Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chapter Eighty-Four



Why could I not keep my mouth shut?! Blasted kidnappers. Blasted horse. And blasted me for not waking when the animal pulled away and wandered off. It must have happened well before I awoke as the beast is nowhere in sight and I've looked. I even made a fool of myself scrambling up on a pile of boulders – tearing a both sleeve and skirt in the process – to try and see over or around this god-forsaken landscape.

Although Nat would likely berate me for saying such a thing. There is not a place on this earth that is truly God-forsaken, not as I mean it. I am merely projecting my own feelings of being forsaken and even that is just me feeling sorry for myself. Rather hard not to under these circumstances however. Still, I must stop such nonsense because it serves no purpose except as a hilarity for Himself Down Below.

Let me be honest with myself. I cannot sit around waiting for someone to rescue me. I have no idea where I am so it is highly unlikely that anyone else does either ... even the Borderlanders that kidnapped me in the first place. I cannot count on anyone being able to gather enough forces to hunt for me as I don't know what the outcome to the battle was at Linderhall ... or frankly that there even was a battle as I did not witness one by sight or sound. More fool me for not fighting Ronald Nealy more. I would blame being drugged but that’s not excuse enough to have taken leave of my senses to that extent.

And damn the old Borderlander for being right about there being those I thought were friends that were in fact enemies. How many more will I run into? Was not Tosha enough? And how many have paid because I did not make the connections to truth earlier? What of the fate of poor Tosha and the rest of the family? Yes, I even include The Linder in that though it pains me to do so.

I hesitate to even wonder at the Sheriff’s fate. Oh I do not worry that he is an enemy, he risked too much that tore his own heart and peace asunder to take my part, but I worry that ... No, I will not think the man paid the ultimate price for taking my part. I will NOT allow myself to think it. But ... but the blood. On the other hand Ronald Nealy was truly worried about something. If I had walked his shoes I would have been worried about the Sheriff. If my reckoning is right while he does not make enemies easily, those he does should step lightly for the rest of their time on earth.

Though in truth Ronald Nealy’s choice of fate … no, I will not go over that horror again. Suffice it for me to admit that sometimes the road we choose to travel takes us places we never wanted to go and disillusionment can be horrific. Even if by some miracle the man is found and survives his catastrophic wounds I believe that his mind will be as excised as his flesh and that Ronald Nealy for all intents and purposes has ceased to exist. God forgive me but perhaps it is better for all if the angels take him if they haven't already.

And Nat. He lay so quietly. I was unable to wake him. Did the angels take him? I did not tell him good bye. Will he, like the rest of my true family, simply be gone from me with no warning? Must I live with yet one more death of such a dear one? No. I cannot believe that he will have to pay for my existence. Nor the Elders. Please God be merciful and watch over them all even if I am not to see them again in this life. Give me that Comfort at least.

I see no alternative, I must at least try to get to a better situation. I have found no water here and I must admit to being parched. Perhaps it is that that affects me so that I cannot seem to shake this depression. Wood is nonexistent as well even if I did wish to expend the energy to hunt the small animals that I have caught glimpses of. Perhaps they are like the forest animals during the cold months, they exist on the grasses and roots of small plants trying to make a go of it in the craggy recesses for I see no other way for them to survive.

I am also not certain even if I did hunt them and had a way to cook them that it is the healthiest activity to engage in. I have no way to ascertain if they are corrupted or have been feeding on corrupted vegetation. It is always a worry of course but certainly less so in domesticated stocks or animals of the deep forest further in Tentuckia. For all I know I could be in the corrupted depths of the Borderlands. Even if I do find my way out what future is there for me if it be so?

But as gray and lifeless as my hope feels I cannot give up. If not for myself I cannot leave others to wonder at my fate if there is a chance to make it known. And I have a responsibility to try and warn the Linders – if they still hold their status – that a corruption is deep within even their closest confidants and that the choices they now face are going to be as hard as those that came during and immediately after the Destruction itself.

So I must rescue myself though the task seem monumental. No wild sources of food and no water means I must travel by other than daylight, at least until I reach a better environment. Trying to travel in the heat of the day with no water is surely a death sentence. I shall rest here for a few hours more but as soon as the sun begins to set I will take up my pack and head east. I am not sure what I will find on my way but with God's blessing it will be better than what I have before me now.

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