Thursday, March 23, 2017

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learning to burn, part 27

Please start at the beginning.  And remember the craziness of first-draftiness!  heheeh

“Eminghare, he's really probably right. I would like to lay it all out for you right now, but if you know, your expectation of the worst, because you often do think the worst, would bring it to pass far more quickly if you know the details.”
“Oh. Do I? Really? I didn't realize. I don't what to think the worst. How can I stop?”
“Let us not worry with that question in this moment. We will have opportunities to discuss it soon. We must finish here and get going.”
The group finishes eating quietly and Oseratin adjusts the pack from which the food came. “I think this one is lightest, so I would like Eminghare to wear it. I am simply going to carry her now. Binia and Ofonode, you two can run abreast, yes?”
The two look at each other. Binia shrugs her shoulders and the two nod.
Binia lifts each pack and then picks one up and hands it to Oseratin, “You carry this. It's the next lightest. You're already carrying more than either of us. It's only right.”
“Okay. Thank you. I appreciate the thought.”
Oseratin lifts Eminghare and the group sets off again. They run steadily in silence for a few hours before they see the wall of THE NAME OF THE TOWN and slow to a walk.
“I didn't see any outlying farms...” Ofonode feels confused by the abruptness with which they've come in sight of the TOWN'S NAME.
“No. It's too dry here. What farms they have will be along THE RIVER NAME. I imagine, though, that they will have few farms. Most of their goods will come from the river and by way of other ships from the NAME OF LARGE SEA.”
“So, this place is not made of producers as much as servants?” Ofonode had heard there were such places, but had never seen one. “I'm excited to see how it is different from the other places we've been.”
“Maybe not too different. There will still be producers, though fewer.”
“Still. I'm excited to see NAME OF THE TOWN.”
“I would like to stop and discuss how we will enter.” Binia stops walking. Ofonode and Oseratin turn back.
“Yes. Let us. I think Eminghare will be fine to walk from here. Maybe you should cloak and I will enter in my smallest form.”
“I'm glad we are in agreement, Oseratin. Yes. We should let the young ones enter as if alone. In truth, we do not know what this place is like.”
Os puts Eminghare down carefully. “Since you wore your pack on your front, I think you could carry this one on your back, but you might prefer to have its straps directly on your shoulders because it is a bit heavier.”
“I wouldn't have even thought of that. Thank you, Oseratin.”
Ofonode has put both his pack and Binia's on as Eminghare makes the switch. Binia has already disappeared when Os shifts into his small lizard form.
“We should agree on our story before we enter here. I think it would be best if we speak only truth and simply leave out the information we would rather others not know. That's how I've been traveling so far and it has served me well.”
“I agree. I learned early it is unwise to try to tell stories because I couldn't remember what details I'd told and where. Truth is definitely easiest.”
“So, we are good friends traveling together and need work so we can continue our journey.”
“Yes. I think I will defer to you and pretend to be shy.”
“Would it be so much pretense?”
“Maybe not now. I used to think of myself as outgoing, but my time away from my people has taught me that I know so little that now I worry about everything I might say.”
“I've definitely experienced that first-hand.” The two laugh a little.
They hear a little chirrup and look down to see Os tapping one of his long nails. He pointedly looks in the direction of THE NAME OF THE TOWN and begins walking.
“I guess we better get on our way, then,” Ofonode says and the two burst into laughter.
Os climbs to Ofonode's shoulder as they approach the gate of THE NAME OF THE TOWN just before the sun begins to set into the horizon. Eminghare and Ofonode look at one another as they step close to the wall, “It's unusually tall, isn't it, Eminghare,” Ofonode says. She nods her head and then he hails, “Anyone there?”
A small door in the gate opens high up and a head pops through. The company of three look up in time to see the man as he says, “You've made it just in time, you have! Closed 'er up, we did. Figured all thems whose gon pass through had done, we did. Give 'er a minute to open it up and step back a ways, you must.”
The man pulls back and the small door high in the gate closes. The three step back from the gate, which opens only far enough for them to slip in. As they step up onto the cobble street of THE NAME OF THE TOWN the man whose head they saw, says, “No need to open 'er up all the way, me thinks. You three are awfully small, yous is. Figured you could slip right in, I did. I's right again, I is.”
Eminghare and Ofonode look up at the man. They realize they must look small to him because he must have had to stoop a little to put his head into the hold in the gate. “Is everyone here as tall as you?”
“Mostly so, though, we do have some small ones, we do. They come from away yonder, like yous. But they love it here, they do. So they stay and we think they are mighty happy, we do. We enjoy the Master's variety, we do. That's why we welcome alls who wants to come through and why wes lets em stay if they wants to, we do.”
“The Master's variety. Do you mean God?”
“Course. What other Master is there, I wants to know? None, I says. Only one Master… though He has two bodies. One for the Father and another for the Son... and an extra Spirit sort of body to witness His ways and truth, He do.”
“Yes! We believe the same as you. Isn't that wonderful?”
“It is. It's amazing and marvelous that truth is found in all the world. We are glad to be here. What's your name, kind sir?”
“Mine? Oh, well… no oneses asks my name…. You did, though, so I tells it to you: my name be Shabred. I be the keeper of the gate, I am. There only be me and the one who works my days off, there be. This were the only ocapation me mum could find for me, it were. She tried her hardest to find something good for me sos I could make my own way in the world, she did. But I aint as smart as the rest of my bruvers and sisters, I aint. But she's mighty proud of me, just the same, she is. She's an angel, me mum is… yes she is!”
“She sounds really wonderful,” Eminghare says. “Well, it's been a pleasure to meet you, Shabred.”

“The pleasure has been all mine, it has.”
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