Category Archives: Vindication

Changes

It was surprisingly easy, killing a man that is. His hammer had split the man’s head open and left him crumpled on the floor; Sameer and Millicent panting, stunned. It had been so easy, so inconsequential; and that’s what was scary.

“There, there wasn’t anything we could do… he attacked us,” Millie whispered, her words a distant echo.

There were specks of blood on his shirt and face. She hesitated between steps before she clutched his shoulder, causing him to jump.

“There wasn’t anything we could do right?” she asked in a wavering voice.

“No.”

But the question that resounded, and would be asked by those who found out was, why? Why had  he attacked the two? And what happened just before he struck out, his face contorted and shifting; was it just his imagination?

“What do we do now?” she asked. “Should we get your brother?”

He had been acting strange lately, would that be a good idea.

“We need to tell my father.”

Sameer leaned down to the man, checking him once more; dead, then wiping his hammer on his shirt.

***

The man was right where they had left him when they hurried back. They explained what had happened to Sameer’s father and two men of the Watch. It was wrapped up too casually for Sameer. He talked the whole situation over twice with Yoav before they returned home; making sure to see Millie home first.

“I’d never seen him before, didn’t look like anyone who usually passes through here.” Sameer expanded.

His father listened solemnly. After a while without any reply Sameer settled in silence as they walked the dirt road out of the town and into the country.

He noticed Yoav take a moment to examine their surroundings just before he took a breath to speak.

“Sameer…” he spoke quietly, “I wish you had remembered your father.”

“Hm?”

“My brother was a zealous man, but always seemed to be able to calm you in spite of any calamity,” he let out a weak chuckle. “When your mother died… he brought you over swaddled, from over a league away. You know what he said; showing up in the middle of the night, you were but hours old, he said look what she left me.”

His hand brushed his cheek subtly. Sameer watched the road appear ahead of them through the Miasma, this being the first time Yoav shared this story he listened intently.

“He called her a martyr, and almost seemed jealous that she beat him to the other side. But, he looked at you with all the intensity of looking at all the coin a man could ask for.”

Yoav glanced over at Sameer, “I’m telling you this to try and channel some of his… consolation.”

“I appreciate that father, I only wish Millie hadn’t been there to see it,” Sameer said in a matter of fact tone.

“No, I don’t mean about tonight. It’s about what I fear is coming.”

Sameer’s gaze was pulled towards Yoav, “What do you mean coming?”

“I mean there was something out there after your father, and I fear it’s turned it’s gaze on you,” his inflection was troubled, and he picked up his pace a bit.

“I don’t understand.”

“You’re father was a good man, that means he had enemies; whether who or what. He was a man of faith, and he believed there was something out there, the devils in the shadows; the Creature, that wanted him dead. He seemed to be somewhat correct.”

His late father’s faith came up very little, and when it did there was always a tone of regret in Yoav’s voice.

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