by the band of misfits halflings again. Especially the lead singer, he definitely didn't want to see that guy.
It took Denderin but a few minutes to find a bush to hide behind. He peered through it, and to his surprise the band was coming up over the hill, riding their badgers. The lead singer, singing the whole way.
He didn't move an inch. Every muscle on his being was froze. Denderin didn't want any unneeded attention his way. But then he felt it, a sharp sting right into his butt.
“YEOW!” Denderin jumped out of the bush, screaming like a crazy madman.
“YEOW!” the lead singer of Axe Hammer repeated, “That was pretty good! Hey, it's you! How ya doin', kid?” he slaps Denderin on the back.
Too late to lie, too slow and tired to run, “I'm, ugh... I'm great?” Denderin said with little to no confidence. He wasn't even sure how he felt.
“Ba-hah-hah! Ye don't look fine, lad! What the hell happened to ya?” Auxwhither the lead singer of Axe Hammer asked.
A bit embarrassed, Denderin answers, “As I was camping on a hill my tent was attacked by bears in the middle of the night during a real bad storm. And this is the result.”
“BA-HA-HA-HA-HA! That sounds like a stroke of real bad luck! How'd ya manage that?” Auxwhither asks.
Running into these guys wasn't as bad as Denderin thought. Perhaps it was the many days of loneliness that made him change his mind. He replied, “Well, a bit back my troll left me, and I was left on my own. I wound up getting covered in leeches, suffered sun poisoning, was recovering peacefully atop a hill, and then almost mauled to death by bears. I came back just a bit ago to clean things up, and here we are.”
“Aye, looks like you need some new things, lad. C'mon with us, we'll take ya to the next town. We have a show there. Just hop in the back of the sled draggin' our stuff and we'll be there by nightfall,” Auxwhither says in a charitable tone.