Writing Sample

The sun rose high over forest a few hours from Doerstadt. Lore yawned and rolled over in the leaves and suddenly went silent as the sound of voices reached her ears. She stood cautiously and then crept toward the noise. Two men were talking on the corner of the road.
"Are you sure there are only two guards on the coach coming today?"
"Quite sure."
"Then there shouldn't be any problems. No one will be expecting us and getting the gold will be a piece of cake. I'll take the uphill side, and you can be ready to rush them when I give the signal."
Lore frowned slightly. They seemed to be planning to rob the daily coach traveling the road. It was a lonely territory, but fortunately there were few thieves normally. She turned and walked down the road, heading homewards. It had been a long ramble.
In the distance, half-an-hour later, she saw the coach rumbling down the road. She stood still, moved toward the road, stopped, hesitated. What good would it do to tell the travelers? They might be on their guard, but they wouldn't be able to gather more weapons. And maybe the two men she had seen earlier would put the money to a better use than whichever rich prigs were riding in a carriage. Why couldn't everyone be sensible enough to walk?

It had been a long journey for her, a full day-and-a-half on her own. The first evening she had seen Mirim, a girl from her class at school. She was not especially attached to her, but there was nothing wrong with her. Mirim walked down a little-used path outside the city, looking around her, avoiding something and looking for someone at the same time. Lore had climbed a tree in time to see Hugh, the baker's apprentice walking toward Mirim. He smiled shyly, and so did she. Various muttered compiments and blushes were exchanged, and the pair then walked deeper into the forest holding hands. Lore watched interestedly, but without much curiosity. They were nice people; perhaps they would be happy. She was glad not to have any sort of beau herself; looking after the family's affairs was enough for her.

Not much had happened after that. But once she did see a baby bird crumpled on the ground. She stamped her foot and glared back the tears from her eyes. It was too much like the baby, the tiny baby she had once found on the snowy city streets. She had brought the poor abandoned thing home, shivering with cold, and her eyes burned black when she found her mother and demanded an explanation. "Who could have done this? Why?! What sort of place is this— are we barbarians?" Lome had found the baby a foster home to live in, and it grew there well enough for a few months, but then fell sick and died. Lore was not sure she would want to have children if they could die, but she would certainly never, never abandon them.

Walking steadily and softly, invisible from the road, she arrived back in Doerstadt in the early afternoon and wandered to Uncle Roland's house to get a bite to eat. He and Gertie were always willing to give her some food when she came by for a visit. Next came a trip to Uncle Verbes. She knocked on his window in the back of the shop. He turned. "How did you get over there?"
"I climbed over the back wall."
"How did you get over that?"
"Climbed onto the roof of the house next door. Can we work a bit more on parries this afternoon? I spent lots of time practicing my flute when I was gone."
Verbes did not quite smile, but he did say, "Come by after dinner. Maybe then."
Lore skipped out through the main door and Vorst looked after her, quite surprised.
She slipped through the streets and then opened the door.
"Hi Nars. I didn't miss you one bit."
"Yeah, well I didn't miss you, either, siss. And it's your turn to wash the dishes tonight."
She stuck out her tongue at him and then went to her room to pull off her boots. It was nice to be home at last.

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