Strange Love | By: Timothy Cummings | | Category: Short Story - Fantasy Bookmark and Share

Strange Love

A Strange Love
As Told by Hakkiem

Gabby sat huddled in the corner of the dilapidated cottage. Seeking what little comfort she could from the raging storm outside and pressing hard against the gaping wound in her side. Damn her luck, or no luck she thought. First to be assaulted by three Imps on a rampage then to be jumped by a Bounty Hunter and when she awoke with no weapon, no mana, and very little clothing it's a wonder that she had the luck to find this broken down shack. Damn where was a fairy or wood nymph when you needed one? The wound was not large but it was deep and Gabriella could feel her lifeblood slipping away down the cracks in the floor. She should have stayed in Drune and listened to the storyteller rather then to go out hunting on this day she thought as she slowly slipped into darkness.

She was surprised when she awoke and found a fire burning in the small fireplace. Perhaps she was more surprised to be awake at all then by the fire. She checked her wound and was again startled to see fresh bandages and some sort of balm where bloody rages had been earlier. As she turned once again to the fire she caught a movement in the dark corner of the room. "I am sorry m'lady. I did not mean to awake you. How do you feel and do you think you could take some nourishment and water?" His voice was soft almost lyrical and the hair on Gabby's neck stood on end when she heard him. "ackk" was all that came out of her mouth as she started to speak. Just how long had she been passed out? Her throat felt as dry as the Ascetos Desert. He saw her discomfort and she could just barely see him pointing to the floor on the other side of a broken table by the fireplace. There was a blanket spread there with water and bread and cheese upon it. Gabby crawled to it and picked up a bottle of water and drank deeply. Why didn't he just hand it to her she wondered? Or at least help her to the blanket. "Ah m'lady I sense you are wondering why I choose to stay in the shadows? Will my appearance might startle you to say the least and I would not want to cause you anymore discomfort then what has already befallen you."

"You think I have not seen many strange things here in this Realm sir? What are you ugly or just deformed?" she asked as the water finally let her find her voice. He laughed softly. By the Goddess the music in his words and laughter it was more heady then the wine in Hakkiem's Square. "No m'lady none of those things but if you'd care to eat a little and as we wait for this rain to let up I'll tell you a story of my misfortunes." She leaned up against the warm cobblestones of the fireplace and ate some of the goat cheese as the stranger started his tale.

"I came into being in the mansion of m'lord and lived in the lap of luxury for many seasons. The wine and music filled my days and the stars themselves touched the evenings. But I grew restless in the mansion and started to envy the ways of others until my heart grew dark and cold. The woes I brought onto myself and those around me did not go unnoticed for very long and at last I was called to answer for those actions. I was called before my Lord and friend and I saw the sorrow in his eyes as he passed judgement upon me. In his wisdom and loving kindness I was sent to this place and to this time to heal the darkness of my heart and to help the one who could once again make me whole." As he ended his words he stepped into the light of the fire and Gabriella gasped at the sight of him.

The rain became soft upon the roof and the fire became a dull amber. The pain in Gabby's side was hardly noticed as she lay in his tender arms. Goddess above if her friends in the square could see her now. The shock of his stature wore off quickly as she realized who and what stood before her and the love he held for her in his eyes was undeniable. Oh yes she would surly heal this man of his darkness and his longings. If it took years or century's she would accomplish this task. Already his eyes showed the warming of the heart and the healing of the soul. "I am not a wizard m'lady but if you like the rain has stopped enough now for me to take you home." He spoke softly as he stroked her cheek and whispered in her ear. "Yes m'lord" she said as she stroked his wings. "A flight on angel wings would be most welcome right about now."

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