Excerpt – “Personal Policies” – first draft

Here is another piece of writing I am working on. It will be a short story when everything is said and done, but here is a excerpt from the first draft. So here we go…

Watching the sun fall over the village all was as it should have been from the outside. Peaceful and many of the soldiers back home with their loved ones. That did not make him feel any better as he stood watching from his place near the window.

For as the moonlight began to glow did the questions begin to come en masse. Why did everyone hate them? Why did they believe they would do them harm? It was only when they had mobilized from the village that the battle truly began and all of his power to stop it was useless at the charge of the masses. She would not be there anymore to help him. Reported dead it was not long before proof of her demise came to him as part of the casualties list and it stung to know that the one he had trusted more then any other would be part of the next life.

Now the question stood was what he would do next. As the then child to the lord and now mayor of the village he had done everything to show them that working with them was the most effective strategy. With her death though it did not take long for the opinion of the town to drop losing allies from the other side of the sea. Shaking his head he moved over to the plush love seat lined of red velvet that they would always sit on as they read in front of the fire. Where the fire of warmth and happiness was now there was only a dark void seemingly all the good from the room in a manner not unlike a magic spell. Looking around the room memories of their happiness seemed to paint the room. Both of them talking about the artist of a painting on the wall while another had both of them sitting behind his desk shoulder to shoulder sharing a candle before she had turned inward taking their first kiss.

Beast folk as they were called in town had been part of the beginning of the future. A future based on happiness and teamwork for all versus what had actually transpired. It was dismal to think what was going to happen knowing that he did everything to make it good only for it to rot in his hands. From the central government he had been called a coward, a leech trying to make peace instead of trying to invade. All of the beast folk encampments had been removed burned in the anger stoked by the fear that only a people with so many differences could conjure on such short notice.

The knock on the door signaled his maid waiting behind the door.

“Come in.”

She bounced in happily no doubt from her own husband returning from the latest of the encampments turning to dust. Looking over as her long auburn hair was tied up in a bun he felt nothing but venom beginning to burn in to his spirit poisoning all it touched with the malice. His own voice was rough from lack of use hiding himself in the manor while he coped with her death. While the head butler had been knowledgeable of the relationship she had been less so with her own smile making him wish for the chance the one person that would understand him to return from the grave.

“How are you doing tonight, master? Some of the men are going to the pub and would like you to show up?”

His head snapped at the speed it turned looking at her with what had to seem a fiery glare as she was unused to such vileness in dealings. Standing up from the couch he motioned her over to the desk littered with papers in two sets of handwriting. Lit candle moving closer began to illuminate everything for her as his own eyes had been used to the night. Pulling from the bottom of the pile with practiced precision brought a small report from one of the forests surrounding the village. Handing it over the woman did the most to read it with little luck.

“Miss, do you know what builds this house and every other house in the village?”

She looked up for a moment thinking before answering, “Yes sir, wood.”

“That paper is part of a packet of them wherein they all say the same. Our forests are becoming ill from something and it is turning all the wood brittle making the roots weak. Do you know what happens in the next two years if there is no wood.?”

Listening intently she could only imagine where this was going. The eccentricity of her master had been talked about more as a joke at times seemingly married more to his work then to any lover.

“We trade for it? We can still hunt for fur and use it for farmland can we not?”

His smile seemed dark enough for her to catch it as he leaned down to open the drawer closest pulling out a stack of papers as tall as a draft bottle.

“Correct, except what happens when the entire forest within a week and a half is susceptible, showing signs of this disease? Many of our animals have began to migrate out of our forests if you have not noticed the hunters have not bagged any formidable game in a couple of fortnights.”

Nodding in understanding she had noticed the supply of meat not being so plentiful despite the spring season. She had just thought it was just a hiccup of life.

“I do not know. We go further to get what we need?”

A growl was stuck in his throat as what little of his patience seemed to blow itself out like the candle flame they were standing around. Throwing the papers across the room leafs of it fell softly to the floor while the remaining stack landed in the fireplace on top of the cold ashes. The simplicity of her answer made him want to scream and yell before it all drained from him in a heartbeat.

“My dear, let me ask you a question. I did not certify by any means the hunting of the beast folk so who did?”

The question had caught her off guard. While many thought he was just being bureaucratic about the action to hear he did not endorse the attacks at all made her eyes go wide for a moment that he had caught. Silence settled in the room before she had begun to voice her answer in the tone much like the small birds outside his window would use in greeting.

“Malley, sir. He had started the movement and took it upon himself to attack the beast folk. At the pub he made them out to be creatures of evil to be destroyed.

The light of another candle came in through the doorway held by an older man with mournful eyes. Head butler of the mayor’s estate had been a job he had worn with the greatest of honors, but seeing what had happened to his master as he explained to one of the younger maids. It was all very heartbreaking to see such a fall of spirit. As her voice died to catch his explanation he bowed his head slightly because he did not put together the pieces fast enough to help the younger man currently knuckling in to the desk in what seemed to be a mix of rage and sorrow. Turning back the mayor had nodded a greeting before falling in to the chair turning less of a person and more of a defeated pile of humanity.
“Sarah, is Grast correct?”

Nodding to him she could only wonder of the many questions that began to flit through her unhampered skull.

“Grast, you knew. You. knew me and her. You had heard.”

His hand seemingly tried to find the words he needed to use except their were none left. Turning his head Grast took a moment to remember the child that would look at him with tears in his eyes because a bird had died. Before exclaiming to make the town better and everyone happy. It seemed funny in a dark sense because although they looked like the same face the emotions were so much deeper.

“Miss Sarah. What you may not have realized is with the crisis with our timber and possibly even our food there were attempts to make a treaty with the beast folk across the sea. It had gone seemingly well they were more then ready to help us in our fair town’s time of need while all they wanted was to grow and explore this land that was so foreign to them. That is until the attacks began. Now with this set of attacks they will most likely counter not with the civic minded group that was over here but with the trained soldiers of the empire of more then millions .”

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