Hey, so I had a really bad day yesterday, so here’s some random, fun Elizabeth!
The Adventures of Elizabeth Shelley
“Next time,” Finn says, “we’ll plan our escape in better weather.”
Water drips from my hair down onto the supple grass below. My shirt and pants are soaking, and my toes curl up in my boots with the gross feeling of soaked socks. In my chest, my heart attempts to leap out of my chest, and my wrists tingle from where the ropes were pulled across not ten minutes ago.
I look up to him, underneath the wet, matted mess of my hair. “Yeah, okay, we’ll do that.”
Behind us, the spiked outer wall of the fortress stands formidable, containing the sounds of shuffling footsteps and barked shouts and the faint sound of an alarm ringing. Anger radiates from the faint mumbles of voices that I can hear.
In front of us lies Temere, which is pretty much just long, flat countryside. Little hills rise and fall, but overall the land is flat and blank and dead beyond the grass pushing its way up through the earth. The clouds above us, pregnant with the rain now pouring down, lay so low I feel like I could jump up and reach them. Besides the huge steel fortress behind us, there’s no other sign of anything living.
The Temerens call this the Barrenlands.
“Finn,” I ask, salt dripping from my voice, “where exactly are we supposed to go now?”
When we popped into Temere, we didn’t intend on getting caught up. Outside of the Barrenlands, we landed in a tiny town that looked like it was straight out of an old western movie. Past wood paneled buildings and squeaking rocking chairs and horses tied up to posts outside, I trotted briskly behind Finn, struggling to keep up with his stride.
“These violent delights have violent ends.” I quoted in a singsong voice. “What exactly are we doing here in Westworld?”
We passed a few locals, humanoid but for the deep wrinkles in all their skin, and they glanced at us curiously, as if we were an interesting specimen in a zoo.
“I heard a rumor.” Finn said. “Dunno if it’s true. But heard a man in Temere had the ability to jump through dimensions at his will. Thought we’d better check it out.”
A stone sank in my stomach. It’s been a few months since I lost that watch I had gotten from the Collector when helping Irby and the Repository. Sometimes I dream about that guy who I fought with, who slipped the watch off of my wrist and out of my sight, that Searu Callahan. It’s been a knot in the back of my throat for a while now.
So, after heading into the local tavern to meet Finn’s contact, well, that was when she burst in.
A woman, tattered clothes, wide eyes, deep grooves in her skin, threw open the door with a shattering wail. Some people who obviously knew her rushed to her side, asking her what happened. And Finn, of course.
That’s how we ended up trying to save over thirty-five captives from the fortress, the local bandits’ hold in the north. Just the two of us.
And Finn’s grand plan? Get ourselves captured.
“You know, I’m starting to get the feeling that you just make everything up as you go along.” I say, wringing out my hair and shaking the raindrops off my gloves.
He gives a chuckles at that, pulling me by the shoulder down to a kneeling position in a bit of shadows from the fortress wall and glancing around wildly.
We had wandered into the Barrenlands, no real direction in mind and leading two mules lent by the locals, making a lot of noise and hoping to get thrown in a dungeon. Two days later, we were bound in rope and thrown in a cart, then later a cage with those other captives we were looking for.
“Well, now what?” I whispered to Finn, trying to stretch my back as I’m pressed up to an ancient-looking man and a tear-streaked woman.
Finn’s hands were already working themselves against the rope, pressed in tight on my left.
“How about we make this a lesson, hm? You tell me.”
After tearing through our binds and picking the crude locks on the basement cage, the two of us sneaked our way out of the fortress.
“When I told you that escape was the next step, I thought it was sort of implied that we’d escape with, you know, everyone.”
Finn shifts his weight on his heels so that I can see his face, sharp features with water dripping down onto the ground below. He just looks at me expectantly, giving me his ‘figure it out’ face.
I roll my eyes, and after taking a minute, I say, “Now we know the layout and the defenses. We go back in and stop them for good. Not just saving them, but any future targets.”
His face breaks out into a little smile. “Aye.”
And at that, he turns around, away from escape and back into the pit of lions. I can’t help but think about Finn’s contact sitting there at the tavern and eventually leaving, moving on with his or her life. When I mention this to Finn, he sighs.
“Sometimes, there’re more important things.”
He nods to the fortress, to the captives held in the basement, scared and hungry and about to be sold into slavery or forced labor or whatever else. The rain gains traction, pounding a little harder on the Barrenlands and on our little wet heads.
And then, like a cat pouncing, Finn leaps into action, bounding back into the duct we had just squeezed our way out of. That knot in the back of my throat with the big red label with the words ‘I lost the super important and powerful watch’ blinking in pretty colors swelled, as I glanced behind us, into the Barrenlands and back to fixing my mistake.
Then, I whisper to myself, “Sometimes, there’re more important things.”
And I dart back into the tunnel behind Finn.
Also, so this one is just a one-off, no more parts to this (you can pretty much assume they saved the day wooo). Anyway, check back Thursday for hopefully more content; school just started back up so we’ll hope for the best. As always, please like this and share it if you enjoyed it! I’d really like to continue growing this blog so I’d love to get more readers! See you Thursday!