Lotus: Quiet Partings

It was a wonderfully gloomy day. She never care much about the weather so long as it wasn’t cold or snowing. 

It has been in passing on her walk that took her past the graveyard that Inaris had heard about the grave digger. No one would come to tell her, of course, and why would they? Of all the flowers of his garden, she had been there the shortest time and had been the easiest to be uprooted. While she hadn’t really expected him to, a small part of her was disappointed that he would never show up at the gate to her yard.

The hills of the Downs loomed ever closer as she strolled along the path. It was convenient that she had decided on wearing dark clothes that day. Inaris wore nothing fancy, and she did not bother to do up the top buttons of her shirt. She owed him nothing, and she doubted if he would would have cared.

To be honest, if he had been there, Inaris would have thanked him. By now her heart had mended, so any sadness she felt was purely selfish. She wanted one more casual conversation, and one more chance to playfully flick the rim of his cap before walking away. She’d have liked to listen to him talking about flowers, and to tell him that roses weren’t really her favorite. She would have liked to have told him her real name, for he wouldn’t have divulged her secret. He would have forgotten it, then carried it to his grave.

Before her hovered the entrance to the forgotten land he’d often looked to. Hesitating for but a moment, she continued on. Yes, it was probably dangerous, and knowing that did more to encourage her forward. There was a little fear, but as in many cases, she did not show it. The sorcerers had helped with that, and the more she pondered it, the less she worried. Wights were just wisps of malice and mist, and she had no desire to trespass in their ancient tombs.

She wasn’t sure if they had brought him here, but she doubted that they would have laid him to rest in the Bree-land graveyard. This place seemed fitting, for the little of his past that she knew. But he was dead, and free of this place. She wouldn’t blame him if he was glad to be gone. A couple hundred… or was it a thousand, years of digging graves for foreigners and friends would take it’s toll on anyone.

Going no further, she put a hand on a crumbling marker as she gazed south to the mounds and spires. For his sake she hoped he was really gone. There could be little joy for the lingering dead, and he had remained long enough. Maybe she should have asked, but would he have told her? And if he had, would he have cared enough to tell her the truth?

Shaking her head, Inaris pulled out the soft grey rose Kennick had fashioned for her, and a pale pink water lilly from her pond. Setting them atop the marker she gave the fading hills one more thoughtful look, and walked away, leaving the Barrow Downs behind.

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