Darkness - Short fantasy story (Part 6)

in The Ink Welllast year

Only a few interruptions of memories followed by a flash of light, and then those memories reappeared.

As we slowly traveled our way through the varied landscape followed by the river on the left and the pine forest on the right, I began to unconsciously remember everything I had gone through and learned these days. That realization that I learned something new, we can call it And the skill brought me joy, I have to admit. The priest taught me a lot about plants on his walks in the woods. Now I could already recognize the end of the road plants from which various balms can be made for the entire spectrum of diseases. I knew which plants used a flower to make tea, or a leaf that is placed on a sore spot in case of injuries, I was even able to recognize some weeds whose root is good for various gout or intestinal diseases. My time mostly passed in that recollection and repetition of what I learned. It was not forced, I just wanted that knowledge, no matter how limited, to remain in my memory.

The road slowly began to climb, and the river receded more and more, continuing its course as the forests thinned and the rocks became a constant reminder that we were on the slopes of the mountain.

The horses pulling the wagons slowed, tired from the road but persevered. People performed their daily duties with as little delay as possible, in order to avoid the arrival of storms in the open. The priest was more talkative than usual, but he did not say anything further that would tell me more about him, about his past. He did not have a family, but everyone came to him for advice or asking for help. It was obvious in his eyes that he truly loved them all, all their lesser virtues and that he knew them like the back of his hand. It seems that he approached and spoke to each of them in a completely different way, and they were never angry after the rebuke he had. Some even thanked him for instilling another new lesson in their memory. Their community was truly harmonious.

On the eve of the third day of the trip, we arrived at an imaginary destination. We quickly unpacked our things, unloaded the horses and set up camp, to get away from the rain that was on our heels.

When all the work was done, we sat around the fire, in a quiet conversation that was further silenced by the roar of the wind and the getting of large drops of rain outside. The cave was huge, even large campfires could not illuminate the vault of that lobby. So the priest at least told me that this room is just the lobby of a large complex of caves that stretch further into the very heart of the mountain.

We are a priest again. I don't even know how, I was left alone while most people went to bed after a hard day. And then, I wanted to know everything, everything he was willing to share with me…


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