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Kit's Past - Dray's Future

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Dray rocked back and forth while sitting in the unusual cold spot on the floor, his arms wrapped around his legs folded in front of him.

*   *   *

He had arrived at the Kit’s home only a few moments ago, upon receiving no answer to his hails at the door, he had opened it and quickly discovered Kit’s fathers’ body. In a panic, he had run into Kit’s bedroom and upon seeing it vacant went to the only other room in the house. There he found the charred corpse of Kit’s Mom lying on an undamaged bed.

He threw up his breakfast.

Choking back the vomit and the tears, anguish threatened to overcome the thirteen-year-old. He called out to Kitalia at the top of his voice. He ran outside the secluded farmhouse and yelled her name over and over, facing up the street and down and into the surrounding woods. There was no sign of her, and in his panic, he couldn’t decide to be thrilled or scared about it.

He ran back into the small house to look for clues, as he passed by her father who laid facedown in a pool of his own dried blood he sensed it, a spot on the floor that was unusually cold. It made him stop in his tracks. The chill of the air wrapped around his legs as if the phenomenon was low to the ground. He stooped over to investigate and that was then he sensed her.

It was if she was there… an invisible ghost of Kitalia on the floor, unable to contact him. And the flood of emotion within the cold was filled with abject horror and sorrow.

His mind had frozen with it.

*   *   *

Dray rocked back and forth while sitting in the unusual cold spot on the floor, his arms wrapped around his legs folded in front of him.

The four guards proudly marched down the street. Their armor was brightly polished and glimmered even under the clouds. They walked surveying the quiet streets of Mandin as though an attack would happen at any moment.

“The streets are not so busy this day” Greth remarked. “It is Voldyn, private,” Sergeant Haleth reprimanded, “today the merchants are at rest. Now still your tongue and be watchful unless you want to peel potatoes on your resting day.” There was no forgiveness in the Sergeants tone. In Kazbourne, forgiveness was almost never an option for the guards- even among themselves.

The “Four Troop”, as the street patrols were called, stopped at once upon hearing the mournful cry. “Kit! Kit! For the love of Paladine where are you! Kit!” They could see a boy down the street crying out over and over. The youth stumbled off the street and into a common house.

Sergeant Haleth immediately pulled his leather strapped club and shouted for his men to follow him. Without hesitation, the patrol sprinted to Kit’s house.

Arriving to the house each guard was armed and ready for an assault. Haleth warily entered the house ready for anything. It was unlikely that anything adverse would occur but as a soldier of Kazbourne it was paranoia that kept him alive for many years. His face wrinkled as he sniffed the foul air coming from inside. The door was already jarred open and the Sergeant pushed it the rest of the way with his club.

The other three footmen turned their head with disgust as the odor slapped them. “Easy men” Haleth assured. He stepped in and looked around at the calamity before him. Many years of training and more battles than he cared to remember steadied the veteran for the gruesome scene. They did not, however, prepare him for the shock of finding a teenage boy in such a distressed state.

One of the Guards stomach began to turn and he swiftly exited. Haleth shook his head and muttered, “Rook”. The remaining two guards looked over the scene- their faces having gone pale.

Haleth knelt down and gently shook Dray on the shoulder. Dray was familiar to him and knew the boy was of some importance in the line of Kazbourne nobility. At this time, titled nobility was not the source of empathy that the grizzled warrior felt. Something had clearly happened here and it sent this youngling into a spin.

Haleth demanded, “You, fetch a priest” as he pointed to one of his shaken guards. He then looked to Dray putting his other hand on his shoulder. “Hey,” Haleth emplored looking into Dray’s glazed eyes “My name is Haleth, I’m not going to hurt you. Can you tell me what happened here? What do you know of this?”

The Sergeant could only be hopeful for any sort of response. He had seen men in a battle shock before and it usually took some time for them to recover from such trauma.

Bittersweet coldness enveloped Dray. The essence left behind by his best friend both a comfort and curse. He was lost to it.

The Sergeant steadied Dray’s head by lightly holding his chin. He lifted the boy’s eyelids and looked at his glossy eyes. Realizing that there was no register of awareness Haleth said to his two remaining guards, “Check the rest of the house. I’m bringing the kid outside for some fresh air.”

Dray was easily hoisted up in the soldiers arms and carried outside. He sat him up against the house and muttered, “I do hope you can explain this tragedy”. The guard that had left earlier was also sitting down recovering from the scene. “On your feet rookie…NOW!” Haleth barked. “You’re not going to find any sympathy for that in the field…be glad I let it slide.” Haleth then went to a nearby water barrel and plunged the hanging dipper filling it with water. Kneeling down, he brought the water to Dray’s lips and prompted him to drink.

Moments later the other two guards came out. One spoke up, “Sergeant, there is a body on the bed…burned I think. But there is no evidence of a fire in the rest of the room.”

“Okay, good work. Stand guard and look lively. No one comes into the house without my authority.” Haleth responded while looking at Dray’s eyes for any sign of response.

At first Dray was unresponsive, but as the chill diminished from him he became cognizant of the water before him.

He reached up hesitantly and sipped the water, but as if discovering a great thirst, grabbed the ladel with both hands and finished it in one gulp. The water seemed to completely bring him back to consciousness for he stood up and threw the ladel at the house with great anger. It scarred the wood and skidded across the rocky ground with a metallic bang.

Haleth drew his sword as Dray turned on him.

"Where is she?! Who did this to her family?!" he shouted in sudden rage.


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