~The Quiet Traveler~
SHE was separated from her family that night, she and many others were hidden in a local tavern away from the giant flames. What happened, happened in just a matter of seconds that no one really had time to completely comprehend the situation. Most were still in shock while others were slowly realizing what had occurred that same very night.
The heat from the fire before bought poor Madeline back from her state of shock. Just a few minutes before she was simply laughing with her family and eating like any other normal night, but tonight was very, very different.
Let’s go back in time sha’ll we?
We’ll turn the clock back forty-five minutes before the destruction had happened. Madeline was entering the local tavern her family had frequently visited. The same people who normally were there were sitting at their own seats and chatting about. As the family of four gradually became closer to their seats Madeline sniffed the air to smell the sweet smell of roasted Buffalo.
The tavern was a well-known one that most people would kill to get into. The place was so cozy and warm it made people want to fall asleep and most of the villagers of the town were simply dolls. Most of them nice and the ones who weren’t didn’t speak at all. Seats were divided evenly and meals were always warm and delicious. The chef went by anonymous but he was indeed a fine chef.
I suppose I should introduce myself, I’m not too keen on introductions but for you I sha’ll. My name is well known, well not in today’s modern world but I am the book keeper. The one who has seen each and everyone of these books in real life. My name is simply Janyah Davidson. Enough of me, I should tell you a bit about you. Yes, I can do that because right now I already know a little about you just by how you’ve began to read this book.
You could be one of two people. One, a curious new reader who has just begun to read and is slowly finding out that you are in love with fantasy’s. Or two a reader who has been reading for quite some time. Now back to the book sha’ll we?
Madeline’s family was rather small, it only consisted of four people, three not including her. The first and eldest family member was her mother of course. Her skin was frail, it would shrivel up whenever touched by heat. You may want to remember that. She went by the name of Stella and did nothing but work, she was quite a workaholic but nevertheless she still was a great mother. It’s a shame she won’t be in much of the story due to her very quick and painful death.
The second member in Madeline’s family is of course her father. He was a stronger man who mostly hunted for food instead of gathering berries. His days consisted of hunting, eating and waiting for his last days to come. Although he wasn’t old he still knew that hunting was a task that could end up with him dead. His name was Silas.
Our next and final family member is Madeline’s very own brother. Twin brother in fact, he is a very sweet guy. He mostly did nothing but attempt to hunt and eat food, or his least favorite subject, he’d go to school. Despite truly hating school with a passion, he would still go each and every day. This boys name was Calvin. What a wimpy name, who’d name their child Calvin? Not a sorcerer, that’s for sure. Now my apologies if that is your name, I’m not insulting you, just this particular Calvin that I dreadfully hate.
The family eventually found their seats and sat quickly. Madeline stared down at her light menu and waited for their waitress to arrive. Her mind had been empty, this was the last time, however that her mind would be like this. The smell of the food made Madeline smile as she waited.
“What a fine night tonight is.” Silas exclaimed as if trying to make small-talk.
He didn’t lie, it was indeed a fine night. The moon was showing herself and the stars were out too. Plenty of stars were out that night, perhaps they were a warning. The wind outside was not to fast nor too slow and humidity was nowhere to be found. The night was easy going and calm, this would be the perfect night to go for a stroll. But no, they decided to go to a tavern. If only they knew what would happen, if only there were some sort of warning sign.
Ah, but there was a warning sign, a sign that no one had yet uncovered and the sign was a man. No not just a man but the man, the man that would change it all was sitting in a booth just to the right of Madeline. He wore a top hat, a undoubtedly fine top hat. And his hands were hidden by a white cloth known as gloves. What could possibly be under the gloves, those white gloves. And there was one more thing that was so easy to spot, so easy to see, it was on his face after all. There was a leather eye patch on his right eye.
But no one noticed, they had all assumed that it was just another traveler. And the ones who did notice pretended they didn’t, no one was very fond of travelers in this village.
The waiter finally went up to Madenline’s table and asked exactly what they wanted. I could tell you per cicely what each person said, I could explain in very much detail how perfect their food was but what would be the fun in that? We’d just be waisting more of your time.
The waiter had given a clue too, this clue was a very small clue that perhaps no one would notice, no one but me of course. But this waiter had put up one finger in the air the entire time he spoke to the people at the table, and he had put up two fingers in the air every time he spoke to the next table. It was a pattern that this waiter was doing over and over again, and he had assumed that I did not see it.
The longer it took for the family to get their food the less happy they became, just like any other person who would have late food. You see the thing wrong with this issue was the this tavern was known for its quickly served food and this, was another clue. A clue that no one had thought of. Of course no one had thought of it.
I watched Madeline get her plate of food extremely late and glanced up impatiently at this very confusing traveler. No one had noticed this but I had, this traveler was not like many other travelers who visited the Village of Peace.
Most villagers were kindhearted and spoke extremely loud, it would normally get on my very last nerve, their voices were loud and chaotic but this traveler was very different. His hands had been covered with only a thin layer of wool, but still it baffled me. Why wool? Why cover your hands?
Now of course this could’ve been just a very small coincidence but I was almost one-hundred percent sure that this person, this very person was like no other person.
Madeline and her family had already began to speak freely about anything. They mostly spoke of family fun times and entertaining things they had done over the weeks, like most families would.
The waiter slowly approached me, he held up five fingers, signaling that I had been the fifth table he had reached all night. Or possibly the tenth, meaning that he had already used his other hand. How foolish of me to not pay close attention to how many tables he had served. Maybe if I had knew my timing would’ve been flawless, but I was so focused on everything that had been happening around me that I had forgotten about the very waiter that I should’ve been watching.
The smug look on his face showed it all. Somehow he had knew exactly what I was doing, was the distraction all his fault? Maybe I had been thinking far into it. Perhaps I wasn’t thinking enough. Still I was not ready for what was soon about to happen.
“Anything to have on this lively night?” The waiter had asked me.
That was the next clue, the exact way the word lively had rolled off of his tongue, of course I hadn’t noticed that back then I was only focused on the very mysterious man and his shiny, white gloves.
“No thank you. But I do have a question.” I said to the man.
I was being quite clever, in fact the waiter himself couldn’t even see that I myself was wearing gloves of my own. Madeline laughed loudly at something her father had said to her many moments before.
The waiter continued to hold his five fingers up and smiled very innocently at me. I had been a fool to not count, that was running through my mind as I stared at him. As Madeline giggled I frowned, this was my very last chance to react, or perhaps I had five more tables to wait through. Either way I was dumbfounded, still I had to do something.
Perhaps what I had done was idiotic but it had been my very last resort. I simply moved my hands from under the table and sat them on the table before me. Now why is that such a silly move you may ask, because I had revealed a secret that only this waiter would know of.
I had showed him my gloves, they were much like the man sitting in the booth before me. Only mine were a fine, dark black. The waiter had gasped a bit too loudly and lowered his hand to be on the side. I only smirked and glanced up at Madeline who didn’t seem to notice the change of pace in the room.
That was the best news I had received all night, still I had made a large mistake. The waiter slowly put five fingers back up into the air as if to tell that man something. He quickly lowered his fifth finger and the traveler stood.
The room with still bustling with excitement but in my eyes it had become silent and still. Madeline chewed on a small bit of food and smiled happily. The traveler chuckled and slowly approached me, he kept his hands low and grinned.
What a foolish mistake he had done. I myself had been known for my skills in close combat and for my intelligence. That alone told me that this traveler had never been to this village.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t help but notice your very fine gloves.” He said to me as he continued to stand.
Perhaps I should’ve been paying more attention else where but for some reason in particular I kept my eyes on him. I watched him fix his top hat and continue to smirk.
“Yes, I couldn’t help but notice yours either. Tell me traveler, what’s your name?” I continued on with the conversation.
If I could just get the tiniest bit of information from him that would be enough for me to tell exactly what his intentions were. He lightly ran his index finger over the side of his gloves and continued to avoid eye contact. This man was very wise, very wise indeed.
“I’d like to keep it as anonymous for now.” He grinned as he spoke.
I glanced from his hands to Madeline and back up at his top hat. Why had his hat been so mesmerizing? Was that why he had come up so close to me.
He traced his finger around the tip of his top hat making me want to know more about it. This was his very own trick and I had fallen for it.
Maybe I should’ve payed more attention to the clues. For instance the moon was out that night, and it was indeed very dark. Anything could happen, thieves, fires, kidnappings. But no, I payed attention to his hat.
In matter of seconds this man pulled his sword from behind his back and rushed to Madeline, he swung the sword over his head to cut her. The room was in utter shock. But as quickly as he had dashed I hurried faster and made my sword hit his.
“It’s a shame, I was really taking a liking into you.” The man teased me and lifted his sword from mine.
Again he attacked and again I had blocked him. Why hadn’t I paid more attention to something else? Why had I been so focused on him. Perhaps if I were more concerned about something else I would’ve seen the waiter slip away from the big brawl that was soon going to come.
“You bastard.” I gritted my teeth as I spoke and attacked him from the side.
He blocked me instantly and backed away. His feet slid back but he stopped himself from falling. Most people were quickly evacuating while others watched in both shock and awe. Madeline was apart of that crowed, sadly. I think if I had screamed or warned her to run then she would’ve been safe.
Why Madeline? Why her? The question baffled me as our sword fight continued.
The man rushed towards me and again pointed his sword at my stomach but I quickly dodged and attempted to stab his back. I needed to know his name, if I had known that from the beginning I would at least know what to call this mysterious traveler. So I opened my mouth and asked again what his name was.
“You will remember my name and it will go down in history. My name is Chester Hoyed!” He screamed at the top of his lungs and lunged at me.
It was so close of a hit that if I had moved any slower I surely would’ve been dead. Chester growled in anger signaling that he’d either strike again or run, I was used to these typical combat fighters. Just as I assumed he ran out of the place leaving me to help save these people.
Just as I had begun to run and help the scared villagers the sound of a loud boom entered the ears of everyone in the room.
I hurriedly began to do the most logical thing which was to keep everyone hidden from whatever was approaching. Some other villagers helped me hide the others with tables and chairs.
Again another boom entered our ears. I dashed to hide behind a nearby table and then it happened. Chester and the waiter were nowhere to be found but there was now a new person setting off those loud noises.
He held a large staff and wore a black cloak, it was a cotton cloak, and his face was covered by a mask. He held his hand up overly high and pointed the staff down at the ground where a fiery explosion erupted. There was no doubt that this man was a sorcerer.
The explosion made many items fall and and crush people, while others were blown back and some burned. Many people had suffered a painful death that night. Death by fire.
Madeline was separated from her family that night, she and many others were hidden in that local tavern behind a big table.
Many people where in shock while others were suddenly realizing what had occurred that night. It wasn’t long before more people came to help and take the fire out. The travelers were gone, leaving only the smoke and flames behind.