The Sunshine: A Compromise

Frank,

Things are coming along really good. Healer even said that I might get the brace off my wrist a few days early! Stuck with the damned sling for a while yet, though. Never break your collarbone, it’s the worst. My hip is healing too, but now it’s in that really nasty stage. I’ll…spare you the details. It itches so much.

Mum and I went over to the jail yesterday to talk with them about what they got out of him. So this guy doesn’t even know who I am or nothing, he just got paid to do it. Who the hell would pay someone money to attack me? I’m not that annoying, am I?

They’re gonna hold him until he starts talking, but seems like he’s keeping his mouth shut for now. Doesn’t want to break his word, a really weird thing for a guy willing to beat someone up for pay. But I came up with a really good idea, though. I think it’s a good idea, anyway. Mum isn’t so sure yet, but I’m right confident about it.

Don’t get mad. I’m gonna go offer to pay this guy’s fine if he gives us the name and leaves Bree-land. He won’t get out until we can confirm that the guy who hired him is actually the one who did it, but I’ll let him go if we can get that figured out. I’ve got a good reason for it: even if that first guy sits there and wastes away in jail, what’s to stop this other guy from hiring someone else?

Not a big fan of rewarding some jackass with the nerve to attack a woman for some coin, but I really don’t like the idea of someone out there just…waiting to find the right person to beat me up again. Get to the root of the problem, then rip it out of the ground and throw that fucker in jail.

So that’s my plan tomorrow. Hopefully it works. Speaking of work (writing of work, whatever), Mum agreed to let me start heading back to the market after my wrist brace is off. She’s gonna come with me, won’t let me say anything otherwise, but it’s something. I need to get out, see people, feel the sun again. Being stuck in here is horrible after a few days. This is like the time I got diphtheria. Ugh.

I miss you. You better be doing okay. Remember to watch out for those bears. You know, I realized that you’re going to be away on your birthday…you did that on purpose. I’ve got your real present here, but you’re just going to have to come back home to get it! Not that easy. To tide you over, I wrote the first chapter of that book and it’s in this package. It’s absolutely terrible and you better enjoy it. Let me know if you can figure out what the repetitive word is. I’ll save the rest for when you get back here.

I can’t wait until you’re back. Nights are steadily getting cooler around here and you’re a lot warmer than the pillows. I keep dreaming about throwing snowballs at you, then going inside and drinking spiced wine. I love you, Frank. So much. Be safe.

Woad Sprite


Enclosed is a small parcel of writings, complete with a heart drawn on the top. Inside is a short but wordy chapter of fairly terrible romantic fiction.

The sun’s final rays of golden light for the day glowed across Dale, causing Kimmers Starfire’s straight silky strands to come alive, deliciously flickering like a flame. Her crystal-clear eyes, bluer than the hearty waters that surrounded the town, focused on her destination: a warm, inviting, familiar tavern.

She skipped up the steps, her skirts whispering delicious sounds against the stone, before walking inside The Iron Bell like she owned the place. In truth, her father owned it, but she was here on her own business. Kimmers made her way over to the main hearth and gracefully settled down onto a stool, her seafoam green dress draping deliciously over long legs.

There were already plenty of people milling around the tavern, keen on both her family’s famous mead as well as the exceptional cooking. The delicious scents wafting through the air easily brought any mouth in the building to a water. It smelled as if the tavern’s signature dish was on the menu tonight: bear pot pie with mashed potatoes.

Kimmers picked up her lute, handcrafted by the finest luthier in all the lands of Man, and let her slender fingers slide along the strings as she deftly checked its tuning. As soon as she found the right notes, her younger brother Arthur ran up to give her a quick drink of water. She took a long, delicious sip and then gave him a loving smile, handing the mug back to him.

Before she could begin singing in earnest, the tavern door swung open and a man entered. While this was not an unusual occurrence, the man who came into her view was different and he immediately caught her attention. Their tavern would often get foreigners, but they were usually merchants or farmers. Perhaps craftsmen, at times. But this man was deliciously distinct. Armed. Armored. Athletic.

His eyes wandered the establishment before quickly settling on the striking and curvaceous woman with fiery hair and a verdigris dress. When their eyes met, pale aquamarine and rich chestnut brown, Kimmers’ ample bosom rose as she held her breath. For a brief moment in time, the comforting dull roar of the tavern’s patrons faded and they were the only two people in the world.

She quickly drank in the sight of him, handsome and well-traveled with delicious scruff on his exquisite face. The moment was quickly swallowed up by fate when someone new needed to enter and shoved him forward. Their gazes broke from one another and the world briefly grew dimmer. The weight of her lute in her arms suddenly reminded her that it was time to play.

Kimmers cleared her throat and decided to start with a serenade, a deliciously slow ballad. Her fingers strummed across the strings, knowing them better than any lover, and a beautifully yearnful sound slowly filled her corner of the tavern. Blue eyes slowly slid shut as she concentrated on the song, imagining the strange man’s stirring stare.

Her sweet voice sang an old song, one well-loved in Lake-town. One of an impossibly beautiful maiden with bright hair and the delicious young nobleman who happened across her in the forest. Their love was immediate and enduring, but threatened by their stations in life: she was but a lowly chambermaid for a destitute merchant, and he the strongest and bravest of nobles in the land. After many trials and tribulations, they pledged themselves to one another and rode off into the sunset.

When the final note of the song rings from her lute, Kimmers slowly opens her eyes to watch the audience as they applaud her magnificent performance. Her gaze slides to a stop when it meets brown eyes once again, heart skipping a beat in her chest.

“If you will beg my forwardness, stunning bard, that was a most ethereal performance.” His voice washed over her like honeyed wine, deliciously intoxicating and sweet, blood easily rushing to form a pleasing blush on her cheeks. “I am known as Fronk, son of Gronk, Champion of the Crown.”

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