Chapter Six: The City on the Hill (2)Mature

Flight was a peculiar experience.  Seymour was not entirely sure that he liked it.  The carriage did not glide well, but dipped and rose in time with the beating of the horses’ wings.  He wasn’t sickened by it, but it was certainly jarring.

            He extended his legs as far as he could—partially bent, they still reached to the bench facing him—and looked out the window.  Below, Brysail retreated into a patchwork of farmland, appearing now to be a city constructed for ants.  The Murkintir River became a sparkling brown trickle, snaking its way toward the Pendient Sea, now visible as a silver line on the horizon.

            He was impressed at first, a rare condition for him, but soon he grew bored.  The farmland gave way to thick, dark forests that marched on in all directions.  There was still a river below them, but it was the Waelyngar, not the Murkintir.  Aside from that, it all looked the same from up here.

            Seymour closed his eyes and tried to sleep.

            He couldn’t.  Not with the jerking of the carriage.  Not with the sun streaming through the window and hitting him full in the face.  Not while seated in such an uncomfortable position.

            These were the excuses he gave, at least, excuses that might hide the real reason that he couldn’t sleep. 

            Because he wasn’t drunk.

            He needed to be drunk in order to sleep.

            This thought crossed his mind uninvited, and he shook his head sharply as if to dislodge it.  It stuck fast.

            Damn it, Seymour de Winter, he scolded himself.  You can’t keep this up.

            He didn’t want to think about it.

            Mountains rose on the horizon; great grey behemoths dusted with snow.  The forest crawled up their sides, then tapered off in triangular points.

            “How much longer?” he inquired.

            “Two hours,” Alasdair MacQuarrie replied.  “We’re nearly halfway there.”

            “I’m bored,” Seymour informed him.  “Shall we review the plan?”

The End

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