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 The Journal of Haestus, F.

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Fallon Haestus
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PostSubject: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 6th 2016, 12:56 pm

3rd Week of Winter, Year of Our Lord, 1526

A young lass gave me this journal two days ago, a fine and handsome thing. áWager I may as well put quill to it, seeing as ink is near all I can get easily. áGave it a'fought to be rid of it after how that snippet insulted me to begin with. áI don't want to be poor or hungry, but damned if I let one call me stupid to me face. There I was, sittin out front the smithy when she come at me. áMarched right up to me an' slapped me cup outta me hand. áA'fore I knew what, she beamed down at me; á'Why would anyone give alms to one such as you? áLow, filthy and uneducated. áNot one bit different than the rest of you paupers! You chase us around begging at our feet and when we help, you spend it on drink and squander our charity! Never do any of you try to better that which you have already. áWhy, I find it like that you can't even read! áShe then burst into laughter at me, the little trollop. áSo I turned me head back to the smithy's sign and read it aloud for her.
" 'At 'ere says; 'Golton's Smithy Shoppe. á'Elmets to 'orseshoes.' áThen I pointed to the notary's, the shoppe she came out from. á"That one's Percival's Notary, and it's sign says; 'Parchment, papers & Quills. áSkilled Scribes Here.' áI'm poor, girl. áNot a fool. áI read an' write jus' fine, but life ain't candies and poppets if you ain't noble. I dun' give a twist about what you fink of me! áBe away with you, I won't boffah you nor yours again. áBut she just stood there, staring at me like she never saw a man read before. áI shook me head at here and picked up me cup, me blanket and the candle to leave, but she touched me shoulder when I stood up and looked me in the eye. áAll that lively flush in her face was gone, so was her gnarled face. áNow that she wasn't growling at me like a dog, I could tell she was pretty. áSympathy, maybe even shame, overtook her expression. áImagine that! áA noble, ashamed of 'emself!! She said; "I've never been spoken to by one of you like that before. I was expecting you to be muddled and stupid. áSo is as my father accounts all of you. áI apologize." áA moment later a man saw her touching me shoulder and ran over, hollering about my needing to know me place. áBut she turned 'round and stopped him dead with only a look. áGoes to show the power of a noble's command, even over other nobles. áI took it as a sign to gather up me things and be off, but as soon as I turned to leave she grabbed me shoulder again, gently pulling to turn me round.
"Miss, I ain't mad at ya. áBut I weren't gonna turn the ovah cheek to being called a fool. áI don't want money, I want food. áI want to live, aye?" I said to her and tried to turn away again, but as my head turned, I hear silver ring loudly and it's weight drop heavily in the cup in me hand. áI looked in and it was six piece of silver. áA'fore I could look up at her, she was handing me this journal. áShe greeted my look with a queer smile, turned and was off before I could say a word.
Was it pity? áI've had charity before, but that weird smile wasn't charity. áWhole thing makes me skin walk. áBeen two days since then, and I ain't dared spend the silver. áI know none would believe that I didn't steal it. áSo I've hidden it away for now. áWe'll see how things go.


Last edited by Fallon Haestus on May 23rd 2016, 2:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 6th 2016, 2:15 pm

4th Week of Winter, Year of Our Lord, 1526

I thought it was cold a'fore, but this is wretched. Most of the nobles have left the area. Duke's scout returned yesterday with word of a terrible storm approaching from the north, said the town will be snowed in. The man's horse, though. Poor horse collapsed and died right where the man dismounted. Terrible thing, that he rode the horse to death, but those bones and whatever meat we can get at when the butcher finishes will make a fine stew. I'll have Orton distract him when he's near done and steal everything I can in the ruckus. I pray the Lord watch over me, though. If I am caught, they will surely put me into the stocks, or worse. The dungeon ain't a place I want to visit, and I'm fond of me head. I think about how the priests won't shelter us during the storm a lot. Say it's the will of God that I lay in the cold street and freeze. I wonder if this is what God had in mind when he created Adam. He knew he'd eat the apple. He knew that Eden would bear Kain and Abel. He knew that Kain would also kill Abel. Sin was released into us by the apple, but Kain bathed all men yet to be born as well as himself in the blood of his own brother. And God lay silent of it. Ain't that akin to His being the hand that washed us with the blood? Mayhaps He intended us to hate each other, to betray each other, to kill? Or maybe letting a man die ain't the same as killing him in God's eyes. I don't know anymore. Even the scriptures don't bring hope to me anymore. We are all already dead, we just ain't laid down yet.
~

Well, it worked. Orton, that dolt. I told him to get him to go looking. Orton decides to knock over 2 rack of lamb, and the entire cutlery rack! What's more, he made it look like some other Tom did it and slipped out before I even got in the window. I made out with the entire skeleton, the heart, one of the lungs and what looks to be a shank cut. It's cooking up real fine right this minute as I write. I can't believe not even a look when I was getting out. All that shouting brought in a large crowd, it made for the perfect out. Large though it was, fact of the matter was that were not as many people as should have been. I should feel happy, but I'm not. Even the promise of food tonight, real food, brings no ease to me troubled mind. If I didn't know better, I'd think people had gone missing. I mean, Here I am cooking up a very good smelling horse stew, and it's me, Orton, Martin, his wife Shelley, and the twins, Veronica and Anton that live down by the stables in the alley with their mum and dad. Thing of it is, Mum and Dad ain't here. I asked Anton if they will be along, and he got very quiet, Veronica won't speak to anyone since then, maybe an hour ago. The entire slum should be standing a yard away breathing down my neck to finish and serve it out, but here we 6 sit, alone, and quiet. After a solid meal, maybe they will feel right again, talk a little. I just had a thought. HAHA. Who in the bleeding Hell am I writing to? Silly girl. Silly man, that's what I am
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PostSubject: Re: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 23rd 2016, 2:34 pm

Entry II

Anton is missing. He slipped away last night while we all ate, ain't a soul seen him since he turned down the alley to go home. Veronica insisted that we not go looking when we all notice he were gone. She been so quiet that it was a bit of a shock how snapping and demanding she sounded telling we all that we can't go looking until the sun is up. By sunrise, there weren't no track of him anywhere, not at 'is home, not beyond the gate's battery where he went to hide inside the wall, no place. Just gone. In all that looking, we saw not hide nor hair of they mum and da either. Veronica won't talk since she didn't find him in the wall, something very wrong with her.

______

I noticed again when we reheated the stew. Not a soul. Less than yesterday are moving around and it's well past mid-day. I don't know what's going on around here, but there are even fewer guards posted today and the rich folk are even fewer. Poor disappearing in the streets while the rich flee the cold. I don't know what's going on, but I'm thinking it's about time the rich get taxed by the poor. If people are being picked up by someone, then it's time to leave this place behind. All I keep coming to after all that looking for the boy. Someone took him. Maybe he's dead, or just in a cage wishing he were, maybe right next to his mum an da. After I do what I'm going to do, I'll try to get Veronica out of here. Maybe she can be spared. Girl is not 4 yards from me right this minute and all she does is cower in a ball mumbling so quiet we can't understand her. She knows something she ain't telling us, but I already knew that. What worries me is how scared she is of whatever it is. Denying her parents disappearing, refusing to look for her own brother, her twin! True enough she woke us with the peering of daylight to go looking, but why not before? Maybe we could have found him. But like I say, she was too scared of whatever she's not talking bout so bad she wouldn't go at night is what I think. Maybe we'd all be dead if we'd gone, maybe she saved our lives. Something isn't right. Every hair on my body wants to run from here, right now. Drop this quill and journal and flee as quick as my legs will take me. What then, though? Gonna get something to live on before I go, not be a fool and run.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 23rd 2016, 2:59 pm

4th Week of Winter, Year of Our Lord 1526

Entry III

Balls! I spent this entire day watching two different estates what belong to nobles. All's I see are a maid a piece move room to room and out the front of each. No one else. No candlelight, no movement, no visitors. There are four more guards posted around the square than last week, and two more patrol the main lanes what weren't there, either. They've gone, even their help is gone. I'll stick out again after a few hours of sleep and watch through the night too. Make sure. My head will roll if I'm caught. It must be clean, it must be quick. I need long horse blankets.

____

Orton's onto the task of the horse blankets, whilst I am here, watching from the hill above the square. So far, still no lights, still no movement. No guests left around to entertain, no parcels being delivered, no waste leaving the houses of course because no one is home. Two of the guards from the square are missing, foot patrol still there though. Come up through the field and I won't even have to worry about them though. I'm feeling the itch though. Something is wrong, and it's getting worse. Might have to do this tomorrow night, night after at the latest and get the hell gone.


Entry IV

It's a few hours after daybreak, and I'm back in camp, no one else is, though. I'm not surprised Orton ain't here, the blankets we need are in the guard's stable-house. Gonna keep him rest of the day maybe. Marten, Shelley and Veronica are gone. The stew pot is still half-full and bone cold. Not a trace of heat in the soot of the fire pit either. It should not be cold. They should not be gone, I have to go looking for the girl. Marten's a big man and he ain't gonna let nothing happen to Shelley, but they ain't geared to looking after a child, both being a bit empty minded often. I hope I find them. I'm so exhausted.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 23rd 2016, 3:49 pm

I had about given up looking when Veronica ran out from around the stable, saw me walking, started screaming that I should follow her, then darted back around the corner again. I dunno where I spirited the will to sprint after her, but I did. As I came round the stables, I caught a glimpse of her hair disappearing into the alley. Ended up very near Veronica's shack. I don't know what in the hell happened, but it was a blood bath that I staggered finally into, now noticing how Veronica was swathed in blood almost completely head to toe. When I stopped, she slowly sank into the furthest corner away from where Shelley sit propped up against the wall a few yards away from me. Maybe 3 paces ahead of me lay Anton's body. His skin was pale as parchment and most his face and mouth were covered in blood. I did not see Marten anywhere. I started to kneel down to Anton's body when I noticed the spreading pool of blood growing from Shelley's dress. I knew Anton was dead so I turned and damn nigh crawled over to Shelley instead. It was immediately obvious. The back left side of her neck was, quite plainly, gone. Her hands were clasping her bloody matted hair against the wound, trying to stop the bleeding, but it was nothing doing. I then realised I was kneeling in her blood, and when I pulled me hand up it was thick and heavy. Not really warm anymore, but not cold yet and very slick. When I looked back up at her and asked her what did this, all she said was 'Marten' and pointed at Anton's body with a trembling hand and then breathed out her last breath and died. I never cried. I was horrified, by I didn't shed tears. I will stay strong for Veronica. It's almost night again. Still no Orton, just me and Veronica. Thank God above she ate. Thank God for small mercies. She's responding to me when I talk to her. I'll talk to her more in the morning. I need sleep so badly, but not until Orton returns.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 23rd 2016, 5:24 pm

I only had to wait up about an hour for Orton to show up, he got the long horse blankets, took a stirrup and strap rack and the straps and made good on a few travel bags to carry everything in. Better than I hoped. He stayed awake all night watching over Veronica as I asked him. Like he was a good hunting hound, he was still sat in the very same spot staring dilligently over the top of her at the only approach through the alley in the exact same position he was in when I closed my eyes. The man may not be the smartest, but he's strong and totally loyal. He only needed my saying so to agree to watch over her all night, though he'd not slept a wink more than I this whole time. Great man. I buried Anton and Shelley today before Veronica woke up. Again, small mercies and all of that. Which was keen because she needed change of clothes to leave with us tonight after we dust up. That meant going to her shack and seeing Shelley laying there wouldn't have helped a thing. Everything is ready.

Post-script
I didn't want to put this to paper before, but I gotta admit. Writing in this stupid journal is helping me keep my wits. It's so much to take in. Maybe seeing it on parchment will help make more sense of it, maybe also because it is fresh in my mind, and memory is a right bastard sometimes.
After we ate, which was after Veronica and I returned from her shack, she finally let it all go, and told me what happened. What happened to her mum an da, why she didn't want to look for Anton until morning, what happened to Shelley...All of it. I can't think of why she would lie, but damn if I don't believe her. As she tells it, Da didn't come home from the pub a week ago. No, he was missing for 2 days and a night. He came home the second night, but wasn't the same. Veronica said his eyes were too bright. Then she noticed other things, his skin was paler than normal, and she could see his viens like before her grandmother had died. She had a high fever for many days and her viens showed and then she died, but her skin was hot to touch during those days. She said that when her Da hugged her, his skin felt like snow and he didn't really hug her, so much as make it look like a hug. She claims he didn't eat supper that night, nor the night after. He sat on his stool by the open windown each night and stared at Mum. When he could not see her anymore, he would stare at Anton or at her. Then, some time after Veronica and Anton fell asleep they both woke with a start, hearing the table in the other room slam against the floor. Veronica says she heard her Mum start to scream, but didn't and then Mum and Da were gone. Only moments later, Veronica and Anton ran into the other room and no one were there. Table, candle and two plates of supper on the floor, door still locked from the inside, and completely empty. Even the window Da had sat by was closed and propped shut, but they were gone. The night before I had robbed the butcher, Veronica tells that Mum and Da came back home. And they both no longer looked right. Da once again had that dreadful gaze in his eyes, but Mum wept and held her and Anton, right smothering them with affection. As it goes, Da got tired of it quickly, and approached to place a hand on the back of Mum's neck, and she stops crying immediately and goes about putting a meal together for them, but not enough for Mum and Da too. Then, everything was normal until bed. Mum tucked them in and gave them each a very sweet, and very cold kiss just on their foreheads and left the room, closing the door. Veronica crept out of bed and over to the door, and she listened as Da began insistering to Mum that they eat Anton and Veronica. She said Da's words were "The children will only die, you know it won't be so bad." And then Mum bursts into anger, calling him a monster and the devil, and then she hears Da hit Mum. Then much more fighting, but it wasning the slamming or the pounding that scared her so bad, it was their voices. It wasn't their voices anymore, they were scratchy, piercing snarls made to sound like words, words that were hateful, that were violent, that were evil. She says the last thing she or Anton ever heard from from Mum or Da was Mum screaming, she added that her Mum was clearly straining an attempt to sound like their Mum, not a monster;

"Children, Run! Go out the window and run then hide where only you can go. FLEE, NOW!!! YOU WILL NOT TOUCH MY BAB-

Veronica says Anton was out the window already, and she was following when she heard her Mum's final word cut of with a loud cracking sound and a thud. As she raced after Anton for the hole in the battery of the wall, she heard thundering footsteps charging toward the door of their room and a loud crash, then felt that something was chasing her. Began to feel it, then heard the loud pounding gait of her pursuer. She said she dove head first into the small hole barely big enough for her and Anton to fit in and heard who she knew was her father slide to a hault at the opening, smacked his hand against the stones and must have run away after that. She said she never heard him leave, and both her and Anton were too scared to turn around and look to have ever even seen for certain that it was their father, but they both knew. It wasn't until an hour after daylight that one of the guards rapped his spear against the stones, commanding them out of there, which was what ended their dreadful, sleepless night in a hole in a wall, hiding from their Da who they heard talking about killing and eating them. What in the name of Almighty God is happening here? I don't understand.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 23rd 2016, 6:30 pm

-[Second page, Same Entry]-

It was later that day that they came to find us all cooking up stew. Scared, tired and hungry, they simply followed their stomachs to end up at my camp. That I think is why they didn't, mayhaps couldn't tell us what happened. They are still young and delicate things. As Anton had last seen both his parents alive, even if neither seemed right, so that's why he didn't say anything. Veronica just couldn't, not until today, but she knew her Mum was dead. And she knew it was her Da that did it, and whatever he did to her Mum before that to make her change. The smart lass held onto a very important fact. Da left at night to the inn, was to be gone a while, but back that night. Da came home 2 nights later, but not right. Da and Mum left at night and knocked over the table, and returned again at night. Then Anton goes home at night alone, and goes missing. All of it happened at night, and Veronica says Da slept all day when he came back the first time, but was awake as soon as the sun was down and was staring at them all night. That is why she was too scared to go looking that night, she was sure we would all die. And the last night, Anton lured Veronica away from me camp, Marten and Shelley gave chase, and wound up in a trap set by Da and Anton. Veronica said she saw him and then he ran, so she followed him. When she got there, Anton was facing away, and when she got closer, he turned around, his eyes glowing and attacked her, trying to bite her. Before he pushed her over, Marten caught up and clubbed the lad offa her. Anton got back up and jumped on Marten, biting and gnashing his teeth. Eventually Anton bit down on Marten's arm, and that was when Marten pulled out his skinning knife and stabbed Anton in the side of the head with it. Anton stopped. Da, started on the other hand. She said he burst in through the window and knocked Marten to the floor, then stooped down and jabbed three fingers into Marten's throat. He tried to struggle and stab her Da, but nothing doing. Her Da held him down on the floor by his throat until he died. That's when the story took another turn, and where all belief stopped for me. Shelley had been laying on the floor, terrified out of her wits this whole time, but did nothing. Makes sense. Veronica says her Da bites his own arm open, drips his own blood all over Marten's face and throat, in his mouth. And she says minutes later Marten got back up, but he wasn't right. His skin looked normal she said, but his eyes were glowing. A moment after Marten stood up all the way, her Da tells Marten to bite his own wife's throat open. And he does. While he's biting Shelley, Veronica runs again, once more just making it into the hole in the battery wall before her Da gets ahold of her. She said this time she turned around and looked. It was absolutely her Da, and he was ghost white, snarling, had long teeth like a dog does and sounded like a monster as he reached and reached at her, growling like some beast for her to come to him, but of course she don't. And as she stares at him, crammed with his head and one arm in this small hold, she can see the sky brightening outside. As soon as her Da noticed, he pulled free of the hole, and he and Marten ran off into the field and the forest past. She waited until the sun was up for a bit, then came looking for Shelley and saw me first. Then everything else happened. Is she unwell in her mind, or is it true? I don't know, but I do know after tonight, we are all on the road. We'll get away from the lot of this, further than we can be chased. Orton and I will take shifts staying awake tonight. No chances.
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PostSubject: Re: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 26th 2016, 11:40 am

Nothing happened last night. No Marten or Veronica's Da. Before I took over watch for Orton, I took a stroll to the end of the alley for a look about. There were no guards in the streets. None. I could see at least 6 in each of the watchtowers, and that was odd. Makes 18 guards, which is 2 short of the total yesterday. Why are they in the towers? They can't do anything from in there. Or maybe they are hiding in there. Maybe they are scared of whatever is going on. They're still there now too, full daylight. I don't think we're going to wait any longer though. As I think about this, I realise that if night is when all this happens, we need to be very far away by dusk. Guards are in the towers, and Veronica is going to be a lookout. It's time to leave. If everything goes badly, these will be the last pure words that I ever produce. So, where do I leave this journal? How do I finish a last sentence when I know those will be all I will ever be able to say again outside of a dungeoun and before having me head cut off? My name is Fallon Haestus. I no longer remember my mother's face, and am a bastard. I have stolen many things, but if you read this, know that I stole to stay alive, not to be rich. Even what I will do next is for survival. Perhaps I am a criminal, but I am not wicked. Perhaps I'm not a knight or a hero, but I have made great deeds to help those as unfortunate as I. Even if death is what awaits at the end of my road, at least the suffering will end. To that purpose, I will get what I want whether I live or die. But let no man say that I laid down to die, and gave up.

5th Week of Winter, Year of Our Lord, 1526
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PostSubject: Re: The Journal of Haestus, F.   May 26th 2016, 2:32 pm

7th Week of Winter, 1526

This will definitely be the last thing I write in this Journal. áThis snow storm has blocked out the passages through the hills, it's death out there, so I know I have a few hours to write this. áOrton is dead. áSaved Veronica's life, giving his own up. I'll get to that. á
The job went to shite. áBoth the manors we went to were not empty. áWe had about finished looting the house, turned into the last bedroom in the second floor, and there was the master of the house. áHe was about running out of his sheets at me with an unopened wine bottle...so I killed him. áI pulled out me skinning knife and stabbed him in just under his throat. áHe died quickly, small mercies. áOrton wanted to light out right then, but I talked him into going to the second place too. áI should have listened. áI should have left with him. But I didn't.
At the next manor, we were attacked quite immediately. áMaster of the house, two servants. áI killed the noble and one of the servants, Orton broke the other's neck. áHe didn't want to, but the lad wouldn't give up. And still I insisted on stealing everything of value. áWhich was a lot of gems, a little gold and a fair share of silver. áTook everything made of silver and gold from both, came running out the door, where Veronica joined us, and went. áAcross the square, past the field and into the stables, we just stole three purebreds, no sense in going on foot with 4 dead behind us. áThe horses were too much, though. áIn the end, that is why we were chased after so quick. áHORSE THEFT!! áThat's why they chase. áThe boys either camped out in the valley or freezing their arses off in the hills chasing me don't even know I robbed those manors or killed anyone until when I spied on their camp 3 days ago. áSaw the message come in, made their captain furious and I heard everything. áBeen chasing us for the horses until then. I can not fucking believe it. áDespite it, I haven't been able to help meself when we happen by a carriage or estate along our path. áIn the end I can't believe I did that. áGot a lot out of it, but lost a lot of time.
It's been 8 days since Orton was killed. áAnd it was Marten and Veronica's Da what done it. áI finally saw it with me own two eyes. áThey are not men. áNo matter what they are, they are not men. áThey were tracking us too, but more like dogs would, I think. áThey seem feral. Veronica's Da spoke words, but Marten only slurred angry grunts and shouts. áI wouldn't say her Da is still normal, but is just better? Smarter? I don't know, but he commands Marten and Marten obeys, whether Da says anything or not. We kept watches at night, and thats the only reason Veronica and I are still alive. áMarten snuck up on Orton while he was asleep, and Veronica's Da crept up on her. áAs I turned to check the other direction, I spotted Marten. áI quickly looked over to Veronica and saw nothing around her and tackled Marten off of Orton. Orton immediately woke, but took a few seconds to get his senses about him. áWhen he did, Marten had me pinned on the ground. áHe growled and gnashed his teeth at me, which were like a wolf's teeth, only sharper. áOrton kicked Marten in the side of the head as hard as he could, and it laid the bastard out. áHis head smacked against a rock jutting out of the ground with a powerful crack and then he went still. áI jumped on top of him anyway, trying to pull out my knife to make sure he was dead when Orton turned to check on Veronica, God almighty love and keep you, my friend. áHe saw Veronica's Da trying to scoop her into his arms, and his mouth was opening. áEven I could see the light glint on his sharp fangs from where I was. áBut what I saw was Orton shove his entire hand into that son of a whore's mouth, push him over on his back and kneel on his chest. áThe next thing I saw was Da's hand jut out through the back of Orton's tunic. Orton punched him twice right in the throat, turned his head and screamed.
"Fuc-...kah is too...strong. áRun, me Lad!! Take the bonnie and FLEE!!"
Veronica was already on her horse when I looked for her next, it was her screams that snapped me out of it, got me to notice Marten was awake again. áStrong bastard lifted me up off of him, right straight up. áI panicked, noticed that Orton's horse was within reach, grabbed the reigns, pulled it's head down into Marten's face and stabbed it in the throat. áI sawed the blade down the animal's throat until it hit the collarbone, and when I felt that, I slid the tip of the blade around it and pushed. áThe knife pierced into it's heart and down it went, shoulder first and sliding right onto Marten's face. áAs it came down, it quite literally pushed me away from him and out of his grasp at the cost of me tunic, I rolled away, jumped up onto my horse and kicked it as hard as I possible could. áVeronica was already well down the path before I had mounted, so I caught up to her quickly.
"Kick 'Im, lass!! áKick 'im!!"
I shouted as I approached, but knew she couldn't even reach where she needed to kick. áI loosened my reign strap out one side and lashed my arm down as hard as I could without losing balance. áWhen the leather strap hit the animal's arse and cracked, it let loose and took full sprint alongside mine. áIt was a very well trained horse, otherwise I think Veronica would have fallen off. áIt had a grace to the way it changed from a gait to a sprint. áSmooth, thank God. áWhen I turned my head, Veronica's Da was chasing us down the path, and wasn't falling behind as fast as he should have been. áBefore we made the treeline of the forest, he staggered to a stop and gave up to turn around. áAs I looked back ahead, I knew why. áThe traces of bright blue were lighting up the sky ahead of us. áVeronica must be right. áHe fears the sun. áI had her ease her horse back to a trot along with mine and continue on. áWe can't kill these horses, or we will die soon after. áAt mid-day every day, I would find a spot out of sight for Veronica and I would ride back a ways to keep an eye out but never fine any signs that Veronica's Da is anywhere. Just see the distant figures of the guards. áI digress to that topic.
Even though they chase, they have never been within sight of us until 5 days ago. Veronica's horse threw a shoe and I had to dismount to calm the animal again. áWas the noise of it clattering down the hill, I figure. áJust before we could drop below the hilltop, they crested the one behind us, on the other side of the valley. áThey picked up their pace, and they are traveling lighter than we are with the loot weighing down both our horses. áNot much we can do but hope we break camp and push on into the end of the storm before they do to make up more distance with clearer skies than they travel through.
She's an incredible girl, she is handling all of this so well, never complains, just seems happy and relieved that I'm here and trying to take her away from her monsterous Da. áBut to what end if he never stops chasing her? I haven't told her yet, but I'm going to leave her here, in this very cave. áAnd with her I will leave all of our food, all of our water, all our tinder, all the gold and silver and gems. áI'm going to leave my blankets and bedding, and take hers with me. áIf I'm right, her Da will be following her scent like a dog at night because he can't follow during the day for whatever reason. And if I'm right, and remember right, dogs can smell through certain things. áLike a cave with a potent smell of bat shite. áDogs don't find those bears, because their scent can't be found within that shite smell. áThis cave has such a stink to it. áThree ways in and out if you're Veronica, one way for an adult. She has made a couple hiding spots too since we've been here. áI'm going to try to lure her Da to the guards, and start a fight that way. á13 against 2 is a lot better odds, especially if they start after him before they see me. And if I'm not right about him hunting by scent, then he's flat out not going to find her in the cave to begin with and will see me riding with what appears to be Veronica in the saddle with me. Bad news is that there is almost no way out of this for me. áSeems pretty good chance that Veronica's father will kill me before I can get him to the guards, much better chance of being slapped in irons by them if I do, or being killed outright in the middle of the fight. If it be irons, it will be a cage, then a dungeon...then the headsman. áI got lucky after me last entry. áGod smiles on the faithful and pure of heart. áBut I'm a murderer now, slain me fellow man. áPlanning to slay another. áVeronica will be safe when the storm passes. áI told her where to go, who to talk to and to mention me when she gets there and she'll be okay, just in case we get seperated...That's what I told her. áI'm a liar too. My depravity knows no ends. áI've only ever cared for meself until now. áI love you, Veronica. áI know you will find this, and I hope you learn to read so you'll understand this last message. áNo matter what happens to me after I write this, I love you, lass. áYou are and were worth saving. áI hope you live through this and live a fine life, and are very happy. áIf you can do that for me, just be happy, live don't survive, then what I'm going to do will be worth it. áI'll die a happy man, smiling to meself about these things no matter how I die. áSo please make them happen for me, in memory of me; Take all I've left for you, and live.

Fare thee well, Veronica

7th Week of Winter, 1526
Fallon Haestus
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