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Barris slipped the necklace into his trousers pocket before he turned around to face his niece, who he hadn’t seen in years. He nicknamed her “Marie” though her full name, Marigold, was just as simple. She gave him a curious stare with two shabby mugs in hand. Wearing a red buttoned up corselet, a white blouse and gray skirt, stood a maturing young woman, which only made Barris feel older than. Long strawberry blonde hair brushed against her freckled cheeks as she handed a small ceramic mug to her uncle, black coffee steamed in the cold air of dawn.

“I do not seek any refuge in this repugnant hill of a town.”

“Well, what about your caravan? What’s in there?” Marigold said being nosy.

“They’re things. I am taking them to someone.”

“Oh, what kind of things uncle? Sweet things? Fun things?” She asked.

Barris saw where the conversation was headed and was quick to end it,

“Where’s your mother?” He deflected.

“She’s right here.” Resounded a woman’s voice through an open window. Marigold sneered at him and pulled the door open by its centered knob.

Stepping through the circular doorway wearing a pastel floral dress beneath a blue buttoned bodice, the petite hobbit wrapped an apron around her waist and looked at Barris. Her red hair was covered by a blue headscarf and her green eyes glared into those of Barris. She was younger than him than him by four summers, making her thirty nine, but to Barris she looked no different than the last time he’d seen her.

“Marigold dear, why don’t you go inside while I speak to your Uncle.” She said in a soft tone of voice. Marigold glanced towards the caravan outside before fleeing behind the door and pushing it shut.

“And so after eight years you finally missed the lovely gardens?”

“Hardly.” He said with a smile, a long pause ensued. She approached the railing and looked out into the small hill town as the sun was rising.

“So you pull a caravan now?” She asked.

Barris nodded and sipped his coffee before palming the hot surface of his mug with the other hand. He stared into the swirling black brew and became lost in his thoughts making the silence disturbing.

“Why are you here Barris?” She quickly demanded.

The End

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