~ The Rain ~ pg 8

The morning did not hold much promise. It had rained most of the night and still it poured. Alex had managed to extricate Chink and Borris from Margaret’s clutches long enough to send them into town with Demil on a mission for information. They came back with cloaks and long johns and maps of the landscape up to Enundale… but no information about what they might find beyond the mountain pass.

Alex found it downright disturbing that the last town before Enundale had nothing to say about what was on the other side. He had hoped to be able to pass it along to Fiora to aid in Civyl’s quest, but they had come back empty handed. “Does no one ever come through the pass?!” he asked in exasperation.

Chink shook his head looking just as unsettled. “None that seem to want to tell anyone else about it.”

“And none that go looking for information, either,” Borris pointed out. “At least none that ever come back.”

“The townsfolk aren’t even curious about it!” Demil raised his hands in defeat, “It’s like they don’t even notice the mountain is there until you ask of it.”

Alex raised an eyebrow. The observation got him thinking. “But have any of us ever given the mountain a second thought?” He looked hard at the three men he considered his brothers. “Think about it. Really think! Before meeting Civyl and Fiora when was the last time you remember talking about Mount Enundale?” Silence reigned among them as they tried to pinpoint the information in their memories.

Borris scratched his stubbly chin and was the first to respond. “Grammar school,” he said with a laugh. “And only because it was a marker on the map in geography.”

Demil frowned. “Never. Never talked of it, never asked of it, never even thought of it.” He paused, the crease in his brow deepening. “And yet… I knew what it was the moment Civyl mentioned it. I knew where it was, too. How could I have known that if I’d never spoken of it before?” He gave a shudder. “The very land is bewitched.”

Chink gave a shrug. “As far as anyone on this side of it is concerned, the pass is the edge of the world. An’ if you ask me, I think it a good thin’. Don’ none of us need to be goin’ any further.”

Alex found himself nodding with the rest of his brothers. Indeed, it gave his soul comfort to think that the end of their journey was the pass and then they’d be turning around. His heart grieved that he would be saying goodbye to Fiora there, but the tiny voice that tried to tell him he didn’t have to – that he could continue the journey with her – was so quiet he didn’t notice it. He didn’t even think to listen for it and that part of the land that held sway over him kept him from thinking it odd.

The End

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