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Wynne part 2

Wynne by Mandy Roberts

The herald made his offer again. It would be his last stop for the day. The sermon would soon begin and Wynne’s hunger would be sated, if only satisfying her stomach for a moment.

“You’ve taken their bread before,” a man said.

Wynne turned to him and her face flushed of all blood. She knew this man, Larimore.

“You’ll be hungry, rest under their boot,” Larimore said with a scowl. “I can offer you more.”

Wynne had seen his offers. He moved through Karngard seeking youth to live in his home. Some became pickpockets, others prostitutes. In every way, he was the opposite of what the Order offered, and yet, it often felt the same.

“No.” Wynne whispered, answering both Larimore and her previous thought.

“My girl disappeared,” Larimore continued. “You’re of age, ready to be a bride.”

“No,” Wynne stated with emphasis.

“And I could use someone at my side,” he finished, or at least that’s what Wynne hoped.

Wynne shook her head.

“You are a pretty girl,” he continued, “no need to go hungry.” Larimore sighed. “No need to be denigrated.”

“Certainly not, Larimore,” a new voice broke in. Wynne turned toward the voice and found a Brother Knight of the Order of the Tome, brilliant in his robe of purple and blue overcloak, gold thread inlaid into the fabric showing the holy symbols of the Order. “She is coming to a place fit for only those humble enough to receive the gifts of the Order, a place one that harbors vice is not welcome.”

“I thank the gods for such small favors, Quennel.” Larimore said.

“Your Creator has already spoken plainly,” the knight continued, “for my eyes rove the world, and see all that is evil, and I hate it.”

“Did your little necklace tell you that?” Larimore asked, gesturing to the statair medallion, a tin colored charm all the brother’s wore, as ancient as the Order itself, a gift from the Creator to his chosen children.

Brother Quennel smiled and nodded. “Now Larimore, leave her to fill her needs in a way that is upright.”

Larimore made a face like he’d smelled dung, “Or to chain herself to your wagons.” Larimore winked at Wynne as he backed away.

“Pay him no mind,” Brother Quennel said. “He is still sore at what he calls ‘my betrayal.’”

A brother was speaking with her. Disbelieving, Wynne regarded the knight’s smile and curly red locks reaching to his shoulders. He smiled, his face glowing as red as his hair. Suddenly, Wynne realized that she was staring.

“Sorry, milord,” Wynne said, glancing away.

Brother Quennel laughed. “It’s ok. I’m still getting used to it.”

Wynne glanced at him. “Used to what?”

Brother Quennel scrunched up his face, raising his arms to show off his adornments. “All of this.”

“You…?” Wynne did not understand.

Brother Quennel smirked in a way that made him look no older than sixteen. “A few passes ago, I was you. I lived on the street, but I knew that the Creator had a greater purpose for me than what Larimore gave me to do. I would not just survive. I was to be a Brother Knight.”

Wynne’s smile broadened with comprehension. He had come from the streets. He had lived as she had, and he had become more. She already knew how. The Amynta Celebrations were the happiest times in Karngard, when boys or men paid a silver pence to touch a statair and if so chosen, claim it as their own. Wynne had seen them claimed, but she had never spoken to a receiver of the blessing.

“I wish….” Wynne stopped herself, letting her voice trail off. She was a girl and could never attain a part in the Order of the Tome. It was the way things were.

Brother Quennel touched her chin. “The Creator wants more from you than anything Larimore will ever offer you.”

Wynne marveled at the young Brother Knight. His smile looked sincere. She wanted to believe his words, but she had no idea what place she would have in this world. Somehow, though, Brother Quennel’s rising from the streets gave her hope.

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