The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aresan Clan pt 110

Upon entering Anika’s home, Mill scanned the room and saw Anika sitting in a chair, fast asleep. A candle burned next to her and she breathed deeply. A glove that she had been knitting when she fell asleep, sat on her lap, with the needles inserted into it. When Mill reached forward and touched her on the arm, she was startled out of sleep, dropping the glove to the ground.

When she looked up and saw Mill, she leapt from her chair and wrapped her arms around him. She held him tightly there for a long silence, as a look of concern was released from her face for the first time in days. She appeared to have been considerably aged by this worry in the interim.

“God be blessed,” she exclaimed, “I thought you were dead. They’ve been saying the worst things about you. That you’re a traitor. That you’ve been excommunicated. They said you’d be killed if you ever came back. Why did you come back? You can’t be here? They’ll kill you if they find you. What happened to you? Where have you been?”

“I’ve been in prison in Waldoon,” Mill said, “It was horrible.” He elaborated on some of the horrors of his imprisonment: the long periods in the dark, the torture, the flogging.

“Why were you imprisoned?” Anika asked.

Mill hesitated a bit before he answered and then said, “They suspected I was a spy for the Omnia.”

Anika looked at him suspiciously and then asked him, “Are you telling me the truth Mill? Please. No more secrets.”

Mill sat down in a chair nearby and Anika returned to sitting in the one she’d been sleeping in. She looked at him intently, waiting. Mill lowered his face into his hands and ran his fingers through his hair.

Once he was ready, he began, “I am a spy for the Omnia. I was caught trying to kill Lipmon, the man from Still Creek. They held me for so long because they were torturing me for information.”

“You’re a…?” she asked, “You were…? But why would you…?”

Anika stood from her seat, walked towards him, hovering above him and looking down on him. She then slapped him as hard as she could across his face. Immediately after this gesture, she turned around and cried into her hands.

Mill stood up and embraced her from behind. He whispered many times, “I’m sorry. I can’t forgive myself. I’m sorry.”

After a long time remaining in this position, he finally whispered to her, “I can’t stay here in Orinda, and I want you to come with me.”

Anika turned around to look at him, her bloodshot eyes wide with surprise. She had to step back to get a full view of his expression.

Once she had determined that he in fact meant what he had said and was earnestly asking her to run away with him, she asked, “How can I do that? How can I leave everything behind?” She looked around in every direction at all the possessions she had in the room scattered in their various places. “I’m discovering that I don’t even know you,” she said, “You’re not what I thought you were. I thought you were some simple farmer who’d moved here from some tiny Fourth Order village. But, then again, I guess I should have known. The secretiveness, the spying, the fact that you could read, that you could write, that you were a terrible farmer, that you…” She stopped once again in mid-sentence and turned to him, looking into his eyes.

“That means you left your homeland to come here. You’re from Lamosa, I suppose. What reason could possibly compel you to leave, I don’t know. Duty? Patriotism? Love of country?” she asked. After a pause, she asked him, “And where would we go if I were to run away with you?”

“To Lamosa, I suppose,” he suggested, “Or perhaps to live in the wilderness. We can go wherever we want.”

Anika didn’t like this answer and she frowned. But instead of saying ‘no,’ she asked him, “Do you what it would be like if you were to leave and I weren’t to join you. It’d be like the last few days over and over again, day after day. I don't want to go through that again.”

<-- Go to Part 109         Go to Part 111 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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