Short Stories from the Elements – Poison

Greetings again. This week we will be meeting Poison. Enjoy!

 

Turning her face to the sun, Kahsan smiled. It was such a beautiful day. A light prayer on her lips thanked the Gods that most of her duties were outdoors. She had already been working very hard today and was feeing utterly exhausted. She was just walking home now. Work had started unusually early today. She was happy to be finished. Turning into a side street, Kahsan tucked her hands into her flowing sleeves. The city was bustling this time of year. The harvest was coming in, traders arrived in droves to sell and buy wares. With so many people, it was easy to get lost in the crowd. But Kahsan had grown up in this city. She was used to the crowds and knew many short cuts through the back streets. Laughter in front of her brought her gaze up. Ahead in the alley were four men. Wearing nice, neat clothes, these men were obviously nobles visiting the city for the festival. Residents could not afford such lavish attires. Glancing up at them as she inched past, one smiled down at her. Dropping her gaze again, she continued down the alley.

Suddenly she held her hand to head, swaying wildly. She stumbled to the side, clutching at the stone wall and trying not to fall.

‘Hey, are you alright?’ She felt a strong hand steady her shoulder. The men had noticed and turned back to help her.

‘I’m okay,’ She murmured, her voice faint, ‘Just dizzy. I guess I worked a little too hard today.’ Gripping his forearms in her hands, she raised her gaze to his piercing, light green eyes.

‘Where do you work?’

‘In the farm just outside the walls. I collect eggs and help out where needed.’ His eyes were unnerving her. She pushed herself away from him, falling gently against his friend behind her.

‘Do you need a healer?’ he asked, holding her steady.

‘No, I’m…I’m fine.’ She tried to explain, ‘I’ve always been very delicate. I must have spent too long in the sun. But I’ll alright now and I’m almost home.’

‘Do you live alone or do you have someone with you?’ Another one of the men spoke up.

‘Yes,’ the first agreed, ‘you don’t want to be alone right now in case you collapse again.’

‘I live with my sisters.’ Bowing slightly, she started to move away, ‘If you will excuse me, my lords, I simply have to get home.’

‘As long as you’re sure you’ll be okay.’ Bowing in response, the men turned and started back along the alley.

Pulling her hood up over her face, Kahsan slipped her hands back into her sleeves. She walked swiftly down the alley and around the corner. Breathing a deep sigh of relief, she drew four change purses from her sleeves. Ignorant nobles. Stealing from them wasn’t even a challenge. Tucking the purses into her deep pockets, she drew her hood close and glanced back around the corner. The alleyway was empty. The men had continued on their way none the wiser that they were significantly poorer. Chuckling to herself, she brought her head back around. A slight breath escaped her lips as she raised an eyebrow in confusion. A strong wind hit her, blowing her hood off her head. She made no effort to stop it as she stared at the stones around her, utterly bewildered. Why was she suddenly in a bloodied arena surrounded by ruins?

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