Willow Bark and WorriesMature

The morning came quickly to the little room. Dawn was woken by deacon, he sat up and groaned quietly as the headache bit at his mind still.

The doorway that had vanished the evening before slid open silently. Lou stood and the others followed him quickly. Dawn didn’t see any of the Shedu as they left the glassy city, he silently hoped he would never see one again as the conversation from the night before entered his aching head.


Dawn didn’t notice that the others had stopped outside the city as he watched his feet walking steadily. It was Deacon who stopped him with a small hand wrapped around Dawn's wrist.

“Hey,” the little daemon smiled as Dawn looked up at him, “we've been walking for hours I think we’re stopping here.” Dawn looked back to see the group of daemons watching the two of them.

“Are you okay?” Amelia asked as Lou waved his hand a small campfire sprung up in the centre of the circle of daemons.

“Fine” Dawn said automatically.

“I'm fine, Dawn” a voice echoed in his head he frowned.

“It’s just a headache.” He didn’t mention the voice as the others settled down.

“I have some food.” Van Hay said his deep voice made Dawn shiver pleasantly the silver teeth turned it into a shudder.

“I have tea” Amelia said rooting through her bag as Van Hay pulled out a paper bag with dried beef, a wrapped block of cheese and a loaf of bread, that was a little battered from its travels. Amelia pulled out a bag of tea leaves and a few herb bundles, Berith smiled and pulled a small camp kettle from her own pack and set about making tea.

Amelia began sorting through the muslin wrapped bundles of herbs, occasionally she sniffed one.

“Willow bark” she handed it to Dawn “just put the bag in your tea when it’s ready.” He frowned at the small bag in his hand. “It’ll help your headache.” Lou smiled as he stirred the pot on the small fire. Dawn nodded and turned the parcel over in his fingers then he sniffed it and quickly dropped it onto the dusty ground.

“Dawn?” deacon said, worried.

Dawn didn’t respond his brown eyes moved watching something the others couldn’t see.

“Take over.” Lou said firmly passing the spoon to Van Hay he stood up and gently pulled Dawn to his feet. With Lou guiding his son they walked away from the fire. “Dawn?” he said as they walked but his son still didn’t respond. Lou carried on walking in a wide circle around the campfire. The others watched the water in the pot bubbling away as much as they wanted to turn and watch Lou and Dawn, they didn’t even Rossier, as he rolled a handmade cigarette, was quiet.


Dawn felt his legs moving and saw grey sand and a greyer sky on the horizon, he looked up at the darkening sky.

“Lou?” he said noticing the daemon beside him. The big daemons arm was wrapped around his back keeping him upright.

“Are you back with us?” Lou smiled he stopped propelling Dawn forward and slowly took his arm back.

“Where did I go?” Dawn frowned at the odd question.

“I don’t know.” Lou smiled “but you certainly went somewhere.”

“That smell.” Dawn said remembering the sharp tang of the willow bark.

“It is a popular painkiller in Paradise” Lou said laying his hand on Dawn shoulder, Dawn nodded.

“I don’t think I want my memories back” he said Lou frowned slightly puzzled.

“Any reason?”

“So far the few ridiculously small ones I have mean nothing or are violent.” Dawn sighed “or they're just people I don’t know.” Lou patted Dawn's shoulder thoughtfully.

“You’ll get there” he said gently “and many of your memories will be happy ones” Dawn sighed.

“In some ways that’s even worse.” He said Lou nodded.
“I know what you mean.”

“I think the drinks are ready.” Dawn said trying to change the subject as he saw Van Hay sharing out a few metal cups. Lou sighed knowing that his son was struggling but not wanting annoy the potentially volatile daemon, he nodded.

“If you need to speak to me about anything, no matter how small, just say so” Dawn nodded.

“Okay” he mumbled, as they walked back to the fire Dawn didn’t notice the troubled look on his fathers face. 

The End

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