Confused Throne does as his friend asked, he remains half awake all night outside of the knight’s hut where Maggie sleeps fitfully; Alex vanishes into the night, making his way to Cypress, intent on reaching the city far before the Brothers kept under the watchful eyes of the villagers holding them. As the sun breaks through the trees Madam Margery wakes, her “children” following shortly after, quietly they start fires, boil water, and make breakfast before said urchins go from home to home waking those that desire a breakfast. Alex’s hut is not skipped, the small girl carefully wakes Throne, shaking his arm till he wakes before she goes into the hut and wakes Maggie in much the same way, though Maggie is far less grateful and sends the girl away before turning over and going back to sleep for just a moment before Throne enters. “Miss Maggie, you need to wake up. You have only eaten one meal and that is not enough to keep you alive.”

“Go away.” She groans into pillow, Throne frowns.

“Get up, girl.” He grabs the thin blanket covering her and pulls it off causing Maggie whine “Get up.”

“GO AWAY!” Maggie shouts into the pillow muffling her voice considerably “I just want to fucking sleep!”

“My village, my rules. Get up.” Throne sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose “Get up!”

“What is your fucking problem!” Maggie sits up “I want to fucking sleep so just leave me the fuck alone!”

“Watch your mouth.” Throne glares at her.

“And if I don’t?”

“I’ll let Margery wash your mouth out with soap. Or beat you, which ever.” Throne shrugs.

“You’re a fucking fascist.” The leader’s eyebrows come together in confusion though Maggie feels pride in the insult that went over his head, he shakes his head and turns pausing before exiting the hut.

“If you don’t eat now you won’t today. My village, my rules. Time to function as a member of my people.” He steps out and leaves Maggie wondering if he is serious, her stomach rumbles and she is unwilling to test him and so instead she goes out and finds the gathering of people, she is handed a glass of water and a small bowl of grayish gruel and half a small roll of bread. She frowns at the meal but keeps her mouth shut as others begin to eat, obviously enjoying the meal. She sits off to the side and chokes down the bland, off colored food before ingesting the roll and downing the water, though she is unsatisfied by the meal she does not dare ask for seconds as she watches Margery scrap the massive pot nearly clean in order to feed everyone.

She sits quietly till everyone began turning over the bowls and glasses, she follows their example through the wash line before Margery pulls her aside to wait for instructions on how to help while the men follow Throne, escorting the Brothers to their horses; stripped of their money with no room to argue they mount their beasts and are lead away by the same boy that had brought them there. “Now, Miss Maggie,” Margery pulls her attention away from the Brothers and back to the task at hand. “Throne has asked me to take care of you.”

“I can take care of myself.”

“If that were the case then he would not have needed to wake you for breakfast.” Margery shoots back. “Now, you will help me with the cleaning today, we have a lot to do so don’t dilly dally.” The woman spins and marches off, Maggie watches her go. “Come on girl!” Maggie jumps and follows, unwilling to invoke her rage. She follows her to the wash basins, the water already starting to heat.

“What’s this?”

“Laundry day. It doesn’t just get done magically.” Margery hands Maggie a wooden paddle “You get to stir today.”

“Um, no.” Maggie hands the paddle back “I don’t do laundry.”

“You do now.” Margery thrusts the paddle back, but Maggie backs away, arms up and shaking her head.

“Like hell lady.” For a moment it seems as though Maggie has won as Margery just regards her silently. As the Foretold turns though, it becomes clear that Margery is not done. The paddle hits the back of Maggie’s legs hard sending stinging pain shooting through her. “What the fuck!” Maggie turns only to be greeted by the paddle.

“You will watch the laundry today.” The woman thrusts the paddle at Maggie but again the girl backs up.

“You fucking hit me!”

“You’re right I did, and I’ll do it again if you don’t do as your told.” Maggie hesitates but takes the paddle “That’s what I thought. Now get over here.” Maggie follows but at a safe distance, far out of Margery’s reach. “Now this water will boil, and you just need to move the clothing around, making sure it all gets clean and stays in the water, understand?”

“Yes.” Margery nods and walks off leaving Maggie standing there, anger and a bitter dislike bubbling inside her. When Margery is out of sight Maggie throws down the paddle and storms off, though she is not gone long before Margery returns to find her post abandon.

“Damn that girl.” The Madam snarls storming into the village and straight to Alex’s hut, without asking permission she barges in there, startling Maggie.

“What the hell!” The Foretold screams, shooting up and making for the back wall, putting distance between her and the Madam “Get out you lunatic!”

“Get back to your chores, girl.” Margery sighs, anger bubbling just beneath her calm surface.

“Its not my job! Get out!” Margery takes none of that, she rushes forward and grabs Maggie’s thin arm, dragging her through the village while the girl screams and protests “You stupid cow! Let me go!” Margery releases her arm, spins around, and slaps her hard, sending Maggie staggering, holding her cheek already turning red.

“You will respect me, girl.” Maggie bites her lip, fighting back tears. “Now go do your work or so help me I’ll beat you.” Maggie nods and sulks off, keeping her eyes directed away from Madam Margery.

Once the boy lead them to the road he vanishes, leaving the Brothers to make their way to Cypress, the ride is long, the day is hot and it seems as though they will never reach the city gates. But when they do relief washes over them as the guards greet them and then rush them to the palace to meet with the Keeper King, though the meeting will have to wait for a little while so the Keeper King can finish his lunch with the Good Sir Knight of Cypress, the ever pious and kind Alexander.

Lost [chapter 8]

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