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Chapter One – Part 3

PART THREE

It didn’t take long for ash to reach the end of the dirt path. The trees had been left behind him and he was beginning to approach Picker market. The market was situated strategically at the end of the dirt path leading into Picker; any travellers arriving into town would have to go through the market first. The market was empty however, not unusual in the dark hours. No one liked to shop in the dark, especially with the risk of having their pockets picked being much greater. Ash began to walk into the market, pretty bad representation of Picker Ash thought to himself. The market was decorated throughout and all the stalls were made of high quality wood. The floor itself had now turned into stone; instead of the dirt path Ash had travelled on to get here.

Picker was probably one of the best places to live in the whole of Kataryne – if it wasn’t for the man who ruled over it of course. The town was set into the cliff side, amongst lots of low foliage, dotted throughout with fruit trees and patches of blossoming flowers. Running along the front of town was the trader’s river, which got its name from its purpose, to ship traders and their wears around Kataryne. Right at the edge of the river was the docks, not a large structure, but large enough to enable the traders to load up their boats. The floor of the docks was made of stone, which was built high to raise the docks above the ground. The barriers around the docks were made of logs cut from the forest Ash had travelled through, each with a gap in between and a loose line of rope fastened around one log to the other. This was done to stop people falling from the docks. The side of the docks facing the river had wooden logs stuck into the stone which were used to fasten the boats up to the docks.

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Chapter One – Part 2

PART TWO

The trees seemed to tower over him as he began to pick up his pace, moving into a steady run. Every tree seemed like an exact copy of the other, so easy for someone to become lost. Huge roots were scattered around, bulging out of the dirt causing him to occasionally trip, although still managing to maintain his balance. Not too far ahead a red rag entered Ash’s sights, the reason why he never got lost when he entered the forest. Ash stopped and untied the knot then stuffed the rag into his trouser pocket. He looked on and continued following the trail of rags he had left himself, untying each and storing them in his pocket.

As time passed by the forest seemed to get darker and more eerie, he could no longer see his feet on the ground, and could barely see ahead of him. Luckily the leaves had already started to fall from the trees leaving gaps above him for the moon to light the way through. Eventually Ash reached a narrow dirt path, winding through tall, leafless trees. It was as if the path had been laid first, then the trees had been carefully lined alongside. The lower halves of the trees were totally bare. Towards the top branches pointed up and across, entangling themselves around the branches from the trees opposite, creating protection from the weather to everything that travelled underneath, but still leaving gaps for light to peer through. This path was the only way into Picker, unless you were to travel through the forest itself without the guidance of the path. For carts and carriages this was the perfect route, the only route. Naturally this meant thieves and thugs hung around, but not usually in the darker hours. Not many people would travel through the forest at those times, most feared they would get lost, or attacked.

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Chapter One – Part 1

PART ONE

Ash lay on his back with his eye lids shut whilst he tried to settle the outbursts of anger that rushed through him. Even when he thought of the shady man known as ‘Lord Hann of Picker’ his emotions would take over his body. Anger, hatred….and fear, all ran through him as he lay still. Yes he hated the man, but he wouldn’t ever act upon it. Lord Hann was far too ruthless. It was only a few days before that he had taken a longsword from the town’s smith, only to find that the blade was blunt. Ash felt a sadness overwhelm him as mental images of the sword smiths bloodied hands flashed through his head. He saw the man’s little girl, seven years of age, screaming whilst tears dropped from her eyes. Lord Hann had decided to punish the poor man in public too, lowering his dignity even further. Ash wondered if what the Lord had done broke any of the king’s laws, not that it mattered.

The sun started to shift slowly away behind the hills in the distance, allowing the cold to wind its way around Ash. He rose from the floor onto his feet, rubbing his boots into the damp soil below him. Ash began to brush himself down, in an effort to remove all the dirt that had stuck to his overcoat. He moved onto his trousers, once again attempting to remove the dirt to no avail. After two more attempts he gave in and reached down for his sack. Opening the sack he peered inside, only to be met by a fresh but repulsive odour. Ash creased his face together. Chuckling to himself he pulled out a rope from under his belt and looped it around the sack, carefully knotting it tightly. He swung the sack over his broad shoulders and tied the end of the rope to the front of his belt. This enabled the sack to dangle behind him, giving him the ability to use both hands as he made his way out of the clearing and back through the forest towards the centre of town.

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