Stranger

‘I have no time for this,’ Nadec announced to the man laying at her feet, who looked around in confusion. ‘I’m already past my deadline.’ Her cat jumped from her shoulders, sniffing at the strangers’ bare knees. Nadec grabbed her halberd from her back, once again praising herself for making the mechanism for shortening its shaft and the magnets to keep it safely in place. In the process of doing so, she could see all the pink blood on her hands and clothes and uttered a long and solidly vulgar curse.

‘I better take a shower first,’ she muttered. She looked over at the man again, who had pushed himself to a sitting position by now but still looked pretty dazed. Remembering the first time she’d skipped, she felt a bit of some sympathy towards him. Whatever he had to endure from the xlups probably only added to his feeling unwell.

She couldn’t feel too sorry for him though, it’s his own fault, he shouldn’t have grabbed her ankle and then he wouldn’t have skipped along! Her brows drawn down, she took a blanket of her couch and tossed it to him.

‘Here, at least cover yourself up, you can have a shower after I’ve finished.’ His face showed a lot of confusion at her words, and she saw him mouth the word shower. Not wanting to waste anymore time, she grunted while ignoring him and walked towards her bathroom.

Feeling immensely better after her quick shower, she immediately went to work on her blog. Trying to explain to the stranger how the shower worked, and everything else, would definitely be too tedious of a job so she didn’t bother, for now. Her desk was part of the large open space containing the lounge room, kitchen and dining area all at once, so she could watch the stranger while she worked on her blog. Annoyingly though, she seemed to watch him more than be able to type own words.

He had draped the blanket on his back like a cape, completely missing the point of it needing to cover him up. He’d been walking around the room slowly, stopping at every little thing and looking it over for several minutes a piece. Nadec decided that he was not bad looking at all, especially considering the average looking people of the other realm. Her eyes kept drifting back towards his uncovered body. Definitely much better than what the xlups had to offer. That thought made her snicker quietly. Even in modern day standards this man would hold up very well compared to other men. Dark hair falling in waves on to his shoulders, unshaven chin and cheeks—something between stubble and a beard—tall, lean, obviously muscled in all the right places. She felt a warmth spreading from the middle of her tummy and quickly averted her eyes and stared back at the computer screen.

A scream, a feline squeal, and a clattering sound, made her look back at the man again, all senses alert. He had stumbled back from the window—she assumed—tripped over her cat, knocked over her side table and rolled over the back of the couch, hitting the lounge table so hard with his forehead that the wood made a creaking echo. Or maybe that was the sound of his head splitting open. Rolling her eyes, she looked back at her computer screen, scowled at the ten words she’d written, and got up with a sigh.

After fetching her first aid kit, she knelt next to the stranger. ‘Alright fella, let me see. Ooh, that’s quite the cut. Right, sit down in the lounge. Yes, that’s this large red thing behind you.’ She cleaned out the cut and used her special skin glue to keep it together. That should do. He let her do it, looking at her in silence, studying her face, which made her cheeks heat up. She was not used to being looked at so intently.

‘My deadline isn’t going anywhere so I might as well give you some attention. Do you have any other wounds? Did the xlups hurt you in any way?’

‘No, I am alright,’ he replied softly after clearing his throat. ‘Who are you and where am I? Is this a castle? How can we be so high above the ground and the view is strange, what are all those weird things I saw?’ He hid it well, but Nadec was certain she could detect a good amount of  discomfort and even fear in his questions.

‘Alright, I’ll try to explain things to you,’ aiming to covertly move the blanket to cover his lap. Too distracting otherwise. ‘First, tell me who you are, where you come from, how the xlups caught you and why I’d been sent to free you?’

The stranger pulled himself up, sitting as straight as possible, his chin lifted up slightly—the blanket shifted again, causing Nadec to sigh.

‘I am Pagewyn O’Elope d’Onnosely, ruler of Paralelo, master of the Squares, defender of the Triangles, chief of all Lines, bearer of the Wooden Water Crown!’

Not knowing whether to swear again or to stare, Nadec burst out in gales of laughter.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

This a a sequel to ‘deadline‘, an untitled flash fiction story published a few weeks ago (I suppose I call it deadline in my head now). I liked it so much that I decided to turn it into a continuing story. I’ve got no idea where it is going, but I like the comical side of it and the mystery which surrounds it. I’m keen to find out how the story continues! Are you too?

Obviously the title and chapter titles and everything can still change, but if you want to read the story in its whole, go here. I’ll aim to add each new chapter to it, and in the end give it all a proper edit which will hopefully make it into a ~decent~ short story/novellette/novella/novel (who knows where it will end, I certainly don’t).

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