Day 27 of 100 Word Prompts: Star
Dylian looked up at the sky, catching a shooting star streak past.
“Check it out, Agnescious,” Dylian said, patting the donkey he rode on the neck. “Make a wish.”
Agnescious hawed at him in reply.
“Don’t be like that, buddy. I know it’s just superstition, but out here, I think that’s all we’ve got, right?”
Agnescious’ head bobbed.
“That’s the spirit, buddy. I wish that we’ll find somewhere that I can sleep in a bed,” Dylian said, closing his eyes as he did. He opened them and looked down at his donkey, “So, my trusty steed, what did you wish for?”
Agnescious heed in reply.
“That’s not a bad wish,” Dylian said, scratching behind the donkey’s ear. “What do you think? Should we keep going, or look for a good spot to stop for the night?”
Agnescious’ hooves stopped moving, and Dylian lurched forward.
“Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking,” Dylian said as he slid awkwardly off the back of the donkey. “Geesh, my legs are stiff. How are you feeling? Want to collect some firewood while I set up a camp?”
Agnescious strolled off the road into the low bushes without a reply.
“Wait up,” Dylian called after him as he followed.
Dylian and Agnescious wandered in the woods for a few minutes until they found a clearing suitable enough to make camp. Around the edge of the space, wild berries grew, and there was evidence of an old campfire in the center.
“I think this is the spot, buddy,” Dylian said as he pulled his bedroll off the back of the donkey. “Should we light a fire?”
Agnescious hawed and bobbed his head.
“Alright, majority wins,” Dylian said as he dropped his bedding and began collecting wood for the fire.
Agnescious followed Dylian, occasionally picking up a piece of wood and holding out for Dylian to collect. Twenty minutes later, they had a large enough pile for the night, and Dylian sat at the fireplace with his flint, lighting the fire.
Suddenly, a boar burst from the bushes, startling both Dylian, who dropped his flint as he reached for Pondspar and Agnescious, who spun and bucked wildly. The creature’s wild eyes locked onto Dylian as it charged forward with bloody tusks. Dylian swung his sword but missed the boar by an inch as it changed coarse and spun to make another charging attack.
From behind the boar, a man larger than any other Dylian had ever seen emerged, pinning the boar to the ground with a single thrust of his spear. The man’s bald head reflected the moonlight slightly as he looked at Agnescious and took a step forward.
“I wouldn’t do that,” Dylian said, leveling his weapon. “My steed is deadlier than that boar you just killed.”
“This is your animal?” the man said, his words coming out broken and garbled.
“Yes, that’s my animal,” Dylian replied.
“My apologies, I thought you were in trouble,” the man said, turning away from Agnescious as he dropped to a knee and began gutting the boar.
“Where’d you come from?” Dylian asked.
“From my village,” the man replied as though Dylian should have known the answer.
“And that would be?”
“Five miles that way,” the man replied, pointing in the direction from which he had come.
“I didn’t think that there were any villages out here,” Dylian said, lowering his weapon.
“Lyeoke is not just any village. It is my village,” the man said. “I am Arimir. What is your name, little elf?”
“I’m not an elf, and I’m not little,” Dylian replied. “I am a half-elf, and my name is Dylian.”
Agnescious stopped bucking and turning, looked at Arimir, and heed at him.
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand you,” Arimir said to the donkey. “Common is as far as I get from my native tongue.”
“He said his name’s Agnescious,” Dylian said.
“You can understand him?” Arimir said, looking up from the boar.
“You just asked our names, what else would he be saying?” Dylian replied. He thought for a moment about Lyeoke, “Does your village have an inn?”
“Yes,” Arimir said, as he threw the innards of the beast into the woods, and began skinning it.
“Would you take us there?” Dylian asked.
“No,” Arimir replied. “The trail is too dangerous at night. Many things wander these mountains when they can use the shadow to their advantage. You would be better off camping here for the night and going to my village in the morning.”
“What about you?” Dylian asked.
“I have my kill, I would set up camp, but you seemed to have claimed one of our hunting camps already. I’ll find another nearby,” Arimir replied.
“You could stay here if you wanted to,” Dylian said.
“You haven’t even built a fire yet.”
“I was working on it when you and the boar arrived,” Dylian replied, sheathing Pondspar and collecting his flint from the fire pit. “See.”
“Then, for tonight, we will feast on this meal cooked over your fire and trade tales of adventure and feats of strength. In the morning, I will lead you to my village,” Arimir said.
“Sounds like a plan to me. What do you think, Agnescious?” Dylian said.
Agnescious walked over next to him and stared at the enormous man tending to the dead boar.
“Don’t be like that, Agnescious. He’s offering to feed me some of that boar. There’s enough space here for all of us,” Dylian said, patting the donkey’s side. “It would be rude not to let him stay here.”
Agnescious hawed and bobbed his head.
“That’s better,” Dylian said with a smile before turning to Arimir. “You can stay with us tonight. Agnescious says he’ll keep watch.”
“The donkey will keep watch?” Arimir asked.
“Yeah, donkeys are great at keeping watch. They notice everything,” Dylian said, smiling up at Agnescious. “Especially this one. Isn’t that right, buddy?”
Agnescious heed and bobbed his head.
“Very well,” Arimir replied, standing up. “I need to clean this blood off me. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Dylian nodded and lit the fire. That night, Arimir told Dylian stories of the brave men and women of his village. The goliaths that built it, and the feats of strength that Arimir had endured to become the best hunter in Lyeoke.