WIPpet: I’ve Returned

So things have been a little bit quiet around here recently, sorry. Honours has been insanely busy and that’s left very little time for really anything else. Things are still pretty busy (that’s going to be standard until November it seems) but I have a bit more time to get back into my writing, and what better way to kick things off than with a WIPpet!

To make up for not being around, this week is 10 paragraphs: 30/3=10. Easy peasy.  Context, Siri has arrived at an inn in Carithno in the evening following her rather interesting morning with Rinn.

“I’ll take ye to ye room.” The young girl smiled shyly, motioning for Siri to head up the stairs.  They were old and creaked underneath her feet, the railing surprisingly ornate for such an unremarkable establishment.  Seeing her staring at the staircase, the girl smiled.  “Almost all the houses here were inhabited by the wealthy at one time or another.  As the next layer got build, they all moved up, and so did we.”  She paused, as though searching for something else to say that might impress Siri.  “We’ve got fireplaces in every room as well.”  She beamed, but Siri was unimpressed.  There were fireplaces in every room in most places in Arpathia, where their winters were barely as cold as this ‘spring’.  She would have expected nothing less in Taneka.

“Where are you from?”  The girl cocked her head, pausing on the balls of her feet at the top of the stairs.

“Not here.”  Siri growled, more harshly than she had meant to.  She didn’t want people asking so many questions of her.

The girl shrugged.  “Me neither.  I was born in the Narrowing, I think.  I dunno who brought me here, but here I am.  Ma looks after me, if I work hard.”

“Is that woman your mother?”  There was barely any resemblance between the fat, dark haired innkeeper and this small, blonde child.

“No.”  The girl laughed, a high pitched titter.  “That’s her name.  Ma.  It’s short for something, but no one remembers what.  So she’s just Ma!” She laughed again.  “This one is your room.  It’s small, but there’s a fire and furs to keep you warm.  I can bring you up some bread and meat from dinner if you like.”  The young girl winked at Siri.  “Ma doesn’t trust girls like you, but I’m not scared of you.”

“Girls like me?”  Siri stepped into her new room as she asked the question, wondering how on earth someone grand enough to require the ornate staircase had permitted such a dingy room in their home.

“Yeah.  You know, one dressed like a man.”

Siri raised her eyebrow.  “I thought plenty of women dressed in breeches in Taneka?”

The girl shrugged.  “They do.  But Ma still doesn’t trust them.  She’s old, you see, and people who are old don’t often like things that are different.”  She grinned.  “But I wear breeches under my skirts, see.”  She lifted her skirts to show Siri.  “I’ll bring you food.” With that, she was gone, darting back down the stairs so quickly Siri almost missed her leaving.  Closing the door and turning the key in the lock, she smiled.  Rinn would love a girl like her, feisty and quick with a spark in her eye.  The thought made Siri sigh, her smile fading rapidly.  Crossing the room to the small bed, Siri slipped off her travelling cloak, noting that the pockets were slightly lighter without the gold she had given to the innkeeper.  She had more, of course, plenty more.  Rinn never sent her anywhere unprepared, and gold came in handy more often than Siri would have once thought.  She stretched out on her bed, her eyes closed.  Rinn may have given her bags full of gold and weapons hidden under every piece of clothing to help her fulfil his task, but what he had offered her in return if she succeeded was even more valuable.  He had promised her something she had never believed she would have, never thought he would dare to grant her.  Her hand traced the brand on the back of her neck as she allowed herself to mouth the words for the first time since she had heard them slip from Rinn’s lips.  “Freedom.”

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