The Magistrate's Daughter

by Tess Snider a.k.a. Malkin

Note: Chapter 1 was released in the May 2000 issue of TCB

Chapter 2

"No, no," Amina said, as we burst out into the bright daylight. "I can't run in these robes. My father and I came on horseback. Follow!"

We ducked around the side of the temple, where a bored-looking stable hand sat on a stool under a wide canvas awning. Three horses were tied there, and an unhappy-looking mule was still yoked to a small cart. When the boy spied Amina, he started out of his seat, "My lady! You're... back soon." He blanched, as we neared, and he could clearly see the blood on her hands, and on my shoulder.

"My horse," Amina said firmly, without further explanation.

The boy set to untying her mare, "Are you well, my lady, because I..."

"That's none of your business," Amina snapped, mounting the horse as gracefully as she could in her heavy robes. She looked at me, expectantly. I looked around at the other horses, and she quickly jerked her head backward, as though to indicate that I was to share her horse. I wasted no time mounting the horse behind her.

"Where are you going?" the boy asked, still fumbling with the knot, nervously. Amina drew the bloodied dagger from her robes, and cut the rope, pounding her heels into the horse's side, urging it into motion. The boy's cry could be heard receding, as we charged out into the road.

"Where are we going?" she shouted, after we were out of earshot of the stable hand.

"We have to stop at my place," I shouted back.

"What's there?"

"Provisions!" And my father's sword.

I guided her towards my shack near the edge of town. It wasn't much to look at, but it kept the wind out, and the rain off my head. The first thing I did when we entered was to grab some clothes from my larger chest, and toss them on the bed. "Cut the legs on the pants to make them fit," I said.

"But the pants won't fit, even if I cut the legs," she said, with a look of consternation, as she held the them up to her waist.

"We can make adjustments when we get somewhere safe. For now, tie some rope around your waist, and make do." I unslung my sword, and tossed it on the bed, "That's yours, too."

Next Page