By Joseph Anderson


Callisto, Xena and elements from the TV show, Xena: Warrior Princess belong to MCA and Renaissance Pictures. All other characters belong to the author. No copyright infringement is intended with this fan fiction, which may not be sold, may be copied for personal use only, and must include all notices of copyright.

This story includes graphic violence.

A rooster crowing was the only sound. The inn was quiet and empty in the early morning as the little girl came in. She looked carefully around then stepped outside the door and returned, doing her best to support the woman leaning on her. Her blonde hair was dirty and she was pale and shaking, her beautiful face drawn. The small girl pounded on a table until an old man came out, tying a robe.

"All right, all right. What do you..." he stopped at the sight of them.

The small girl, with hair the same blonde as the woman's, took a slate from inside her bulky cloak and wrote on it "Room and meals"

"I can't have someone sick here, and I don't want scum like you anyway. Go somewhere else." He spoke angrily. The woman looked like a bandit. She looked at death's door and it was just a little girl so he thought it was safe to talk like that.

He cried out with pain and fell to the floor, holding his knee which had made a crunching sound. That little girl had thrown her entire body at him and caught it with her full weight. Her face was expressionless as she got up quickly. Cursing, the old man tried to grab her and she suddenly had a dagger in her hand. He stopped. She held the slate up again. He didn't say anything and she kicked and he grabbed his nose, crying. She held the slate again and he said with a whimper "Follow me."

The woman had been leaning against a wall and not even watching them. The little girl got her and supported her as they followed the limping groaning old man to a room, somehow getting her up the flight of stairs. She led the woman to the bed then returned to the innkeeper. "Water" she wrote and followed him to a water barrel. She filled a jug and returned to the room, the man trailing her. The little girl pointed to the word "meals" on her slate. She opened his robe and flipped his shriveled old penis with her dagger, then shut the door in his face.

"Jilly, is that you?" the woman said deliriously. The little girl took the woman's hand, which was clammy with a cold sweat. Callisto's eyes seemed to focus on her. "Listen...listen Jilly. If...my enemies catch me... you have to run. You're too little to fight real warriors. Understand? Understand?" Jilly squeezed the woman's hand. Relieved, Callisto seemed to drift off to sleep. Jilly found a cloth and pouring water on it, began washing the woman's face.

They had been riding hard for a week when Callisto first started showing signs of being ill. They had lost the soldiers pursuing them--Callisto said they took it too personally what she'd done to their commander, but they had ridden through freezing rain and cold swamps. Callisto had bundled Jilly up in her own cloak in addition to the girl's own, ignoring her objections. Two days before Callisto hadn't been able to get on her horse, so the girl had managed to put together a crude sled and tied the woman to it. The little girl hadn't stopped riding till she came to this village. She was exhausted, which was probably why the innkeeper was still alive. All she could think of was Callisto.

There was a knock at the door and she opened it for the old man. She indicated for him to set the food on the small table. She smelled it closely and drew her knife again, pointing it at the innkeeper then at the food.

"You want me taste it?" he said. She nodded. He hesitated and the little girl's eyes widened and with bared teeth she made a croaking sound as she threw herself at the man who towered over her.


The soup was good. Callisto found herself propped up in a bed with Jilly trying to feed her. "Thanks Jilly." She tried to take the spoon but found she couldn't hold it, so the girl took it back and continued feeding her. She was tired again, but she noticed something out of the corner of her eye. Behind Jilly she saw a body on the floor. Callisto smiled at the child. "You should've just tied him up, Jilly. He's gonna stink. Might have friends, too." She closed her eyes and fell asleep again. Jilly couldn't wait any longer. So she went downstairs and latched the door shut, then came back to Callisto's room, curled up on the floor next to the bed and the corpse and fell asleep, holding her dagger in one hand.


Old Alberich hadn't opened his inn. That wasn't strange though. He was a bad tempered old man who often didn't open up. Sometimes he was drinking, sometimes he just left to get supplies without a word to anyone, and sometimes he just didn't feel like dealing with customers. They'd been saying for years one of these days he was going to be rude to the wrong person. The town needed an inn but no one would miss the nasty old man. They could hear sounds coming from the building though. Sounded like he was chopping meat.

The next day the inn opened back up. When the blacksmith, a huge bearded man, came in he smelled better food than ever before and Alberich wasn't there. A cute little blonde girl in an oversize man's shirt was standing on a barrel in back of the counter. She smiled at him and he smiled back. "Who are you? Where's Alberich?"

The little girl took a slate out and wrote on it. "Granddaughter. On a trip."

"Oh, I didn't know he had any children, let alone grandchildren. What's your name? Can't talk?" He was a kind-hearted man and his eyes were tearing up.

She wrote, "Jilly. Can't talk."

"Pleased to meet you, Jilly. Did you make what I'm smelling?" She nodded.

"Can I have some?" She gave him a dazzling smile and jumped off the barrel and returned with a bowl of soup and some bread. He took it over to a table. "This is WONDERFUL, Jilly. You didn't learn to cook from Alberich, that's for sure." The little girl held her hands out in a what-can-I-say gesture. When he finished he paid her and said, "I'll be back for supper, Jilly. Welcome to the village. I hope you stay." She looked at him with a peculiar expression on her face, then to his surprise she hugged him. He laughed and hugged her back. He left and began going to everyone he knew telling them to go by the inn.

The inn was packed. Since Jilly had appeared the previous week the word had been spreading and people were coming from the surrounding villages and countryside for the wonderful food. She had hired two local teenage girls to help her. They said they felt funny being told what to do by a ten-year-old but that she was so sweet and so smart that they found they didn't mind. And that she couldn't talk just broke everyone's heart and made them like her even more. Now as one girl was back in the kitchen and the other was serving food, Jilly was negotiating with some local farmers for produce and meat. They couldn't read so the blacksmith, who was named Barny, was helping her. She'd taught him a couple of hand signs she used so she wouldn't have to write everything.

"Barny, how can you help Jilly here screw us? That's not being a very good neighbor." The little girl wrote something.

Barny said, "No one is forcing you to sell to her. Go somewhere else."

The other farmer said, "Now, now, Jilly. He didn't mean it like that. You just need to come up a little. We have families to feed. I have prime vegetables and he has prime stock, you know that. Two hundred dinars is the least we'll take."

She made a sign. "175" Barny said.

"175! You little...!" the first farmer said, but the second put his hand on his shoulder.

"Jilly, did you know that I have a little girl just your age? She gets plenty of vegetables to eat, of course. But I would love to get her some new shoes and a new dress. Can't you help my little girl?"

She made a sign. "180," Barny said.


"191" Barny said, "and that's it."

The two farmers conferred and then shook the little girl's hand. They left. Barny and Jilly looked at each other and started laughing, her with that strange croaking sound. The first time she did that a look of horror had come over her face, but Barny had gotten down on his hands and knees next to her and started imitating a pig so she had finally lost all control and just kept laughing. Now she was at ease laughing with him, but no one else.

Jilly darted away. Barny looked around and saw a dangerously thin woman in a shift, standing at the top of the stairs looking around and Jilly was instantly at her side. They disappeared back into a room. Well, so that's the mystery guest, Barny thought. The teenagers had said someone was in the room with Jilly but they didn't know who it was. Looked like it was probably her mother. Barny was glad she wasn't alone here. If Alberich was her only relative he'd been trying to talk his wife into inviting Jilly to live with them and their kids. Jilly never volunteered information. You could understand it. How much was she supposed to write on that little slate?


"Jilly, what's going on here? How long have I been helpless?"

She made a hand sign, "A week! I've been in bed for a week! How are you paying for our room?"

The girl wrote on the slate and handed it to Callisto. "It's your inn? How did that happen?" The little girl smiled and drew a finger across her throat. Callisto giggled and hugged the little girl to her. "Good girl, Jilly."


Callisto thought she was hallucinating again. She half opened her eyes and heard music. She'd learned to deal with the voices that she heard, telling her to kill Xena and avenge her family, but music was a new one. Oh, well. There were worse ways to be crazy, and she already was. She drifted back to sleep.

The little girl was looking critically at the singer. She looked over at Barny and the girls. They seemed enthralled. The performer was an older man with a lyre. Music just didn't do anything for Jilly. She knew other people liked it though so she thought she ought to book an act and see what happened. Jilly tapped Barny on the arm and looked questioningly at him.

"I love him. And look at those two." The teenagers had tears running down their cheeks. The old singer had sung a song about two lovers dying young. Jilly nodded and Barny called out, "Glaucon, you're hired." She wrote something on her slate. Barny said, "You start tonight." The little girl stood up and tapped the girls' hands, they looked at her and she pointed to her mouth and to the singer. The two teenagers walked over to the musician.

"Come on. The boss says for us to give you something to eat," Lara said.

"That was BEAUTIFUL!" Semele gushed. The old musician, whose clothes looked old and patched smiled as they led him away.

Jilly was looking after him. She wrote something else on the slate. "Oh, you don't need to do that." Jilly tapped her slate insistently. Barny said, "Okay, new clothes for the singer it is, Jilly."


The bandits swaggered into the little inn, not noticing the woman sitting unobtrusively at a table in the back. There were three of them, dirty in black leather armor. Semele behind the counter fearfully looked at them and spoke.

"What can I get you?"

They all laughed. Terrorizing little villages like this was the best thing about being a bandit. No danger and all the fun.

"Food for now, and you later," the tall one said, and they all laughed. The girl started crying in fear.

"You boys really think you're something don't you?"

They all looked at the speaker. One of them turned pale but the other two laughed. The tall one said, "Do you have a problem with that?" He looked at her, a thin blonde woman in a simple peasant dress. She smiled at them and stood up.

"Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do," she said.

"You can tell me about it when I'm screwing you."

The man who had turned pale was trying to unobtrusively walk away but he felt something, stopped, and looked down. Standing in front of him, and with a dagger at his crotch was a little girl who looked like a miniature version of the blonde who had been talking. She was smiling at him. The whites showed all around her brown eyes.

The thin woman walked over to the two smirking men. She looked at the tall one. "Guess my name."

He answered, "Honey cunt."

"Sorry, wrong answer" and she drove two fingers into his eyes. She pivoted and caught the other man, who was trying to draw a sword, in the throat with her right foot. He fell back making choking sounds as the first man was collapsing to the floor, holding his eyes screaming. Callisto walked over to the man who had remained motionless since Jilly had caught him.

"You know who I am?"

"Yes, Callisto."

"And you feared me and tried to escape."

"Yes, Callisto."

She looked at the child, "What do you think?" The child spat to the side. "That's what I think, too. Go ahead, Jilly." The man screamed as the knife at his crotch made a quick cut. He fell to his knees, moaning. Jilly nimbly avoided the blood.

"Gods! What's going on here?" Barny was standing at the door. The girl behind the counter spoke up.

"These bandits started arguing and all of a sudden they were killing each other. Thank the gods no one else got hurt!"

Callisto and Jilly both looked at her but she wouldn't meet their eyes and left for the kitchen. Barny left to get help, and Callisto and Jilly quickly stopped the moaning and screaming men from making any more sounds.


Barny, Glaucon, and the two girls were waiting for Jilly. She had sent word that she needed to see them. It had been two weeks since the bandits had killed each other. They looked up at a sound and saw Jilly and her mother both dressed in heavy cloaks at the top of the stairs. They came down and Jilly came over and squeezed all of their hands.

The woman spoke: "My father-in-law, Alberich, has passed away. We received word a few days ago. We came here to take care of his inn while he was traveling and I got sick. But we can't stay."

"What's going to happen here?" Lara and Semele said, interrupting each other. Semele had never let on that she knew the woman and child were any other than they seemed.

"Well," the blonde woman continued, "Jilly thinks that we should give it to the four of you."

"What?" Barny said. "This is your inn. We can't take it."

"We're leaving and not coming back. So either you take it, or you don't have an inn. I'll be outside, Jilly. Say your goodbyes." The woman strode out of the room. The teenagers were crying now and bent down to hug Jilly. She hugged the singer who looked like he might faint or something. Then she went to the huge blacksmith whose eyes were red. She jumped and he found her in his arms. She hugged him and kissed his cheek. Just as fast she was off of him and went to the door. She turned and looked back at them. They could see she was crying herself; then she was gone. They could hear a horse riding away.

"Jilly, you can stay there if you want. It would be a better life for you than being with me," Callisto said. She'd brought this up several times in the inn, and the girl had just shaken her head. They were stopped outside the village. In answer, this time Jilly slapped the huge black stallion's rump and it took off with the two of them.

The End