Friday, October 22, 2010

Chapter Twelve

A bald man wearing a white apron was turning a whole pig over an open fire out side of a large stone house. A few moments later, he walked into the kitchen of the house where some rice was cooking on a large cast-iron stove and broccoli was being steamed. As Nickolas was tasting his food a large, fat, drunk man walked into the kitchen

“Where the hell is my food, Nikolas?!” The drunk man said

“It will be ready soon governor” Jack replied. The governor of Svetch stumbled over to the stove

“This stuff looks like shit!” The governor exclaimed.

“It's rice,” Nikolas explained, trying not to sound as agitated as he felt.

“Rice. Rice! Rice is poor people food! Make me chicken!” the governor yelled

“We have no chicken, but the pork is being made outside” Nikolas said trying to keep calm.

“I don’t want any damn pork!” the governor said as he accidentally spit on Nicolas’s face.

“That is it!” Nikolas said as he grabbed the large, hot cast-iron pot and swung it into the governor’s head. The governor fell to the ground with the front of his head gashed open and bleeding. Nicolas realized what he had done, and ran out of the house. It wasn't long after that he became a wanted man.

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Some time later, outside of a small tent, Nikolas was hacking away at some hogs feet with a cleaver. As he was cutting he accidentally cut off the top of his thumb off. He looked at the blood that was gushing out of what left of his thumb was there, mildly irritated. He grabbed a towel, covered his finger and put the blood covered pigs feet into a pot of boiling water. He then grabbed a small box and opened it. Inside where some medical tool. He grabbed his thumb and stitched it up.

It was after he'd fled from the governor's estate that Nikolas learned what medicine and surgery he knew, hiding with a doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor's wife did not share her husband's sympathy for Nikolas' position. He'd fled to Novakagrad, the capital city, far to the northwest of Svetch. He'd been able to find a job in a pub, there.

Nikolas was cleaning the mugs out for the night when a man came running in with three knifes stuck in his back. “Someone is after me! You need to help me” the man choked out before he fell to the ground. In shock Nikolas grabbed the man and began carefully removing the knives. He didn't know what else to do. He was patching up the wounds when a man in a long, red coat walked in the door.

“I think my friend's wandered in here,” he said to Nikolas.

“Who is your friend?” Nikolas asked.

"Dan, Dan is his name," the man said.

Nikolas had no idea what the wounded man's name was and wasn't sure he should let the man in the hat through, but ultimately he relented. After Nikolas let him past a blood curdling scream came from the wounded man, and the man in the coat walked out a moment later.

“What happened!?” Nicolas asked frantically.

“Well, I killed him” the man replied.

“Why did you do that?” Nikolas said, his eyes wide with shock.

“Was I not supposed to do that?” asked the man, with a slight smile on his face. “I really should be going,” he continued, Nikolas still gaping in shock. As the man in the red coat was walking out of the bar, he turned to Nicolas. “You know, I swear I've seen your face before...On a drawing, though” he said. For a moment he sat in silence, pondering, while Nikolas scanned the room for something usable as a weapon. All the good-sized knives were in the back, the only thing out here were chairs. Would this man notice if Nikolas slipped out back?

"I've got it!" The red-coated man said, "You're that cook who killed the governor of Svetch!" Nikolas cursed under his breath. The red-coated man was looking straight at him now, and that meant he wouldn't be able to slip to the back for a knife. The man looked fairly thin, though. Perhaps he could overpower him with just a chair...But could he risk fighting with the murderer at all?

In the distance, the sounds of booted feet and the shouts of the guards could be heard. Nikolas glanced out the window, sweat on his brow. The guards were coming for the man in red, no doubt, but they'd probably recognize Nikolas as the "assassin" from Svetch once they arrived. Even if they didn't, what was to stop the murderer from telling them himself? "Did you bandage that man up yourself?” the red-coated man asked.

“Yah” Nikolas replied automatically.

"Interesting," the man said, pulling a card out from his pocket. Nikolas squinted in the dim pub lights to make out the Three of Spades. "We really are short on time, so before I go I need to ask...When you were a little boy, did you ever wish you could run away and join the circus?"

"With you?" Nikolas asked, surprised. "You're a murderer!" Nikolas said, before he could stop himself.

"And that makes us...Different?" the man asked. The sounds of booted feet were growing louder. "I should note that the alternative is prison."

Nikolas hesitated only a moment before saying "Fine."

"Excellent," the man said, "I am Ashen, this is your card, let's run away."

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