Page 13

The first rune he grabbed was a stone in the shape of a disk. Cut into its surface was a cross extended past the edges of a circle. His second choice was a triangular cut stone. The symbol inscribed was four dots in the shape of a square. He glanced at the others undecidedly, he needed to know what they all meant after he returned from the Mog Brush; it was an oath taken silently as he packed his belongings.

Balamor put the runes into a separate pocket in his pack along with his flask, and threw it over his shoulders. He snatched a piece of paper from the drawer before closing it lightly. Grabbing the ink pen to his left he began writing a note to Barris, briefly mentioning he was going south to Anstia. He finished quickly, leaving the note on the desk before he walked to the end of his bed and opened a short wooden trunk. Snatching out a small hunting knife and sheath, Balamor quickly attached it to his belt before removing a bedroll and strapping it to his pack. The trunk was shut softly as Balamor rose to his feet and started for the door.

Each step was taken softly as he moved to the door and turned the handle with both of his hands. He guided the door open; its hinges creaked with each slight nudge. The cold of the hallway crept up his legs, standing his hairs straight. He left the door ajar, not risking waking Barris in the room across the hall. His strides were slow and long as his legs permitted, it was minutes before he reached the kitchen.

The cold tiles numbed his feet as he advanced toward the large oak door. His frigid hands grasped the brass handle and turned it slowly. The pins clinking free as he progressed, each of them amplified by his shaken nerves. The door released from the frame as Balamor snuck behind it, shutting it lightly as he could.

He walked onto his porch, damp from a light fog which lay amidst the Raehl. He flipped his hood over his brow before leaving down the stairs. Although his muscles were tense from the cold air, he walked quickly through the small village without turning back. The sun would be up in a matter of minutes along with his father. Thankfully most of the village was still sound asleep leaving few to witness his departure. The farmers were tending to their small fields of wheat as Balamor strolled by, only glancing at the hooded figure before returning to their crops.

He traveled through the town silently, his feet pressing against the moist dirt and grass below. He reached the edge of the wide dirt path where a wooden archway stood over him, ivory wrapped itself through the intricate design consuming it slowly. Balamor paused to look back at his village, unsure if he should return, unsure if he would even have a choice. A sigh broke the silence as he traveled to the bridge crossing the river.

His feet pushed against the wooden planks of the rope bridge, each one worn with age. Some of them cracked, broken or missing completely. Halfway across Balamor felt the waters splashing up at his legs. Frequently his hands gripped the ropes of the bridge as it began to shake from heavy gusts of wind.

The End

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