"West it is then. Though surely North would be better." Zeb stated matter-of-factly. He wasn't about to argue with John though, not so soon after he'd lost Fidelia. He knew it would be a bad move. 

"Just to the next village," John stated, "There's someone there I want to check on. Just eight and a half miles away." He looked towards his father at this point, sighing as he saw the old man's sullen face in the dim light.

"Annabelle, my aunt. I must check, if only for father," He whispered so his father couldn't hear him. "They haven't spoken for years, but we always knew where she was, so we could keep an eye, you know?"

Zeb nodded silently, understanding a little more each time John spoke. He had been by this man's side fighting for five long years, and had known him even longer; yet he never knew him. That was beginning to change...Slowly. 

They were relatively safe in the hide, yet they took turns to watch anyway. Cobb had been up first. He was a younger member of John's squad, yet still as sullied by war as the rest of them. Dusk was the hardest time to see; Cobb had taken that watch due to his excellent rifleman skills. He could shoot the feather from a hat at a mile away and not even flinch. 

Cobb was his last name; he was also called John; thus it was easier to call him by such. 

"Cobb, you bugger, come and sleep a while. We move at dawn," John called quietly, "Besides it's my watch now." He stood up as he spoke removing the pistol that he'd sent his son and father with, from the makeshift holster in his belt.

Cobb nodded with a slight sigh of relief, he'd slept but three hours in as many days and sleep was a welcomed thing.

"Jus' don't go shootin' them Bummers before I'm awake again yeah? I got an itchy trigger finger you know." Cobb said in his gruff voice, not fitting for a man of his age. John and Zeb nodded with a slight grin, as Cobb settled down.

"Alkirk!," John shouted suddenly, startling the entire hide, "That's what the damn village is called." Quieting down, he smiled; proud that he had remembered. He looked toward his father wondering if he'd realised why they were going there. The old man seemed to be sound asleep so John returned his full attention to the watch.

His eyes darted toward the horizon, where in the moonlight he could see figures,  one hunched as though limping and the other two trying to hold the third upright. They were dressed in basic rags. 

"Zeb, ready a stretcher!" 

The End

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