By EM Malachi
Katrina poured water on the wound and winced in pain. A large thorn had caught her arm when she was helping a sheep escape a briar tangle. There was one in every flock: independent and curious. As she wrapped her wound, the errant sheep nuzzled her leg, looking none the worse for wear.
She had joined the drive from Skara Brae to Britain so she would have an excuse to see her friend. Feridwyn’s early letters about the Fellowship had been excited and full of stories. Then they had gotten shorter and hinted at his doubts. His most recent letter was the most surprising of all: he was going to marry another member of the group. Katrina needed to know what was going on.
When she arrived in Britain and found the Fellowship Hall, she saw a large crowd gathered listening to a man giving a speech. When she didn’t see Feridwyn at the group, she asked someone about the Fellowship poorhouse. She was directed to the outskirts of Britain.
The poorhouse was crammed full of extra beds and supplies, but the occupants were at Batlin’s speech. As Katrina made her way through the narrow halls, she bumped into a large gargoyle. When she tried to apologize, he gave the shepherdess a nasty look and hurried to the exit. As she turned back, she saw the gargoyle had left a trail of blood. Katrina rushed down the hall.
Feridwyn’s small room had been turned over, and he was lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Katrina shouted for help as she pulled cloth from her bag. She desperately tried to put pressure on the largest wound.
Feridwyn recognized her, grabbing her arm. “I doubted. I couldn’t let it be.”
“There will be time later. I need to help you.”
He was crying now. “It wasn’t what I wanted.”
Katrina again shouted for help, but she felt the hand on her arm let go. The dying man looked past her before muttering his last words, “Will I see them again?”