This excerpt is taken from Chapter 2 of the first draft of my story.
Alys decided to take one of the many alleyways. It was a lot quieter in this particular one. The houses were built so close together that their roofs almost touched, making it feel like she was inside rather than in the open. There were some stores left en right and some taverns where meaty looking men were having a pint of ale.
It crossed her mind that she should be afraid, walking through this part of town on her own. She had heard stories of innocent ladies being attacked or abducted, or worse. But why should that fate befall to her? She didn't have any money, and she had a rather influential family. Surely, if something would happen to her, they would come for her and kill the culprit. She rounded another corner. It was so much quieter here. She could barely hear the noise from the main street. Where would these little alleys lead to? Would they just stop at the city wall? Or would they lead to a wonderful secluded place? There must be some reason why people would want to live here, Alys thought.
The street wasn't paved any more, but merely a sandy path, with the occasional remnant puddle of the morning's rain. It was nice to walk here on her own, with no one bothering her or watching her. Even the occasional shop had disappeared. She saw some movements behind open shutters, but never more than glimpses. It was almost as if there were only ghosts living in these houses,not real people.
"Why hello, little lamb." Alys jumped, turning instantly. The gravelly voice had come from behind her. She was so sure she had been alone just a second ago. Now a scruffy young man stood in front of her. His face and hands were dirty. The underside of his pants of indefinite colour were caked in mud. Or excrements. Alys preferred to think of it as mud. He had short blonde hair that sticked to the top of his head. His youthly face was curiously void of any facial hair. It made him look a lot younger than he must be. What was even more curious that he didn't have any hair on his face. No eyebrows either.
"Pooh, you scared me there! How do you do, sir." Alys made a little curtsey. The hairless man frowned. At least she thought he frowned. It was hard to tell without any eyebrows.
"I am Curt the Cutter, and I want your money now!" A knife appeared from between the folds of his threadbare jacket. He seemed a little proud that he had remembered his lines.
"Oh I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I didn't take any with me. Is there any other way I can help you though?" A real lady always has her manners with her. If only Mother could see this, she would be so proud, Alys thought.
"No money? Alright then..." Curt scratched his head with the back of his knife. "Well that does propose an issue. You see, if I don't come home with something to show my fellow thieves, they will laugh at me again. A week ago, I came home with nothing too, and they shaved off my eyebrows. See?" He pointed to his face. "They said that if I didn't bring anything again, they would shave off something else." He looked rather uncomfortable, Alys thought. The poor thing.
"That does sound very unpleasant. I am afraid that I have nothing of value on me though." She wasn't wearing one of her bracelets or other valuables. "Oh wait, you can have my pin!" She started untying her cloak, so she could give him the silver pin that held it together. It was a very pretty one, in the shape of a tiny dragon's head. Alys didn't like the thought of giving something away that was her's, but sometimes a lady had to make sacrifices.
"That would be amazing!" The young man practically beamed. "Thank you so much. That means I can keep my hair for another day."
"There you go." Alys gave him the pin. She had to hold the cloack together with one hand now the pin was missing.
"Thanks, miss. Have a great day!" Curt the Cutter ran away, clutching the pin in his hand. Wait, was he... Skipping?