Despite having supposedly rested, the dark circles under the former knight’s eyes were still there along with the lines of exhaustion that had been there that whole day. When she asked his about it, he just shrugged and continued carving the block of wood in his hand. She wanted to press the subject, but she held her tongue as she studied him. He may have looked exhausted, but the eye that scanned the trees around them was sharp and alert. She wondered if he was having bad dreams again, but kept her mouth shut. She would ask him if he continued to look worse for wear.
AKA Pennsylvania Mountains
And not they are not named after a certain flower girl. :)
Theine’s mountains were covered in evergreen trees--at least at lower altitudes and with the snow coating these trees, it just looked like something out of a Yule card for Sarah. Cain told them they were called the Aeryth mountains after the name of their world.
Not really liking my writing today, but that's what I get for taking Sunday off.
On the fifth day they began to spot the tracks. Momo was very excited when she saw them and even Cain’s eye gleamed with interest. The two explained that these must be the railway tracks that would connect Theine and Adhartach. Sarah had to admit that she wished she could find out what it would be like to ride a train. Camp that night was a peaceful event as they discussed what wonders they would see in Theine. Sarah noticed, however, that Cain stayed out of the discussion. He was looking more and more exhausted each day, but his reflexes and observation skills weren’t suffering at all. Was it simply that he was worried about his hometown? No one bothered him with that question, though. But, Bill and Sarah kept an eye on him.
I kind of like how this first sentence of this paragraph sort of leads the reader to think one thing and the second proves them wrong.
The sixth day was when they began to notice something. Well, actually, Cain noticed. They were very close to Theine, but aside from a few snow wolves and a kobold or two, they hadn’t been attacked by very many monsters. Wasn’t a Cruinne supposed to have been places near the town? If so, where were all the monsters?
“Maybe our information was wrong,” Sarah suggested hopefully.
Cain frowned. “It’s near here. I can sense it.” He began walking again for they had stopped to consider this. “Come on. We’ll find out when we get to town.”
I might change this when I revise to them finally bringing up how exhausted Cain looks instead of having him fall out. I'll have to see what comes out of this.
They had been walking for several hours when Cain’s pace began to slow. At first Sarah thought he had spotted or heard something, but then she saw the way he held his head--tilted down as he stumbled a little. She was just about to call out to him when his knees buckled out from under him and he collapsed to the snowy ground.
“Cain!” Sarah cried, rushing over to him. He was lying on his chest, unconscious, his breathing a little harsh. Gently, she rolled him onto his back. His face was drenched in sweat. The former barmaid touched his forehead. “He’s burning up,” she said as Bill joined her.
Her guardian sighed. “He pushed himself again.”
“But why?” Sarah asked, staring at Cain fearfully.
Hikari knelt down on her other side. “He’s having nightmares again.”
Bill sighed in exasperation. “Why didn’t he take his tea?”
Sarah frowned, looking at Hikari. “Is it not working again?”
The young healer nodded.
This scene is sort of symbolic. Cain is starting to let Kalin go so he can care about the people he's traveling with. It also symbolizes Sarah and Hikari's roles to him.
Sarah turned back to Cain, taking a deep breath. She’d have to be careful just in case he lashed out at her in his sleep. She watched him as she dabbed his forehead with the cloth. His face was tightened in pain--probably both physical and emotional. His breath was coming in ragged gasps now, but Sarah had a feeling that had more to do with what he was dreaming than his own condition. He also kept muttering things. At first she couldn’t make the words out. After a while, she started to make out the name Kalin and Grey. His struggling was growing worse. Thankfully, Hikari didn’t take long to make the tea and Sarah, with the young healer’s help, was able to get Cain to drink some of it. It didn’t take effect immediately, however. And Cain continued his muttering. After a while, the names Kalin and Grey became Sarah and Hikari. Both girls stared down in shock at him as his hands clenched and unclenched as he struggled against some unknown force.
© 2011 Jessica M. Walshaw