Sixteen – 01

[This post is from Bryant Tapping’s point of view.]

It wasn’t yet dawn, the village still quiet.  He wasn’t sure how long he’d been sitting outside the door of their guest cottage, his back pressed against the painted wood.  Bryant’s gaze remained unfocused as he stared blankly out into the unfamiliar darkness, unable to sleep.  Behind him, the cottage was dark, his friends long since gone to sleep—or so he hoped.  It wouldn’t have surprised him at all if Issy was laying awake, or worse, curled in a chair next to David’s bed.

He’d hoped making it to relative safety would mean that his friend slept.  He was starting to suspect that it was a vain hope.

Nice of me to hope she’d sleep, though, when I can’t even find rest myself.

He suppressed the urge to shake his head at himself there in the darkness.  He’d barely seen a hint of movement since coming out here.  It was, he guessed, maybe an hour or so before dawn.  Torches flickered out closer to the gates and the wall, though the sentries on duty were as silent as a tomb.  Even the wind had died away, leaving trees still in the night air.  Even as peaceful as it was, something had him on edge—and that something had nothing to do with the fact that they were among strangers.

They did seem to believe us, though.  That must account for something.  Bryant closed his eyes, tilting his head back.  I wonder if any of them thought this day would come eventually.  Maybe the Taleisin did.  That part wouldn’t have surprised him.  The stories that Aoife had told—the stories that Gray had remembered and repeated time and again—suggested a much deeper history and deeper meaning.  While he wasn’t sure exactly how much he believed them, he believed in the conviction behind the words.

And he believed in the prophecy embedded in those tales, just like they all did.  It was what had set them on this road into the unknown in the first place, hoping that they’d find the key to a promised better tomorrow.

He just hoped they were right about all of it.

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