So to kick of the first in a series of Asmyr related posts, an extract from the first Chronicles of Asmyr novel.
Titled, Remembrance it's the story of an ordinary guy who loses his father and decides to honour his memory by spreading his ashes in various places around the world.
This is an extract from chapter 3, fairly early on in the story, just after Trevize has entered the Capital city of Seldorn and had some problems in the local tavern.
It is a little dark but I will post another lighter-hearted extract at a later date.
(I would like to stress that this is a WIP and grammatical errors and slight changes in language are already underway. That's not to say that feedback isn't welcome of course
The low mumblings of drunks and beggars awoke Trevize and he was shocked once again by the aching pain he felt in his body. The added sensation of a hangover enhanced his discomfort to unbearable levels and he had to bite his lip to avoid crying out. He rolled over on the lumpy mattress so that his weight was on his uninjured side and his mind wandered back through the evenings events. The muggers had demanded he hand over everything he owned, he was now penniless and worse than that, they had taken his backpack too. Sorrow crossed his mind as he remembered the muggers emptying its contents, they mocked the scrolls from his father and trampled them into the mud , tears welled up in Trevize eyes as he pictured the last words of his fathers as they were stomped under heavy boots and coated in detritus of the street. He had been left with nothing, even his coat had been torn from his back. Unable to fight back, Trevize had been left with the simple shirt and trousers that he had on when he left home. All his other clothes had been pulled out of his bag and torn. A sensation of despair filled his mind as the evenings events overwhelmed him. Through blurry eyes he saw something that filled his heart with dread.
Deep, brown eyes stared at him from across the room. They belonged to the dwarf from the night before. He was sat on another of the low beds in the bunkhouse and looked directly at Trevize. Without his armour on Trevize got a good look at him. The dwarfs’ features were surprisingly fair and, despite what he had heard, the dwarfs chin was clean-shaven. Long hair tumbled down over the dwarfs’ shoulders and the chainmail vest he was wearing curved around his bosom. Confusion filled Trevize as his pain-filled mind tried to understand what he was seeing. Realisation hit him like a wave, the dwarf was a woman.
After a few moments, she stood and began to don her armour. Trevize had not seen anger in her eyes but was still wary to get up. Once she was fully dressed, the dwarf headed away towards the stairs and her footsteps faded away as she descended. Trevize relaxed and realised that he had been holding his breath. After a few moments, he pulled himself up and began the agonising process of walking downstairs.
The bunkhouse was a simple building of stone. It was a new idea created by the senate to give the homeless somewhere to sleep at night. The service worked on a first-come first-served basis and the room where Trevize had slept was filled with low beds covered in lumpy simple mattresses. When he had arrived the night before, the woman behind the reception counter had looked him over and immediately taken him into her care. She was a large woman and reminded Trevize of a chicken. He went in search of her now so that he could retrieve his shirt. She had insisted that he leave it with her so that she could repair it and clean it up before the morning. He found her in a simple dining room. Ragged looking figures populated the seats around the one long table as they tucked into their porridge-like breakfast. For most, it would be all they’d eat all day. Dirty, worn faces looked up at him as he passed but they soon returned to the serious business of eating.
The woman, Magda she had said her name was, was standing behind a serving counter handing out bowls of the simple food. She smiled as he approached and nodded her head to the side. Leaving an assistant in charge of the breakfast, she walked around the counter and Trevize marvelled that she had even fit behind it in the first place. Magda was stocky and round with small arms that rested by her side. Her hair was an after-image of one of the styles favoured by the rich. It looked as if she had forgotten about it and wild strands rested on her face and neck. She gave him a broad smile and pulled his shirt out of a basket by the wall. The damage had been repaired and the blood that had stained it the night before was now a pale mark across the front.
“I did what I could with it but it’s difficult to wash out completely”
Trevize took it thankfully and pulled it on over his head. The collar rubbed against his nose and he winced.
“Thank you Magda, I don’t have anything to repay you with…”
The woman cut him off, “Don’t be silly young man. It’s what I’m here for!” She smiled once again and Trevize felt himself relax slightly.
“Just be careful around the city, there are those that are all too willing to take what they want regardless of who it belongs to”. Trevize nodded his agreement and thanked her again.
“Now, grab yourself a bowl and have something to eat. Can’t have a pretty young man like you wasting away can we?” She gave a little chuckle and Trevize smiled back before joining the queue for food.
The search hadn’t turned up anything of great use and Trevize sat down on a small barrel, looking at the crumpled paper in his hand. After he had eaten and thanked Magda once more, he had returned to the side street to try and gather his belongings together. In the daylight it looked like a normal street. Crates and barrels sat outside doors that entered into the backs of businesses and a thin film of mud and grime covered the ground. He had found small pieces of his fathers’ scrolls but the muggers had done a good job of ripping them apart. His clothes were nowhere to be found and the same applied for his supplies and other belongings. Once again his heart filled with sorrow and for the first time he considered that he would have to return to the Crossroads after failing at his task.
A thought suddenly struck him and tears rolled down his cheeks. His fathers’ ashes. They were in his bag when the muggers had taken it. He had lost the most important object that he had ever owned and would probably never get it back. Wracked by pain and filled with a tremendous sense of loss, he sat and he cried. After a while footsteps echoed down the street and he turned his head. The dwarf was walking towards him, axe in hand.