28 October 2011

#FridayFlash - I've got to leave. (Edited)

Akeva stared at the closed door, unmoving, still processing what had just happened. It wasn’t the swirl of skirts that carried the housekeeper out the door or even the hateful expression on the woman’s face that had shocked Akeva. No, it was the woman’s words.

The food in Akeva’s stomach congealed into a cement brick. The universe was still playing with her, still dropping her into difficult situations without a hint as to which way was up.

One thing she did know: Jean was right, she had to leave. Not because she planned to hurt these people or that she shouldn’t impose on them, but because she didn’t belong here. She belonged with her own family, where they were only a phone call away, and not some strange freak-of-nature-lightning-strike away in who-knew-where.

She glanced at the folded bundle of clothing on the bed, probably Meriel’s own dress, then looked down at her t-shirt and shorts, both spotted with dirt. Shaking her head, she decided that no matter how awful her own clothing looked and how tempting that clean pile was, she wouldn’t take it.

Jean’s words now fueled her. As she tied her boots, she wondered where the hell she’d go. If she retraced her steps back to the stone circle, then maybe she could be transported back home. She snorted, not that she knew where the stone circle was or even how to get back there. She’d just have to ask Meriel.

She entered the hallway outside the bedroom and heard a gasp. At the other end of the hallway stood a woman dressed in similar clothing as Meriel and Jean, holding her hand to her mouth as she gaped at Akeva.

“Do you know where Meriel is?” The woman’s eyes widened as she shook her head, then disappeared through the door next to her.

Before Akeva could search after the woman, footsteps on the stairwell drew her attention. As the person came into view, she recognized the dark hair and ice-blue eyes and her heart thumped. The Kilted Man.

Before she knew it, he stood in front of her, glaring at her. “Have ye no decency?”

Decency, what did wanting to go home have to do with decency? “Where’s Meriel? I need to talk to her.” He pursed his lips as he clutched her arm and firmly guided her back to the bedroom. She glared at him. “What are you doing? Let go.”

“Get yerself in there and get properly dressed.”

“Properly dressed?” Akeva yanked her elbow out of his grip and made for the stairs.

He blocked her path and shook his head. “Ye canna be walking about like that. The servants are already gossiping, aye?” He reached for her arm.

“Touch me again and you’ll be wearing that skirt for a good reason.” She lifted her knee to make good on her threat. He lowered his hand, but didn’t back away.

“For all that is sacred, get back in there.”

“Just tell me where I can find Meriel, then I’ll be out of your hair.” She looked at his unmoving form, then added, “Please.”

He shook his head and pointed to the bedroom. Her blood boiled, not even Tim treated her like this.
She ducked around him and jogged to the stairs. He let out an exasperated breath, then his footsteps came from behind her. Let him follow, but if he touches me again …

Turning her focus to finding Meriel, she descended the narrow staircase. At the bottom, she opened the first door and stepped right into a medieval kitchen, complete with a fire burning beneath a pot in a large hearth. Two women standing near the hearth stopped talking as they saw her at the door. Jean glared at her while the other woman’s eyebrows lifted in surprise.

Akeva backed out of the kitchen, closed the door, then ran into the Kilted Man. Turning to face him, she said, “Either help me or get out of my way.”

He stepped aside and waited for her to move past him. Akeva sighed. So much for gallantry, or simple courtesy. As she moved past him, he said, “I did help ye when I told ye to dress.”

“Some help that was.”

She glanced around and found another door across the hallway. Might as well try this one. Inside a rustic living room, she found Meriel talking to another kilted man, not nearly as impressive as the one following her. Maybe it really was Scotland with all these kilts. Meriel furrowed her brows and the man’s face turned red and his lips puckered when the saw Akeva.

The Kitled Man’s voice came from behind her. “I found her at the top of the stairs. Against better judgement, she insists on speaking with ye. Now. As she is.”

Akeva could feel his disapproving gaze on her. What did she care what he thought? She threw him a dirty look, then turned back to Meriel.

“Sorry to interrupt, but…” Akeva strode into the room, ignoring both men, and stopped before Meriel. “I appreciate all you’ve done for me, but I’ve got to leave.”

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 Edited to add:  If you'd like to read previous posts in this story, check out this link.

4 comments:

FARfetched said...

I feel like I've stepped into the middle of a serial here. Got me wondering what happened to Akeva, where she is, and what's going to happen next!

Anne Velosa said...

Thanks for stopping by. And for reminding me that I should make it easier for folks to find/read earlier story bits. Check out this link if you like to know why Akeva wants to leave so badly.

http://mywritingexistence.blogspot.com/p/1st-novel-excerpts.html

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

Ohhhhh that was delicious! I love Akeva's attitude :)

Anne Velosa said...

Thanks, Sylvia!