Last Trip Home and Back (Expository)

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    Megan Kendall

    Flowers had taken longer than she had liked talking at home but it didn’t look like William was waiting for her long. He’d gotten the things they needed from the inn together while she went to fill in the ladies and grab mostly food from the house. She had gotten down from the horse drawn cart to help organize the back considering it was abnormally full. Weapons were stowed and Flowers made sure to bring a smaller more manageable cart for her trip into the mountain.

    They left in silence after a once over of their things. The pair got maybe an hour or so away when the destroyed caravan started to come into view. Flowers pulled the cart to a stop so the pair could cautiously take a look around.

    It wasn’t their first murder clean up and both of them know that it probably wouldn’t be their last. This one though was different. The caravan and scavengers that were there were all dead. Pieces of flesh laid strewn about and what whole bits remained were horribly disfigured. It was a massacre. Once the initial horror faded, both of them started to search for a face they knew.

    William and Flowers, even to the untrained eye, would appear to be at work, both coldly and without grimace collecting people pieces from the ground. Both noticed the clear use of poison on the wounds of the fallen. Under their breath, they calmly discussed who it could of been and the limited details the noticed in the dark until they found her.

    Despite the scene, she had hoped for mercy but her lies about the future were certain. V’Tani was missing each limb and her face could be recognized despite the damage done. Flowers knelt down next to her friend, placing a hand on her chest she whispered a shakey apology. She felt a hand on her shoulder and that was it. The gnome shuddered into her tears while lifting what remained of Tani into her arms.

    After placing her in the back of the hay lined wagon, Flowers went back to William.

    “I wanna piece together as many as we can, ok?” Her voice cracked and she was met with a tearful nod.

    They went back to work with heavier hearts than before. Flowers lit the area and they began matching to clothing, hair and tattoos. Together they managed to find most with only few remains without a home. The scavengers who’d fallen were looked over and left to the side of the road. In silence, they climbed the cart and began back south toward the mountain.

    A few days had past and the pair had only stopped to rest the horses rather than themselves. When William took the reigns, Flowers took the time to concentrate. He could do it to but they both knew He answered her more. In a way it was calming. Flowers made sure to mention the man with the banner and she didn’t stop until the symbol was clear in her mind. Then, Flowers thought on her three objectives, requesting wisdom on each. When she lead the way, William worked on letters of his own. They’d ask each other about things that had happened, how they thought names were spelled… normal bullshit. That was until William noticed she hadn’t started her own.

    Flowers made excuses all along the way. ‘I got time,’ or ‘I don’t even know what to say.’ She even blamed not having the right color ink full well knowing the quill hung from her necklace. The mountain was another three days out so he decided to pry.

    “Alright, what is it?” he started almost annoyed. “You having second thoughts. Is it because you quit? What?”

    “The letter? I told you, I got time. I’m gonna be there for a bit, who knows? Maybe I’ll see em myself.”

    “Stop lying.”

    She sighed. “It’s gonna kill him.”

    “Your letter? You’re worried about that damn seer telling you some thing that has been a long time coming?” he sighed in frustration. “I told you. It’s not your fault.”

    “But the seer said..,”

    “I was right there, I know what he said. Write your damn letter!”

    Flowers nodded and sighed hard, taking the parchment from between them. It took her the whole three days of her spare time. She cried a few times and had William read over the final form. Tucking it away, they climbed into the back of the cart to do their best at doing a final clean up of the fallen before loading them into something more appropriate for the trip to the village.

    It was short work that raised more than a few eyebrows. They had rigged the hand cart so it could be pulled or pushed so they could take turns along the way.

    They both figured the trip would be particularly difficult with all things considered. To their surprise the trip to the village, was uneventful. Thankfully scouts had met them and they didn’t cause a panic but the whole thing was painstaking. So many sobbing faces with questions and answers that lead to more tears…

    After the dust settled, they left to repeat a similar scenario at Flowers’s parent’s house.

    They didn’t stay long there either. Flowers left her family with the hope she’d one day return with her and Path though she knew the chances were slim.

    Their last stop was the courier so her good bye could be read.

    Flowers looked at the Gate of Patience one last time as it closed behind them hoping to remember it always.

    The trip back always seemed to go faster. William kept her objective and distracted. Before they knew, the mound of a house came into view.

    Both of them went to work as soon as their feet hit the ground. Flowers broke in the door and William entered to ensure it was empty. Once clear, they looted, filling the cart with everything she’d need to start new somewhere else. They both did a once over to ensure nothing important was left.

    Since they were already breaking rules, the decision to stay on target was more wise. Razz’s house was two days from there and two days back meant just enough time for gathering. Her and the boys would burn it down later.

    Smiling Flowers - Envoy to Ixia - Strong Heart - Various Other Things 🙂

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