|Zelda held her head high as she proceeded to pull on the scanty costume. One look in the mirror and she began a nervous giggle. The swelling of her belly was very apparent. |
"You don't really think some man will get turned on by me, now do you?" she asked the satyr.
"Well, you are a little on the fat side but some humans like that."
"You idiot!! Can't you see that I'm with child? I would think that would be pretty nasty to most men..." Zelda's hopes rose as she trailed off into silence.
The satyr stroked his beard and tapped a hoof. His hairy face became perplexed and he mumbled something about asking his boss. He quickly backed out of Zelda's cell and down the hall. His confusion was so great that he neglected to lock the cell door.
Zelda seized her chance and slipped out of her prison. Quickly and quietly she scurried down the hall. She chose to go the opposite way of the satyr. She reasoned to herself that at least she wouldn't bump into him coming back that way.
The hallway seemed to go on forever. More grilled cell doors lined each side. Sobbing came from many. The sounds almost maddened Zelda. She wanted to help these poor souls but lacking a key and desire to be free drove her even faster down the corridor.
At the end of the hall was a junction. Zelda chose the left hand path. She prayed it led to the outside and not deeper into this hellhole. The doors here weren't locked so she wasted a few minutes peeking in to see what there was to see. Most were empty except for elaborate beds. Shudders of distaste rocked Zelda's body. She wanted out!
The hall ended at a door. Quietly Zelda opened the door and peered in. Joy surged through her as the welcome sight of the outside world greeted her.
Slowly she edged out and pressed her body against the wall. She scanned the open yard and saw noone. She realised that this must be the back of the Golden Goose. Her next thought was to get to the woods and from there circle around to the city.
She took a deep breath and ran as fast as she could. It felt like hours until the cool green of the forest embraced her. Zelda slowed her pace but continued a little deeper into the woods. She hoped that this would help hide her from prying eyes.
After walking for about ten minutes Zelda started feeling a little chilled. Her scanty clothes were not the ideal hiking outfit. Rubbing her goosebumps she started angling back towards the city.
The trees seemed to grow a little farther apart and the sun peeked through the branches a little more. Zelda hoped this meant that she was getting closer to the edge of the woods.
A jingling sound caught her attention. She stopped and listened closely. The thudding of hooves and the creak of leather reached her ears. Slowly she inched forward and pushed aside a low branch.
A handsome rider upon a black stallion came into view. Just as Zelda was about to step out and ask for help, she heard a second set of hooves. This time instead of a horse and rider it was a centaur. He called out a greeting to the first traveller who stopped and waited for him.
"Greetings, Sir Shaun! Art thou heading for Seawood?"
"Indeed, I am, Starlight! I hear the girls are prettier than ever at the Golden Goose! I've enough jingle to spare for two wenches this time!" he said with a leer that distorted his handsome face.
Starlight nickered a derisive neigh and flicked his tail. "Not for me,
"Aye, that is the best kind but there are few ladies in this remote place. One takes what one can and is happy enough for that."
With that exchange Sir Shaun kicked his mount into a gallop and dashed down the trail.
Starlight shook his head and turned to face Zelda. "You can come out now, my lady. There's naught to fear from me and that lout is in a hurry."
Startled to have been noticed Zelda stepped out and looked at the centaur. "How did you know I was there?"
"I'm a centaur," he said. "I could hear your heartbeat and your very breath. Your scent is strong as well. I smelled fear and sorrow. What brings you to this woods? You don't look dressed for a picnic nor for a liason."
"I'm new to Seawood" Zelda replied," I was a guest at the Golden Goose and next thing I knew I was a prisoner and destined to be a bedwench. Thanks to the gods I managed to get away and here I am. I lost my money and my clothes and I don't know a soul."
This speech was the last straw for Zelda. All the bad things of the last month rushed over her and she began to sob.
Starlight trotted closer and patted her on the back. Slowly he put his arms around her and pulled her close.
"We'd best get away from here. We don't need you getting caught again" Starlight said. He indicated that Zelda was to get on his back. He helped her up with one hand and off they went deeper into the forest.
As they trotted along Starlight explained that he lived in a small village where many ex-slaves also hid out. Most of the native folk deplored the idea of slavery and actively helped free any slaves they could. They ran the risk of being sold into slavery for this but all felt that this was an acceptable risk.
Zelda was so happy she almost started crying again. She spoke of the rooms at the Golden Goose and her desire to free those hapless women from their prison. Starlight agreed that a plan was needed and propsed to ask his friends for their input.
A strange whistle echoed through the woods and Starlight answered with his own. A sentry climbed out of a large tree and welcomed Starlight and Zelda to the village.
Starlight neighed merrily, tapped his hoof twice and spoke a Word.
Starlight took Zelda to a resting house and left her there with the suggestion she eat and rest. He promised to be back soon.
Zelda found a plain gown on the bed and gratefully put it on. A hearty soup went down smoothly and a light wine topped the meal. She drank it with some reservation, remembering how she had been drugged at the Golden Goose. Although she soon felt sleepy it was more from exhaustion than from anything evil.
A nap was just the thing she needed. Settling down on the small bed Zelda fell asleep quickly. Her hand crept up and cradled her belly and a smile spread across her face.