The Sisters Hawke


  The Hawke sisters shuffled through Lowtown, their tired feet kicking up the dust that glittered in the morning’s light like sequins on the veil of a Blooming Rose hostess. Even the beggars were sleeping, peaceful in their doorways, their grunts and snores the only perforation in the otherwise silent dawn.

  Marian could hear the docks rumbling to life behind her in the distance – honest life, that is, not the life they knew at night when she and the boys controlled the port from the shadows. The almost imperceptible shout of sailors hoisting cargo aboard their vessels and the ringing of a bell was the cockerel of Kirkwall. The vendors would be the first to heed the call, vying for suitable spots in the various trading areas amidst the cities tall walls.

  Their uncles house came into view and Bethany glanced at her sister, a quiet disdain evident on her brow. Marian smiled and, without a word, reached across and squeezed her hand reassuringly. “Don’t worry sis,” she said as they ascended the six steps to the front door, “things wont always be like this.”

  “I hope you’re right,” Bethany replied, sounding as exhausted as Marian felt. It had been a long night, but Marian knew that her fatigue was the result of a harrowing couple of weeks, the loss of their brother and their being drafted into the smugglers run at the forefront of it all.

  “Don’t worry, Beth,” Marian repeated, “in a couple of years…” she paused, and then – with a grin that betrayed the rest of her tired face, continued “well, I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!”


~ by Joseph Blame on April 15, 2011.

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