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[Orig] Wish Ch 05

Happy Wishful Wednesday! (sorry for the late post . . . but at least it's still Wednesday my time).

Notes: This chapter is rated PG-13 for reference to non-consensual violence. We are still in Kadík's corner of the Realm and getting to see the "Behind the Scenes" of how Wishes work.

Chapter 05: The Careless Wish

Billy Millyr leaned over the rail of his verandah. A piece of straw was clamped between his lips and his work hat was low on his brows to keep the sun’s rays at bay. Not that the sun was paying one ounce of attention to him when it could be looking at the beautiful creature he was eyeing. The sun seemed to act as a spotlight for Miss Joan Ackermyn. Always had. Her lustrous deep golden hair was braided down her back. Her creamy skin seemed to glow from the inside, the freckles along the ridge of her nose and cheekbones only added to her doubtless charm. Her blue eyes rivaled the sky with their depth, and her smile could probably tempt Xakkiya South’s devotion from Davidya East. But she rarely smiled anymore. Miss Joan was the girl all the boys in their age group thought of when they sought release behind a bale of hay when no one was looking. She was the girl everyone wanted to ask her Papa for her hand in banding. Miss Joan was the girl that had laughed and everyone couldn’t help but smile with her. And when you told her she was beautiful she would shake her head and say ‘I’m no such thing’ in that husky voice of hers.

But now she waddled through the village with one hand on the small of back to add support for her swollen stomach and the other holding a bucket of water that her mother had probably sent her to fetch from the well.

The local boys had not been the only ones to think Miss Joan was by far the prettiest girl they’d ever seen. Seven months ago, for the first time in the history of Paradise Lost, a squad of soldiers on their way to the frontline of Mintz and Akren’s border strayed from the rest of the army in a snowstorm and ended up in their village. They had seemed nice enough in their requests for food and shelter until the storms passed. Emelette DragonRock hadn’t come down from her fortress at the first sign of intrusion on her domain, so they had allowed it. Each family who didn’t have unmarried girls took in one of the ten soldiers. Heck, Billy’s family had even taken care of one. He’d been an odd one for these parts. Said his name was Roy and that his family hailed from Bezic in the West of Onarch. He’d had freakishly black hair, and disturbing black eyes that didn’t give away any hint to a soul lodged behind them. But Roy had been a nice man; or so everyone in his family had thought.

Three figures on the road aside from Miss Joan caught Billy’s eyes. It was Ma’am Bakyr and her two daughters likely going their rounds delivering those delicious sticky buns Ma’am Bakyr was famous for. As they passed Miss Joan Billy’s eyes narrowed.

“See girls, this is what happens when you spread yourself around indecent like,” Ma’am Bakyr purred in her most insulting tone. The Bakyrs and the Ackermyns had never gotten along. Something to do with Ma’am Bakyr wanting to band with Mister Ackermyn who had refused her in order to band with Ma’am Bakyr’s arched rival whom just so happened to be the current Ma’am Ackermyn. Billy Millyr found it funny how such a little village with a huge problem like Emelette DragonRock could find the time to fight amongst themselves over such trivialities. But of course they did, and at the moment Billy Millyr wouldn’t stand for it. Miss Joan had done nothing wrong; and the Bakyr’s had heard her screaming well into the night same as everyone else when those bastards had done what they did to her.

In a passing snub one of the Miss Bakyr knocked the bucket from Miss Joan’s hand. Billy jumped the rail and crossed the street in loping strides. As the Bakyrs moved down the road Miss Joan Ackermyn stood stock still and gazed down at the bucket forlornly before gritting her teeth and attempting to pick the pail up, bending as much as her body would allow, before overbalancing and causing her to fall over. She didn’t get very far before beginning to tilt, and then Billy was at her side steadying her. “Now you be careful, Miss Joan,” he murmured. He easily stooped and picked the bucket up. “You just wait right here and I’ll be right back, Miss Joan.”

His long legs carried him toward the well in record time. And as he was hauling the water up he couldn’t help but frown again. Miss Joan had seemed stupefied at his kindness. He couldn’t recall not treating her anything but nicely, but perhaps she blamed him and all the other males in the village for not coming to her rescue. It wasn’t that they hadn’t wanted to, but they were farmers against trained soldiers with weapons. They had roughed up her own pa something awful when he’d tried to save her.

The next day Emelette DragonRock had flown over the village in all her glittering golden glory. And as much as Billy hated to give her credit for anything, the soldiers had taken one look at her and at the very thought of fighting a Dragon, turned pale as snow. They had hightailed it out of Paradise Cropped with their arms full of their belongings and their drawers still around their ankles.

Billy Millyr unhooked the bucket and turned back up the road to the girl he’d left in the street, gingerly so as not to spill a single drop. When he reached her, Joan offered that smile that was all too rare nowadays.

“Thank you Mista Benjamin,” she breathed and held out her hand for the bucket, but Billy wasn’t having any of that. Miss Joan was still the only person in the entire village, with the exception of his ma, who called him Benjamin. He kind of liked that, made him feel special to her in some way.

“That’s quite all right, Miss Joan. You look as though you’re carrying a might too much.”

Her face fell, and an embarrassed flush suffused her cheeks. “I reckon I am,” she murmured.

“Now Miss Joan, I ain’t mean nothing by that,” Billy rushed to assure. He felt like kicking himself in the head with his own foot. “I just thought that you might be tired and I didn’t mind carrying this to your house for you.”

Miss Joan nodded and continued on her way with Billy at her side.

“You can just tell me if this none of my business,” the boy began to start a conversation. The Ackermyns’ house was located at the end of the village. It was the farthest from the well and the headman’s house. It would have been ten minutes at least even without Joan’s current state slowing things down, and Billy didn’t want to walk in silence. “But, have you named your baby yet?” Miss Joan really was looking at him as though he’d sprouted claws, yellow scales and breathed fire. Billy supposed no one had ever asked her that. They all knew she had not been planning to have a baby right now, being so young and all, but since she was, and there was not anything to be done about it, it didn’t hurt to get her thoughts on the matter. “Honest, I really do want to know,” Billy said as earnestly as he could.

“The . . .” she started a little shyly at first, seeming to not really believe that he was interested. “The midwife said I’m having two.” She offered a tremulous smile and Billy’s breath caught. Miss Joan was still the prettiest girl in Paradise Cropped as far as he was concerned.

“Well, that’s great news ain’t it?”

Miss Joan nodded. She wouldn’t look at him as she continued, “You know, it was awful what them, what them,” her full mouth firmed into a thin line as she recalled what happened so many months ago. “It was really bad what they did to me,” she settled on saying instead. “But even so, I could have been left with a bunch of ugly memories, and a bunch of pitiful looks from the villagers, and I could have turned out a really lonely old lady cause no family ‘round here is going to allow me to band with any of their sons. But instead I get two babies who don’t care about what happened and only need me to love them and take care of them. I like that scene a lot better.”

“Me too, Miss Joan,” Billy agreed. “Now what were them names?”

“Well, I thought Jocelyn for a girl and Joss for a boy.”

“But what if you have two girls, or two boys?” he wondered.

Miss Joan laughed outright at that question. “I don’t know, same thing I guess.”

“You can’t name a boy Jocelyn,” Billy protested.

“Sure I can.”

“It just don’t sound right.”

“Then what would you call him?”

“Well, shucks, I don’t know. Ain’t naming babies what girls are good at, not meaning that you ain’t good at nothing else, I just don’t ever recall a gal asking a guy what a decent name for young’un would be, is all.” Billy hoped he did a good enough job explaining and he wouldn’t be getting kicked for being a . . . what was it the women of the village had started a row over a few years ago? Right, a sexiest pig, that was the phrase they had been using, and he didn’t want to be that, especially not to Miss Joan.

“I reckon you’re right.” She was still smiling when she said that so Billy figured he hadn’t been misunderstood. “I want to thank you again Mista Benjamin. You’re the only person in this whole village aside from my family who hasn’t treated me like I’ve caught a pox.”

“No thanks needed Miss Joan.” They stood before her doorstep and Billy handed the water bucket to her. “It’s been a pleasure, Miss Joan.” He tipped his hat to her.

“Yes, it has, Mista Benjamin.” As she gingerly eased each leg up the steps that led into her house, Billy Millyr watched with a smile on his face. He didn’t care what anyone else in the village thought, after Miss Joan had settled in with her children he was going to ask her if she wouldn’t mind him hanging around to help raise them as her Onban.

It was a nice thought.

However, one month later in the village of Paradise Lost, Joan Ackermyn went into labor early. Emelette DragonRock’s minions descended from her mountain to collect the customary ten year sacrifice. And for the second time in eight months, the villagers were helpless to do anything but watch as those with power trampled on them. For the second time in eight months the village could hear Joan’s cries, only this time instead of ‘help me’ she howled ‘please don’t take my babies.’


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 21st, 2013 07:09 am (UTC)
This is completely off-topic (though I am definitely enjoying re-reading Wish, rest assured), but your icon is really effing sexy. Really. *_*
Feb. 21st, 2013 08:24 am (UTC)
This is completely off-topic

*nods* it happens.

(though I am definitely enjoying re-reading Wish, rest assured)

(*nods* this happens too and makes me smile ^___^)

but your icon is really effing sexy

*nods* yes. yes it—! NO. that doesn't happen. nobody likes an almost uni-browed man. even in caricature.

Really. *_*

like one in a billion . . . *^_^* though this secretly makes me smile too.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )