tagSci-Fi & FantasyFeldare Tales: Oathtaker

Feldare Tales: Oathtaker

bymack_the_knife©

The sun blazed hot down on the pair of horses riding the path between the high pines. The lead horse was ridden by a man. A tall, skinny man wearing very expensive-looking clothes, and some equally expensive jewelry. His face was unlined, and he was perhaps thirty. He had a rather thin face, and a nose that would be called aquiline by the generous, or simply 'beakie' by the crude. His eyes were alert and shined despite their almost black coloration. His brown hair was cropped close to his skull and laid in oiled down ringlets. He was obviously a man of means.

The second horse, following the first was ridden by a girl, or a young woman, looking to be about twenty years of age. She had a reasonably pretty face, if somewhat large-featured, and large expressive blue eyes. Her hair was golden blonde on the surface with a layer of darker almost brown underneath. It was worn loose, and flowed to just past her shoulders. Her body was fairly long, and not lightly built, though far from heavy. She was fit, and trim in her fashion, she was simply not petite. She had reasonably sized breasts, that filled her peasant's blouse out well enough, and what could be seen of her legs from beneath her knee-length skirt were agreeably shapely. As his garb was expensive, hers was obviously home-made. Even her shoes consisted of leather rectangles with cloth sewn to the upper surface. Her skin was bright pink from the scrubbing she had been given that morning with lye soap and a hard brush.

They had wanted her very clean for the landlord. He was Lord Darvid Vichenso the Third, and he owned her family's farm and the lands they tilled. The last three years had been unkind to them, and they had several crops fail them, rather oddly, too, as the weather had been good, and few other farmers nearby had suffered such losses. But they were a good, solid family, and kept their business. When Lord Vichenso came to them demanding his rent and the back rent, they had nothing to give. He then said. "I will take your daughter's service in my home, then. As payment for current rents due, and you will only have to come up with the back rent by next year." He sneered at the poor family. "If Sylva will grant her promise to serve me well."

Sylva had done so. "I will serve you, then, to save my family from eviction. I will do as you ask. I swear it." She had said.

Now it had come to this. She was riding behind him. No sooner had they left the farmstead and begun the half day journey to his country estates, than he had informed her that her duties, per her promise would include rather personal services to him. "You have sworn to serve me as I ask, and I will hold you to that. Your family will have a place to live, so long as I am pleased with the services you provide in the home, and in my bedroom."

She had cringed at that, she was a maiden, and had never known even the touch of a man's hands. She did not relish the idea of giving this greasy little man her maidenhood, but had no choice. If her family was evicted, they could well starve, or fall victim to some of the truly horrid fates that befell the homeless, like being rounded up by slavers or simply slain for their meager possessions. She had sworn her oath, knowing full well what it might entail. Her mother had told her that much. Her mother was not pleased at the idea, nor was her father, but they had little choice, they did have four other children to protect, and being the kept woman of a noble was not bound to be quite so terrible.

She watched the rump of his horse bob gently as she swayed in her sidesaddle position on the horse he had brought for her. Her expressive eyes were wet with unshed tears and she knew that in a few hours, that scrawny man would be on top of her, deflowering her in a few moments, then spending himself and then falling asleep. She cringed again. Then she sat upright. Her oath bound her, and she would never break it.

He looked back and winked at her, smiling. She forced a smile onto her face, and returned the wink. She thought that this fool actually believed she was enjoying this. As soon as he turned back around, she stuck out her tongue at him.

"We will be at my manor ere nightfall." He said over his shoulder. "Your household duties will begin on the morrow." Then he leered back at her. "Your other duties will begin a hour or two after we arrive." He winked again. By the One, she wanted to just leap on him and claw his eyes out. But no, she would not do that.

"I look forward to learning my duties." She said, hating each word she uttered and pouring all the syrup she could muster into them to make them stick.

He chuckled at that, as he had made a clever witticism. Then clucked to his horse to pick up the pace a bit. Her own horse, being normally a pack horse, followed the lead horse obediently. Just like herself, she thought, follow obediently.

As they rode near a particularly dense clump of small pines, she thought she saw something move in the trees. "Sir." She said. "There is somethin..." Her words were cut off by a shape emerging from the foliage. It was nine feet tall, and looked as a man, but more crudely chiseled. It leapt from the trees and hurled a stone at the lead horse. The stone struck the horse's head and it collapsed as its brains coated the man's fine jacket. He screamed like a woman as the horse collapsed under him, and it rolled to its side, pinning his puny leg beneath its body.

Sylva's horse whinnied but did not quite run, it simply shied away from the looming form that approached them. She dismounted in an ungainly fashion, being unpracticed with horses, and moved back from the humanoid. It regarded her and the man.

"Dear Lord." Darvid said, still squealing in a high-pitched voice. "Please, stop him." He said.

Who stop what? Sylva thought. Then she thought quickly. "Release me and call my family's debts void." She said picking up a large stick off the ground.

The big humanoid loomed over his fallen horse and it reached down toward the man. "It is done, I release you and your debts are voided, now kill it!" He screamed.

She charged at the creature with her makeshift club, as she neared it, she cocked back the heavy wooden pole and swung with all her might. The creature simply reached out a hand and caught it in one massive palm. The shock of its sudden stop almost threw her to the ground. She looked up, standing only about two feet from it and figured that it was time for her to die. It turned to face her, it's huge head swinging toward her. It's eyes were massive and brown.

It stood back up, yanking the stick from her grip and hurling it off into the trees, where it made a terrific racket. It regarded her some more, punctuated by the yammering of Darvid.

"You try hit me." It said, in understandable, if debased, Ghantian. It cocked back one of it's great fists and prepared to drive her into the ground like a blonde headed fence post.

She held up her hands and screamed. "Wait!"

It stopped a moment. It had never been asked to 'wait' before, so it was curious what it was to wait for. He looked at her with those big dumb eyes. "What me wait for?" He said, his head tilting.

"I will make you a deal." She said. Trying to think quickly.

"No deal!" It said. "Humans lie Tok, humans hurt Tok!" He said, pointing at large scars on his ribs.

She said. "I'm not like them, I keep my word." She said, and pointed to the fallen nobleman. "Ask him."

The great head rotated around and over Darvid and looked down. "She keep word?" He asked.

"Y...yes...yes, she keep word." Darvid stammered out in a voice both quavery and squeaky.

Tok turned back to face her. "O K. You keep word, what deal?" He asked, eyeing her dubiously.

"If you don't kill me, and let that man go," She pointed at Darvid, "I will stay with you."

Tok looked askance at her. "You be wife?" He asked. "Good wife?"

She nodded. "Yes, I will be a good wife. If you will be a good husband." She looked at Darvid, and launched a quick imploring look at him. He nodded minutely in return.

He held out his hand, as if to shake hers. "Swear it." He said.

She winced and took his massive hand. He smelled of old sweat, and grease, and outhouse stench. "I swear it." She said, trying to force a smile.

Tok looked down and said. "Deal, then." He then turned to his right and spit a huge wad of fleghm onto the ground. Sylva tried to copy him, but achieved only marginal success. She was scared and repulsed, and worried.

The ogre looked down at Darvid, and reached toward him. The nobleman squealed again, and cringed back. But Tok simply lifted the horse off of him and hefted it like a large sack of potatoes in both arms. "Me keep horse meat." He said. Then chuckled. "No good to you now, anyway." His chuckle was like the sound of two large stones being ground against each other.

He turned toward the wood. "Go first...wife." He said nodding toward the treeline. She cast another look over her shoulder toward Darvid and he caught her eye, and nodded again, then mouthed 'Two days.' She minutely nodded and then proceeded Tok into the woods.

As they walked Tok said. "You very pretty girl."

She looked back and again forced a smile at him. "Thank you, you're very strong." She said, truthfully.

"Yeah, me strongest ogre in wood." He said proudly. "Me wife die last winter, want new one, now have new one, and she pretty."

She walked onward, with him giving her directions on when to turn and how much. Finally, they came to a cave mouth. "Me house." He said, chuckling. "Best cave in wood." He pointed out.

She proceeded him again, and recoiled at the stench within. He dropped the horse carcass on the ground and uncovered a small fire under a leather hood. He then lit a torch with it and set it into a wall sconce. The cave was maybe thirty feet deep and the same wide, almost round. It was just one large room, with a crude hole bashed into the roof to let light in and smoke out.

She looked at the room, it was furnished mainly with a huge pile of half-cured pelts and some rather tatty-looking blankets. As she looked, the saddle blanket from the riding horse was added to the pile. Most of the smell came from that particular pile. There were several barrels against the far wall, and she would find out later what they contained, if anything. There was also a crudely built table and chairs, quite large.

"Me house." He said, his chest again filling with pride.

She looked around appraisingly, then said. "It's very nice. But needs cleaning."

Tok regarded her. "You wife, clean you job." He chuckled. She shrugged, she had planned on cleaning in her other job, too, at least Tok's house was not quite so large as Darvid's manor.

She began to do just that. She pulled each pelt out of the 'house' and laid it out on the ground outside the cave. She asked Tok if he had a knife.

"What want knife for?" He asked suspiciously.

She said. "To scrape those pelts, you didn't do a very good job of it and they stink mightily."

He nodded slowly, but kept an eye on her after he handed her a small fighting blade. It would serve, though a good skinning knife would have been better.

She set to it, scraping the skins one by one. As the light failed, she had finished almost half of them, and moved them back into the cave. She heaped them in a pile. The reek in the cave was almost halved now. She could at least breath deeply without being on the verge of throwing up.

Tok stood from his chair, and took the knife, placing it on a high shelf, far from her reach. He turned back to her. "We fuck now." He said, reaching for his loincloth.

She panicked and said the only thing that came to mind. "WE WHAT!!!" She screamed, as if she were deeply offended. Her face reddened with rage.

The ogre stepped back, looking confused and afraid for a moment. "Me want fuck wife." He said.

She railed on him. "A good husband does NOT FUCK his wife, he MAKES LOVE to her!" She hollered at the top of her lungs. Tok gave back again. "You will NOT FUCK me this night, as you are obviously a very BAD HUSBAND!" The nine foot tall, six hundred pound humanoid was backed to the wall, by the five-foot eight, hundred and forty pound girl. "You will apologize to me and you will go to bed and I will sleep over here, by the table."

Tok stood for a long moment, his face a total blank. Then shuffled to his pile of furs and blankets, then laid down, looking at her. She huffed at him with totally manufactured hostility and went over near him and dragged one blanket, the horse blanket from today out of the pile. She laid it under the table, she then covered the little fire and went to her bed.

---

In the morning Tok was up and awake before her, he was sitting at the cave entrance, scraping the skins that were still outside the cave with the fighting knife. He was not doing a half bad job of it.

As she approached him, he looked over at her. Sitting, he was almost the same height. He held up the newly scraped skin, smiling broadly with his crooked teeth. "Me fix skins, want you lie in bed tonight, so me make it not stink." She looked on as he continued. She followed behind him with a second knife after he fetched it down for her, and finished each skin to her satisfaction. Between them, the skins were done in a couple of hours. She then stood and massaged the small of her back.

She walked to the back of the cave. The barrels, she found, were full of brandy. She figured they might be useful, it was potent enough to be flammable. She might be able to burn this brute out and escape. The idea of trying terrified her though. He was so damn powerful, he might kill her with a single swat. She had thought of trying to slip off last night, but whenever she moved, he seemed to come awake. His senses were fantastic, she decided, or he slept incredibly lightly. She had little doubt that those five foot legs could outrun her handily, as well. So, she bided her time. Darvid had said 'two days.' So she would hold out until tomorrow, or the next morning.

In the meantime, she meant to make the best of her 'home.' She had Tok carry all the blankets to the nearest water, and he guided her to a stream. "Why wash blanket?" He asked her.

"Because," She said patiently. "Good husbands don't let their wives sleep in filthy blankets and skins." She showed him her arm. "We are delicate, and if we get too much dirt on us, it hurts."

Tok nodded, and sat on the shore with her and they pounded and wrung the blankets all out, they were fairly clean when they were done. She stretched, it was a little after noon. He helped her hang the blankets on tree branches to dry and they went back to the cave. She had him beat out the skins against the wall of the cliff next to the cave mouth, and he did so, whistling as he did it. The cave now smelled pretty decently. She crafted herself a twig broom, and swept out the detritus from the cave.

"Me no want dig hole." He complained. "Why want?"

"We need a place for trash, and to go to the toilet." She said, looking at him. "A good husband does not pee on the wall of the cave, there will be no more of that." She said, shaking a finger at him. "And I found turds on the floor. No more of that either."

He flinched when she said 'turds,' and silently went to work with a old shovel head, digging a hole.

She swept the pile of stuff into the hole and then said. "Now you poop and pee in this hole, you hear?"

"Me hear." He said, sullenly. The sky was growing dark, and she knew what would be coming next.

After they ate a horse-meat stew she cooked and he butchered the remaining horse meat. She washed out the bowls in a small tub. He watched her with interest. "You clean bowl too?" He said. "You very clean." He smiled. "Me like."

She finished and turned to face him. "I'm glad you like it." She said.

He stood up and pointed at their newly cleaned and dusted bed. "We go f...make love now?" He asked. His face hopeful.

"No." She said. Crossing her arms.

He said. "Why no make love?" His eyes imploring now.

"You are filthy." She said. "A good husband cleans himself before coming to his wife to make love." She added. "And I washed only yesterday morning. When was your last bath?"

Tok's expression got angry. "Me do things you want, me being good husband, me want make love now!"

"No." She said sternly. "You will clean yourself tomorrow morning, then tomorrow night, we will make love." She saw the look of belligerence in his sallow face. "Do not say anything." She said. "I promised to be a good wife to a good husband." She said. "I will, too, but you will be a good husband first." She looked at him. "You stink of piss and shit, and you have dirt everywhere." She made a sour face. "If you want to make love to me, you will clean up so I can hold you and touch you and kiss you."

His face slowly changed to one of resignation and he crept over to the bed. He asked. "You sleep in bed, then?"

She nodded. She had to give him something. "I will sleep in the bed." She crawled onto the huge pile of skins and blankets, and pulled one over herself. He did stink, but not horribly so. Or maybe her nose was becoming adjusted to the smell. She was tired from a long day of work, and she fell asleep quickly.

---

When she awoke, she saw Tok sitting in the doorway, looking glumly at the outside.

"What's wrong, Tok?" She asked him.

He looked up at her. "You want me take bath." He said. "Me not know how." He looked down morosely. "Never take bath before."

She smiled at the pained expression on his face. She had to confess, this brute was trying very hard.

"I will show you how." She said, smiling at him. "Do you have soap?"

He shook his head. "No know what soap is." He said.

She looked around then found a hard bristle brush among the piles of implements and items in the back area. She said "We will make do without it then."

The two walked down to the stream, and she made him sit in it, then she had him remove his loincloth. She took off her dress, wearing now only a body stocking of loose cotton. She splashed water on him and then began to scrub with the brush. It took both hands to finally break the dirt loose and begin to find tanned pink skin beneath. As she scrubbed his back, he said "That feel good. Me like bath." She worked on his huge arms, and even his pits which took quite a lot of work. Then she started cleaning his chest and belly, as her ministrations got to the lover portion of his huge, muscular torso, she noticed something poking out of the water. She looked down and realized it was his manhood, she gasped, and stepped back.

"What wrong?" He said, looking around in the water for a snake or other creature that would frighten her.

She regained her composure and went back to work, now on his feet. "It was nothing, I thought I saw something, but was wrong."

He seemed satisfied and just sat there and enjoyed the scrubbing. When she got to the top of his thighs, she realized she would have to soon face it anyway. She swallowed hard and reached down into the water, her hand found his organ and she grabbed it. Even with her largish hands she could not quite get her fingers around the huge thing. She scrubbed it gently with the brush in the other hand. Finally pronouncing it clean after he had achieved quite a impressive erection and was smiling like an idiot. She ordered him to flip over and he did so, holding his head out of the water with his hands as she scrubbed the backs of his legs then his massive buttocks. She rolled her eyes and gritted her teeth and told him to spread his cheeks, then scrubbed out that unmentionable place, too, finally, when the water stopped changing colors, she saw nothing but the tanned pink of his flesh in the water, and figured it would have to do.

She bade him put his cloth back on after washing it out herself. He stood up, and his massive rod was standing there right before her. Her eyes could not help but follow its progress as he stood, and it stood there, massive and proud, curving upward to where the head was right before her eyes. It was about three and half hands long, she thought. If he 'makes love' to her, she would surely be killed.

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