Pickanickl opened her eyes. She was lying on a bed, in a small wooden room. Beside her sat a woman, several years older than her.
“Welcome, child.” The woman said in a very friendly tone. “How are you feeling? You took a bit of a nasty tumble.”
“I have a headache.” Pickanickl rubbed the back of her head.
“Here. Drink this.” The woman handed Pickanickl a goblet, full almost with a green-coloured liquid. “It will not taste pleasant, but will do wonders for your pain.” She smiled. Pickanickl sat up, and lifted the goblet to her mouth, pulling it away straight away. She pulled her face. “It doesn’t smell so wonderful either.” The woman chuckled. “But drink. You will see.”
Pickanickl pulled her face again, but swallowed most of the pungent liquid from the cup.
“My own concoction; nettles mostly.” The woman said, taking the cup from Pickanickl. “Now lie back and wait for five minutes.” She walked across the room and pulled open a door. “Our guest is now awake.” She said, as she walked through it.
Pickanickl opened her eyes once more, to find the man from the bridge now sitting beside her. She sat up again, surprised to find her headache gone.
“No. Please, relax.” The man said. “It is my fault you are lay here, so I need to make sure you are well before I let you go.”
“Skaglad?” Pickanickl murmured.
“Ah. Now I see why you are running. What crime were you punished for?”