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Humble but hopeful beginnings

Margyth looked at the copper pieces on her open palm and calculated: half a piece for her savings pouch, a quarter for a meal... that left a quarter for treats. Her eyes wondered to the stall; there were so many things to choose from. She could try all of them in time, no? For now, it would be a blueberry muffin and two... no... three apples!.


She looked around. Life was so exciting in the big town! So many people, so much was happening! And her new freedom to do what she liked and go where she wanted? Nobody grumbled that she wandered around aimlessly, nobody told her off for daydreaming and being useless... she did as she pleased and nobody cared! And she could read all that there was to read in the Hall, providing she wasn't getting in the way, of course. Anyway, it was wonderful!


Last week she treated herself to a breakfast at the Inn like one of those rich ladies. Admittedly it was only porridge - these fancy establishments were far too expensive - but, gosh, it felt good to be there. Yes, she was acutely aware of looking entirely out of place, but didn't she meet new people? This man - "just Dryn" he called himself (ha!) - who let her inspect his weapon for her assignment (she preferred to call it homework, the word "home" having such a nice ring to it), had a bit of a laugh at her expense but she didn't mind. He spoke another language and he had learned it here, in Bree! She tingled with excitement: there were so many opportunities to learn new things here. All she needed was some money to pay for tuition.


She frowned thinking of her unfinished homework. There was this girl at the forge, Filegedhiel, who called her "m'lady" and made her giggle. She was nice and Margyth made a mental note to ask her for help if all else failed and she had to resort to disobeying her instructions. She rolled her eyes: these scholars and their strange requirements!


Oh, she even met an elf, who played the flute, albeit badly, and conversed with her as if she wasn't... well... as if she wasn't just Margyth. She spoke to an elf! Bree was so full of surprises. Back home nobody would believe her... Her face fell. She didn't care what they believed or not back home, she wouldn't go there anyway.


She thought of a strange man who bought her a meal at the inn. He said she looked hungry and he bought her food asking nothing in return. That was a nice thought but it humiliated her that she looked like a beggar to him. She had worked so hard to keep her clothes clean and in good order, and he... Never mind. She had a job. With no rent and no responsibilities to worry about, she was going to buy a new garment at Lalia's in no time. She was sure she could save up enough. The studies were important, of course, but she couldn't let people think she was a vagabond, could she?


She paid for her treats and sank her teeth in a big red apple. She wiped the juice running down her chin with the back of her hand and looked at the sky. It was late afternoon, evening almost, and she twitched slightly nervously seeing the lengthening shadows - time to go back to the Room with a View. She smiled to herself. Yes, it was a good name for her new place.