Waiting for Wit
- Invitation Status
- Looking for partners
- Posting Speed
- 1-3 posts per day, Multiple posts per week, One post per week, Slow As Molasses
- Online Availability
- On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
- Writing Levels
- Adept, Advanced
- Preferred Character Gender
- Primarily Prefer Male, No Preferences
- High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The desert air wavered.
The blinding heat of the sun beat down on the sand, unforgiving and merciless, while not a trace of cloud marred the brilliant blue sky. The endless wind howled through the open space, tugging at the scraggly branches of small shrubs, and tugging the faint particles of sand into the pattern of waves. Or perhaps the sand was smooth, and it was simply the distortion of heat in the air that caused the ground to look bent and wavy.
In the endless heat of the desert, the faint outlines of a figure could be seen in the distance, standing at the edge of a massive, sandstone cliff. Trapped in the endless distortion of the rising heat, it was impossible to pick out any details on the silhouette.
However, even with the wavering, indistinct outline, it was possible to tell that the person was watching something. The ground tumbled away endlessly down the cliff, before spilling out to reach for the horizon. In the distance, all but lost in the shimmer of sunlight, the pale tracks of a road could be seen.
A black dot moved along that distant road, crawling forward slowly but persistently. Like everything else that surrounded it, the little black dot wavered and trembled, like a candle flame that might be extinguished at any second. However, the person standing at the edge of the cliff watched this rolling dot attentively, as though it held the answers to some important question.
For the first time, the figure moved, tongue touching dry lips. A moment later, and a crisp, clean, melodious whistle reverberated through the air, echoing across the endless openness of the desert.
In the sky, the sharp cry of a hawk rang out, as though in response.
The creaking of wagon wheels had continued unabated for hours on end, to the point that Linyah had already grown numb to the sound. Occasionally, the persistent sound of wood grinding against dirt would be interrupted by the crunch of loose sand, as it rolled over a patch of the ever-present grit. The wind had already carried pieces of sand into the wagon, and it had stacked up into the corner where Linyah sat.
She ran in through her fingers through that pile of sand almost incessantly, studying the way the little grains would fall through her fingers to land back among their fellows below her. It was the only way she had to occupy herself as the time passed. After all, the man driving the wagon didn’t seem much for idle chatter, and Linyah was more one to remain silent as well, unless she had something to say.
That wasn’t to imply she wasn’t grateful to the man. She truly was. There weren’t many people who would offer a ride to a skinny young girl of unknown origins walking alone through the deserts of Jasid. That was a good way to get yourself attacked by bandits, lured into a trap, or otherwise end up in some sort of catastrophe. After all, even the Mercenary Kings couldn’t guarantee full safety, even if you were traveling along their protected roads. There were simply too many desperate people out there, who would snatch any opportunity that presented itself, regardless of the risks.
Perhaps she’d met one of the few kind people who traveled these roads. Or, perhaps it was simply that Linyah looked too harmless to be involved in anything shady. She’d always been small for her age, and the continued hardships she endured left her even smaller and skinnier. She could easily wrap her own fingers around her forearm, and knew that even short men stood half a head taller than her. There were many people who still mistook her for a child, even though she would be turning twenty five next autumn. She’d found a silken niqab veil at the edges of Jasim, and donned it for most of the trip. It left none of her pale skin exposed, except for right around her milky eyes.
Oh, that, and she was completely blind. Perhaps he simply figured that a blind girl could only get into so much trouble.
“We’re here, lass,” a husky male voice said a second later, unaware it was echoing a far more divine voice, which resounded in Linyah’s ears alone.
“Thank you,” Linyah replied softly, her fingers reaching out slightly to tap against the wall of the wagon until she managed to find the corner. “I really do appreciate your willingness to give me a lift.”
As she worked her way out of the carriage, careful not to bang an elbow or shin against any of the wood, she could hear the noise of Al-Yaazdim. The City of Mercenaries was never silent. Even at the gate alone, she could already hear the hawking cries of merchants, the chatter of passing people, the clatter of metal as guards in heavy armor moved about. It was the kind of place you could find just about anything, if you knew the right places to go and the right people to ask. If you didn’t, you’d probably just end up stabbed in a back alley.
In a way, Linyah was here to look for something as well. Unfortunately, her trip would be nowhere near so easy. After all, not only did she not know the right places to go or the right people to ask, she didn’t even know what she was looking for right now.
Hurry up, child. I’ve already had to wait too long for you to get here.
Linyah nodded almost invisibly, before orienting herself to the sounds around her. At least it would be simple to make her way over to the gate, as she simply needed to follow the sound of the guards’ armor. However, she wasn’t looking forward to trying to walk her way through the crowded city with nothing but her ears and a few voices to guide her.
Just as she was about to walk away, the same deep male voice spoke again. “Are you sure you’ll be able to make it into the city by yourself? It’s not exactly a safe place for a little girl to be wandering around.”
Behind the cover of her veil, Linyah’s lips folded into a thin frown. This was one voice she wanted nothing more than to simply ignore, but it was far too loud for that to be possible.
look at this fool. so CONCERNED about a stranger. so IGNORANT that the beloved wife he works so hard for is lying unconscious on the floor, ALONE and DYING.
“I’ll be fine,” Linyah said softly, neither slowing down nor turning around. “You should hurry home. Your wife really needs you right now.”
Linyah heard a muffled grunt from the man behind her, but she didn’t pay it any attention, instead hurrying towards the city walls, and the guarded gate that waited there.
“How much is the fee for outsiders to get in?” she asked the air softly.
You’re going the wrong way, idiot. The end of the line is more to your right.
Silently course correcting, Linyah managed to make her way to the end of the line without running into anyone or anything. With the press of bodies around her, it was much easier for her to stay on course, and it wasn’t long before she made it to the front of the line.
“Take off your veil,” came a thick, male voice.
He looks like he wants to eeeat your ffface offfff.
Linyah silently extended her hand, depositing five copper when she felt her fingers brush against someone’s skin. Her other hand, meanwhile, untangled the veil from around her face, revealing her rather plain features, which were covered in a layer of dirt.
“You may go,” the guard said, suddenly bored.
LInyah nodded, hurrying into the city. Behind her, she just caught the muffled voices of the guards.
“Was she pretty?”
“Just some shitty brat.”