Far from them, hundreds of miles away, years back in time. Those memories still lived on in Lyam’s mind. That night after visiting his old home, burned down on the ground, he sat down in his room in front of a small wooden table. He had been moved to the same inn, where Verrill and Denisa had been living for few days, as he had gotten better. They still didn’t know what had happened or why, maybe they never would, but that was something everyone just had to live with. The memories from the night of the attack were fuzzy to all of the survivors but something else had gotten clearer on the way. It wasn’t the same for all of them, but neither of them could just shake it off.
Verrill lied in his bed, staring at the ceiling. It was quiet, some of the chatter down stairs leaked from between the floor boards, but it wasn’t something that would bother him. He had pulled his pillow foot or two lower so he could still have his boots on while laying down. His feet hung over from the bedside and he had tugged his arms under his head for additional support. And all he could think of was safety.
Even though no one saw it, he was mixed up due to what had happened. Every creak made his heart beat faster, and it wasn’t like him. He closed his eyes for a moment only to open them again. He couldn’t sleep. Actually he hadn’t slept after what had happened, only few hours here and there. No matter how much he wished he could return to their home, build it up again, he knew that he’d have to take his sister to somewhere safer. He felt cold all the time and sleep deprivation made him even more jumpy. He couldn’t stay there.
Lyam opened the bottle of ink that was set down on the table. The cork was stuck a bit, so he had to use more force to get it open and in the process he spilled some of the ink on a pile of paper, which the innkeeper had brought in his room. It didn’t matter. He grabbed the quill and dipped it in the ink that was left in the bottle. Then he let the tip touch the paper. At first he didn’t know what to write. How to start. And it left another stain on the paper, but after the dam opened the words poured like a stream on the paper.
Denisa walked back and forth in another room. She had a hairbrush on her hand and once in a while she stroke her locks few times. Then she reached for the door knob but pulled her hand back, turned around and fled to the other side of the room. Only to do it all over again.
“Get yourself together”, she told herself and looked into the mirror. She pulled her hair over her left shoulder and put down the brush. She braided her hair and faked a smile, even though it didn’t look like it normally did. She was too nervous, yet she had to do it. It might be now or never. So she would take her chances, as she had made up her mind.
Denisa straightened her skirt and walked to the door, opened it and stepped outside, on the hallway. She knew where to go and didn’t even think about it, just letting her feet do the work. As she stood outside the door, she took a long breath and knocked. It took a moment but then the door creaked open.
“Um… Hi”, she said trying not to stutter, “Hope I’m not bothering you.”