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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Chapter 4, Pt. 4


Silay could almost feel the silence pressing down on her. She and Riya had only traveled for half an hour before it was clear Silay needed to rest. They had set up camp for the night, Riya setting her own wards on top of the ones Silay had brought. As an extra precaution, they had taken turns keeping watch. Now, they were up and traveling again.

Since Silay's rescue, Riya had tried to give her space. Silay had filled her in on what little was known about the coming plague, and Riya had only interrupted her narrative when she needed more information about something. But now they had been walking in silence for over an hour, and it was clear to Silay that Riya was waiting for her initiate any conversation. She still had mixed feelings about Riya, but didn't think she could stand traveling with someone without speaking to them. She sighed inwardly, and broke the silence.

"The weather has been nice."

Riya swung her head around to face Silay. "Huh?"

"The weather. Ever since I've left, it's been nice."

"As it should be, this time of year.' Riya raised an eyebrow. "Are you trying to make small talk?"

"I suppose." Silay gave a small shrug. "If we're going to travel together, we might as well talk to each other."

"Fair enough. So, the weather's been nice?"

"Yeah. It's almost disappointing. I mean, things are bad. A plague is coming, people are going to die, and the sun is shining cheerfully with barely a cloud in the sky."

Riya turned her head to look at Silay. "And you'd rather it be bad? I, for one, am perfectly content  not wading through mud."

Silay gave a small smile. "It just seems... inappropriate".

"Ha!" Riya gave a short laugh. "Inappropriate weather? I think you read too much."

"Maybe." Silay shrugged. "There wasn't much else to do back home. People there blamed me for the Seer refusing to tell fortunes anymore."

"Sorry. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories."

"It's fine. I'm used to it."

"That doesn't make it right."

"Thanks." Silay gave Riya a smile.

They lapsed back into silence, but this time it was a comfortable one.

A few miles after they stopped for lunch, the road branched off. Silay pulled out her map, and Riya peered over her shoulder at it.

"We want to take the branch that goes through Griffin." Riya pointed. "It's a shorter route to Dilest, and Giffin will be a good place to stop for the night and get supplies."

Silay nodded. "All right, then." She rolled up the map, putting it away, and led the way down the path toward Griffin. It was one of several big, walled cities in the area, and they were about half a mile away when they came to a barricade stretching across the road. Silay halted and Riya drew up beside her.

"What's going on?"

Riya shrugged. "No idea. Let's find out." She raised her voice. "Hello? Anyone there?"

Three men, in uniforms that marked them as members of the Griffin City Guard, appeared on top of the barrier. "Turn back. This route is closed."

"Why?"

"You haven't heard?" The same Guardsman look at each of the women.

"I hear lots of things." Riya shrugged. "Nothing about Griffin closing the road, though."

"I think I know." Silay spoke softly, so only Riya could hear her.

The Guardsman continued. "We had a messenger late afternoon. Told us there's a plague coming. The whole city is on lock-down."

Now Silay spoke up. "This messenger, was his name Talis?"

The Guardsman nodded. "Came from Dagrosa. Had information from their Seer."

"And there's no chance of us being allowed through?" Riya pointed to Silay. "She's from Dagrosa too. The Seer sent her after Talis." It was close enough to the truth, but the Guardsman didn't believe it.

He shook his head. "No passage. That's final."

Silay and Riya stood in front of the barrier for a moment. Finally, Riya spun around. "Fine." She turned the donkey and the cart around, and she and Silay headed back to where the road had split. 
______________

Word is spreading...even faster than the plague is. 

1 comment:

  1. Proofreading :)

    content not (extra space)

    ReplyDelete