Altered Tracks
« on: August 08, 2020, 08:26:44 AM »

Koa let the cart roll slowly to a stop. The mules taking advantage of the slack reins to do as they pleased, which was always to stop working. Eyes half lidded, he glanced down the neighboring trek of dirt road. The lane was not on his map, or at least, not marked. He was not supposed to make a left here.

But. But. But.

Nostrils quivering like a startled beasts, Koa licked his lips and considered. Should he part the closed doors of his barriers? Dare a probe? Welcome one back? Try to spin a thread between them? He shied at the ideas when he might otherwise be receptive. It was his purpose for setting forth. The whole reason he left the safety and sanctity of the monastery.

Though he doubted this one was a child, which was he usually sought. Koa, kidnapper of unwanted children. No. No. Not a child this. And in company. Dark, frightening company. But his wagon was stopped. All the rattling and jangling of its passage dispersed and replaced with the cropping of equine teeth on grass. Shivering, Koa looked up.

This was Askavi. Could they be flying overhead? But the sky was empty except for a hot sun and a few birds. Not even a cloud, though the sky was a dusty kind of blue. Like it needed washing. Scouring the back of his neck, he looked down the second path again, watching bodies emerge from a bend. One slight. One very not slight.

"I'm going to die." He told the mules, who seemed not to notice, or care. They tore grass up from the side of the road and wounded it around their bits. It would be a mess to clean later. Not that it matter. Koa would be dead and the mess would be someone elses to clean up. Trying not to freeze, Koa sat up straight and spread one hand in greeting. Palm outward, fingers spread wide.

The other clutched the slack reins as the very not slight figure spread his wings in obvious menace.

"You might die too," he muttered to the mules.