A Name Un-looked For

Melandra threw the small scroll that contained her orders into the fire place and left it to burn. Gra'akast is not where she had planned to spend the next few months, but work was work and coin was coin and as sure as shit could be shovelled this was good coin. She grabbed a rolled smoke from the nearby table and used a taper from the fire to light it as she wandered outside to check on the horses. The saddles were already packed with enough provisions for the journey and the two mares were of fine stock. Alternating between them she would make good time.

With a grunt of satisfaction she gave the nearest beast a gentle pat and turned to enter the building once more. A distant sound distracted her for a moment, shouting and was that screaming? Probably the phantom bloody murderer struck again. She had to admit the slaughter at the wedding had taken balls.

"Balls of solid brass." she laughed to herself as she made her way inside. She made her way into the back room where her pack sat ready for the journey and was just about to reach for it when the rear door burst open and a man entered. He was dressed for the bloody desert of all things and he was wounded and out of breath. Most notable was the arrow protruding from his shoulder. He did not see her as he crashed into the room and immediately turned to close the door behind him.

"There is an arrow poking out of your back. Did you know?" she spoke the words without thought. The absurdity of the situation drawing them forth.

The stranger turned with catlike grace and his eyes immediately grew wide as he saw her standing there. There was a moment of silence and Melandra glanced down toward her pack where her sword was also laid out ready for travel. She considered making a snatch for it, but hesitated as the man spoke, his face contorted with equal measures pain and wonder.

"Melandra Avalloc," he breathed her name, but how? "Truly we are blessed."

There was a flash of movement and she shivered as cold dread passed through her body. He held a long blade out to his side, slick with blood. She frowned in confusion and instinctively brought her hands to her stomach where they came away slick and red.

"Even in my foolishness, the twins guide my hand to a name un-looked for." the man stepped closer as she stumbled, her legs losing all feeling. She glanced down and whimpered as the silver threads of her innards began spilling from the open wound.

"W...why?" she managed as she slumped into his arms. He lowered her gently, almost lovingly to the ground and then he was crouched over her smiling. A smile of innocence and joy that blurred and faded from existence as Melandra Avalloc breathed her last.

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