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Picking up her pace Sarah strode forward to the fire. Only the women were down here now, with the exception of Sparrow. Princess Allmarah, Harriet, Katherine and her babe were all sitting by Tralee. Sarah gave them a half-hearted smile. Glances were all she got, though there was a half smile from Katherine. Sarah served herself and moved to the other side of the cavern. She knew when she wasn’t wanted, not to mention she wanted to be alone right now.

Jason might be close to her mentally, but she wished he was here physically. She needed a friend. Someone who would understand that she hadn’t grown up in this world; that her world was completely different. Someone who knew she hadn’t meant any disrespect by climbing the Dogwood, Godwood, she corrected herself. Sighing she smiled slightly, at least the Great-Grand Moyther had understood. Sarah suddenly snorted. The Gods would be named Adam and Eve.

Scout Smith? Jason broke into her thoughts.

Yes Sergeant? She asked, annoyed he was being formal again.

Did Sparrow order Charles to make an anatomically correct snowman?

Uh, no, Sarah stated. You found the snowman?

Charles and Kevin were still working on it. I have sent them back to you with ten others. We will await you at the road.

But, what if... Sarah started to mention her question to the Goddess.

Sarah, his voice was stern even if he was using her name. We cannot wait for the Gods to have the time to do such things for us.

Yes, Sergeant Phoenix, she grumbled, rising from her seated position.

Finding Sergeant Sparrow and the others wasn’t as hard as Sarah had thought. They had dragged many logs from the woods and had begun to erect the bare bones of a shelter where she had shoveled snow.  The sergeant caught sight of Sarah and rose from her work to intercept her.

“Sergeant Sparrow,” Sarah spoke before Sparrow could. “I have news from Sergeant Phoenix.” Sparrow nodded for her to continue. “Phoenix found Charles and Kevin and is sending them back with ten men to escort us back to the road.”

Sparrow grunted. Handing Sarah a rope, she sent her down the tracks the logs had made to bring more in. Apparently, Sarah wasn’t being allowed to play with others right now. The tracks led her to the river’s edge. There were a couple piles of old logs. Sarah picked one up and realized it had been a fence post. She looked about her again. The trees here were younger than the woods they had traveled through to get here.

Looking back the way she came, Sarah could tell that long ago it had once been a road. She looked back to the river where the road ran into it. Here the water was no longer rushing by, but lazily passed through a widened area. Beneath the waters, Sarah figured, was the town that Ryan had mentioned. The peace out here slowly chipped away her bad mood as she wondered how long ago the river had changed course. The fence railing seemed in better shape than anything else and Sarah wondered if they’d been preserved in some manner.

Sarah gave her head a shake and undid the rope Sparrow had handed her. Collecting about five logs, Sarah bundled them into a triangle of sorts. Then, after harnessing them to herself, Sarah began the trek back to the Temple. She passed James on the way back. He nodded to her but said nothing. After dropping of her load, Sparrow sent her back for more.

Back and forth, Sarah traveled twice. The sun had begun to set as she returned with her last load. When she arrived, there were a lot more people there than there had been. Kevin helped her unload. They stepped back as tent canvas was tied to the frame. It was a low ceiling dwelling and Sarah wondered if they would all fit underneath it. As it was, it still looked drafty, but it centered around the fireplace so as long as they got enough heat from that, it should be no issue.

When it was apparent that her help was no longer needed Sarah slipped away. Passing under the Willows, she stopped at the Godwood. She felt the strongest urge to climb it again, but that wouldn’t do anything for getting back into Sparrow’s good grace. Instead, Sarah went and laid a hand upon the rough bark of the trunk. She asked the Gods once more for the porting of the wounded and the Princess to Vervell. She didn’t even care if it was Verdas, just so long as they were ported out of enemy lands, away from the bitter cold mountains. Leaves rustled about her as if they were trying to say something.

“I know, I know,” Sarah sighed, “I shouldn’t ask for such things. I should be helping people to get home.”

Turning from the Godwood, she was startled to see Lady Miriam. The look of concern on the young woman’s face was worrying.

“Is there, is there a warlock with us?” she asked as Sarah moved to her.

“Why?” Sarah asked trying to remember exactly what warlock meant here.

Get Kevin, Jason ordered.

“Well Tralee,” Lady Miriam wrung her hands, “she’s not getting better and baby Brian,” Sarah could hear the wails of the infant now, “he’s not well either.”

Nodding to Lady Miriam, Sarah turned around to find Kevin. He and Sparrow were talking. Hastily apologizing she told them Lady Miriam’s concern. With a curt nod from Sparrow, Kevin was off. Placing a hand upon her shoulder Sparrow led Sarah from the rest of the group, who were still working on the shelter.

“I understand you’re homesick,” Sparrow told her, “which can lead to poor decisions. I expect you understand what is required for you to do?”

“I think so...” Sarah began.

“Good.” Sparrow smiled. “Go help Charles with dinner preparation.”

The End

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