Half Blood Part VIII-Onna's Risk

Submitted by Heather on Sat, 07/25/2009 - 23:52

Onna felt sweat trickling down her back beneath her shawl. Oh, that Jevran, she fumed.

Never mind that he was a good-hearted boy, beneath all that bluster. This time, something nasty in his drink at supper would be far too good for him. She heartily flicked the reins on the horse’s back. Imagine, talking her, a ninety-year-old woman—though she’d never admit that aloud—into smuggling Varian out of the castle!

Onna rolled her eyes. “Only for the love of his mother,” she murmured, eyeing the castle gate. Two guards stood on either side, looking stiff and formal in their uniforms. Hmph. Well, they certainly looked official. Would they act official as well, and asked to see below the tarp of her small wagon?

Jevran had counted on the fact that she went in and out of the gates several times a day, all in the same wagon with the same tarp. Well, he’d better be right. Otherwise, she’d make sure he could bail her out. Or else.

And believe me, boy, you don’t want Onna saying ‘or else’ to you.

She stopped at the gate and smiled as one of the guards came up to her. “Hello, Toym. How’s the wife?”

Toym beamed. “Just fine, Miss Onna. Doing better every day, and the little one too. We’re awful grateful to you. The missus says she believes the birth wouldn’t have gone half so well if you hadn’t been there.”

“Well, good news all around. My niece in Tymmry is with child, and she wants me to come help with the birth. I’ll be gone for a few weeks, maybe a couple of months.”

“We’ll miss you, Onna. Before you go…”

Onna tensed her shoulders. Jevran, if I’m caught…

“Do you have any more of that licorice root candy? I think you put something addictive in it.”

Onna laughed and fished out a small bag of the candy that she kept in the bag at her feet. “Here, Toym. You’re almost as bad as a child!”

She flicked the reins again and drove away, sighing. Thank you, God.

As she drove through the village, Onna’s mood quickly lightened. The day was bright, the sunshine strong but not so strong that it made her uncomfortable. Altogether it was a very pleasant day at the beginning of summer.

Onna looked to her right. She could easily see the rolling, grassy-golden hills, marking where the Highlands began. And beyond the hills, so far away that they were seemed some fairy thing composed of mist, rose the Belria Mountains. Home to Highlanders, dragons, and who knew what else.

She shivered and faced the road ahead. The Lowlanders, with their warm, pleasant seasons most of the year, malignantly called winter the “plague of the mountains.” She had traveled in those mountains extensively at one time, and she knew better than most Lowlanders just why their name for winter fit.

Once they were out of the village, on a dirt wagon track that wound around fields of barley and wheat, Onna reached back and pulled off the tarp. “Ssh, Varian!” she hissed.

Varian sat up, his eyes darting around until he was certain that no one was lurking. Then he clambered out of the wagon.

Onna eyed him and sighed. “Have everything? Your backpack, sword?”

Varian nodded.

“The medicine box I gave you?”


“Do you remember everything’s uses? I won’t be there to help you if you take the wrong thing, you know.”

“The red fern for stomach pains, the green yanelli leaves for sores and cuts, and the orange yanelli leaves for headaches.”

“Right. Now…” Onna pointed to the west. “You see that tall mountain there? Mount Arborn it’s called. Keep a straight line with it, and you’ll soon hit Kerrin’s village.”

“Kerrin’s village? How do you know where he came from?” Varian interrupted.

Onna chuckled. His eyes were squinting in that funny way he had when he was puzzled. “I’ve known Kerrin longer than you’ve been born, young man. In fact, I think I was the one who helped him into this world. Squalling like a winter’s storm, he was. Why do you think I was so eager to help him escape?”

“You’ve been to the Highlands before, and you never told me?”

“Why should I? I’m entitled to my own secrets, even if my clients are kings and royalty!” Onna gathered the reins in her hands and slapped the horse’s rump. “When you get to the village, ask for Jokk. Tell him I sent you, and you’ve had to flee for your life from the Lowlands. In fact, tell him the whole story. You’ll be mighty surprised, I’m sure.”


Author's age when written


OoOoOoO....a secret past! Great chapter. This has to be my favorite type of thing to read. Give me a historical fiction and a rainy day and I'm happy! Can't  wait to find out what happens next!!!

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Varian can't leave without Tikah! I like Tikah! :) JK, of course he can... I just wish she would come along.

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Are you plotting a romance betwen my characters? :0) To be honest, I haven't decided where Tikah and Mel come back in....

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

You have to have them come back! And yes we are wishing for something (at least I am) ;)

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Onna is one crafty old lady. :D  I like her. 

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Onna is a fun character to work with. Glad you like her! And yes, everyone, Onna and probably Mel and Tikah will be making an appearance later on in the book. Sorry to disappoint, OFG, but right now there are no plans of Tikah and Varian getting together. However, that is due to change unexpectedly, just because my characters like to spring surprises on me! :0)

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

This is one of the best things I've ever read - in print or not. The first few chaps were a little hard to read, because there weren't paragraph breaks, but I totally love this. Post more soon, Heather!

Thanks, LoriAnn! I'm glad you like it...

Yeah, I think the formatting got messed up or something with being moved here. I need to go back and rework the first few chapters anyway. Maybe I'll try to gt that done soon (among my other numerous writing projects....LOL)

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Know the feeling. I think I've got about seven stories I'm currently "working on", not counting at least a dozen that are all in my head.

*sigh* the life of a writer is annoying at times...