Jenny: Sunsetting

Caleb had come down from patrol, his mount's flanks still heaving a bit from the run. "There is nothing to be seen," he had said, giving Ambrosius the salute; "but there is someone out there. You can feel eyes looking back at you. I did not much like staying out there long on my own."

The Guttersnipe could feel it herself. She was not sure if it was the eeriness of the dogs' baying - baying at nothing, baying at the warm feather of moon in the air - or if there really were eyes this close, watching her from across the distance. She narrowed her eyes and looked up the broken line of the valley toward the northwestern head. The western sky was barred with gold and orange under drapes of blue. In the stillness of the air the smoke from the torches lay low around them, shivering like a cloud of midges, blurring the glory of the sunset. Cyrus flung up his head, uneasy with the sound of the hounds, and the torchlight and sunset and whirling smoke made of him a wild thing, a twilight-thing, and Ambrosius was saying with a half-laugh,

"They are not known for skill with the bow, but watch for javelins. They will not break on us until full dark, so keep the torches burning high. Keep clear of the turf. Jason, are the mares ready?"

Glancing over, she caught Jason just rubbing his hands off on his tunic. "Yes, sir. They have each been rubbed down and should be ready." He looked each one over, blowing soft and long through clenched teeth. "I hope they have no need of it."

"Hope! but don't count on it," said Ambrosius wryly. Then he swung up on Cyrus, an obvious but inspiring figure, and gave them a general nod before urging his mount in the direction of the sprawling village.

This time tomorrow, the Guttersnipe thought, it will all be over.

1 comment:

Lilly said...

"It will all be differant tomorrow..." "We could both be dead..."

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