Running down the street Jarik dodged and weaved past the people in the street on his way. This was an important one, he knew from the expression on old Tegrath’s face that this was to be delivered or destroyed if he didn’t make it.
Turning right down an alleyway, moss on the cobblestones and dirt making it slippery, he heard the men. He kept looking behind hoping they weren’t coming, but he knew better, then he saw them. With their gleaming swords out and vicious dogs at their side they came for him, looking for a turn off he saw one coming on his left. Skidding around the corner he sprinted past beggars and rubbish on the sides, he jumped as a cat ran in front of him and ducked as a rock swished past his head. He turned his head to see how far behind they were, big mistake.
Smack! Straight down on the cobblestones, blood poured out his nose and onto the cold surface. He looked at his hands, grazed and bruised but they’d be alright. He could hear them coming, suddenly he was lifted off the ground and slung over a shoulder. He knew they had him, so he hit and punched, scratched and spat until he was knocked on the back of the head and all went black.
He woke up leaning against a wall in a narrow alleyway, looking up he saw a boy about his age looking down at him.
“Get up, ‘em dogs sniff you out soon from that bloody nose”, the boy said.
He reached up to his nose to find it had clotted and had been cleaned. “Who are you”?
“The names Tanner, and you better get moving to wherever ya goin’”. Tanner started off then stopped and looked back. “Remember, you owe me”, with that he took off.
Jarik got up, checked the letter was still on him and looked around to get his bearings. “Better get a move on” he mumbled to himself. Running as quietly as he could down streets so as not to be heard, then, suddenly around a corner, he spotted two vicious looking street dogs, lying down, munching on what remained of their previous meal. He tried to sneak past but there was no chance, they could smell the blood, as soon as they saw him he took off. They came after him almost at his heels, barking with excitement, as he ran towards a wall. Looking for a way over, he spotted a drain pipe and sprinted towards it. He jumped and climbed up as fast as he could. The dogs were below him trying to jump up and grab his legs. He clambered over the wall, this is it, he thought with relief, the sign glimmered in the sun ‘Stradbroke Street’ he ran straight down to number 43.
He knocked on the door. A well dressed man in his early forties stepped out and took the letter. Jarik knew to wait as the man went back inside, returning a few minutes later with a letter with one word written on the front ‘Tegrath’. He said farewell & closed the door.
“Here I go again”, and he was off.