A Donkey and Names

by Valley Fey/Pinprick
originally published at 07:16PM on Monday, May 05, 2008

We delayed forming a backstory until after buying a donkey. I shuddered when I saw guards rushing into the city streets, issuing clipped orders. I handed my coins to the man selling the beasts. He held brightly colored ropes in his hand, woven of cheaply-dyed fabric so that his sweat was stained with blue and purple. I smiled as we took a rope to the donkey pen and selected our new companion.

We quickly bought an old pack saddle, and loaded the donkey with our food and clothes. The guards were quickly patrolling the streets, moving toward us, toward the edge of town. We moved hurriedly down the road leading to one of the town gates. Dust choked us both and we held our veils over our faces, careful to hide all but our eyes. Lilac gripped my elbow, so small next to my tall frame. She looked so young, so fragile.

I decided right then and there we needed aliases. Our names must be new. I decided on Urda and, for her, Virna. “You are my daughter.” I whispered to her as we neared the gate, and the guards.




  • from Louise Madison:

    I love the bit about the cheaply-dyed rope. Some how, it intrigued me.