The Fog of Forgetting

The Fog of Forgetting by G. A. Morgan

Book: The Fog of Forgetting by G. A. Morgan Read Free Book Online
Authors: G. A. Morgan
army.” He nodded to the women first. “This is my wife, Mara, and my daughter, Calla. These men,” he gestured to the three other men, “are my guards. We have been sent to lend you aid.”
    The Melorians stood perfectly erect and still, their faces taut and unsmiling. The children stared openly. Tinator’s wife, the woman called Mara, wore a hood that heavily shadowed her face. Evelyn could just make out a pair of brown eyes, a generous mouth, and a square, firmly set chin. Mara responded to her inquisitiveness by kneeling and emptying the contents of the basket she was carrying. She pulled out an assortment of brown pelts, green cloth, and leather coverings.
    â€œDo they have food?” Teddy asked in a loud whisper.
    The other Melorian woman, Calla, laughed, a fresh clear trill that melded quickly with the burble of the stream.
    â€œThe little one is hungry!” she said, half-teasing.
    â€œâ€™ Tis a constant problem with that one,” said Seaborne.
    â€œI’m not little!” Teddy protested.
    Calla knelt down and peered into Teddy’s face. “I can see that now,” she said kindly.
    â€œHow old are you? ” he asked.
    Calla looked bewildered, clearly troubled by how to answer. Seaborne came to her rescue.
    â€œOld enough for you to mind her, little one.”
    Calla laughed. “I am of full age, child. My daylights have spoken.”
    Teddy shrugged. “Oh—well, I’m thix. That’th big.”
    â€œHe means six,” mumbled Knox, “he has trouble with S’s.”
    Calla nodded appreciatively. “Well, six is big and strong enough to help me,” she laughed, and unpacked her basket, extracting a soft woven blanket. Calla motioned to Teddy to grab the other end and spread it on the ground. She reached back into the basket and produced several loaves of bread, clay jars containing what appeared to be honey, and hollowed-out gourds filled with berries. One of the men reached under his tunic and brought out two more large gourds. He gestured roughly to Knox.
    Knox took the gourd and sniffed it.
    â€œIt’s all right, lad,” said Seaborne.
    He tipped the gourd toward his lips and took a tiny sip. When he brought it down, he had a thin white film on his upper lip.
    â€œMilk!” Knox crowed.
    Calla pulled down her hood and smiled. She had brown eyes like her mother, a long oval face, and waist-length hair pulled loosely into a braid.
    â€œThere must be cows somewhere,” said Evelyn.
    â€œYes,” said Calla, with pride. “In Melor we have cows and chickens, and sheep, and goats, and pigs, among many other creatures who give their gifts to us.” She patted the blanket, inviting everyone to sit down.
    Chase sat across from Calla, wondering how old she really was. He guessed college age, like twenty or something. When her eyes caught his, he saw they were flecked with gold.
    â€œEat now, for there is much work to be done,” Tinator commanded. “You are to be guests in our lands; as such, Rothermel has charged us with your protection. You will stay here—in the service of the outlier, Seaborne—until we can be sure that your arrival here is accidental.”
    â€œWho the heck is Rothermel?” asked Knox, before stuffing a handful of berries into his mouth. He swallowed quickly and added, “And what else would it be? We didn’t come here on purpose.”
    Tinator said nothing, but a look passed between him and Mara. She turned away and busied herself laying out the contents of her basket. She moved efficiently, assembling a small pile of garments alongside each of them. The boys were given fur-trimmed shirts, open at the neck, and leather vests to wear over loose woven pants. Evelyn and Frankie received longer tunics, leggings, and light leather corslets. Finally, Mara laid out five of the green hooded ponchos that the Melorians wore, which turned out to

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