Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chapter 3: And a party

        Lanterns hung on ropes, illuminating the town square. Musicians played while people gathered. Caden's father set out his donation of meat pies and honey rolls. Thadeus Silverhorn, Erdon's elven mayor, walked up to the table and selected a honey roll. "Evening Caden, how's that boy of yours?"

        "Absent minded as ever." Caden's father sighed. "All he ever thinks about are the Dragon Knights. I wish he was more dedicated like your daughter."
        "Ha! Samaelus isn't dedicated to anything." Thadeus shakes his heads. "You know how kids are, last decade, she wanted to be a tailor, this decade she wants to be a baker. Next she'll want to be a painter or musician."
        "Well, she can stay my apprentice as long as she likes. I might even give her the bakery someday."
        "Remember, she may look like an adult." Thadeus put a hand on Caden's father's shoulder. "But she's more of a kid then your boy."

        "Sam!" Caden called into her room. "What do you think looks better?" Caden walked into Sam's room holding a red tunic and a blue one.
        Sam looked up from her dresser. She's half dressed, yet neither of them notice. "I was thinking that maybe you could wear this one." She pulled out a deep green tunic with silver dragons embroidered on the shoulders.
        "Wow, that's perfect, Sam." Caden took the shirt from her. "Where did you get it?"
        "I made it." She selected a dress from her wardrobe. "It matches the dress I made for my self."
        "I guess I'm lucky you had the extra fabric." Caden walked out the door.
        "Caden!" He stopped. "I've been living off the kitchen, and working for your father for a while now."
        "Yeah, like 7 harvests."
        "Actually, it's been nine," she said. "But that's not important! I was thinking, it's almost your 16th harvest, maybe we don't have to go alone tonight."
        "Oh, I won't. Keilee agreed to go with me." Caden holds up the green shirt. "Thanks for your help." Caden heads back to his room.

        Caden arrived at the town square with Keilee at his side. She wore a dusty orange dress. They walked to the tables of food and drink. Sir Eric stumbled past them, and drew another mug of shine. Caden looked around and saw the stranger. He was sitting off to the side, watching the party.
        "What do you think his problem is?"
        "Who?" Keilee asked.
        "Sir Eric! All he does is drink and talk bad about his fellow Dragon Knights."
        "Dad says he's lucky to be alive."
        "Why is that?"
        "He was discharged from the Dragon Knights for some injury. He came back here to die, but when he recovered, the king honored his service by granting him some of our land."
        "That's what I mean. He should be more grateful."
        "Maybe it's what the Dragon Knights do."
        "What's that mean?"
        "Look around you."
        Caden looked around at the gathered people. There were women every where. But the men were older then his father, or his age and younger. Most of the apprentices in the town were women, even the blacksmith was training his own daughter to take over the forge in a few years.
        "If the Dragon Knights keep taking away the men," Keilee said, "only to bring them back in boxes..." She shook her head. "This town is going to die soon."
        "You starting to sound like Sir Eric. It's an honor when they choose us to join them."
        "Maybe, but this town needs more people like you." A tear ran down her cheek. "They want strong men like my brother."
        "Hey, I'm strong, and I get stronger everyday."
        "The Dragon Knights aren't going to choose you. Everyone sees it, you're the one person we can rely on always coming home."
        "You know what, forget it." Caden walked away.
        "Caden, wait!" Keilee stood. "I didn't mean it like that."
        "I'm going to become one of them, and I'll return a hero."

No comments: