Hananah had never before gone this deep into the fen, but she wasn’t worried. Eavan had promised to meet her at moonrise, that they might nip over to the castle and rob its treasury. The villagers at the foot of the mountain were in sore need of a replenishment of funds.
Eavan was a safebreaker’s son, she his twin. They were the untold story of Marion and Robin—children of late issue–and had been placed in safety by Friar Tuck, on the death of their mother. Raised in a convent of sorts, they’d been trained as thieves, to do good. Tonight’s venture was a lark, and they heartily disliked the King.
Hananah shivered in the autumn wind, then tensed when the breeze stopped, but the leaves continued to rustle. She cocked her head, attempting to sense her brother. She did not.
“Eavan? Is that you?” The noise had come from a patch of open water, scattered with leaves from the canopy above. Head still now, eyes turned to the side, she waited.
Leaves heaved in a belch of blue, to reveal a pair of glowing green eyes within a mound of rotting bracken. The waters stilled around the nokken. The creature blinked once. Twice. He smiled, revealing a double row of sharp teeth. “Well met, Hananah. It has been far too long,”
“Such serendipity, Ivour. Have you seen Eavan?”
“He expressed a desire to peregrinate the castle grounds, to get a sense of the tenor of the court before we begin,” Ivour laughed, his thick tongue protruding between his teeth. “Always the cautious one, your twin.”
“Yes,” Eavan was a good match to her more impulsive nature; they balanced each other well, a critical key to their success. “Will you be joining us, then?”
“I desire to visit my cousin, Clair, who guards the castle hoard. Against her will, I would add. Now that she’s near full grown, he’s clapped her in chains,” He paused. “I hate the King as much as you do.”
Hananah felt a tingling, then heard the pad of moccasins on bare dirt. A hooded figure slid from the shadows and joined her at the pond’s edge. “You’re late, brother.”
“We may need to delay our raid,” he answered, grabbing her in a quick hug “There’s rumor of yet another sweep by the Republic, which doesn’t bode well, neither for magical nor non-magical peoples.”
“Then we cannot delay. Clair must be freed and the hoard ransacked,” Ivour rose, transforming into a coal black stallion. He scrambled out of the pond and onto firmer ground. “Climb upon my back. I know a secret and direct passage to access the hoard.”
The twins looked at each other and hesitated. Ivour was a known companion, but still, he was a nokken.
“Not to worry,” Ivour snorted and stomped a hoof. “I’ve already eaten today.”
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2019)
Carrot Ranch Prompt (08/29/19): In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about the safebreaker’s daughter. Who is she, what did she do, and where? Go where the prompt leads you!
Microfiction Madness September photo prompt. For an extra challenge use the word peregrinate or serendipity or both. Stories can be drabbles or longer flash fiction, or you can write poems. Have fun.