Through the Cracks

From the Sky


The sun is too bright. Bruin aches all over. He’s not used to sleeping on rough ground these days. Where is he, anyways? And what happened to the snow?

He sits up and opens his eyes. It is definitely spring, and he’s definitely never seen this hilly countryside before. Even the wildflowers look strange. He tries to think back… He must have been on a scouting mission. But where’s the rest of the crew? Where’s the escape line? And falling into someone else’s dream normally doesn’t hurt this much.

A small girl, maybe 11 or 12, is walking towards him. She stops three paces away, pauses, then asks, “Does it hurt to fall out of the sky? Dad said it didn’t, but I don’t think I believe him.”


At the Gate


The two approach Dovecoral’s western gate. Bruin is tall and broad, with a rough face marked by scars. He wears leather armor and carries a grey woolen cloak over one arm. He walks slowly, looking at the marble walls and decorated towers with consideration. Weed is small and energetic, scampering off the path to examine things Bruin cannot see, then running to catch up.

A guard, tall and thin, leans on a spear outside the gate. “I thought you were looking for holly, not ruffians, Weed.”

Weed runs up, pulling Bruin by his calloused hand. “I found a new friend! Holly isn’t very social.”

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