HEATHER: Last character on the right.
Line to include: “Why is there a monkey on my roof?”
Heather dragged her feet as she brought up the rear behind Cassie and Miller. She tried to stay behind. She didn’t feel like she belonged. People looked at her differently because she was different. She was tall. Long and lean. Her family had been put down by the rest of the villagers. They were different, so therefore they were ignorant. She had learned to defend herself and had to take on odd jobs to provide for her mother and grandmother who shared the hut with her. The fact that she wore trousers also made her stand out. Only girls who were officials wore trousers. She had found them easier to work in. She was handy with fixing things. Be it a leaky roof, or a leaning shed, the town had learned that she had a good head on her shoulders and she often found work to do. The pay wasn’t that great, but it was enough to scrape by a living.
One day, on market day, she had helped her grandma haul her weaving into town for their booth and she had seen a peddler with a monkey on the side of the road. She had only ever seen a monkey once before when she was a little girl and had traveled to the fair with her mother. She watched from a distance as the little animal pranced and chattered, even took off his funny cap to the ladies. She smiled softly, which was something she hadn’t done in a long time. When she had gone to work after helping her grandmother, she had watched the little monkey as she had walked away, craning her neck to see one last glimpse of him.
That evening when she returned home, she had been bushed. Really exhausted from her long day of labor. While eating dinner, they heard a scraping on the roof and soon after, the house began to fill with smoke.
“one of the village boys must have covered the chimney as a prank.” She grumbled to her mother and stood to go outside. Coughing at the smoke, she followed her mother out.
“Why is there a monkey on my roof?”
“Hey!” Heathers heart jumped excitedly at her mother’s words. A monkey? Sure enough, the monkey from the market sat on their roof by the chimney chattering at them. She grinned as she climbed the ladder. The mischievous fellow had placed a shingle over the small hole on top of the chimney. She uncovered it, and tried to catch the monkey, who ran to the edge of the roof and looked back, chiding and screeching at her. She grinned and reached out a gentle hand. He swiped at it and slid over the edge of the roof and swung his way down the lattice. She shook her head and watched it go.
Ever since then, she had wanted a pet. Something to call her own and to lavish her pent up affections on. That year the pox took her elderly grandmother first, and, worn out with nursing, her mother took ill and died after a fight. With no one to call her own, and hardly a cent to her name, Heather continued to work for her keep. She ran into Jack while he was trying to snitch food from the market in her village. She grabbed his shoulder and instead of turning him into the police, she listened to his story and joined him when he returned to the others. The had gathered several other individuals since then, but though they tried to make her feel welcome, she held herself aloof. Something inside held her back.
A growl from ahead and to the right of the path caught her attention in time to see a wolf jump out of a bush right onto Cassie. Miller shouted and stepped back. She had to do something. Heather pulled the dagger she kept in its sheath below her knee and ran towards Cassie.
“Miller! Get a stick! Something!” she shouted. She could tell that Cassie was struggling beneath the weight of the wolf who was undoubtedly hungry. She was still alive and trying to hold her own. The wolf had a grip with his jaw on her arm and she was holding him off with it while she struggled to pull out her sword. Heather tried to get close to it, but when she did, he raised his head and looked at her with a menacing growl. While she held the wolfs attention, Cassie pulled out her sword and swiped it across his foreleg. He yipped and jumped back, off of Cassie. Heather took a step closer, brandishing her dagger and standing alongside Cassie in hopes to give her a fighting chance to get up.
If this was a wolf, where was his pack? They didn’t often travel alone and a chill ran up her spine when she thought of the possibility of more. She kept her eyes fixed on the wolf who growled low in his throat, baring his teeth and the grey mottled fur on his back bristling. She noticed the wolfs eyes dart behind her but she dared not glance over her shoulder. She hoped that it was Miller and not more wolves.
Sooooo. . . . *sheepish look* this is the last character. . . and that being said, I have a few bits written after this. . . but I fell off the place of the planet with this story. And life is so crazy right now, that it would be really hard for me to finish it. So I’m still thinking on how to pull this off, but we’ll see.
What do you think?
By God’s Grace,