The Prequel, Chapter Fifty-Seven

Alexander was up before the sun. He hadn't been able to get any sleep at all. Shoving his most important belongings into a haversack, Alexander glanced around the room. He was leaving all his other excess belongings behind. It wasn't like he needed them, anyways.

There would be no use telling anyone goodbye. Clarence and Marla were better off without him, Pastor Follows would likely be relieved at his absence, and all the other members of the congregation probably wouldn't miss him at all. And there was no way Alexander was going to say goodbye to Miriam and Shaliste. If he did, he would break down. And if he broke down, then there was no telling where he'd end up. In a tavern, likely as not.

Mounting his horse, Alexander recounted his money. He'd certainly have plenty for the way home, with a good amount left over. He'd never entrusted his money to a bank, so Alexander had all of it with him.

Urging his horse onward, Alexander took one last look at his surroundings before fixing his eyes on the road and only the road. 

The journey was hard, especially on horseback. Alexander stopped rather frequently along the way, taking a ludicrous amount of time to get back. What should have taken him no more than a week and a half took him almost a month. There was only one purpose for his lollygagging, and it was to delay his homecoming for as long as he possibly could.

Just a few miles from his hometown, Alexander stopped and simply sat. How was he going to approach his parents? Would he knock on their door? Or would he wait around town and wait for word to get around to them that their prodigal son had returned?

Alexander rode into town. It was the early afternoon. Thomas Hale would be treating patients, no doubt. What right did Alexander have to interrupt his business?

No right. But Alexander had to do it, anyways.

Alexander's heart really began to flurry when he was just moments from his home. There it was, sitting as unassumingly on the same hill. Not that he'd expected it to move or anything, but...and there was the "liquor tree," where Alexander had stored his stash so long ago. He wondered if there was any left. He hoped not, and he knew he'd better not check.

"Well, here goes nothing," Alexander murmured to himself. He tied his horse to the fence and approached the front door. He knocked once, twice, three times.

The door opened.

The End

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