Watchman Wayne had the same dream over and over again. It was his school teacher from childhood haunting him.
“You need to be consistent in your contractions Wayne. You used should not and wouldn’t in the same paragraph.”
It was time to sleep but his mind had a way of reliving things over and over in bed.
It was the same for his job.
Wayne called them work dreams.
He heard the quack of his ducks. They were a good alarm system with the exception of his boots being filled with lavender scented oatmeal the other day. He grabbed his sword and waited.
Home was his castle. He would defend in place if need be. There was a rap at his door.
He heard a woman’s voice.
It sounded like Violet. He looked through the peephole then opened the door. She smelled of lavender.
Violet pushed her way inside. ” we need to talk.”
Watchman Wayne lived alone and knew what a false accusation could do to a career. He had stared death in the eye, but this was a different scenario altogether. Having a woman he just wrote a report on in his home would be frowned upon.
She was beautiful standing there. He pushed the thought away.
“Stay right there, I will be right back.”
He went to his room and quickly changed into street clothes.
All the while, his brain was in report writing mode. How would he explain this?
On _ day, at approximately_ hours, I, Watchman Wayne Nixon was at home…when a woman who works at the …approached me….
He had just finished tucking his shirt and securing his sword belt when Violet opened his bedroom door.
” Watchman Wayne! This is an emergency!”
He was more fearful of her and her potential for accusation than anything in the world right now.
” alright, let’s walk and talk.” He showed her the door and proceeded towards the closest guard shack with her.
“What seems to be the problem, Violet?”
She whispered in his ear. ” Lord Rainport and the King’s Alchemist are plotting against the King! They are using dark arts to summon vile creatures! We must tell the king!”
Watchman Wayne had walked his beat for a while and was cynical. He had heard it all. They were almost to the guard shack.
Violet was afraid. ” I was chased by men in dark robes. They are looking for me right now. I didn’t go back to the Puking Peasant Inn in case they recognized me.”
The guard shack was empty. Wayne just knew the guard was at home sleeping. The stove had not even been lit. He sighed.
Dark robed men emerged from the shadows. Wayne was gripped with fear. “Violet! Get in the guard shack and secure the door!”
They attacked in unison. Watchman Wayne did not even get his sword out. Pushed to the ground, they began to kick him . Pivoting on his back, he kicked back ferociously. A well placed kick to the ribs shook Wayne from any semblance of slumber. He smiled a painful smile. He had been in a few scraps on this beat and saw his opening. Placing his right palm on the ground, he rolled over his right shoulder and was on his feet, withdrawing his sword.
He took a wild swing to create distance and clipped one in the arm. He wished for his longsword. There were too many of them. He bluffed. “Who wants some?”
There was hesitation.
It would be a messy report, attacking unarmed men. Their intent was to kill and they could figure it out later in an investigation. He was surrounded and terrified. The woman in the shack compounded his terror. If he failed, bad things would happen to her.
Wayne attacked and fought with the fear of a man that knew death was imminent at any second. It did not look good, but often, he who strikes first lands best.
Two men fell and the others fled. Wayne bent over from the exhaustion placing his hands on his knees.
Violet emerged from the shack visibly shaken. “You killed them!”
“I might have. Men do not just die from a blow. Men are more resilient than that.”
He tapped one of the men with his foot and there was no response. “They are likely dead. I will need to get you to a safe place.
Violet grabbed him by the shirt.
“Watchman Wayne, there is an overthrow plot on the king!” Her voice was pleading. “He must be notified!”
Wayne sighed. He hardly knew this woman and she was out of her mind.
He shook his head. Dark arts indeed.
“ Let me get this straight, Lord Rainport and the King’s Alchemist are plotting against the King, utilizing dark arts to summon vile creatures.”
He was irritated; he was supposed to be sleeping.
He would have to report the deaths of these men and the abandoned post immediately.
This all resulted because he answered the door.
He was not paid well enough for all this.
He looked at the ground. “They were gone!”
All that remained were two bits of fabric on the hard ground. He pocketed them.
Violet crossed her arms. “Believe me now?”