Chapter 8 p.2

Shem never acknowledged Mara through breakfast, and continued to ignore her the rest of the day as he did various chores near the hut and in the village, ostensibly to keep a leash on Brynn. As far as he was concerned, Mara was little more than a shadow that was haunting his foundling daughter. Mara never saw his son that day, but kept herself occupied talking to and working alongside Brynn. The girl was never still, but always hopping and humming like an agitated sparrow. At one point, she hopped so close to the wall that her wildly fluffy hair got snarled in the vines, and Mara had to help extract her, now being careful to not touch another person again. If I had known that touching someone alive let me see their memories in the first place I would have been more careful. That would have been nice information to tell me before I left, Joshua.

Mara, for her part, was secretly relieved to be treated as a ghost. It made being around people for the first time in three and a half hundred years less exhausting. Brynn was the only other person that lived in the hut who spoke to her, in brief spurts, as she danced around doing this or that. There was a smile on her face, but Mara had seen too much of her memories to be fooled by the smile. Brynn was unhappy, and the slight quiver at the corners of her mouth, the stiffened movements of her hips as she danced gave her away. The day passed in that tense half-silence between the three of them, Shem keeping an eye on his flight-prone commodity, Brynn putting on a brave face, and Mara tersely wondering what it was that she was supposed to do.

  The next three days passed in the same manner, and on the morning of the fourth, Shem finally set out on his boat once more. Mara and Brynn saw Shem and his son off from the shore, as Mara secretly sent Kaze with them to be the most favorable wind that they've had in years. For all his silence, Shem was still her willing  host, and Mara was determined to repay that kindness.


The End

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