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A New House to Call Home - 1


Word Count: 962
C/S: Canon
Characters: Conroy
Rating: PG

The following takes place long before The Cillian Mission.

 

There is a certain quality to a cobblestone road that enriches the atmosphere of the land it travels through. It is a quality I have yet to put into words. Even now as I am dragged out from the city proper, my body continually bashing against the assymetrical pattern of rocks, I fail to find those words. In fact, currently I seem to only be able to find expletives.

 

It was only the constant battery that let me know I was still being dragged on the road. From my vantage point, all I could see in every direction was the red curtain that had become caught on the runaway cart.   The thick velvet material snapped back and forth viciously in the wind generated by the velocity of the terrified horses.   I barely had the upper body strength to hold on, let alone pull myself up onto the cart, but bodily harm is an unpleasantly persistent motivator. I don’t understand what masochists see in it at all. Hand over hand I began moving closer to the edge of the cart, hoping that each pull didn’t bring the curtain down ontop of me literally. The chest with the scented parchments was still nestled at the front of the cart and given its ornate design and the fragile alchemy that had went into creating the letters, I knew at the very least I needed to get them to safety for the sake of the mission.

 

Lifting my upper body up on the edge of the cart caused my entire body to spasm. It was as if without the constant input of new pain from the road my body was finally able to process how bad I off I was. The shock of it loosed a scream from my throat as I started to fall backwards off the cart. My fingers managed to snarl around some of the gold trim of the curtain just in time. My descent was only partially slowed though as the stitching ripped under my weight. Still, it gave me enough time to curl my legs up off the road. As the stitching came completely loose, I extended my legs to push off the curtain covered cobblestone, launching myself into the back of the cart.

 

Though not as painful, the cart bounced more wildly than I did being dragged behind it. I struggled to get free of the curtain, desperately wanting for a dagger or a sword. As I was flung back and forth in the wagon, my hand luckily found a tear in the fabric. I ripped my way free of the curtain with an attempt at theatrical flare. The wooden cask of wine that smashed against my stomach and the sudden lurching of the cart as it veered left, made it more like a drunken fumble then a grand entrance, but at least I was out. I rolled over onto all fours to catch my breath and to get my bearings. The chest had been cracked in half like an egg and was held together by only splinters.  At any moment the two sides would split apart and the parchments would be fluttering across the countryside.  Worse, I realized as I panted, the wine cask had been uncorked after stealing my breath.  The burgundy liquid was sloshing its way across the cart towards the letters as if to deliberately thwart my rescue. I tried to race ahead of the pungent beverage, but my crawling turned into a dive. As a bump in the road caused me to lose my balance and slip in the wine. My head slammed between the two halves of the chest, flattening me to the floor in the process. I tried to fight the initial daze of the impact and was aided by the panic that wine had followed close behind me and was leaking along my neck and face into the chest. Frantically I began to lick the potent alcohol off my face to keep it from ruining the delicate scented parchments. It was an embarrassingly long few seconds before I realized the foolishness of my solution. I grabbed hold of both sides of the chest around my head and sat up, lifting the chest and its precious cargo out of harm’s way. The cart had become much more stable and smooth, but from the wind I could tell the horses had lost none of their speed. Carefully I removed the halves of the chest from my head, making sure none of the letters flew out.  I was about to tie some of the curtain fringe around the halves to secure the chest when I noticed the King’s guard behind us. In the heat of the moment, I had forgotten that His highness would obviously have his men give chase after my performance. My initial panic at seeing them was replaced by a confused thankfulness. The armoured knights had apparently ceased their pursuit, halting their horses at the edge of the road. They were watching escape over the grassy countryside. Perhaps even though I hadn’t finished the play, they had caught the undertones of the plot and figured out the real reason the King had had a problem with my portrayal. Two knights wouldn’t be enough though, there was still a lot of work to do.

Still it was strange I thought that they would veer in their duty even if they had guessed the play’s actual intent. I thought this as I turned around to grab the reins of the runaway horses and bring this cart under a more controlled escape. What I thought immediately after that was OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SSSHHHHHHHHHHHIIIITTTT! As the cart careened over the cliff towards the sea far below.

 

My name is Conroy. This is my second mission for House Muse.

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