Friday, September 11, 2015

The King's Challenge #43

TKC 43

A part of the cliff does collapse, but we do not see it. We hear it after from another. Normur is effectively emptied. As the rain continues, folk huddle together for warmth to the east of the city.

Those who intended to walk south to the fort, begin to do so despite violent protestations from the city fathers. They, however, have no authority beyond the precincts, and know it.

I feel sorry for the bedraggled clutch of rich people apart from the old and infirm who choose to stay behind. I feel even sorrier for the old and infirm, for they will be ordered to mop up a city which will be as a ghost town.

Attis is with us. We stand together watching men, women and children begin the long march, most with only what they are wearing.

The old mapmaker comes to a halt beside us. “The younger men returned to the city for items we may need,” he whispers. “They will raid certain … places. Can I ask that you keep that lot occupied until they get away again?”

Damin grins down at the old man. “Consider it a pleasure.”

The mapmaker touches Damin’s arm and goes on walking. I wonder if he will reach the fort; he is very old. Perhaps others will carry him.

Damin prods Attis. “Go with them. We will catch up to you soon.”

The boy pulls a face, but he does as bid. He, at least, came prepared, although his pack may soon drag him under, it appears that weighty.

Both Damin and I have our small packs. We tend to keep it with us at all times.

Lightning abruptly forks the air to smash into the earth between the rich and the others. I hear someone whisper the gods are awake.

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