Yes, I am alive. And I have finally got around to writing something, sorry, I have been extremely busy. I had a new idea and I wondered if you would like it. If you are wondering about Falcon Amorial, I'm sorry to say that I doubt it will be continued. But I promise that the girl won't die at the end of this one. Please review, they mean a lot, and I will try to return them as necessary. Oh, and the title is only temporary, if anyone has a better idea, please let me know, thanks:)
Three days. For three days she had gone without food. For three days she watched the soldiers march up and down the Parisian market street. She had heard some disgruntled vendor telling another that some new captain had come from the south and was carrying out some of the king's orders, and they were driving away business.
The girl knew what the order was, and even if she didn't, her guess would be quite close to the truth. They were there for her. Not her in particular, but her people, the people who had abandoned her and never came back, the people that made her a wanted person.
She, though probably was already a wanted person, whether the police hated the Romany or not. She had spent too much time on the dingy street corners, her head in her dirty, dark arms waiting for some stranger, usually clad in white and black, the skirts brushing her bare feet, to deposit some small coins in front of her, or she had stolen from turned vendors to get food that she desperately needed when the money or nuns were scarce.
For three days there had been no opportunity for her to steal or beg, every where she snuck, there seemed to be a soldier at every turn, patrolling the streets and shops, waiting for someone like her to show their face or break some glass, steal some food and run praying to get away and not suffer the consequences. Many of them desperately needed their right hands.
The gypsy girl slid silently down the wall between a vendor's cart and the entrance to a boulangerie, while a guard's back was turned.
"Le pomme de terre!" The vendor standing half a step away from where she kneeled, distracting the guards as she hid, "Le pomme de terre!"
Since the soldiers came, the vendors and shop owners had softened up to her; she was no longer the main antagonist, now the two of them shared a common enemy. Le soldats kept away the vendor's customers; le soldats kept her away from her food she so desperately needed and her freedom to wander as she wished.
"Merci," she whispered, in a breathless whisper to the vendor who hid her.
He merely nodded, not wanting to draw any attention to himself.
She slid away, through a nearby alley, and pressed her small back into the cold stone wall. She almost moved further in before the sound of voices stopped her.
"Captain, how long do we patrol these streets? We have nearly 200 gypsies already. Must we search for any more?"
The captain did not answer, but spoke slowly, his young voice bouncing off the corner. "Good work men, 200 Gypsies in three days."
Footsteps and the sound of horse hooves echoed from off the wall, and as the group rounded the corner on their way to the main street of the market district. The girl was glued paralyzed to the wall because of something she could not prevent, rigid fear possibly. She had made it this far when so many of the others had not.
The group of soldiers turned the corner, and the one in front, presumably the new captain, was followed by a number of others, one of whom held onto the reigns of a horse, a well bred one, which also presumably was in the possession of the captain.
He had opened his mouth to speak, but then he stopped when he saw the girl standing there with her black eyes large and frightened, and her back pressed up to the wall.
She finally gained the power to turn and run.
The captain's voice rang out, "Follow her!" and everyone scattered, leaving the bewildered soldier with the horse behind.
The gypsy girl ran barefoot through the alley way and turned into another alley that would take her deeper into the recesses of the back city, not out to the markets where the soldiers would be many and hard to shake off. She held her breath for a moment, trying to block out the heart beats echoing in her ears, in an attempt to hear if she was being pursued.
The heavy footsteps bounced off the limestone walls of the buildings around her and she let her breath out as she continued to flee the soldiers. She was small, barely five feet, and her running was fast, but the men behind her were all quite tall and well built, giving them the power that she lacked.
Every now and then she would glance behind her, and through her long, loose black hair, she was able to see those who were after her. Though she was indeed starving, she knew these back streets, her stamina was extraordinary, and the madness from impending doom was keeping her ahead, in an animal like attempt to save her life.
Soon the only person who could keep up with her had, and he was gaining. The pains in her empty stomach hurt so that she could barely keep her feet pounding the sold, cold cobble stones beneath her feet, and at the last minute, she ducked left into an empty court yard.
The movement was swift, and the captain thanked the Virgin Mary he had not blinked or closed his eyes, and he ran in several moments later.
When the girl fled into the courtyard, she realized that she was trapped, and desperately looked for a place to hide. A window was broken into and she slipped through that trying in desperation to avoid the sharp, broken glass.
The captain drew his sword, glancing around the courtyard. Each wall was over 20 feet tall, the roofs were falling in and steep, making escape nearly impossible. But one thing caught his eye, and he took his chance.
"Mademoiselle," he gasped, his breath gone from the chase. "Come out of there." His drawn sword was pointed at the broken window glass.
Her back was solidly against the wall beside the window, crouching down, holding her hand tightly. Blood dripped from a long cut where a sliver of glass had slit open her palm.
"Mademoiselle, I shall have to put you under arrest if you do not come out immediately."
She finally spoke, with a rasping dry voice that bounced off the four walls and into the walled in courtyard, "Am I not already, Monsieur le Captain?" and she added as a second though, "Why do you call me Mademoiselle?"
He did not answer either of her questions. "What is your name?"
It was her turn not to reply.
"Tell me your name!" he yelled, echoing loudly off the walls.
"Isha." She finally replied.
"Good. Now Isha," he spoke amiably, "how old are you?"
"What business is that of yours?" She stood up in front of the broken window.
The captain got his first good look at the girl. Her clothes were ragged and dirty, her brown skirt ended in jagged cuts above her ankles, where her out of sight feet were presumably barefoot.
Her white blouse hung off her shoulders, and a large scarf was wrapped around her waist where her blouse was tucked into to the top of her skirt. The girl's face was taught, there were double circles under her eyes, and her cheeks were sunken in, deep and harsh. Her dark eyes were framed by her dirty, black, unwashed hair that hung in a tangled mess in her face and down to the small of her back.
"I'm not sure," she finally replied, "Seventeen, eighteen maybe, I don't know."
He was sure she was telling the truth.
"What about you?" She asked, not wanting to be outdone.
Once again, he did not answer.
When he did not, she called out, "You are going to burn me, aren't you?"
"You will be tried first in front of a judge…" he started to say, but she cut him off.
"And then be burned because of one of your hypocritical church judges!"
"Easy, don't say anything that could get your head cut off."
"Better than being burned!" she screamed at him.
"Or starving to death," he added, indicating toward her taught figure.
"You could cut off my head right here," Isha spoke, bitterly, "To save your precious pope the cost of wood."
"Maybe I will." He spat at her angrily.
"Be my guest, but after you do, how will you get out into the main streets again?"
Instead of stepping forward, the young man retreated. That thought had not yet passed through his mind.
He knew this girl had said this in a last desperate attempt, but he also knew if he killed her he would not be able to get out of the mazes of the back streets.
And then she disappeared.
The captain ran forward to the window and looked inside the falling apart house, but the room was bolted from the insides on both of the doors, the room was empty, and the girl was gone.
Footsteps rang out from the walls as more soldiers filed in the courtyard.
"Where is she?" One asked, looking about.
He turned around bewildered, "She's gone."
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