Flora and Diarmud’s meeting
We had been traveling for a long while and I was exhausted. I curled up by the dying fire against the warmth of Diarmund, my legs twitching from all the traveling, and it didn’t take long for me to fall into a deep sleep. My mind wandered and picked up the story that I love telling others the most. How I met my husband.
It’s a cute tale that I just can’t resist telling, but I have to start from the beginning when I was home in a small town called Pendle. It was mostly a farming town, we supplied our town and the kingdom of Yeaba with food. My father built most of the houses in the town and quickly became the most reliable carpenter around, so much so that other villages sought him out to construct their homes; he was paid handsomely for those kinds of jobs. Mother spent most of her days tending the herb garden that grew rapidly over the years that it was close to consuming all the soil we had behind our quaint house. Any time she wasn’t tending her garden she was tending to people.
As I grew older I found myself attracted to the shiny metals that came out of the blacksmith shop. Most of things that came out of the blacksmith shop were farming tools, but Gobban had a few swords and battle axes stored away in the back of his shop. I loved looking at them and often would spend my time polishing them and staring at myself in the reflection of the blade.
By the time puberty started to kick in I was able to lift the heavy battle ax and Gobban would let me take it out back to practice as he would give me pointers on how to improve my stance and swings. He’s the one I can thank for being such a savage on the battle field. During this time, soldiers from Yeaba came to collect a portion of the harvest to take back to the city and ended up forcing their way into the town and stealing almost all of our crop. It was a hard winter. Almost half of our population got wiped out due to starvation, Gobban was among one of them. His son took up the blacksmith hammer.
When the Yeaban soldiers came back during spring demanding more food for their gluttonous king, I stood up against them. I was just a little girl who they didn’t pay much attention to, until I clobbered one of them in their face when they grabbed an old man roughly. They turned on me quickly, coming at me one by one. Dumb move on their part. I knocked a few of them down on the ground, no problem. They learned fast though, and came after me as a large group that overtook me. The shouting of battle had gathered a large crowd of people around us, and everyone watched as they held me fast and beat me within an inch of life. Story of what I did spread quickly, and people started to regard me as a hero for standing up against the soldiers.
When I was well enough everyone begged me to teach them to stand up for themselves so when the soldiers came back they’d be in for a nasty surprise. So, I did. There weren’t weapons available so we used the farming tools. They could cause enough pain to get the message across without killing anyone. The day came in late spring and I was there waiting with my ragtag militia standing behind me. They took it as a joke until we started to seriously kick their asses. The cowards ran with their tails between their legs and the story of what we achieved in Pendle spread like wild fire. Soon other villages and towns were requesting I teach their people as well. I had found my calling. Mother and father wished me well and saw me off as I headed to the next village over. I was excited and nervous, but feeling confident in myself.
One night, while I was on the road setting up my tiny camp I heard a disturbance from a grove of trees across the road. I crept over, my ax ever at my side, and eased my way silently into the brush; being small has its advantages at times. There was a tall and thin man lying face down on the ground that they were picking up, collecting his weapons and other equipment. I followed them back to their camp where they tied the poor man up and talked loudly around the fire. The captured man must have woken up as their attention quickly turned toward his body. This allowed the perfect distraction for me to jump out and ambush them. There were maybe a dozen of them, but they fell easy; surprise attacks work well for large groups.
I helped the captured man up and noticed the shocking blue color of his eyes. I fumbled with the rope a bit as I was getting completely lost in those blue orbs, though I did manage to tear my eyes away from them only to fixate them on the tight curls of his flaming hair. He had a little blood running down his nose but it didn’t look broken. Other than that, I couldn’t find any more injuries. Seeing his fancy fur trimmed cloak I knew he must be a noble, that set my emotions raging and turned curtly to return to my camp, I wasn’t interested in helping asshole nobles. I was about to launch rebellions against corrupt nobles like him, I couldn’t waste time helping him. He followed me anyway.
I tried to get him to go away, but he just wouldn’t leave me alone. So, I proposed an idea to him. If he could beat me in a fight he could follow me, if I won he had to leave me. He may have been bigger than I was but I outweighed him when it came to strength. We fought evenly my ax colliding with his short sword, though I wasn’t really putting a lot of effort into the fight as I was tired. I easily flipped his sword away from him and got ready to pin him down. Then he sucker punched me right in the gut. All the air rushed out of me and I sunk to my knees. I looked up just in time to see him summon his short sword back into his hand out of thin air. Rage and adrenaline surged through me and before he was able to put the short sword to use I picked his thin body up and bent backwards until his head collided with the ground, hard. I let go of his body and he limply slide to the ground still trying to grab my ankles pleading,
“Taking me with you!” I kicked off his hands and started walking away, picking up the few belongings I had with me. He still tried to grab my ankles but I moved out of the way. As I continued to walk away he begged me for my name.
“It’s Fliorah” I call, not even looking over my shoulder.
I’ll admit he’s a persistent bastard and followed me every night. Knowing he wouldn’t be deterred I set up some boundaries. Through that time with him I learned about him and his past and what his ambitions were. I was actually started to fall for him a bit. We traveled together for another year from village to village, me teaching people how to defend themselves. Eventually we ended back up at my home town and had a small intimate wedding ceremony by the lakeshore. It was small, simple, and perfect. I was still nervous about meeting his parents and siblings as I am just a common girl. It might be hard for me to fit in with them. Diarmund assured me otherwise, and has confidence that I’ll be just fine. It’s been four years since we’ve been married and I still haven’t met any of them. I’m just as nervous today as I was that day we wed to meet his family.
To read my “husband’s” point of view click here.