Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Watchers, The Holy Man is watched.

Another entry in the continuing saga of Shepherd Benjamin and the watchers. All copyright 2009, Michael W. Loder

“There he goes.” Several pairs of eyes watched as the holy man left the hotel and started down the street, his crook-staff in one hand, a fawn-colored dufflebag slung over his opposite shoulder. Even at two rods’ distance, the watchers could mark the look of fear and anger on his face
The girl nodded and chewed on her lower lip. “Puffy-filled pants,” she whispered.
He does not wear trews, just his robe, tunic and jack.”
“You know what I mean!” She had been forced to use one of her flash bombs to save him. Three of her friends had risked their lives to obtain those bombs. “He has power enough. Why did he not use it to check, instead of doubt’n my word.” Holy man—silly outlander, she added in her mind.
Perhaps not so foolish if the Elders brought him here?”
“Humph.” She watched until the cleric had turned the next corner and disappeared into the market crowds. It was disgusting in that old building.It stank horriblylike burnt sausage.
Is he headed for the aeroport?”
The girl stood, leaned left and shaded her eyes. “He has crossed the street.”
Then Rasstut will pick up. We can do nothing more here.”
“I know.” She shook herself and sighed, then grasped the roof’s soffit and, using its support, swung down easily to the ground. She immediately slipped behind a bulky pillar that was part of the roof’s support.
“Yes. Little-later.” The girl straightened a long, cream-colored, cotton dress with many opaque folds and her grey wool shaw and waited. Half a dial-turn later, when a young couple wearing custom-fitted and matching great clothes striped with gold and silver ribbon walked by, she left the pillar’s shelter and fell in behind them.
She matched her pace to the couples’, keeping a careful three yards back. The two were both nineteen; both thought they were in love and had eyes only for each other. It was easy for the girl to suddenly appear as if from nowhere.
“Beriana, where have you been?” Her sister, blurted out in surprise.
“Nowheres, but I’ve been good, I promise,” Beriana answered, tossing her loosened. now-wavy hair—held only by a silken ribbon that matched the color of her dress.
“Good for whom?” the boy asked with a thread of irony.
“What mean you by that tone?” Beriana pouted.
The boy and her sister stopped and turned around. He leaned over so his eyes were level with Beriana’s and she could not miss their twinkle. “What I mean is, if you do good, why does trouble always seem to follow in your wake? Aye?”
Beriana looked away and sniffed. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Oooh, I sense a nose too long for a face,” the boy laughed. “But come, we will speak no more.” He grabbed the other girl around her waist and squeezed. She returned it with a crooked smile and shrug.

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