An Inauspicious Beginning, Part Three

      Today’s snippet, titled “An Inauspicious Beginning”, is a piece I wrote about my current character, Ava Blue-Elk, to sort of demonstrate her experiences with a major in-game event.
      Be forewarned, there are mature themes and naughty language below.
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      “I can’t believe I missed! Four times.”
      Zahavah touched her shoulder. “You hit when it matter most. That is what count.”
      “And missing the break in the trail? How stupid could I be?”
      “But then, you find good place for camp. Make up for fail. Sometime is good, sometime is bad.” She paused and chuckled. “Your arrow kill stirge before stirge kill Erin. This is what matter. Yes?”
      Ava smiled up at her friend. “I guess you’re right. Its just that I am really quite a good shot. Usually.”
      “First battle, yes? First time to kill man?”
      A frown formed upon her face; Ava nodded a little.
      “Can be hard. You do well, all think so.”
      “They do?”
      “Yes. They do.”
      The druid shifted her spear to her free hand and lifted an antler to her lips, drinking deeply. Her mountain cat curled up at her feet, his tail wrapped around her calf protectively. Rouff had not warmed to any of the charter, not really, but Ava was certain that he found her the least objectionable of his mistress’ new friends. She tossed the bones from her dinner to him, sucking the juices from her fingertips one by one.
      Her stomach growled, despite the venison sitting heavy in it.
      “Here,” Zahavah offered her cup, still steaming. “This fill belly.”
      For a moment she considered refusing, but the rumbling was so loud she worried that the others would hear it and quickly quaffed the liquid. The blood slid warm and soothing down her throat, the metallic taste on her tongue a minor complaint when compared to the satiation she felt as it pooled in her gut.
      “Thank you.”
      “Mm,” the druidess nodded, standing. She held out her hand and waited silently. Ava cocked her head to the side, a blank look upon her face. Golden eyes flickered down toward the antler briefly, then again, pointedly. Cringing at her own social ineptitude, Ava hastily handed her the cup.
      “We go now.”
      Rouff stretched then trotted off after his mistress, chuffing and grunting.
      Ava stood as well, leaving an imprint behind on the tuft of moss that had cushioned her seat. She slung her pack over her shoulder and headed toward the campfire. Erin and Lexi were engaged in some heated conversation – likely about religion, a topic Ava really knew nothing about – and neither of them looked up at her approach.
      But Gavriil did.
      He smiled. A charming smile accompanied by a perfectly timed toss of his head, shifting the hair from his eyes. All the better to reveal those glittering green eyes. Those beautiful, warm eyes that seemed as deep and mysterious as the night sky. Her cheeks grew hot and she averted her gaze.
      “Get enough to eat, Ava?”
      She nodded.
      “The deer was nicely roasted.”
      “Yes.”
      Gavriil shifted on the log, appraising her.
      Oh, by all the Spirits, please don’t let him think I am an utter spastic. Please, oh please let him just let it lay at that. Please, oh please. Oh please…
      “Well, I suppose I should have a look around the perimeter before it gets too dark.” He stood, dusting himself off. “Should you like to accompany me? I imagine your keen sight would come in handy.”
      Ava froze. Should I go? Or- no, I’ll only make an ass of myself. I- Spirits save me from my stupid self!
      “Hey Gav! Did you want a hand setting up your tent?”
      Lexi’s question rescued her from what would surely be a humiliating experience.
      “Yes, thank you.” With a little half-bow in her direction, Gavriil joined Lexi and the pair headed to the edge of the campsite to build his large, complicated tent.
      “…morning… go back to the Fort…”
      “…right. Oleg and Svetlana…”
      “…yes, will need…help.”
      Wisps of their conversation reached her and she heaved a sigh. It was her fault they had veered so far off course. It was her fault the fight in the Fort had gone so badly – Gavriil had nearly been killed by those fur-stealing bastards and she shuddered to think what might have happened to Zehavah if they had carried out their foul-mouthed threats on her. It might even have been her fault that they were attacked by that flock of stirges, for she had chosen the campsite.
      With a full belly and nothing else to do as everyone else was busy with their own preparations for the night, Ava unfurled her bedroll beneath the low ceiling of her travelling tent and climbed in.
      Tomorrow will be better, she told herself, settling into bed. I don’t imagine it could get much worse…

Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “Bull Elk- Estes Park” by rrtf9 from SXC.hu

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