Dialogue: Fine

“Mommy, who was that man?”

“What man, daughter mine?”

“He came out of your room early this morning. Before the sun even rose. I think he thought I was asleep.”

“Oh. That is an old friend of Mom’s. He stayed for a while, but is returning to Bree to look for work. Maybe he’ll come visit again.”

“He never visited me.”

“I know, Neilia. He didn’t want to scare you. He has a lot of scars on his face.”

“Does he know Biramore? Are they friends?”

“Y-yes. He knows Bira, darling. Here, eat your crackers.”

“I miss Bira, Mom.”

“I know, sweetheart, I do, too.”

Cracker eating.

“Here’s some milk, Neils.”

“Mom?”

“Yes?”

“What’s the man’s name? The one who hid in your room all night?”

“His name is Zed.”

“That’s a silly sounding name.”

“Well, it is his name for now, my love.”

“I’m sorry, Mom. I didn’t mean to make you sad.”

“It’s fine, love. Now, eat your broccoli.”

Waterfall in Homesteads

 *** *** *** ***

“You’re just going to leave?”

“Yes.”

“Just like that?”

“I have to.”

“I don’t even know what to say. And you’re not going to take me with you.”

“I don’t have time to convince you nor babysit on the way back. I’m working on securing work with a caravan so I can get back as quickly as possible.”

“Will you stay in Esgaroth when you arrive?”

“I don’t know. Possibly. Most likely not.”

“I knew it; you’ll come back to Bree!”

“Part of what you have said is right. We need to get out from under his shadow.”

“His creeps farther than the Lonely Mountain’s, brother. It will be dangerous – you will be pursued.”

“I have been pursued before, Anya.”

“You don’t want me to go with you?”

“This isn’t something you can help with, little whelp. This is something I have to do. Alone.”

“Eruviel wants to go with you. She can help you.”

“I can’t ask your friends to risk their lives for me.”

“Try telling that to her. In fact, I’d like to watch you trying to tell that to her.”

“Don’t be facetious.”

“I have to be. She’ll go with you. And then it’ll just be me and Oli and Sally. I’m turning into the cat lady.”

“Oli is hardly your average cat.”

“Still. What if you don’t come back? I’ll be the weird lady with all the cats, talking to them because no one else will talk to her.”

“Now you’re being overly dramatic.”

“Morty says I’m dramatic a lot.”

“Well, he’s right.”

“You’ll let Eruviel go with you? Please? I know your hand -”

“My hand is fine.”

“You never use it when you eat any more.”

“It’s fine.”

“Can you even hold a bow properly any more?”

“It’s fine.”

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