[This post is from Thomas Merlin Ambrose’s point of view.]
As I approached, no one really looked at me—all of them seemed far more intent on what they were doing. I could hear my uncle’s voice from the wall, but I didn’t see him right away. The sentries up in the watchtowers didn’t give me even a single glance, their gazes and aims pointed out toward what had always been called the killing fields beneath the walls. Even my parents’ journals called them that, as uncomfortable as it seemed to make them to make the reference.
Still, it’s hard to deny something so true. There had been more than a few battles fought on the grounds before the walls, enough that every few years, Phelan, my mother, my aunt, and Uncle J.T. would walk the ground before the walls, meter by meter, cleansing and sending any of the lingering dead. After my mother was gone, Neve had taken her place, though I always got the sense that it went hard on her—though I’d never asked her why. It just seemed wrong to bring it up.
Last time when I’d watched, Phelan had hinted that he’d be teaching me how to do it the next time around. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, either.
But then, Angie had warned me it might be so before she’d left a few years ago. With her gone, I was the next logical choice for Phelan to train—something she’d known long before I’d realized what it meant.
Everyone up on the wall was armed, I realized as I drew closer—everyone except for Kailey. I didn’t see Tory or Anne, which meant either they hadn’t made it back inside the walls or they’d been sent below with the others.
Neither instance quite made sense, but I supposed their absence depended on where they were when the alarm sounded. If they were out in the far fields, or minding the flocks, it might have been that they were too far.
Still…I had a bad feeling.
So what else is new?
Nothing—at least not yet.