Guarded


  • Baron

    But even in the guarded palisade of their new friends, Adam could not rest. He had sung the lullaby earlier with Radish, sending the little golem straight to sleep. However, he had been awoken by the sudden stinging of his glowing scars, preventing his slumber. He had been pacing for hours, occasionally sitting, in the small cabin the fish people had provided them. He had thought about attempting the lullaby once more, but each time he began the attempt his scars would ache once more. After several hours, Adam left the cabin.

    The night was crisp and cold, the air only moved by the barest of breezes. Some torches and candles lit the palisade, where few guards patrolled. The weapons of the fish people had made Adam doubt their kindness, but trusting his instinct (or naivety) had evidently been the correct choice. The hills and mountains were shadowed, silhouetted only by the lightening sky.

    Yet, even in the relief of the open air, Adam’s pain did not fade. It only grew as he gazed out at the gullies. The constant throbbing across his body reached a crescendo as his eyes fell on a pair of yellow lights in the gloom, near the summit of one of the surrounding foothills. The wolf stared back, its eyes flickering from sickening yellow to a far darker shade of violet.

    Adam froze with shock. Even here, in the midst of what should be safety, a new beginning, the shadows of his past haunted him. It was overwhelming, everything rushing back, his defenses shattered. He felt as though he was being squeezed, his vision tunneling.

    You cannot escape.

    A loud thwap reverberated from behind Adam. An arrow shaft suddenly sprouted from the wolf’s shoulder and it yowled in pain before quickly retreating back into the undergrowth.

    The spell upon Adam was broken, his body released from the pressure. He turned, seeing the silent guard who had escorted them with Fionn and Nial. The guard nodded at Adam, shrugging the bow it carried back onto its shoulder. Adam gestured his thanks, reaching his hand out. The fish person hesitated, then took it, grasping one of Adam’s massive fingers. Releasing its hand, the guard gestured back at the cabin. Adam entered the cabin even as the sky lightened. The pain from his old wounds had receded, granting him relief. Adam waited for the sun to rise, watching Radish’s eyes flicker as he slept. Taking his son into his arms, Adam began to hum, rumbling a deep melody as Radish opened his eyes to the rise of the sun.


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