~ The Singing ~ pg 5

With little sun left to see by, Fiora quickly slipped out of her tunic and trousers, walking into the chilled waters in her bare skin. She had to admit, as cold as it was, it felt glorious to be cleansed of the day’s dust. The soap smelled of honeysuckle and lavender and she used it liberally to scrub away the aches of her muscles. Only when she shivered blue from the cold did she step out onto the bank. The air felt warm against her skin in contrast and Fiora groaned aloud at the freedom she felt to hear the whispers of the wind on her whole body. The leather was so confining, suffocating even! She promised herself that she would only wear it when necessary from now on. 

As the wind dried her skin and hair, a new thrill filled her. The wind brought back word. Horses were approaching! Civyl had returned! With her hair still damp, she shrugged into the night dress and shoved everything else back into the bag. She ran for the house shouting her joy. “Borris! Alex! They’re here!! Borris!”

She stopped in front of the house, her excitement dying on her lips as she realized her error. There were more than two horses… There were more than twenty horses! “Borris!” she screamed, this time in rising fear, “Alex! They’re here!!” Though she didn’t know who ‘they’ were or why they were ‘here’, something in her gut and in the whispers of the wind chilled her more deeply than the river had. 

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The smell of roasted tubers and boiled salt pork coaxed Alex down the stairs. He was relieved to find that Borris was the one who stood at cook stove and not the girl. Guilt rolled over him again at the way he lashed out at her but ever since he’d woken up holding her hand and not that of… – he couldn’t even think her name, it hurt too much – his mood had taken a sour turn. 

Borris, at least, seemed willing to let it rest and welcomed him with a warm smile and a heaping plate of hot food. “Come, brother, let us eat and forget we have any troubles in this world.” 

Alex nodded and took the plate bringing it to the table. “You seem in a good mood today,” he noted.

“Aye, brother. That I am.” He smiled wider but did not give reason for his gladness. Instead he sat with his own plate and busied himself with filling his belly. Alex was not one to pry, especially when it came to his little brother, and just joined him instead.

They’d gotten about halfway through their plates when the girl’s excited voice floated in through the windows.  “Borris! Alex! They’re here!! Borris!”

The End

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