In Light of Friendship
Spear wiggled his body back, preparing to pounce. His small, black feet flattened the grass as he planted himself in preparation.
“Spear,” Hannah said, “don’t you dare.”
Spear soared through the air. He slammed into Hannah’s stomach, and she fell back into the grass.
“Spear, that was absolutely unnecessary,” she said.
Her laughter rang out. Hannah had the prettiest laugh. She was elegant, in most cases. She spent most of her time in the art studio, but she was watching Spear for Alex today. Hannah found him one day while she was on her way to the market. His small, turquoise body was so limp. He looked quite like a colorful opossum. Hannah urged the guards to stop the carriage and she found Spear hardly breathing. She rushed him to the apothecary and Stewart helped him. Hannah got incredibly attached after that.
She sat up and brushed some dirt off of Spear’s back.
“Look what a mess you’ve made,” she said.
Spear put his head down in shame.
“It’s fine, bubs. Do you think we should go to the market? I’d like to cook today and it’s really not far,” she said.
Spear nodded, croaking happily as he started to walk off.
“Spear, wait,” she said.
He stopped to look back at her and wagged his tail impatiently. Hannah laughed. She stood up and brushed the dirt off her dress and they made their way along.
“I miss planting in the community garden like I used to. I haven’t had much time with Alex coming to stay,” Hannah said.
Spear looked up at her and stopped. He touched his paw to her leg empathetically. She picked him up and hugged him, eyeing her surroundings.
“Did we take a wrong turn, bubs?” she asked.
Spear looked around, worried, and nodded.
“I should have paid more attention,” she said.
She examined the forest around her.
“You don’t remember the way, do you?” she asked.
She turned to look at Spear, but he wasn’t there.
“Spear, stop playing,” she said.
Spear squealed, loudly. Hannah’s breathing hitched as she tried to figure out what direction it came from. She panicked a bit and ran into the forest. Spear’s squeals sounded out.
“I’m coming, bubs,” she said.
A man appeared, seemingly out of thin air. Hannah stopped dead in her tracks.
“What have you done with him?” Hannah asked.
“Ah, so he’s yours then?” he asked.
“What sort of question is that? You took him from me,” Hannah said.
“Strange that he doesn’t have a collar on, then,” he said.
“Well, he was right there with me,” Hannah said.
“As I’m sure you know, wild Nidwid hunting is still legal. Their blood can be used for magic,” he said.
“Well he’s not wild. You need to give him to me. Now,” Hannah said.
He laughed, crossing his arms.
“Your precious guards aren’t here,” he said.
The palm of her hand met with his cheek in not even half a second. He raised his hand and rubbed the area, suprised.
“Did you just slap me?” he asked.
“Obviously,” she said.
Spear squealed, louder this time.
Hannah braced herself and she kicked the man straight in the stomach. He toppled back onto the grass and looked at her in surprise.
“What? You think a girl can’t have martial arts training?” she asked.
“Well, I’ve never seen it,” he said.
“I’m good enough to play with the big boys and I know your father, now that I think of it. Your brother was the man I was to wed,” she said.
His expression flattened, and he looked terrified.
Hannah ran past him only to find Spear laying in the grass alone. He had bitemarks all across his neck and there was a good amount of blood. It was another Nidwid. The man must have his own. He wasn’t a hunter. He wanted her. He probably assumed she had ruined their lives, to not marry his brother. Their kingdom had been struck by poverty over the last few years, but it wasn’t her job to save them. Especially not after their father had her mother assassinated. What did they expect? She picked spear up and he made an exhausted squeak as he slumped over in her grasp.
“Spear, it’s okay. It’ll be okay,” she said.
A tear ran down her face and she imagined what it would be like if he didn’t make it. She trudged over to the man and put her foot on his chest, plunging him further into the dirt. She held Spear, whose breathing wasn’t the best. It was getting slower and slower by the minute.
“You tell me the way to the apothecary and I won’t have you killed,” she said.
“Go out here,” he pointed, “take a left and it’s straight down the road”.
“How far?” she asked.
“It’s really not too bad. You’re not that far out of the city,” he said.
She took off, cradling Spear. Tears ran down her cheeks and she tried to calm herself. After what felt like forever, she rushed into the apothecary.
“Hannah? What’s wrong?” Stewart asked.
He rushed over and looked down at Spear. He nodded and ran into the back.
“Can you fix it, Stewart?” she asked.
He ran out and took Spear from her arms, taking him into the back. He motioned for Hannah to follow. He set Spear down on the table and applied a cream to the wounds. Spear grunted, unhappily. He wrapped some gauze around the wounds and plopped him back into Hannah’s arms.
“You put this cream on twice a day. Wrap it in gauze. Keep him hydrated. Bring him back if he gets worse,” Stewart said.
Hannah nodded. Stewart bagged up the supplies and handed them to her.
“Breathe, little lady. He will be fine,” Stewart said.
Hannah let out the breath she had been holding. She hugged Stewart closely, trying not to squish Spear, and made her way home.