Taylor's Story

Most of the villagers payed no attention to him: many strangers had been coming from the woods lately in His work. But one little girl stared at him with all her might. He didn't look mean like the other ones. As he got closer, the girl noticed that he was tired and had a limp in his step. She stared around her and noticed no one paying too close of attention. So, picking a blanket up off the ground and a bit of the pig that had just been slaughtered, she creeped away from the fire and toward the stranger.

Taylor's sick feelings had passed but now she was sweating from something else entirely: fear.

The little girl reached the dark stranger and handed him the blanket and food. "Who are you?" she asked with all the innocence a four year old could have. He smiled at her.

"I'm here to make you safe," he told her before picking her up in his arms. She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck.

"I'm already safe. I'm safe here!" She pointed as she spoke. His eyes followed her finger to the fire, to the villagers, and beyond: to Peria itself. His gaze hardened.

Taylor wanted to stop typing. She felt sick again but this time it was from the words she read. They seemed so familiar. She could see the stranger as his gaze hardened; it had been the only time Rorgan let her see him like that. "No," she whispered to herself.

"Well, then, think of it as an adventure!" The little girl's eyes gleamed and she let go of his neck to clap her hands.

"A real adventure?" She asked. He nodded and she became excited. But then she hesitated. "But what about my family?" she asked sadly.

Taylor's tears fell onto her laptop's keyboard and she tried to make herself stop typing. Little flashes of memories jumped at her out of nowhere. The celebrations they had when they could eat meat, the great hunts He went on where there were great festivals, her mother...

"They'll forget you," he said silently. He put her down and let her look at her village. "You'll forget, too. But don't worry: you'll come back."

She looked up at him with absolute trusting eyes, "Do you promise?" He kissed her forehead and nodded. "And you'll never leave me?"

He smiled sorrowfully and whispered in her ear, "You will never miss me."

"No," she quietly murmered. It couldn't be true. She had memories of her fourth birthday party... Didn't she? They were vague but... No. She wasn't even paying attention to what she was typing, now. She didn't even realize she was still writing until she stopped. She glanced down and read the final words.

His smile was genuine now. "If we're going to be traveling together I should probably know what they call you here."

Her smile grew. "My name's Taylor!"

The End

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