Monday, October 7, 2013

Hunter's Fragment: Part 2

Interior of an Inn - Adriaen van Ostade

Comfort... for a little while. A warm inn with warm food. At least it was comfort of the body. Lukas has not been entirely successful with comfort of the soul, but that was a different matter. In a way, it had been a very long time since had been truly happy. But what could he say? Life at the edge of the wild was hard, and happiness was in scarce supply. He devoured his stew. Not the best he had ever tasted. Not the worst either. It had just enough meat to keep him from being hungry later on.

 He was so absorbed in his meal he almost didn't notice the man who sat down across from him. The man was old, disheveled, weary, and weather beaten: like Lukas himself. Lukas found the food more interesting. He stayed silent.

"I take it you're hungry," said the man across from him. Lukas didn't look up from his food, he didn't tend to waste words on people who stated the obvious. There was a long silence. 

The man sighed, "I'm sorry Lukas." 

Sorry? The word bounced off of his mind like eastern rubber. Lukas was not the type of person to harbor bitterness, so he shook his head, "You did your duty Conrad, that's all. God knows I needed to get out of there." 

"I didn't know you believed in God," said Conrad. Lukas shrugged. He didn't know if he did either. Another long silence. Discussions of religion could be as dangerous as they were pointless. Lukas's spoon scraped the bottom of the bowl. What a pity that there was no more left. Now he had to go to work. 

"Are you ready lad?" Asked Conrad. Pointless question. Lukas was always ready. The sword on his back seemed to itch for black blood. Somewhere far away, something fell howled in the darkness. 

"Yes " he said.  And his hand itched for his sword. 

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