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this page is where I post updates to my story, "Centurion". I have never really published anything before, so I thought I'd just dive in and share something I'm working on. there is no schedule, and anything I've posted may be changed at any time should I do an editing pass. there is a link below and at the bottom of the page if you would like to send me an e-mail or have any feedback. thank you.
TW: this story contains mature themes such as death, trauma, and various mental health issues. if the content of this story makes you anxious or distressed, please reach out to someone you know, or send me an e-mail anonymously. you're not alone and your voice is heard.
Abigail is an orphaned girl, with a huge burden. Discovered alone in a field by the wise courier Goodwyn, under his guidance, Abigail begins to learn what it means to be a magician, and what it means to wield a great power. The two get along as master and disciple, and she leaves her old life in Harmony behind as they set off on an adventure with humble beginnings, yet world-shattering consequences.
chapter 1: hermit
It was a brisk, dewy afternoon when the hermit, Goodwyn Hawker, set out from Harmony with a report to courier back to the village of Maushire. His nomadic lifestyle paired well with his assignments as one of the meadowland’s mail-Medouin, bringing in a little extra income to support his adventurous spirit. In his old age he had seen most everything there was to see, however the occasional new experience made his journeys across the land all the more worth it. And when his travels reached their destinations, he knew he could always find himself in familiar company with which to share an ale.
This evening would be one of those remarkable and momentous occasions where he would come across something he hadn’t seen before. A small girl, battered and stained a sullen charcoal, lay in the greenery beside the road. Hours out and without another soul to be seen, he could tell that this girl needed help, and that he would have to be that help. With the day coming to a close and the shadows gathering upon the field, he gently picked up the girl and laid her on a cot in his caravan. He began to wipe away the dirt that had gathered upon her visage when her eyes cracked, squinting, offended by the cool air and closing once more.
In a blind panic, she rolled off the cot and scrambled toward the darkness outside the caravan. Goodwyn observed, stunned and startled from her sudden restlessness. She was frightened, hurt, and lost, and he certainly did not want to scare her off into the dusky plains to freeze. She fell from the wagon, and lay on the ground in the soft light cast from the caravan. Slowly she reopened her eyes and the Medouin came into focus. She sat up and pulled her knees into her chest, somewhat calmed by the soft look of his face.
“Are you alright, young lady?” inquires Goodwyn, doing his best to appear friendly and welcoming.
The girl remains silent, looking around and continuing to tighten her huddle.
“It’s okay, little one. I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to make sure you’re alright.” He holds his lantern up to better illuminate the area and reveal more than just the silhouette of the girl. Tears reflect the flickering flame of the lantern as sparkles back to him, “Oh, goodness. I’m so sorry if I frightened you, I just wanted to help…”
“Wh- who are you?” The girl’s speech trembles in trepidation, barely making it past her lips.
“My name is Goodwyn. I’m a courier for the wardmasters of Maushire.”
“A… w- what?”
“A courier, or, um… a mail person, that’s it. I bring people letters and packages from all over the meadowlands; certainly nobody to be afraid of, dearie.”
“Yes, that’s right. I might’ve even delivered to your stead before, or at the very least your village.” He pauses and the girl stays put, eyes fixated on the flickering flame of his lantern. “Anyhow… I was on my way back to Maushire when I spotted you sleeping in the grass. I thought you might be hurt or lost and I couldn’t leave you out in the cold, so I picked you up not twenty paces back.”
The girl looks down the darkened road.
“Speaking of…” he continues, “It’s awfully late, definitely past day and travel time. I’m sure your parents are worried sick about you.”
The girl buries her chin into her knees.
“Come now, there’s no need to worry. Even I get lost sometimes, and it’s my job to know-”
The girl’s muffled voice cries out, “I’m not lost! I just don’t… have a h- home… anymore.”
“Oh my… I’m… sorry to hear that.”
The girl goes silent once again, sniffling intermittently. Crickets’ chirping intersperse her melancholy sobbing.
After a short while, Goodwyn continues, “It’s alright, you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, I’m sure you’ve got a lot on your mind.”
Goodwyn hops down from the wagon and lowers himself to meet the girl’s stature. Upon closer examination the girl has scrapes and bruises underneath the ash that coats her scales. Palos above, something really terrible must’ve happened to this girl, he thought. I certainly can’t let her go on like this…
Goodwyn assembles a gentle sentence, offering the girl his hand, “Nightfall has nearly come and we’re a good way out from the nearest village. Come, you should rest. You look like you could use some bandages, not to mention a good nap on something besides the ground. We can get you sorted out properly in the morning, how does that sound?”
The girl wipes her face with her arm, “O- okay.” She cautiously gets up and slowly shuffles back over to the caravan. She climbs onto the back and Goodwyn helps her up. The wagon gently creaks and shifts as she takes a seat on the cot she had abandoned.
“See? Everything’s going to be alright. Nobody deserves a night out in the cold.”
He climbs in and draws a curtain to reveal a large room, the inside of which being much larger than the caravan’s outer size would suggest. The room was fully furnished, outfitted with amenities, and most importantly, warm. The girl was immediately attracted to the crackling fireplace, crawling into the room and taking a seat in front of it. She stares at the flames and examines her sooty hands.
Behind another curtain, a light whooshing sound picks up as Goodwyn turns on a faucet and begins to fill a washtub. “I’d much rather you get bubbles all over the place than dirt and ash. Unless you’d like to sleep on the welcome mat, you might want to scrub yourself down, then we can take care of those scrapes, okay?”
Meekly, the girl responds, “Okay… Good’n?”
Goodwyn smiles, “Actually it’s Goodwyn, but close enough.”
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Page Last Updated: Thursday, June 8th, 2023