Before Landing (-5534): A One-Way Ticket To Polis
Summary: Rin's childhood departure from Coesbur, as remembered by Veks.
Date: 2/06/2016
Related: Hush

Coesbur — Fifteen Years Ago

Rin was gone when he woke. Her cot was empty. No blanket, no dolly. It was like she'd never been there.

"She's gone," his mother said. She was oiling her battle harness, her face a stone mask. Piri was outside, starting on laundry. For a moment, the sounds of scrubbing and splashing went away, then abruptly picked up again. "To Polis, with the traders." Her eyes were suddenly on his, firm as her grip, brooking no argument. "She's not coming back."

He remembers bursting out the door and running out beyond the village, running the road to Polis until his lungs burned like a grease fire and his legs turned to jelly. Rutted wagon-wheel tracks and horse-pats were all that were left. He hid in the trees when they came looking for him, and didn't come back until night started to fall and the forest became no place for an eight year-old to brave.

After the thrashing for scaring his mothers and father came the explanations for sending Rin away. They were stupid, unfair, grown-up reasons; the sort of reasons adults gave for the sky being blue or the old world being gone. If he was worth keeping, worth fighting for, why wasn't she? All they did was stare at eachother, then send him off to his long-cold supper and bed.

That night he dreamt of home. Not Coesbur, but the place he came from, full of fire and blood. His mother was there, pulling him up onto her horse and riding away, as Rin screamed and screamed from the other side of a blazing door. Her screams cut off as the building collapsed in a storm of fiery ashes and he sat up in bed, his screams taking over where hers had left off.

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