The General, the Killer, and the Valet (Short Story)

  *Another one that I don’t remember writing…but the characters seem interesting. I wonder what I was intending to do with them.

The General, the Killer, and the Valet

Empty fields stretched out in both directions as the wooden cart rolled gently on the dirt road. The sky was clear with just enough cloud to turn the sun’s glare into a comfortable glow. A valet, clothed in a mud-colored, striped uniform, shifted the reins to one hand as he yawned. Although the horse was well-bred and healthy, it was still one of the slower breeds; the going was perhaps a little too leisurely.

In the cart behind the valet, a slim girl rested on her haunches was peering at a sleeping man. She waved her hand over his eyes and saw no response. Her eyes were narrow, giving her the look of a sly cat, and her hair was tied up into a knot on the back of her head. Her apricot bangs fell softly against her white skin as she positioned herself over the man’s head.

“General!”

“General!!”

“…I guess he’s dead. Hehe, what luck. Now..let’s see…I’m sure he won’t mind if I cut him up a little. The earthly body has little importance for ascended spirits! So, my dear General! I welcome your gift in full and reply with proper grace: THANKS FOR THE MEAL

A hand shot up, grabbing the girl’s face in a vicious grip. Stark, green eyes pierced into her own blue pair. The General’s lips formed into a snarl as he sat up.

“What were you saying, you sadistic little freak?”

“Aha…General! You’re not dead!”

“Me? Die in a cart filled with the stench of rotting hay? You’ve got some nerve, you psychopath!”

The General kicked the girl fiercely, sending her crashing headlong into the cart’s wall. The girl grinned sheepishly and straightened up, rubbing her throbbing head.

“Ahh General, you’re mistaken! I really though you were dead! And you know, a body’s just going to rot in this perfectly good weather. Heat and light hasten decomposition or something like that!”

“Shut up! I can’t believe you’re saying such bullshit.”

“Ahaha General, you’re such a sweet talker.”

“This bitch…”

“But you know General, I was really excited about cutting you up. So why don’t we just pretend for a minute that you’re dead? You know, I probably won’t even get through your limbs by that timRAAHH!”

“Ech! Get off me, youGhhh!!”

What are they doing… thought the valet as he tried to ignore the escalating noise. He sighed and turned his head towards the pristine fields. What a miserable assignment. These two had been constantly bickering ever since he had picked them up in Gastham. Direct order from his master, sure, but that didn’t make the work any more bearable. It might’ve been slightly enjoyable if it wasn’t always the same thing over and over again. The General would take a nap, knowing all too well what his companion was like, get attacked, and then start fighting like it was a big surprise. The valet couldn’t tell if she was really out for his blood or if it was just playful teasing.

“AGH! You sliced my finger!”

Playful was a bit of a stretch.

“Hey, Valet!”

“My name is Keet, sir.”

“How far are we from Prithe?”

“Perhaps one or two da

“HRAHHH!!!”

CRASH!

“…”

The General tossed the girl over the side of the cart. A cloud of dust blossomed into the air behind them.

“You were saying?”

“…Two days.”

“AH! General, you impotent demon!”

“SHUT UP! Can you go faster, Keet?”

“I wish I could, sir. I wish I could.”

The girl caught up to the cart’s dismal pace with a short jog. She leapt into the cart, two cleavers flashing dangerously against her hips.

“Jeez, General! I know I’m your minion and all, but this kind of treatment is abuse! It makes me want to cut you up even more, you know?”

The girl smiled and licked her lips.

The General reached over and clamped a hand onto Keet’s shoulder.

“…Save me.”

“That’s my line, sir…”

The horse continued steadily towards the city of Prithe. The day dragged on, the sky stubbornly remaining clean and blue. The fields slowly started to fade away into sandy patches. Stunted, wizened trees grew on the side, breaking the monotony of the scenery.

The girl mumbled as she turned onto her side and snoozed. The General gave a big sigh and sat against the wall of the cart, his hand rummaging through his straw-colored coat. The valet looked over his shoulder and saw a wild mane of black hair, restrained somewhat by a yellow bandana. A line of smoke appeared from the General’s hand.

“Hey, Keet.”

“Sir.”

“Sorry for all the trouble we’ve been causing,” said the General as he took a draft from his cigarette. Keet blinked, momentarily shocked, but soon regained composure. Even so, the statement had been unexpected. Perhaps they weren’t as inconsiderate as he had thought?

“No, it’s perfectly fine, si

“Of course, it’s not like I really care what you think. I’m just making sure you have enough motivation to get us all the way back.”

“Those were two sentences too many, sir,” said Keet exasperatedly.

“Heh, perhaps.” The General rested his head against the back of Keet’s seat. “It’s been a while since the last time I was in Prithe.”

“Where have you been doing all this time, sir?”

“Gastham.”

“Well, aside from there…”

“I’ve been traveling, since I’m not really a general anymore. It’s just a nickname.”

“You’re still a Commissioned Officer. Royal authority and everything.”

“Heh. I guess. Although, it’s really tedious, having to take care of every criminal I see.”

Please don’t be so honest about that…

“Haha, but you know, it’s still a sweet deal. You ever go down to Limsel? Great women down there.”

Keet groaned under his breath. Of course. It was terrible to think so, but the great General of the past had diminished immensely. Or maybe he had always been like this. It was still depressing to see an acclaimed war hero wasting his power and money on women and cigarettes. It stimulated the economy, sure, but it was the principle of the thing…

“Say, Keet.”

“Yes, sir?” Keet couldn’t restrain the bitter sarcasm in his voice.

“What do you think of this country?”

“Sir?”

“What do you think of it right now? Anything come to mind?”

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