2 - A Day Like Any Other

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What am I doing here? The clatter of plates and chatter of conversation drifted past Adelle as her finger traced the rim of an almost-empty cup. She'd been waiting for hours. Outside dusk gathered, and the pub was slowly filling with patrons.
This hasn't been my day.

The morning had started well enough. She had awoken to the warm morning sun and the chirping of birds. Determined to get the most out of such a fine day, she got out of bed, washed her face, and dressed.
It was only when she reached to fix her hair that she noticed it - an unruly tuft of hair standing defiantly on end.
She set about bringing it under control, but the hair was having none of it. Adelle struggled with it for nearly half an hour before she finally gave up. She finished the juice she had been drinking and rested her chin on her hands.
I never should have gotten out of bed.

Adelle's perfect morning may have been ruined, but by the time she'd finished breakfast her frustration had faded and she set out to do some shopping. She had loot to sell, and planned to put the money toward a new pair of boots. Anne Salier had just released a new line perfect for hunters such as herself.
She arrived at the shop and produced the magick fruit she'd brought to sell, only to see that three of the four pieces had split open. Just the day before they had glowed with a soft light; not a one had shown even the slightest blemish. Needless to say, they didn't fetch quite the price Adelle had hoped for. Her dreams of cute red-laced boots with white leather trim burned away like so much morning dew.

Now here we are. Adelle's gaze shifted to the seat beside hers. A dirt-caked rucksack rested at the foot of the chair. A sinking feeling came over her as she looked from the rucksack to the boy straddling the chair.
"Something wrong with my rucksack?"
"No, it looks normal enough to me."
"As you say."
The boy narrowed his already narrow eyes, and a broad grin spread across his face. There was something about him that made him seem open, someone you could trust.
I thought I was supposed to be the friendly one.


It happened on her way to the pub. Adelle wanted some food to take her mind off the failed shopping expedition. There was some sort of commotion between a street merchant and a young adventurer by the roadside. The boy was trying to rid himself of the insistent peddler, with little luck. Distracted, Adelle walked right into them. Though he'd kept his cool dealing with the peddler, the boy turned and snapped at Adelle.
"Were you gonna keep me waiting all day?"
Thinking Adelle the boy's companion, the peddler reluctantly turned and left.
The boy apologized to Adelle, but their encounter didn't end there. As it turned out, he was supposed to meet someone at the pub Adelle was heading to, so they went together. Once there, he set his bag down beside Adelle, and they ordered food. She hoped he'd treat her to a meal, but no such luck. As they finished eating, she tried to find a good time to say her good-byes, but the chance escaped her, so she was stuck with him.

"Well what?"
"You're meeting someone, aren't you? Shouldn't they be here by now?"
"It looks as though I've been stood up." He punctuated this with a carefree chuckle.
"Then what have we been waiting here for?"
"The barman told me there were some people here just before us who matched the description of the hunters I was supposed to meet. They rounded up some people from the pub and left." A resigned smile crossed his face.
"Well, it happens. Happens to me a lot, actually. I'd get mad about it, but the people I want to get mad at are already gone, so it wouldn't do much good."
"Guess that's the way it is," he added with a sigh.


Adelle couldn't stay mad at this boy who himself had every right to be, but choose instead to laugh it off.
Laugh and the world laughs with you.
Adelle's mouth cracked open, and she said lamely, "I'm sorry it has to be like that."
The boy smiled again, then picked his bag up off the floor.
"Well, I should be going. Thanks for waiting around with me. You're a hunter too, right? We have to watch out for each other. It's not easy."
"No, it's not."

Adelle watched from her seat as he left. She stared a while at her empty cup, then stood up to leave. The sun had already set when she stepped outside, and a chill wind was picking up.
"Tomorrow isn't going to be easy, either."
Adelle walked off down the darkening street.

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