The Intruder

by: Feena in Dark Ages

    I sat up quickly in bed, shivering. The rain beat against the roof with a ferocity I hadn't heard in a while. Suddenly, the wind howled like an angry God and the shutters slammed up against the walls of the inn as if they were clapping to the tune of the thunder that suddenly erupted in the sky. I pulled my dressing gown tight as I stood up and leaned out the window to pull the shutters closed. I tried to move quickly but for the few moments I was hanging out the opening I was soaked through the skin.

    I shrugged out of my robe and pulled a dry gown from my pack. It was late, I knew. The sky was darker than the inside of the crypt. I fumbeled with a match and managed to get a candle lit. It was just then that I realized I wasn't alone. As I blinked and squinted trying to protect my eyes from the flame I knew I saw a shadow move across the wall and quickly disappear. I slowly turned around in the bed. "Hello?", I whispered. There came no response.

    "Look," I reasoned, "Riona is downstairs. If I scream she will hear me. You have to go past her to get out of here." I heard a raspy, scratching noise. Was it a suppressed laugh? They were right, of course. Riona had to be asleep in her own room by now. If they ran, she couldn't catch them. Of course, what if she didn't hear me scream? What if I was unable to?

    "Okay, I don't have much money. You can take it. I didn't see your face. I can't report you to a guard." I jumped as I heard a click. Oh Fiosachd, it's a rogue. They've set a trap, I'd better not move. I lifted my feet underneath my legs, curling my toes within the fabric of the blankets. Then I heard a crunch, it sounded closer than the click. They must be moving closer to the bed. I quickly slid into a defensive position. I peered into the shadows by the candle's light. I saw nothing.

    Shall I be the victim of a miracle of my own God? I started to cry. "Please. I have a daughter, and a husband. A lot of people depend on me, please, don't hurt me." I didn't hear anything for a moment. Was I getting to them? "My daughter, Etayn, she's just 15 deochs old. She needs her mom." My choked sobs were interrupted by the slam of the shutters being blasted open again by the wind. My small flickering candle sputtered out.

    Shrouded in darkness again, I started to pray. "Oh Fiosachd, if ever I need thee. It is at this moment." Lightning flashed illuminating the small room. It was gone just as fast. Did I see something in the eerie violet glow? I wasn't sure. I was shaking now, "My things, they are on the floor there...", I whispered, "I have a few nice staves, some food, a couple hundred coins." A rapid scratching noise. Oh, were they sharpening their knife? Unwinding a cord to strangle me? My breath came short and fast, it was hard to think. Perhaps if I jumped from the bed and ran for the door.

    Suddenly there was a squeak, oh god, they're coming onto the bed! I leapt up and ran screaming from the room. I made it downstairs, Riona came stumbling from her room, "What's wrong Feena? What's happening?", she trilled. "There's someone in my room!", I shouted. She quickly grabbed a lantern and when the wick burst into flame she flew up the stairs. I followed closely behind with a spell ready if someone would try to hurt her. She crashed throught the door of my room with a yell. I stood in the hallway, my legs shaking with nervousness. All was silent for a moment, then she started to laugh.

    She stepped from the room and swung the door open wide behind her. She lifted the lantern so I could see the interior. There on the floor lit by the glow from the lamp was a fat and very hairy mouse. It chittered at me before scurring into the bag of rations it had pulled from my things. "Oh you are kidding!", I exclaimed. Riona clasped my shoulder before turning toward the stairs. Spinning around quickly, she handed me the lantern she carried and kissed me on the cheek. "Goodnight, Feena."

    The End.