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   Chapter 118 No.118

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 4927

Updated: 2018-07-11 12:02


'Yes….'

'You nearly died. I do hope you are listening to them' Shawn repeated.

'Yes….'

'Hmm.' Shawn turned away.

'So what was it like?' Farrell asked Annabel. 'You're first journey across the sea?'

'Well…it was exciting to say the least. I would very much like to revisit the place, when our circumstances are a lot different.' She touched her own face briefly, where the bruises and cuts were still healing. 'Have you ever had to go there yourself?' she asked Farrell.

'Sometimes' Farrell shrugged, 'once or twice a long time ago, when I was a soldier in the kings army.'

'Shawn and I agreed that we would visit the place together again one day. They have the most beautiful mountains and lakes there, and strange silver fish that glisten like jewels.'

They talked like this for some time until Shawn asked Farrell the whereabouts of Tristan.

'I don't know. He hasn't returned since you left. Barrel and Woodworm have returned already though…they've brought some more men…'

'Where's Arlen?'

'Don't know' Farrell replied to Shawn. 'Barrel and Woodworm might know. They're fishing by the rocks.'

Shawn and Annabel met Barrel and Woodworm a short time later and asked them about Arlen.

'Don't know' Barrel laughed at them, staring down at his open palm as a crab scuttled across it, the sunlight shining off the scar that covered one side of his face. 'Woodworm, do you know?'

'He's on the beach over there' Woodworm indicated without looking. 'He's been acting so strange lately' he said, casting his lure out again. 'He just stands there alone talking to himself. I think he might have gone mad.'

Shawn and Annabel went to find him.

'I'm surprised to find them together' Annabel commented. 'I always thought that Barrel got on Woodworm's nerves so much.'

'Who knows' Shawn shrugged, 'I'm sure there is a lot about both of them we don't know, and the others too for that matter. Maybe they've known each other for a long time.'

When they had found Arlen, it was indeed as Woodworm had described. He stood there, a figure out of place in the middle of the beach, just staring out towards the sea.

Shawn came up behind him.

'Arlen?' he said tentatively. 'Are you ok?'

'I'm getting old now' Arlen was saying in a far off voice. 'My life is half over….I'm fifty years old….half a century…..so old………..Ramana would have been thirty eight by now….but Amaia is still young…maybe I will die of old age before I

find her….maybe I will be killed before that…'

The two of them left him alone, deciding silently between them that perhaps it was best. They returned to the inn where they had a room each waiting for them.

As they ascended the stairs, heading to the rooms above, Carrot called out to them.

'Hey! You over there! Yes you! How about a drink?'

'Not now' Shawn groaned. 'I'm tired.'

'Oh come on' Annabel encouraged. 'Why don't we have some fun?'

'You go' Shawn said to her in a quiet voice. 'I…I think I need some rest.'

'You're worried about Farrell and Arlen aren't you?'

'I just….think I need to be alone for a moment. I've been surrounded by nothing but sweaty men for the last few weeks…'

'And one sweaty woman' Annabel smirked.

'You stay and drink' he said to her.

'Fine. If you're sure. Goodnight Shawn.'

The men below them began to cheer as Annabel made her way back down the stairs.

'Pull up a chair for the lady!' Flute Stick hollered. 'Let's have a drinking game, and see who passes out first!'

Annabel sauntered towards the bar and tucked her skirt behind her to sit as one man pulled back a chair for her at the table. She reached for the tankard that Carrot slid across the table at her, and began to drink with the rest. And then they began to sing.

Over mountains and over road

Through caves and trees and hills and snows

There lies an inn all worn and old

Crumbling in the icy cold

We'll patch her up and add some paint

One small job this surely aint

Men and women now all as one

A poet in search of a good story

And passers by now just for fun

Returned the old to all its glory

A big bright fire, a burning pyre

Left outside the scare the ghouls

Whilst inside the strumpets sing

And dancers with bells they ring

Sing and clap and laugh out loud

The noise from far it draws a crowd…

Shawn reached his room and closed the door, muffling the noise from downstairs. He thought for a moment of how scared Annabel had been when they had first met her, how uncertain she had been in their presence days after that, and how comfortable she felt with the soldiers now. It was as if she had grown up with them, like Shawn had, as if they were all part of the same family. He thought of how much she had changed in the short time he had known her, and wondered if he had changed also.

I wonder if my mother and sister would recognise me when I finally return.

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