Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chapter 3, Pt. 1

Riya was hitching a donkey to a bright yellow wagon decorated with green spirals and designs when Silay joined her by the stables. But the most remarkable thing about the scene was the donkey. Silay stared at it for a moment.

"It's yellow".

Riya grinned.

"Did you dye it?"

"Sort of. It's a spell. What do you think?"

"Well, it certainly will get people's attention."

"That's the idea". Riya jerked her head towards the wagon. "You can toss your bag back there. The donkey can't pull the wagon and carry passengers, but a little extra cargo won't hurt."

Silay did as Riya suggested, glad at the thought of not having to carry her bag anymore. "How far are we going today?"

"About 20 miles. There's a stream I like to camp by, and we'll save money not staying at an inn. Can you fish?"

Silay shook her head. "No, but I know how to clean fish".

"That'll do." Riya quickly checked the donkey's harness then gave Silay one her frequent grins. "Ready?"

"Ready." Silay smiled back.

Silay was pleasantly surprised to discover that her blisters from yesterday no longer bothered her. Jarlen may not have magic, but whatever he had done was working well. Today's traveling was going to be much better than yesterday's. Riya didn't say much as they walked, and that suited Silay just fine. She had a lot to think about. Jarlen's comment about children like Hazel dying was bothering her. She knew full well that it was highly unlikely she'd be able to do anything to stop the plague, and yet people -- at least the Healers and seers -- seemed to be expecting her to do something.

The sun was just getting ready to set when Riya led them off the road and a little ways into the woods. They didn't have to go very far before they came to a small clearing along a river bank. Riya unhitched and hobbled the donkey, then disappeared into the wagon, re-emerging with a fishing pole, a bundle of sticks rolled up in a cloth, and a small jar.

She tossed the jar to Silay. "Do you know how to set up wards?"

Silay nodded.

"Good. You set up a ward and build a fire. I'll go catch some fish."

"What about the tent?" Silay looked at the rolled up cloth on the ground.

Riya followed her gaze, then stared at the cloth fiercely, muttering under her breath. Silay had to step back as a small tent gently unfurled itself and popped up.

Riya grinned. "Be back soon!"
I would like to point out the 20 miles is very reasonable for day's walk, especially on a flat road. I am speaking from experience having once hiked the Cotswold Way at 20 -mile-a-day intervals, over hilly, muddy terrain. Very unlike a certain other fantasy stories where short-legged beings successfully hiked an impossible number of miles a day *ahem* Lord of the Rings *ahem*.

Also, please excuse the funky formatting. I have just gotten an iPad and am still getting used to it. Same goes for the typos.

1 comment:

  1. Proofreading :)

    Some odd formatting things in the top half.
    clean fish". (fish.")
    Jarlen may not have magic (might)