Thursday, July 30, 2015

The King's Challenge #2


After spending the night restless upon a hard bed and enduring dark hours punctuated with too much noise, I am up with the first of dawn’s light. It is overcast out, but a country girl knows when the new day has arrived.

Opening the shutters I closed the night before to shut out the intrusive lights from the city, I gaze into a dreary landscape. It occurs to me the lights of night make this place pretty, for by day it is ugly. Buildings many storeys high create alleys of only shadow, and the grey, filthy stone has little appeal. Roof tiles are all encrusted with decades of grime. Smoke weaves out from chimneys to choke oxygen from the air.

The spread of this place is even larger than the lights had me believe. A maze of alleys and streets lie before me, and so many buildings I have never seen together in one space. How do these people all eat? There must be many thousands.

It will be hard to find Damin in this cesspit of humanity.

I do have a clue, though. This inn was recommended to me by a traveller I met on the road four days ago. Thank the stars, for upon looking down I realise how hard it will be to make informed choices here. What do I know about cities? The traveller also told me to start my search for someone lost in the lower city. Apparently all newcomers land up there, for rent is cheap while one waits for employment. Where this lower part is, though, I cannot say.

Today I need to talk to people or I go exactly nowhere. It is my hope I do not frighten them off. Most folk are wary of a girl with a blue and a green eye.

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