Wordcount: 556 words
Summary: Please note, this is currently a very rough draft. There will be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, flat out contradictions, and uneven characterization and pacing. (Content is also subject to constant change as I take an editing chainsaw to the story.)
On The Road Again
They leave the next morning after a breakfast of nut bread and porridge. The new riders are full of excitement and May can’t help but get caught up in it a little. Her own life might have been derailed, but for the others this is something that many of them looked forward to. Riders are riders and she’s the only one that was not meant to be.
They all work together to clean up the supplies and load them into the wagon. There is surprising little complaining, considering there are more than one youngsters in the group. She figures that will change soon enough, even her brother can’t keep from moping when it’s something he enjoys.
Foxhawks are not meant to carry riders on the ground, they are too light and the riders too heavy. Instead the foxknights have horses and wagons. The newly chosen are seated on long wooden benches in the back of the wagon, using their bags as cushions for the seats. The wood is smooth, worn down by long use and the pair of cart horses seem unimpressed to be surrounded by the excited fledglings.
The two foxknights ride in the wagon as well, taking turns driving and keeping watch. At this pace it will take three days to reach Oak Grove and there are provisions provided for lunching on the move. it’s assumed that they will stop in one of the towns for one night, but May has a bad feeling They will be camping outside for the other. She hates camping and the idea that she might have to march with an Army to war.
Not that there has been a war for as long as she’s been alive, but there have been wars in the past and no one is assuming They will never happen again. Not with a golden hatchling.
The second day into the trip it started pouring. Apparently the break in the rainy weather had passed more quickly than expected and they were caught out in the downpour.
Baron had a sharp musky odor with a scent of spice, something made a thousand times worse by the rain. The entire flock looked rather pathetic, soaked to the skin with only their thick ruffs and wings unflattened by the downpour. The new riders did not fare much better. The kids huddled under rain slicks, but the water pooled in the cart where the luggage blocked the drain channels. The foxknights did not have the luxury of cover, and were generally grumpy and unpleasant to be around. The kids left them alone as much as possible.
Thankfully they stopped in a town that night and did not have to sleep in the rain. May showed the other townies the tricks she’d learned on the farm for keeping socks dry and she and Jeffery shared stories of amusing mishaps in the mud. It was enough to life spirits a bit, but even bubbly Clarie was feeling the strain of the journey. With mutual unspoken agreement, they turned in early, ready for the morning and the city to come as quickly as possible.
May was not looking forward to seeing Aaron, she had no idea what his reaction was going to be to this change of plans, but she did not think it was going to be a good one.