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  • Writer's pictureCrone

What mysteries

Although I had thought the riders eager to press on at the sage's suggestion, I was wrong. How I misjudged them. I was glad that we should not be separated into the fast and the slow, not least as I and my precious cargo would surely be left with the slow. And yet, I cannot say I feel entirely comforted.

The sage disappeared. We all knew well what happened, or rather, we knew he had been made to disappear and by whom, but none of us would admit to that knowledge. We do not know the details or, really, the reasons. And so, we wonder. Did they deem him a threat, a villain, a betrayer? Or did they not want to risk the temptation of his honeyed words in their ears?

They do not speak with me. The riders. Their women and their children, on occasion, do. But the tracker is the conduit of communication between us. He appears to think I have some vision or sense that might confirm his science. I do not disavow this. It may be the only use I have. Though they value my precious cargo, why should the value me? If they asked, I would tell them I will make more to commemorate our arrival and the travails of our passage. Yet, perhaps not - for this would remind them that as yet we travel still. As if they could forget.

On the 82nd day we came to the water. We have yet to cross. I told the tracker that there surely is a bridge or ford somewhere. He will send the riders out tomorrow. In the meantime we will await them here. But I like not this place.

When I passed along the bank, going north-north-east as the rest went south-south-west up the river and a little toward where the sun will set and where they can watch the glory of its daily decline, I saw in the cloudy deep the remains of I know not what.

I am in fear that some mechanistical tribe of these parts has sacrificed in these waters and these folk I hold in greater terror by far than the Dog-Folk, whose loyalty, should you gain it, is at least an unquestioned blessing.

The people who live by mechanistical means have iron and steel in their hearts and some cold and not properly human fluid flows in their veins. They think like the counting strings we made in school and care not for the cries of children or the flared nostrils of the nervous horse or anxious bleatings of a she-goat protecting her kid. They make not the flowing shapes that arise from the appreciation of these fair lands but the sharp edged dead things of nightmares.

Strange to say, I wish I could commune with the sage.

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