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08.30.2132 - The Return Home

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Temmit stood at the front fence and stared at it, emotion flooding through him. He had decided to keep his head down during the entire length of the road that was the end of his journey. Thinking to himself that perhaps if he waited until he was actually in front of it, he would look up and it would be gone.

But it wasn't gone. It was there.

Temmit stood in front of his parents house for the first time since he was discovered there as a child.

Temmit tightened another band of reason on the mental chest that contained his emotions. He bit his tongue in the doing. The chest swelled a bit as an emotion tried to escape; a surprisingly content scene flashed momentarily in his mind: this was his yard where he used to play with his mother. He repressed even the good emotions, tightening that new band all the more.

One gets out, they all might get out. He reminded himself.

He had walked for days to get all the way out here from Our Commons, and now that he was there, sore legs, blisters and all, he wasn't sure that the last twenty paces were a good idea.

He stood there sweating in the summer sun for a long time. Exactly how long he wasn't even sure.

All the while he put more bindings upon his chest: This was part of his healing process; it was stupid to walk that far and not go inside; the house was his now, and nothing bad had ever happened there anyway.

At length, it wasn't logic, strictly speaking, that drove his legs those last twenty paces. It was thirst, and the need to sit somewhere. It was the descending sun, and the knowledge that he wasn't going to sleep standing up half a stone's throw from a bed.

Twenty paces shrank, one by one, until the front door opened.

Beyond the door was exactly what Temmit expected, the ghosts of memories walking about a family room he had spent so many tender years in. They fled as quickly as it took the door to fully open to allow the invasion of shadows within. The perfect and lonely stillness of the void almost immediately suffocated him, as if he had opened a door into a vacuum.

Beyond this family room he knew waited the rest of the small, single level farmhouse. The kitchen, the bathroom and the bedrooms of both his mother and father and his sisters. The thought of those rooms and the spirits they contained almost made him bolt from the entry at that exact moment.

But he held fast.

'One step at a time, let's get water first and then worry about inspection of all rooms,' he thought to himself, but still didn't make a move in.

The last time that Temmit was there he was only a toddler. Still, the layout of the building was etched in his mind like the scars that were etched in his flesh: stable and permanent.

His eyes darted around the interior and every now and then an image of someone in one place or another flashed in his mind. His mother entering the kitchen. His father at the fire. Himself hiding from someone.

The sound of heel on slate echoed in his ears. The smell of bread haunted his nose.

Water. He reminded himself. He left the doorway and headed around back to the well. Unconsciously he unsnapped the leather thong that restrained his sword in its scabbard.

The backyard grass was overgrown and the fence fallen in a few places, but the back windows to the house were intact and it looked like no one had bothered the property for all these years.

Either the hunters had done a fine job chasing off tresspassers, or people's superstitions of entering the house of a family wiped out by Karh'Thul kept them away.


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