Unending Trails

The Calm Trail

Almost every day I look up and think: the sky is always the thing that is most comfortable. No matter the time of day, it never ceases to have its eyes open solemnly —as if to watch over any and all. It is its own predicament, as only it will know what goes on throughout these lands. It was this feeling that had shaken hands with my current uncomfortable feeling. If not for the beauty of the sky, I’ve no doubt that I would have more distress than I already have.

But there I was, sitting in a wooden fixed cart, rocking and shaking over the stones and imperfectness of the ground with my eyes fixed over the scenery and sky slowly passing us. I sat looking over the right side of the cart, next to the crude leather satchel I had brought filled with what I thought would be necessities and sentimental souvenirs, and the many other sacks and items that Alton had brought.

I shudder at the thought that not too long ago, I had more or less abandoned my home and accepted a deal that a man I had never seen before presented to me. The same man that was to the left of me who was overlooking the two horses pulling the cart. I found it awkward that I couldn’t help but get accustomed to him —regardless if I wanted to stay as wary and watchful as possible. Each and every time I said Alton, a thought crossed my mind that it was more apparent that I was indeed calling him by his name, which would inadvertently force me to see him as an acquaintance now.

Indeed it was so that it was me. I was the one that abandoned my home, all for the sake of… well mostly for the sake of my dream —and now I’m going to lord knows where. It seemed so swell that maybe this is the Ideal’s gift. Though I was still cautious, as this seemed too swell.

It was the same morning routine, but with the looming feeling that I was doing something wrong. Even more so that I was stuffing what I thought I would need in a satchel that I used to take wherever I went on long trips.

I had told Noah and asked for his thoughts, but he seemed jealous deep down. It was odd for him to encourage me for once —even to give me his small rusted pendant. It was the size of a regular Onterray silver coin —and on it were protruding petals in a circular shape with the head of a wolf in the center; it was Arbitus’ insignia, and there it was ingrained as if to give a reassurance that regardless if you believed in him, he would still watch over you.

As odd as it was though, I still couldn’t shake the feeling of being a criminal. It was the moment that I had approached Alton that I had asked him so many questions. How would the officers back at the camp take it? How far are we going from here, and what would happen to me once we get there? What would happen if we get attacked by wolves —or the rare chance something big is hungry?

All of them were answered with chuckles and reassurance that the militia was too preoccupied with everything going on to care about one runaway kid —and that nothing of the sort would happen like that.

But my wariness was getting the best of me the more time passed by; the farther out we had gone, the fewer people I saw pass by in longer intervals. It hadn't helped either that all was silent except the occasional whistles from Alton, the sounds of the horses trudging along the path, the wooden shaking of the entire cart from the bumps and rocks, and the subtle breeze shifting the trees afar with the added wild bird calls.

'You know, we could probably make a run for it into the trees...'

No, I have no doubts that he would hear you. And where would you go? I’d bet we’ve been at this pace for almost an hour; there’s no telling how far Tierredaviid is now, or any other settlement.

I pondered the statement and admitted that it was true. I was more surprised that as much time had passed, only now had I thought about running.

So you were worried about being attacked, and now you’re thinking about running into the forest?

'Well, just in case we need to.'

I let a soft grin as I stared down to my hands, clenching them into a fist.

'I bet we could beat up anything that crosses our path though.'

Hm. Some talk you have there. I think Noah rubbed off on you a little too much. If you’re not careful, it’ll get you killed.

The grin on my face grew from the thought of my ego becoming bigger. I had to admit, I am liking the boastful approach. It’s more comforting to me.

I lifted my head and examined the same contents that Alton had brought that were in their exact spot from when we started the trip.

'Maybe this guy could deal with it. Certainly looks the part, and no telling what his travels taught him. This guy is probably a mercenary for all we know...'

My eyes shifted from the sacks to my left, where the top half of Alton’s back was visible as he sat looking ahead. It had bothered me that there was a plan at hand he had prepared —and at this very moment, I was falling straight into his trap.

Truthfully though, I didn’t think him to be that sort of man. He seemed genuine since our first conversation, all the way up to when I said my goodbyes to Eli and Mary. Funny as it was, I knew Eli was disappointed in finding out that I had come the day he was out running errands —but that was what I liked about him. No matter how unfortunate life had treated him, he had always made the best of it. A smile, encouragement for my departure, and a couple of gold coins —even more then what Mary had given me. It was all that he needed to get off his chest.

But I felt it irresistible that I was getting closer and closer to him, even though I’m trying my best to watch him... Alton that is.

I readjusted myself in a more comfortable position and placed my head onto the wooden boards that my back was layed against. I stared at the top of the passing tree line and took in full view of what I could on the sky. Clouds had been scattered all across the landscape, and though I couldn’t see any tall mountains, it was still a beautiful sight to see. The thought of the farthest cloud that I could see was probably over god knows where was very inclusive and warming. It gave me a sense of urgency that one day, I will be there.

It had been morning when we had departed, and now it was around evening with the sun just passing the middle of the sky. I had closed my eyes and attempted to fall asleep, though it was hard through the random shaking of the cart, and the somewhat bright sunlight. I had angled my head right and accepted that I’d still get my fair share of light no matter what comfortable position I was in.

Agitated from the constant bothering, I reluctantly accepted what I could get out of this trip, and relaxed as best I could. Though the shaking of the cart and sounds of the horses’ hooves was certainly loud, I did what I could to relish in the breeze over the trees, and the chirping of the wild birds.

Whatever might happen, I knew I could place at least a tiny bit of trust on him… hopefully.