Sorrow & Joy
Live the dream but don’t dream the life
Or sadness can rain from your own dream cloud
And you will demand of the azure sky;
Chapter 1: The Pair
The sun shined down on the green plain, split in two by a dusty road; wandering from horizon to horizon. Two figures, one dressed in a dirty smock; no more than a few rags sewn together with coarse threads, was definitely a man. Walking calmly with a large, broad bladed, light blue sword strapped to his back with a long strip of leather; the hilt decorated with several large crystals. The other figure will make one rub their eyes in disbelief; it was tall, with yellow fur that covered it’s entire body. The face similar to that of a fox except for it’s eyes which had a simple forget-me-not blue coloring. It had long white fur covering it’s chest, stretching quarter way down it’s thin body, a slight bulge in the midst of that furry patch signaled that it was female. Her legs and arms were also fox like but at the same time weren’t, for she walked upright, padding along on white furred paws. She carried a short staff, rough oak, several different feathers surmounting in a decorative manner.
The fox like creature looked to the man and said in a clear, female pitch “So, Dan. How far do you think this city is?” Dan, as he had been identified, replied to her question after a slight pause “I think we’re almost there. See those towers over in the distance, Rennie?” Her name discovered, she continued the conversation “Yes, I do. Can’t be more than a few miles distant then...” She paused for a moment “Are you sure the people won’t be frightened of me? I keep worrying that they will try to kill me out of fear.” Dan reassured her in a sympathetic tone “Don’t. Besides, we can defend ourselves.” She shot back worriedly “It’s not us I fear for, it’s them... I can still remember the names and final words of all who I have killed... 73 is already too much of a number.” They walked on in silence. “Just act yourself, don’t hide who you are. How can anyone be afraid of honesty?” Dan reassured her “I hope I am right...” he thought.
Hours later, some time before dawn, the road they followed became cobbled with gray stones as it approached a tall, intimidating wall. Rennie looked down at the stones, but all she saw were the featureless pale faces of those who have died and of who will by her hands. They moved to a small side gate, solid iron, apparently inches thick. Dan rapped on the gate, the hollow noise echoing through the postern. A small slot opened at eye level and the eyes of a man peered through at Dan, Rennie just out of view. “Who are you and what is your business here?” He demanded of Dan who replied in a level tone, trying not to be angry “I’m a traveler, Dan, I have come to visit my family with my companion, Rennie.” The man looked at him shrewdly “You look OK, I’ll unlock the gate.” He said, being more friendly to Dan “Watch yourself, the gate always swings out.” They could hear a rusted lock grating as it was opened and the gate swung open with some force, clanging against the wall. “Sorry about that, come on in...” The armored guard beckoned, but as he saw Rennie he froze “What kind of beast is this!” He yelled, ripping his sword out without thinking. Rennie looked at him coldly “I am no more of a beast than you are human.” Dan stepped between the guard and his yellow friend “This is Rennie, so don’t you dare touch her.” He threatened, grasping his sword. The guard looked at him wildly “Move! The monster will kill us all!” Rennie could not contain herself “Move, Dan. If he wants a fight I’ll oblige.” Dan looked at her “But, Rennie...” He reconsidered and moved aside “Sorry.” He said to the guard.
The guard leapt at Rennie, swinging his sword wildly, she raised her paw and mumbled “Stun!” Lightning jumped from her outstretched paw, hitting the guard head on. He went down, falling backwards against the huge stones of the wall, “Argh! You’ve killed me!” He screamed, Rennie lowered her arm and, keeping her iced tone replied “Hurts, doesn’t it? That can’t kill you though. I don’t want to do that.” Dan chuckled, helping the guard up, “I warned you. Now can we please stop this nonsense?” The guard grabbed his arm and pulled himself up with Dan’s assistance “You might of heard of us, you know. I am better known as Joy and my irked friend; Sorrow.” The guard looked at them with awe “You’re S-S-Sorrow and Joy?” He stammered, Dan chuckled again “Of course! Oh, and yes the rumors are true, I am indeed over two hundred and Rennie really is a master-class mage.” The guard looked at Rennie “I am, err... very sorry about that... comment...” She laughed “No offence taken! Though try to keep your head on, in future.” The guard blushed furiously “Would you two like to go in then?” Dan smiled “I thought you would never ask! I need a drink.” The guard laughed nervously, and they walked in.
After they had left the guard ran to the palace where the King resided, a large whitewashed building with marble pillars out front supporting a balcony garden, a dome could be seen behind the garden with a simple tower reaching up from the top. The guard clanked towards the huge oak and iron doors between the two central pillars, they were open, permitting any one to access the building. He rushed straight down the wide hallway to another set of doors at the end, his armored feet skittering slightly on the smooth tiled floor, stopping in front of another guard, talking excitedly. He was let through into a domed hall, decorated with blue, brown and red banners. Sitting on a small obsidian throne was an imposing man wearing a simple gray shirt, black leggings and, the only symbol of his status, a gold crown inlayed with many precious jewels. The King saw the guard rushing towards him between his advisors and raised his hand to silence them. The guard skidded to a halt, saluted and announced “My King! I have very important news!” The King replied with interest “Lets hear it.” The guard looked around at the people staring at him “It is of a sensitive nature, sir.” The simply dressed monarch waved to his advisors “Lets hear it then.” His advisors left the hall. “I have seen, and talked with, Sorrow and Joy! They are in the city!” The guard said. “WHAT!”
Rennie looked around the room “Nice, you humans are good at decorating. This room will do, thanks.” She turned to the inn keeper “Ahem...” He looked at her “Oh, sorry... err... I’ll be going now.” He left in a hurry. “I knew people would fear me...” She muttered, shaking her head, Dan threw himself onto the small couch “Well, that is only natural, but some people quite like you.” She blushed “I noticed, they were very friendly to me.” He laughed “And some couldn’t believe what they were seeing! That child thought you were a giant cuddly toy at first!” She blushed even more furiously “Stop it!” Dan got up from the couch “Oh, OK. I’m going for a shower, I haven’t washed in days!” Rennie wrinkled her nose “I noticed.” She giggled, Dan walked through a door way “Oooo... They have hot running water too!”
Three quarters of an hour later, Dan was laying on a bed, reading one of his journals when Rennie walked in “You really should publish some of those you know, your’s is a very interesting tale.” He looked up at her “Definitely, even I enjoy refreshing my memory with some of them.” She sat next to him “Guess what.” Dan put his book down “What?” Rennie shuffled over “I tried that hair stuff, what did you call it? Shampoo and the Conditioner. It really made my fur soft, wanna feel?” She offered her arm “Why not?” He reached out and touched her arm “Wow! It really did, that is very soft.” Rennie looked at him directly “When was the last time?” Dan looked puzzled “Last time for what? Oh, that! Umm... about three months.” He snapped his fingers, she shuffled closer “How about now?” Dan thought for a moment “We don’t have anything important to do so... Huh! Why not.” He shrugged “Do you want to go on top this time or shall I?” Her face lit up “It’s your turn” he put his arm round her “Sure!”
Dan leaned over to her, brushing his lips against her’s, breathing in the smell of the soaps, overlaid by a sweeter fragrance. He reached into the thick fur on her chest, feeling her warm, silky breasts. She moaned, putting her paw behind his head, driving it towards her’s, licking his cheek. Suddenly, they heard a crash and immediately Dan grabbed his sword from the door way to the bedroom, jumping to his feet in a defensive stance. Several guards burst into the room, Rennie, wholly angered by the interruption, yelled “FLASH!” Dan covered his eves quickly as a blinding flash of light did it’s job on the invaders, screaming in pain as the light stabbed at their eyes. They both ran out of their rooms, out into the corridor “DAMN IT!” She yelled as three more guards blocked their path, Dan leapt forward, blocking the closest guard’s swing and counter attacking, shattering his opponent’s sword “This is mithril, fools! Light and strong!” He smashed at a hastily raised shield, cutting through and leaving a deep gash and breaking the bone in his victim’s arm who fell to the ground, clutching at the wound, just staring at it. Rennie moved to the injured man, whispering “Sleep...” her target losing consciousness, she followed up “Heal…” Repairing his arm and moved on, following Dan as the last guard surrendered and dropped his sword.
They burst out of the inn into the street, right into the middle of an entire platoon of troops. “Surrender, now!” Their leader shouted, Dan judged their numbers “Fifty against one… I’m going top enjoy this!” He thought, laughing, he advanced on the one who had spoken… until he heard Rennie shriek, he spun round, ready to strike. His heart felt like lead as he saw her being held by a soldier, his sword against her throat. “Drop it or this… thing, dies!” The armored terror announced, Dan let his sword fall to the ground “Alright, now let her go.” He kicked it away, the guard released Rennie, she ran, sobbing behind Dan. “Now come with us!” The leader said.
To Be Continued…
What is to become of Rennie and Dan, how will they escape? Click Here and read the next chapter to find out!