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A Tear Lost In the Rain

Author: 
Simeron Steelhammer (Benjamin La Count)
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
192

The day had been overcast since mid-morning and the clouds had grown darker and heavier as it had passed into evening, finally releasing a torrent of rain, wind and lightning not too long ago. Smythe Higgins sat near the doorway just inside the roadside inn�s front door sipping at a cup of dandelion tea, waiting and watching the people now pouring into the tavern. The crowd was much larger tonight at the Edmond�s Tavern and Inn then usual because of the storm, which suited him just fine. He was only after two people in particular and having lots of people around to confirm he was in the inn made things much easier.

He watched the farm hands, wagon drovers and bargemen relaxing after a hard days work, laughing and swapping lies of deeds never done and women never bedded. There were four guardsmen in one corner sharing a pitcher of some kind of local brew and this gave him an idea. He motioned to the nearest barmaid to come over.

�More tea love?� she quipped.

�Yes please. And if you would be ever so kind, please provide those guardsmen two more pitchers of whatever brew they are drinking on me.� he replied cheerfully placing a small coin purse in the aging, but still quite attractive barmaids hands.

�Take the price out of this as well as a few gold sovereigns for yourself. I�d also like some stew and bread if there is some still available. Please just hold onto any extra coin for me, just use it as needed to cover my other drinks and things. I�ll seek you out when I head up to my room later to make sure we are even on the night.�

�Why thank ye love. And I�ll be sure ta let the militia know o� yer kindness.�

He flashed a child-like grin at her and she beamed one back at him then she vanished into the crowd to fill other orders and tend to her duties. Not long after, she delivered him a large bowl of fish stew and two small loaves of rye bread along with another cup of tea. He watched as she then took a pair of pitchers over to the guard table and explained their good fortune. They all looked at him and when they did, he raised his mug to them in salute. They waved back with broad grins and filled their tankards to the rim and returned to their drinking. Soon after, he saw his prey, a man and woman, head out the doorway and into the dark night.

Outside the rain was still falling, but it was lighter now. Quietly, he slipped on some heavy cloth overshoes and slid out the doorway into the night. He pulled a hooded cloak from behind a trash barrel, pulled it about him, placed a small cloth mask over his face and then set off after the pair.

The street was empty of people as he watched them approach from the doorway of the local apothecary. Its door was set into the building and provided a nice little alcove in which to conceal his small frame. The pair were happily chatting away about the nights events as they headed home for the evening. They never even noticed the small child sized figure slip in silently behind them. They didn�t that is until the wife came to a sudden stop and let out a weak gasp. The man turned calling his wife�s name, Helen, in a questioning manner. She fell against him weakly, trying to speak but completely unable to. As he caught her, he saw the small figure with paired blades drawn. He saw his wife�s blood slowing dripping off both as the rain mixed with it. He started to cry out but it was already too late as both blades slid deeply into his sides just under his upraised arms. He felt the wet steel as it pierced his lungs and the tips puncture his heart. He collapsed to his knees, wife still in his arms, unable to summon even a breath to speak her name. She gazed at him one last time and died, not understanding why. He looked into the hooded face of Smythe Higgins, incomprehension showing on his face. As if in answer, Smythe Higgins held up a card with a black mailed fist holding a golden lightning bolt between gloved fingers. A glint of understanding came to the doomed man�s eyes then, but quickly dulled as death came to take him once again to his beloved bride. With a flick of his fingers, the card settled in the folds of the cloaks of the couple where he knew the local guard would be sure to find it, wiped his blades off with a clean dry cloth from inside his armor and returned back to near the inn. He removed his wet cloak, mask and overshoes and placed them under some trash in the barrel, slipped quietly back to his seat and began eating his meal.

It was about an hour later that the Watch came into the tavern. Smythe Higgins watched as they talked to the innkeeper and then to several others in the tavern. Quickly, word spread that the son of the Griffin�s Bane mercenary leader and his wife had been brutally murdered by members of the Black Lightning Company. People were already beginning to call for reprisals as he sought out the barmaid from earlier.

�Seems something very bad has happened miss.� he said as he walked up.

�Aye sir, that it has. A good man and his lovely wife �ave been butchered on our very streets this night, son of the militia leader no less. Oh those Black Lightning scum from New Haven upriver will pay though. This mean war.� she said spitting at the name.

�Ah, I take it they are what serves as the militia for New Haven then.� he replied shaking his head sadly. �It is bad news indeed. But, I am retiring for the evening however and would know if we are even on the bill.�

�We are good sir,� she said with a sigh. �And you�ll be right glad ta know you�ve still over 20 gold sovereigns in your money purse. A honest inn we keep here.� she said handing the half empty purse to him.

�Ah,� he said putting the purse back in his pouch. �Tis good to know that there are still honest people in the world. I�ll make sure to tell the innkeeper in the morning of it too.�

She nodded with a half smile as she headed back into the now somber room. He could hear the rising storm of the coming war as he retired to his room. Inside, as agreed, a small box had been placed under the bed. He counted each star agate as he placed them in a pouch he wore about his neck. The merchant guild had their war and would soon make back what these gems cost and more from war profiteering he was sure, not that it mattered much to him. He took his normal precautions of trapping both door and window, lay down on the soft bed and closed his eyes. He smiled as he fell asleep knowing both sides would be paying him for various services rendered, all the time never knowing how it all began.

 

A Tear Lost In The Rain © Simeron Steelhammer (Benjamin La Count)

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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