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Ariella Newheart

Aah, here is. 🙂 @wordsmith

Caedon cast one more look across the landscape. The early mists of morning rose from the ground and coiled around the shattered stones. But there was something more. Caedon’s eyes narrowed. In the misty shadows stood a tall figure in a black cloak. Caedon rubbed his eyes and looked again. The figure was moving deeper into the mist. At its side was the hulking form of a dragon. Both disappeared before Caedon could point them out to Artos.

Had it been Yasmin the Watcher, or was he still dreaming? Caedon gritted his teeth. He had always wanted to have visions like Miri did, but not like this! Not where he couldn’t tell if he was awake or asleep!

“Caedon!” The voice of his mother broke through the disorderly thoughts.

Caedon turned around slowly. When he saw her walking steadily toward him, his vision blurred. Behind her came his father and Artos’ parents, but he barely saw them.

“Caedon, you’re bleeding.” His mother’s gentle hands brushed his face. Caedon could not remember how he’d gotten hurt there. He raised his hands to touch hers, simply to know whether she was real or another ghost. When she saw the cuts on his palms, her face clouded. “Oh, Caedon…”

“I’m sorry, Mother.” He dropped his hands and stood stiffly for further inspection, but she instead took him in her arms as if he’d been a little boy. He didn’t try to pull away. Over her shoulder he saw his father. He looked tired, Caedon realized. So very tired.

Caedon didn’t cry. He was too big to cry. Besides, he was too numb inside to know how he really felt. Mother drew back and glanced at her husband. Caedon’s back stiffened as he waited.

Father and son gazed at each other for several moments. At last the tall man nodded and motioned for Caedon to follow him. Caedon’s shoulders relaxed. He was safe, for the moment. He walked with his parents back to the camp, where Mother bandaged his hands and his siblings sat in fearful anticipation of Caedon’s punishment. Father had disappeared.

Caedon waited in one of the tents, staring blankly at the canvas ceiling. Father was disappointed. Father was angry. Father would never trust Caedon again. He’d willfully disobeyed and now must suffer the consequences. Caedon wanted to make it right, but didn’t know how. He closed his eyes to stop the tears again. He was too old to cry.

Writer, illustrator, Parimi Alcan

Check out my new blog! https://arbitraryfairy.wordpress.com/

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