Jenny: White Words

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His uncle yanked back the horse-blanket and stared at the wound. For a moment he watched the other's eyes flicker back and forth; then his uncle mused, "Jealous of me, were you?"

"Well, I couldn't let you have all the fame, sir," Artos replied stiffly. He glanced at his hand and saw that it was shaking rather badly, and he but it hastily back under the covers. To stave off the fear, he attempted flippancy. "Aren't girls fond of scars?"

"I cannot say as I ever asked." His uncle drew back to leave room for the surgeon, and a moment later the pain was redoubled as the man dug about in the wound. His head began to throb from holding in the pain. Through his dark vision he could see his uncle's face drawn and grey with concern. He did not need to look at his uncle's face to know it was bad, but his uncle's face only made it worse. And suddenly he was wanting the Guttersnipe very badly, to at least hear her rage against the archer, which would somehow take the edge off the terror.

His uncle gripped his shoulder tightly and held on. Through the roaring in his ears he heard, "We are going to take you home, Artos. We're going home..."

~~~~

The Guttersnipe got to her feet, hardly aware of the stiffness in her body. "Oh, Champion..." she said, and burst into tears. She held out her arms to him, blindly, stumbling in the shallows. "Champion! Champion!"

He came with a great thunder of wings and, while he could not help it, his talons dug into her arms. But in her desperate hurry she hardly noticed; she held him close to her damp chest, kissing the crest of his head, ruffling his feathers. He jerked his head about under her chin and spread out his wings as through to embrace her.

"My Lord Ambrosius," she gasped when she had finished crying with desolate relief. "My Lord Ambrosius - he is here? Where is he? Take me too him, Champion!"

But the bird drew off a little and looked at her out of one of those dark golden eyes, and she felt her heart sink into the stream. No, child. Not yet. You must wait for the others.

She did not know, nor did she wish at that moment to know, what he meant. She could never really understand what he meant. "But my Lord..." she said, and the tears came afresh. ...and Artos and Jason and Gaius. Champion, I want to go home!

Champion said nothing more. He put his head on her chest and stroked her with his pinions as a parent would comfort a child.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

"Jealous of me, were you?"
Hee hee. I thought of that when you said it was a leg wound.

Poor Guttersnipe. As you can see in my post, Aithne and I are heartbroken in sympathy.

~Lys

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