Short stories · Untitled story

Untitled story, part 17

The men climbed on their horses and rode out of the town. And so did Lyam and Verrill. The sun was burning their necks as they left to see the damages of the little town, Tarrion. Lyam was still thinking about turning back during every step of the way, as the pictures of the burning town flashed in and out of his mind. He tried to keep his thoughts on something else, but as they got closer there was nothing in the desert to keep his mind elsewhere. Only times he was able to see something other than what had happened on that one night, was when he remembered his home. His birth home. The walls still rose up against the bright blue sky somewhere far from there. They protected the city, it’s people, buildings, palace standing in the middle of it.

Shivers ran down Lyam’s spine as he thought for a moment. Could he just leave? Could he just go back to where he came from? It would be a risk, a gigantic one and if he’d do so there’d be no going back. He couldn’t risk his friends’ lives, so they would have to part ways with Verrill. With Denisa. Even traveling there would have its’ dangers, it just might be he couldn’t even get there. Would it be worth risking everything all over again? Would she…

Would Denisa understand? Or Verrill?

Lyam shook the thought away. It was completely idiotic to even wonder about such. He pet the horses neck as they stopped near the verge of Tarrion. The air smelled like smoke, burnt wood and.. Flesh. It made even Verrill turn pale as the moon had been. Lyam climbed down and tried to keep his chin up, even though Verrill’s frightened look alone made him terrified. The town was empty, quiet and run down.

Everything was completely ruined, some of the houses had collapsed, if they hadn’t burned all the way. There had been people inside at least some of the buildings, which made all the men keep to themselves in a way. No one said a word, or even looked at the others.

The men walked around the town, but there was no sign left of the attackers. Or anyone else for that matter. Verrill had found a few of the townspeople that had survived to the nearest city like Lyam, Verrill and Denisa when Lyam had been trying to get better. No one they knew that well: The daughter of the local blacksmith and some woman who was visiting her brother. The wind felt cold, even as Lyam knew that it wasn’t. Suddenly he just was freezing, most likely due to the shock. There was nothing they could do. Nothing or no one to save.

Lyam walked outside of  the town for sometime until he came across a place he knew in his heart he might never see again. There was a stone plaque lied down on the ground, where Verrill was already standing. Lyam stopped for a moment and watched as the young man crouched down and put his hand over the plaque stroking its’ warmed up surface. As he got up Lyam approached, put his hand on the shoulder of his friend and watched the grave of Verrill’s mother and father. In the reality they weren’t there, they’d been buried somewhere further but the plaque was there, near home. The ground just was too dry and hard to bury anyone or anything.

Heartbroken they were about to leave, Lyam heard a voice. A clear, high pitched voice like a woman’s whispering in his ear. He turned his head, looked around but there was no one and the words he heard weren’t something he could understand. He felt like he was in a hurry, he’d need to leave. Go somewhere, but he had no clue where. Something was pulling him away. He was just being homesick, or that was what he thought at the moment about it as the idea of returning his birth home passed his mind again. He slowed his horse down, as just to make sure he wouldn’t leave. He couldn’t do that to the only family he had had for years.

“Did you hear that?”, Lyam asked Verrill as they rode side by side and Verrill turned to his way shaking his head for a no.

“You need some sleep”, Verrill said sounding absent-minded. It all weighed him down, and Lyam could see that. The young man still stayed silent, Verrill would need some time to get his head around everything that had happened and would talk if he’d want to do so.

As they returned the city Lyam could feel eyes on his back, but couldn’t figure out who could be watching him. There wasn’t anyone there for miles away, except him, Verrill in his own thoughts and the few town guards. He still couldn’t shake the feeling there was someone there.

 

To be continued…

The previous parts you can find HERE.

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