The twin suns dipped slowly towards the
horizon, like two burning orange gemstones being dipped into a bowl of azure water.
A lone figure sat on a small stone
bench and watched the sunsset. No one knew how long she had sat here, one day she had simply been there.
James Deacon was
a farmer by trade; he worked the land from sunsup to sunsset. Today was different however, he was returning to his farm along
the coast road. He doffed his hat at the blonde woman as he passed.
"Hello there." The woman patted on the rough stone
surface next to where she was seated. "You should rest, you don't want to trip on an old root and twist your knee."
shook his head. "I'm sorry, I'm in too much hurry to get back to my farm." He continued walking but had not gone ten feet
when his foot caught on an old tree root sticking out of the ground. "Oooph." He cursed as he fell onto the ground. He tried
to stand and yelled in pain when he tried to put weight on his left leg.
"I did warn you." The blonde woman helped the
farmer back to her bench. "Roll up the trouser leg, let me take a look at it."
James began to roll up his trouser leg.
"Are you some sort of chirgeon?"
The blonde woman shrugged. "I don't know, I think I may be. I seem to know what I have
to do. Ah there it is. This will hurt." With a deft twist she popped the displaced cartilage back into place. "There now,
you'll need some sort of support and plenty of rest."
"I have to plough top field tomorrow." James replied. "My sons are
too young and my eldest cares more about her appearance than the farm. Since my wife died three years ago I've had to be both
father and mother to my lot. I don't think I've done that good a job, the farm needs a woman's touch as well as a man's to
The blonde woman nodded. "Well then I don't seem to have anything to do right now. Perhaps I can be of help?"
James was tempted to tell the woman that she'd be less use that his teenage daughter but there was something in her eyes,
something beyond confidence, beyond ability. He knew that whatever she set her mind to she would accomplish. "Well, I can't
pay much but you can have food and a roof over your head. Maybe you can sort my daughter out too?"
"Well I can't promise
miracles Mr Deacon, but I'm sure I can pull my own weight. Now lean on me, yes that's right. Slowly but surely does it."
suddenly had a thought, at no time had he even told this woman his name. "Who are you?" He asked her.
"I'm not sure I have
a name. I can't ever remember having one. Is it important?"
"Well you seem to know mine, it's only right that I know yours
"Smith? It seems familiar somehow. I remember signing my name as J Smith."
"Oh no, definitely not a
Judy. Jasmine? Jacqueline? Jade? No, no and no."
"What about Joan?"
"Splendid idea. Joan Smith it is then! It sounds
like an honest name to me. Now then, what sort of person do you think I am?"
"Well you helped me, maybe you're a helper?"
don't think so." Joan paused. "Maybe we can work on it hmmm? How far is it to your farm?"
"Only over the next two hills
Joan." James paused as he tried the weight on his leg once more. "Ow, it seems like I may need you around for some time yet."
nodded. "You haven't heard of something called tea by any chance have you?"
James shook his head. "No, what is it?"
not sure." Joan replied. "One more mystery to solve I guess. You're taking an awful lot on trust you know, I could be some
sort of confidence trickster, or maybe a stealthy nun collecting for charity."
"You have an honest face Joan, and you helped
me when you didn't have to." The two people continued walking on towards the farm. They made it there just before the twin
suns finally set below the horizon.