A Lost Wanderer

  September 2008 »
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David slowly opened his eyes. His body ached. The memory of the fight came back slowly. Why wasn't he dead? For that matter, why hadn't they cut him in two? That was strange.

He tried to sit up but quickly laid back down. His back burned. The fight had left a few marks. It must have been from that brute that had landed on his back.

David gritted his teeth and sat up again. Raymi and Wallpa were lying on the ground also. They had been stripped of their weapons and uniforms. Small pools of blood were growing under them.

A laugh rose over the wind and told him that people were approaching the top of the hill. He forced himself to his feet and stumbled off the path to hide behind a large rock. His mind was still foggy but he didn't want to be questioned about this matter too. With his reception so far he had no idea what they would do.

As the people came over the hill David could hear their footsteps. An "¬°Ay!" accompanied by a sudden halt showed that they had seen the bodies. The footsteps started again and moved faster. Their voices were hushed.

David willed his aching body to move again. If the travelers went to get help then it was likely the entire area would be searched. His mind flitted back to the guard he had found four days earlier. Now he was related to another mysterious attack.

He walked for what seemed like hours. The movement helped to ease some of the pain and when dusk arrived he was able to climb into a tree with low branches. He hoped it would be enough to keep him safe, propped against the trunk, for some sleep. It was only his fifth night in this world and he had very little idea what creatures were in it.

He slept reasonably well and woke up mentally refreshed. His muscles were stiff and ached more than the night before from the lack of use, but that was soon corrected as he began to move again. He felt as he had the first morning with his thoughts dwelling on food and a walkingstick.

David found a slightly crooked stick first, which he limbed by hand to avoid dulling his knife. He needed to keep it sharp for now. Breakfast was a combination of unlucky crickets and grub worms. A few berries were eaten also once David found some that looked recognizable.

With his hunger slightly appeased he headed to the top of the tallest hill in sight. He didn't recognize anything. "Great, now I'm lost again," he told himself. The night before he had been trying to get out of the middle of whatever he was in. Now he needed to find a way to get back to Mark.

David looked at the sun to get his bearings and to decide if it came up in the east as it did in his own world. He decided to go "north" for now. Up to this point he had been thinking more about the language and people than of the direction. He decided that he had to stop doing that.

As he walked, a plan began to form in his mind. There wasn't much that he could offer, but Huksonjo's shirt would let him blend in to a city a little better than the first time. He wanted to find a large place where he could offer to work for a short while without being conspicuous. That would, most likely, give him access to a bed and maps. He also hoped that it would be a good place to learn and practice more of this language they called Runasimi.

David came across several small villages but remembered how closely-knit the first village had been. He avoided being seen.

He wandered in the same general direction all day and took rests whenever he came across a stream. The bugs that congregated near waterfalls were a nuisance but the places offered fresh water which he was unable to carry with him. He slept in a tree again that night.

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