I just made the Tales from the sideline blogfest hosted by Justified Lunacy. Deadline July 8th.
Richard is the sidekick though I kinda fell for him. It was hard to keep him as a sidekick.
Richard watched the caverns unsure of his decision to save their lives. Perhaps it would have been best had they died in the cavern rather than risking all. He considered following Wilhelm’s suggestion and ignore the Rogue and leave it be. The next encounter would lead to its death. But Richard could not. It was dishonorable and he had given the Rogue his word. He would have to at least attempt, Rhe final decision, all knew, would be Anne.
“Can you turn so I can dry?” she asked from the river.
“No, but I will try to steer my eyes away from you and focus on your surroundings,” he said and knew when he spoke that he had lied. His eyes did wonder to her and he was grateful she moved quickly to dress. He knew his pains where Anne was concerned would last a lifetime. He had loved her since she was thirteen, parrying with her, showing her how to fight, use a bow and survive. She was seventeen now and he would have never believed she would turn out to be their savior and regretted losing his heart to her. She lifted her head and he quickly turned his eyes toward the caverns and saw a flicker of movement. The damn Rogue had seen as well and for that he would rather kill it.
“What is it?” she asked tying her vest and looking towards the caverns. Her face was pale.
“Are you ill?” he asked.
“I’m fine,” she said.
“Sit down,” he said and led her under a tree where they both sat. “Back in the caverns, Martin, Haledon and I met with our deaths,” he began without looking at her hoping that he could be honest at how he said it so that she would understand the gravity of the situation and his choice. “We met with a RoKari, a monster. We were only able to decipher what it was by the sound it made against the stone. We were in darkness and our human senses have been dormant for centuries and thus we have very little to rely on but our eyes to guide us through the darkness.” He paused and this time he did look at her. He tried hard to provide an excuse for his actions that led them here, but he knew he sounded weak and he felt more the fool. “We would not have been able to go around it nor fight it in the darkness without our peril as a certainty and so I made a bargain with a Rogue of the underworld, a very dangerous and powerful foe, to lead us out of the cave and into safety.”
“What did you bargain?”
“His freedom. This particular Rogue is a prisoner of these caves, a creature of the darkness.”
“And it led you out, what does this have to do with me?”
"You are the only one that can give it its freedom. The choice, I’m afraid, must lie with you.”
“What does Wilhelm say?”
“He says it’s a mistake. He doesn’t trust it, him” Richard looked to the caverns.
“What do you say?”
“I believe as Wilhelm does,” he said not looking at her.
She touched him lightly on the cheek leading his eyes back to her. “But?”
“But I gave him my word and I cannot ignore its weight.”
“Why would you do that if you believe it to be dangerous? Why would you have struck a bargain as that, were you afraid of death?”
“No,” he said quickly, he wasn’t
“I believe that all creatures should be judged by their actions, not by their …strangeness, this Rogue, whatever evil is inherent in its being has not shown such action, yet,” he added.