3/27/2022: An Auspicious Meeting Part I
I’m trying something new. Every day I’ll write for 10 minutes. I won’t limit what I write to any particular thing. It could be fiction, poetry, an essay, whatever. The goal is to write and then publish and share it. I need to get over my fear of publishing and I need to build a writing (and publishing) habit.
I’m not sure what inspired this other than I’ve been reading and watching some spy stories lately. Seven in a row! This is part I of the story. You can read part two here.
I stopped to look through my spyglass at the rendezvous point. It was early, but I’ve learned that being early generally keeps you from being dead. The stump where my right arm used to be is a reminder of that. But, I saw no movement. Without a word, Sherman, my horse, moved forward. Even though we’ve been together for almost two years, the psychic link between the two of us still surprises me at times.
As we neared the small outcropping, I pulled my crossbow off my back. I always keep it loaded, which is dangerous, but it’s more dangerous for a one-armed man if it’s not and you need it quickly. Sherman circumnavigated the hilltop that served as the platform upon which our meeting would take place. My amulet didn’t glow or move. That likely meant there weren’t any magical traps laid for us.
I dismounted Sherman and told him to wait for me behind one of the larger rocks. He might even do it. Some horses are stubborn, and he certainly was. As I waited for my contact, I surveyed the surrounding countryside. It was green and verdant. A few trees dotted here and there, but it was mostly rolling hills and grass cropped close to the ground by the many sheep and goats and other animals who pastured here. Three kilometers behind me was the beginning of the Archelata range. If it were nighttime instead of near mid-day, I’d be concerned about wolves and mountain lions. Luckily, no such predators could assail us unobserved.
Or so I thought. I set my crossbow on a rock in front of me and brought my spyglass to my eye again. What I saw was the biggest damn wolf I’d ever seen sprinting toward our location. Atop this massive creature was a goblin in full regalia. Our contact was in a real hurry and looked more than a little terrified. I looked over her shoulder and saw something else behind her: more giant beasts with more goblins who looked pissed. Well, shit.
I let my spyglass fall and hang from my belt and picked up my crossbow. I don’t know what she expected from an old, one-armed spy with a single crossbow, but I’ve been in worse situations before. I always find a way out.
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