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On the Road

Altheia Summers

Altheia sat in front of the fire. It has been three days since she left her village. In those three days she has been living on nuts and berries. Thanks to the camping trip her father took her on, Altheia knew which nuts and berries to eat and which were poisonous. "Too bad father never got around to teaching how to hunt." Altheia thought.
" I wouldn't have to eat nuts and berries." Altheia looked about her surroundings It was still light out. She guessed about after noon. The valley is always green year round. It had few vegetation and some wild life. A few creatures were scattered about hunting for food. The Blue Mountains were still around her so she knew she hadn't let the valley.
In the far distance she can see a black mountain range.
"What's a nice girl like you doing in a dangerous place all alone?" asked a voice. The voice woke her from her daydream. Altheia got to her feet, staff readied. "What do you want?" asked Altheia.
"We just want your company," said a second voice. "It gets awful lonesome out here." She examined her two adversaries closely. They appeared to be human. One man appeared to have sandy blonde, shoulder length hair. He was muscularly built. The second man looked shorter and stockier. They didn't appear to be carrying any weapons.
The men took another step closer to her. "I am warning you. Another step and I will turn you into vestal virgins." The men let out an evil laugh and advanced towards her. "You have been warned." She swung her staff towards the first man. Her staff made connection into his stomach. The second man tried to sneak up behind her. She spun around and hit him right in the crotch. The second man crumpled to the ground in severe pain. Altheia spun around again to meet the first man. He grabbed for his throat to try to choke her. She pivoted around again to face the back of the man's head. With two hands, Altheia grabbed the bottom of her staff and whacked the guy in the back of the head. She knocked him out. The first man fell to the ground. Altheia bent over to inspect the man.
She concluded him not dead but unconscious She glanced over at the second man. He was still doubled over in pain. Then Altheia noticed two small bags lying beside the unconscious man. She inspected the first bag. Inside she found gold pieces. She estimated about 100 gold pieces. The second bad had jewels in it. Rubies, sapphires, diamonds and emeralds. These jewels seemed bigger than usual. She thought about what to do with the two bags. "Well will eventually need food and better weapons. I could really use the gold." Altheia rationalized. "I could always save the jewels for something. Lyndra always says one man's gold is another man's treasure or in this case,
woman's." Altheia picked up the bags and put them in her backpack. She put out the fire and headed towards the black mountain range in the distance.

Avalon Publication July 2000

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