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Lowenna part 10 (chapter 12)

Lowenna part 10 (chapter 12)

A young woman awakes in a strange world of magic, the only clue to her past is one word Lowenna

Chapter 12 RIQUE

Slowly opening her eyes, Lowenna sat up. She was in her room, on her bed and still dressed from the moon before. She felt a little ill and had a nasty taste in her mouth, but she had felt worse over the last few suns.

She removed her dress so that she was just wearing trousers and the gold top. Going over to the ceramic bowl, she filled it with water and washed her face, to help her wake up. She tied back her long red hair and had a long drink of water, to refresh her mouth.

Her stomach grumbled on cue, telling her she needed to eat something, She unlocked the door and went to leave her room, not knowing what time of the sun it was, or even if the kitchen was still open.

To her surprise, there was a tray outside of her room, with a fresh jug of water, a glass and some scrambled eggs, just sitting there on the floor. Picking it up, she went back into her room, sat down at the little table and tucked into the meal.

The eggs were a little salty, but Lowenna needed to eat something, as her head and stomach were now reminding her how much she had drunk the moon before.

After first meal and a glass of water, Lowenna filled her water pouch and put it in the new shoulder bag taking out the incense sticks. She closed her eyes and inhaled the familiar scent before putting them down on the table. She then put her dagger and the book she wanted to show Rique in the bag and added her purse with some of the coins she had obtained the sun before. She had a quick check that her other purse with all the gems was still behind the wardrobe, which it was, so she was ready to head out.

As she was about to open the door, someone knocked on it, “It’s me, Ryna,” the voice said from behind the door, “Are you awake? Mr Valery just dropped a parcel over for you.”

Lowenna opened the door and took the parcel from Ryna with a quick, “Thank you.” Lowenna ripped off the brown paper, opening the parcel and admired her new outfits, and her newly mended jacket. She was about to take off her gold top when she realised Ryna was still standing at the open door. “Is there anything you want Ryna?” Lowenna asked.

“I have a message for you Miss, from my sister,” he said, looking a bit disappointed that Lowenna had noticed him before she had taken her top off. “She said that she would meet you in the bar when you are ready.

Lowenna looked at him, but he wouldn't make eye contact. “Can you shut the door, and if she is in the bar tell her I’m on the way.”

“Yes Miss,” Ryna said as he shut the door slowly.

As soon as the door clicked shut, Lowenna threw off her old clothes and put on her new green dress, black belt and shoes. She grabbed her shoulder bag, which she had packed, and she was off.

She arrived in the bar and noticed Rique was chatting to a young lady, so Lowenna went over to join them. “Good sun to you,” Rique said in a cheerful tone “have you met Korrina?”

Korrina walked over and hugged Lowenna briefly, before backing away, “Please call me Korri. I love your dress.”

Lowenna wasn't used to being hugged but smiled. “Thank you. Pleased to meet you Korri, I’m Wenna. I like your outfit as well.” It was a bright, floral patterned dress, a shawl, a matching bag and dark strapped shoes. Her blonde hair was just down past her ears and was styled very smartly. Rique looked smart too, in a blue summery dress and her dark hair flowing down her back, but she looked quite plain compared to Korri.

“Well I got to go, my betrothed will be waiting,” Korri stated as she did a little turn showing off the back of her dress as she left the room.

“Bye,” Lowenna and Rique said at the same time, in cheerful voices, and then both started to giggle. Lowenna hadn’t thought about it much, but she was roughly the same age as Rique and Eryn and had decided, that she needed some friend she could talk to, and have some fun with.

The two young women left Vlad’s together, still giggling. It was bright and sunny outside with only a few wispy clouds in the sky.

“So, how’s your head?” Rique asked. She had a cheeky smile on her face and knew Lowenna wasn’t feeling that great.

“It’s fine. I didn’t mean to drink that much," she replied while trying to use one of her hands, to shield her eyes, from the bright sun. " It had been a long and busy sun time, and Mr Grilk was right I needed to relax, though I not sure drinking that much, was such a good idea.” Lowenna paused, she had decided to tell Rique everything, but she had a slightly bad feeling, she had already told Grilk too much.

She couldn’t even remember if she had told him her name was Lowenna or Wenna, as people were now calling her. She did trust Grilk, but didn’t want everyone to know what she was going to tell Rique, and had a feeling Grilk would add her stories to his own, hopefully leaving her out of them.

“Are you good?” Rique asked, this time more seriously.

Lowenna managed a small smile. “Yes, but I may have told Grilk a little too much last moon, and who knows who was listening.”

“Well, we were busy, because of a party. It’s unlikely anyone was listening to what you were saying, although...” Rique smiled, “everyone did cheer when you danced around the room.”

“I... I danced!” Lowenna started, looking horrified and trying to remember exactly what happened, but Rique started to laugh.

“No just fooling, you did get a little animated when you were telling stories, where any of them true?”

Lowenna tried to pull an angry face, but it didn’t work, “Yes,” Lowenna admitted, “is there somewhere, a little private, where we can talk?”

“I was going to take you to the gardens. It's pretty quiet this time of sun, so we should be able to talk there and enjoy the nice weather.” Lowenna nodded in agreement and followed Rique down the street, away from where the market had been.

At the end of the street, there was another large clearing, with an archway that lead into the gardens. Rique ducked through it, but Lowenna had slowed down and was looking at a large building with a spire. There were several people, standing outside, in white and grey robes, chanting. A man walked up to her offering her his hand, “Come and worship in the church my child, let the white light of the Angelus flow through you.”

“Err, maybe later,” Lowenna said, not knowing exactly what to say, and not taking the man's hand. Fortunately, Rique had re-emerged.

“You coming?” She shouted to Lowenna, who smiled and nodded at the man before heading off to where Rique was waiting. “Be careful, they are trying to recruit more disciples. All praise the white light,” she said, then started giggling again.

“You don’t believe?” Lowenna asked, looking a bit more serious. Something inside her made her think she did, although what she believed in she wasn’t exactly sure.

“Oh I believe in the Angelus and the Demon-Gods, but the church is a little over the top. I think anyone can believe, but don’t need the teachings of the white light forced on them all the time. I try and lead a good life, and I’m sure that’s the most important thing.” Lowenna nodded in agreement, “They also seem to prey on the vulnerable, or anyone who is alone or scared. The church of the white light is always there to help, and will happily take your worldly goods for a life of servitude and worship.”

“Well they wouldn’t get a lot from me would they,” Lowenna said with a smile, but there was something about the church, which made her feel uneasy. She followed Rique along the path until they entered the main part of the gardens, which was more like a large park. It was beautiful, the warm awakening season, and most of the plants were in bloom or budding.

There was a couple sitting on a blanket surrounded by short grass. Korri and a young, very good looking man were kissing on a bench. A couple of kids were running around, and an old man was feeding a couple of birds at the far end of the park, just in sight. Lowenna and Rique sat on another bench. As far as Lowenna could tell there was no one within earshot, but she kept her voice quiet, just in case.

Lowenna breathed in very heavily once. Smiled, and then began telling Rique her story. Waking up on the beach, the fight with the reptilian creatures, the moon in the wagon, the old rider, and her first sun in Penbirth, including the fight in the market, what happened in the alleyway and the confrontation with Mr Griffin.

Rique just sat there with her mouth open. When Lowenna finally finished, she waited for Rique to say something. “Wow!” This wasn't what Lowenna was expecting her to say, but was the only word that popped into Rique’s head.

“There’s more and this, even I have trouble believing this,” Lowenna said, hoping Rique would believe her. “Have you ever heard of a dream-state?”

“My father has told me about it, but I’ve never met anyone who has entered a dream-state and have it come true. The church of the white light would say, it was a vision from the nether realm.” Rique replied.

“Well, I have had several visions, one of which has come true.”

Rique looked stunned, and really impressed “Really?!”

“Yes, first I dreamed of a man. I spilt wine over him, hurt his hand, and then found a book with the dragon and shield symbol on it.” Lowenna excitedly explained, but Rique expression changed. She no longer looked that impressed, but Lowenna continued. “The man was Mr Valery, and last moon I bumped into him. He was wearing the exact same clothes, and although it wasn’t exactly the encounter from my dream it was very similar.

Lowenna took the book from her bag and showed it to Rique, “I saw this in the vision with Mr Valery,” she explained as Rique took the book and examined the cover before opening it.

Rique spent a few moments looking at the book, turning pages one at a time trying to read bits and looking at the pictures, “you said you bought it at the market.”

“Yes, but I uncovered it, where I found it in the Dream.”

“So it wasn’t dream-state, it was close but different.”

“It was only different because I knew what was coming, and I had done things which changed it... a little.”

Rique looked unsure, so Lowenna told her about the church, the young girl and the king. She told Rique that she had a feeling, that the girl could have been her as a child. Then she said about the Lion creature, which had chased and killed her.

Rique looked a bit shocked. She was trying not to believe, but Lowenna knew, that she was at least considering the possibility.

My final dream had you, your brother, Vlad and a middle-aged lady, and I hadn’t met you yet. You faded into the dark, then six or seven bandits were coming towards me... and that was it. Lowenna finished weekly, she didn’t want to say, that Rique was hurt and Ryna was lying on the floor, possibly dead.

“Was there any indication when this would happen?” Rique asked, with a sceptical look on her face.

“No, but it was in Vlad’s, and I'm only supposed to be staying there for three moons. So it could happen soon although I’m not wanting this vision to come true.”

“Lowenna looked around to make sure no one was looking. She touched her crystal and held out her hand. Her eyes flashed pink, and then to her and Rique’s surprise, a small pink flame appeared on her on her hand. She clenched her fist, and the fire went out.

“Wow,” Rique repeated. She was really impressed with the magic, if not the dreams. “You really are a Lowenna aren’t you?” she asked with excitement clearly showing in her expression.

“I honestly don’t know. I have no memory from before waking on the beach,” Lowenna replied. She had thought telling Rique would have made her feel better but wasn’t convinced Rique completely believed her about the dreams. “Can you read the book?” Lowenna asked, hoping for some sort of answer why the book had been in her dream.

Rique re-opened the book Lowenna had handed her. “Only a little, the script is in a very old language, but I might be able to translate it, given time. I am good with languages." She turned over a few pages and was about to close it when Lowenna pointed at a picture.

The picture on the page showed a man in royal robes, holding a sword and shield, beside him stood a beautiful woman in an extremely fancy bright red dress, and around her neck was a crystal which looked very similar colour to Lowenna’s. They were both wearing crowns, “that’s the man from my dream! What does it say?”

Rique looked confused; “this book is very old, so if that is the man from your dream it can’t be your dad.” She gazed at the book for a moment trying to translate, “It says King something and Queen something of the first something Lowenna… I’m sorry I can’t read much of it, but my dad might be able to.”

“The dream just seemed so real, he felt like my father.” Lowenna said, but doubt had now entered her mind, it was very unlikely this picture was her father, and if the dream was about this man, then it was long long ago.

“Maybe it was just a dream, and you have seen a picture of him before, and your mind just dreamed him, trying to make sense of the amnesia,” Rique suggested.

Lowenna didn’t want to admit it, but Rique could have been right. There was no way to know if the little girl was her, or if she even existed, but the three dreams had flowed into each other. And Lowenna knew what had happened with Mr Valery in Vlad’s. She knew that part of the dream had come true.

“I’m hungry, do you fancy anything? I’ll buy us some food,” Lowenna asked after a long silence, trying to brighten the mood.

Rique nodded, “there will be some food stalls where the market was.”

“Let’s go then,” Lowenna said while jumping up. She grabbed Rique’s hand and pulling her to her feet, and the two friends headed off to where the market had been.

Rique was right, there were several food stalls where the shops had been, the smells were amazing and there were quite a few people either eating or standing in line for food.

Rique stopped at the first stall, with a big smile on her face. “I haven’t had smoky pork in ages,” she said. It was sizzling on a hot plate, and the smell was making Lowenna’s mouth water. Lowenna asked for two large pork baps, which they started to eat on the way back to Vlad’s.

“Really good,” Lowenna had managed to say, after the first mouthful. It was the best thing she had eaten, since she had awoken on the beach, and Lowenna thought, it had been well worth the wait.

“Rique!” a voice echoed from behind them. The two friends turned to see two lads running towards them.

“Run,” Rique said, as she dropped her bap and started running.

Lowenna didn’t know what was happening but started to run. Rique was pretty quick, but Lowenna was quicker. She caught Rique up with ease, but, unfortunately, the lads were catching them as well. Rique grabbed Lowenna’s hand and suddenly turned and pulled her into an alleyway. Left, right, right, left, straight on, round the bend. Rique obviously knew where she was heading and, hopefully, the lads wouldn’t know which path they had taken.

Rique slowed down, taking another left. “What was that all about?” Lowenna asked her, as she looked down to where her bap had been, but only the paper it had been wrapped in was left in her hand.

“I used to hang out with them, but they got into… bad things. I didn’t want to help them, but they don't take no for an answer,” Rique replied while catching her breath. The excuse was a little vague, Lowenna was just about to ask what kind of bad things, when the two lads stepped out right in front of them. Rique went to run, but another bigger lad was blocking the path which they had just run down.

“We knew you would go past here. You forget we know the alleyways just as well as you do Rique,” one of the lads said wile smiling. He grabbed her arm, Lowenna was about to step in but the other lad, which had been following got between them. Rique was crying, and shaking in fear, he was hurting her.

“Leave her alone!” Lowenna shouted.

“Or what?” the lad between Lowenna and Rique asked. “Our father wants to see you Rique, he said you wouldn’t be hurt.”

“No, I won’t go!” Rique shouted, trying to push the lad, who had her arm, away from her, but he started laughing while squeezing her arm. He suddenly swung his free hand and slapped Rique to the floor. “You used to be so willing to help. Don’t you want to sleep with me anymore?” the lad laughed as he said this, but Rique let out a sob.

Lowenna had seen enough. She punched the lad, who was blocking her, right in the face, sending him to the floor and ran at the lad who had just hit Rique, ramming her arm guard right under his chin and pinning him to the wall. Lowenna turned her head to look at the third lad, who looked on with a look of confusion on his face. He hadn’t moved.

“Look out!” Rique shouted. The lad Lowenna had pinned, had drawn a small knife. He swiped it at Lowenna’s stomach, but she jumped back, the blade just grazing her. The other two lads were now running at her, but Lowenna vaulted over them at the last possible moment. They looked up as they passed, seeing Lowenna upside down, smiling at them.

The lads crashed into their friend with the knife, as seeing a woman jump over them had made them forget to slow down. Lowenna landed on her feet, and drew her own blade, pointing it at the lads as they scrambled to their feet. They froze as they saw the long curved dagger, which was three times the size of the lad's little knife.

The smile was still on Lowenna face. “Drop the knife,” she said, looking directly at the lad, who had tried to stab her. The lad did what he was told, not wanting to anger this crazy red haired lady with the very large knife. “You will not bother me or Rique ever again, do you hear me?”

“Yes Miss,” all three lads said almost at the same time.

“Run!” Lowenna shouted as she took a step towards them. They looked at each other, then all three gave Lowenna a final glance before they took off running. Not looking back as they disappeared down an alleyway. Lowenna watched them run off, but she suddenly had a feeling she was also being watched. She looked up.

Above her were several darkened and one open window, but she could see no one.

Lowenna breathed out slowly, before holding her hand out, to help Rique up off the floor. Rique took her hand, but didn’t say anything, or even look at Lowenna. She put her dagger back in her bag and looked at her side, where the lad’s knife had caught her. It was only a small nick but had drawn a little blood, and her new dress, was damaged, and stained.

“Dam! I really liked this outfit,” Lowenna claimed, poking her finger through the hole the knife had made. Lowenna walked over and picked up the knife.

“What are you doing?” Rique asked.

“We can’t leave this here,” Lowenna replied.

There was another pause, “Thank you.” Rique finally said, but still didn’t look at Lowenna, who smiled and moved her head trying to catch her friend's eyes.

“It will be fine,” Lowenna said, trying to reassure her friend. She took hold of her arm and looking straight into her deep, blue eyes. “It will be fine.” Rique nodded but did not smile. Lowenna took the knife and placed it in Rique’s hand. “You should hang onto this.”

Rique’s hands were shaking, and she didn’t say another word until she was outside of Vlad’s. “I...I want to thank you, for saving me, and for trusting me with your story Lowenna.” She gave a small nervous smile.

“I wouldn’t have told you if I didn’t trust you, and everything I said was the truth.” Rique nodded. “I want you to be careful, and keep that knife on you at all times.” Lowenna said, and Rique nodded again but was clearly very upset. She headed into Vlad’s to try to recover from the attack, leaving Lowenna alone outside.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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