17878265

17878265 by David Page B

Book: 17878265 by David Read Free Book Online
Authors: David
welcomed his caregiver’s voice. It was soothing. The pain in his head seemed to lessen for a moment as the sweetness of her tone tickled his ear. He knew, No harm will come to me as long as I am under the watch of the woman beside me.
    The woman’s words triggered renewal of old queries and new ones besides. Where am I?
    Who now keeps vigil over me? The woman’s speech floated on an accent that was light and airy.
    Where is this maid from? Loric wondered, for her tone did not match the drawl of the local populace. Stabbing pain poked at his mind to punish him for thinking. It persisted with fervor to rival his curiosity.
    Loric wanted to see his caregiver. His desire to get a glimpse of the woman-- no, lady, he decided, judging from her manner of speech alone--who had spoken to him was overpowering, but he dared not lift his lids for fear that the pounding inside his skull would return. He opened his eyes to mere slits, hoping to capture her image for an instant. Throbbing swelled to agony within his aching head. He winced, at last ready to lay aside all thoughts of viewing the lady watching over him.
    Loric relaxed and let his caregiver push him back until his head sank into a makeshift pillow. The sickly traveler longed to know answers to his questions, but his desire to hear that songlike tone fill the air was greater still. There was a knot in his chest and his stomach felt empty. Nevertheless, he tried to speak. His throat was parched and his words issued forth with a crackle. “Where am I?” he croaked in an effort to prompt the lady into speech once more.
    “We are camped a few miles south of Moon River,” the woman answered. Of her own
    volition, she added, “It is amazing you are alive, Sir Stranger.”
    The first statement made Loric’s head hurt, because he had no recollection of where that place was within the wide world. Her additional remark caused him to consider a new series of questions. Most important among them: Who is she? Moreover, by we , had she meant the two of them, or were there others present as well? It is amazing you are still alive, she had said. What had happened to him to cause her to say that? Her use of titles egged on his curious mind. Sir Stranger was indicative that he was a knight, whose name was unknown to her. The word stranger was charged with emotion. Although Loric could not remember its significance to him, it left him downtrodden. Loric teased his memory for answers to his queries, but it was to no avail. He received a torturous headache as reward for his inquisitiveness, whereupon he repeated his previous moan.
    “You should rest,” the lady suggested. “As I understand it, you have had a difficult day.”
    She touched Loric’s forehead, taking great care not to cause him discomfort. The lady whispered something he did not understand, and his pain dissipated. “This is some knot you have earned,”
    she commented. “Had it not been for your helmet, that tree limb probably would have killed you.”
    Tree limb? That should have been significant to Loric, but he could not recall why. He struggled to piece events together. It must have had something to do with the vagabonds who had chased him. He hoped the lady would volunteer more information, but she fell silent once more, leaving Loric’s mind to wander aimlessly to the rain that lashed at the tent.
    The storm, which had seemed so distant only moments before, reminded them of its
    presence with renewed frenzy. A series of bright flashes illuminated the tent. Thunder boomed close by. The rain, although it had lessened for a time, was now unleashed against the temporary shelter. Wind increased in velocity, until it and the droplets riding upon it were tearing at the very fiber of the canvas dwelling. Loric was concerned that the screaming gale would rip up the tent and bear it away. He could not see the woman beside him, but he sensed in her the same fear; an unspoken tension that gripped Loric without physical

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