Of course, a WIP:
Benjobi walked with the mule through the bright and slowly-awakening city. The outrider kept a position ten paces behind. Spread out thusly they made their way through the ruined, empty quarters on the western side of the city; then up, up onto the slick and rock-strewn road leading toward the Mansions of the Moon. The way was steep, but not so steep as the mountains above Iphagenia. Despite the sudden snow, grass grew long and yellow, unworried sheep and goats moving along the hillsides to crop at it.
When the city lay below Benjobi like a dull and broken jewel, the people within it mere specks, he announced, "We shall stop here."
In this place, the road shouldered upon a ruined section of the Mansions that had, some time ago, tumbled into a riot of marble columns. Young blackwood trees grew like dark veins through the white flesh of the marble. Above, the colored scraps of budgies shot through the crisp air as if they could dart past the bitter cold. A sense of history at our backs will be a good thing, Benjobi thought, although as he gazed at the ruins even he felt a pinprick of unease. Not fear, for the Scarred Man had long ago transcended fear, but the canny, native caution that served any man of violence well when abroad in the wide world. More Mansions loomed in architectural array above the line of collapsed marble, their windows dark as the hollowed eyes of corpses. What if something more substantial than the past loomed there? A presence, not entirely friendly.
He set the thought aside as unworthy, irrelevant, and answered the question his outrider had not asked. "Yes, here will be fine."
|Originally published at jlake.com.|