Previous: Soup and Secrets, Part Two

 

The following day, Hazel, Holly, Hemlock, and Hawthorn were back on the road in the rattling carriage. Tum sat with the driver. He had made quite the fuss in leaving the comforts of the cellar of the Backwards Buck. But for all his howling, he didn’t want to be left behind.

Ada had directed them to the nearest township she knew of, though she had warned them to be on guard. No one she knew ever traveled to the few scattered towns outside of Sarnum, and she didn’t know what to expect. She had heard rumors though, even though she refused to repeat what she had heard. She just warned them to be wary, and that was it.


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Technically I’m on vacation. It’s not a traveling kind of vacation, but rather a sit-around-and-be-lazy-and-do-things-you-didn’t-have-time-for-before vacation. Which, for me, means I’m dedicating most of my time to these three things:

1.) I’m playing Skyrim. Again. (Any Skyrim fans out there?) But this time I’ve installed survival-type mods that change the experience of the game somewhat. I’m having a ridiculously good time with it, especially considering this is around my fourth time through (only completed the main story on one play-through though).


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Previous: Soup and Secrets, Part One

 

Holly glanced at Hazel and Hemlock, shrugged, then followed Hawthorn back inside the soup shop.

Hazel stared at them until they disappeared.

Hemlock, without looking at her, said, “What just happened?”

Hazel shook her head. “I have no idea. But maybe we should follow them inside?”

Hemlock continued to stare outwards before his gaze slowly shifted to her. “What?”


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Previous: Archived Amity

 

They returned to the carriage and traveled across town to cramped little district where the buildings were built too closely together, which seemed to sag with the weight of years pressing upon them. So Hazel was surprised when the carriage slowed and then stopped, and even more when Hawthorn hopped out without so much a backwards glance at them. He strode into a rickety looking establishment with a sagging roof and wooden walls blackened with pitch that gave off a slightly burnt and pungent smell.

Hazel, Holly, and Hemlock followed him. Inside, the burnt smell was replaced with pleasing aromas of roasting meat, onions, and herbs. The walls were spared the pitch treatment from the outside, and the naked wooden walls were adorned only with pots of herbs and trailing vines that supplied a rather homely feel.


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Previous: A Breath Before Dawn

 

Breakfast was a prolonged and uncomfortable ordeal. Between Hawthorn demanding his bacon fried to a certain level of crunchiness and a particular blend of tea brewed for a particular length of time, it was amazing they got any food at all judging by the looks the innkeeper gave them. It just about all went out the window when Holly began insisting on hot water to bathe Chester in. By the time she sufficiently convinced the innkeeper that, yes, the water was for a mouse and, no, she did not want him eradicated, they were receiving suspiciously scornful glances by everyone in the common room and Hazel just wanted to hurry up and get out of there.

But still they sat there, Holly poking at her lumpy porridge and sulking. “How hard is it to heat up water. I do it all the time. It’s not hard.”


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