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Tlagaang

Some ten years ago.

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Leaving was, this time, a bittersweet affair.

The homely scent of smoke and years of nice, warm meals still hung tauntingly in the air, and with it, the wind of many of the same airs still coming from outside. The sounds and smells of all manner of nice things roasting, boiling, and being cut and ate. Made by those that still remained. Inside the hut, everything was unlit, lifeless, and it felt less real for it, like this was some strange, foreign place that his family had never even seen before.

He rolled up his hammer, his pliers, and his anvil into his apron and into the little two-wheeled hand-cart. He’d quickly said his goodbyes to the workmen the day the news came, and hadn’t spoken of it much more. Really, the first thing on his mind was to scream at the foreman who’d told him, but that desire he kept under tight locks and bottled up. Him and Aedwa had been planning on what to do even before they knew for certain.

“Did yow get the pot scraped off clean, luv?” He’d heard her come back from the river and stash it with a few of the jars. “Best as I coud, ‘Ug.” She said to him. She seemed more melancholy than before, and he gave her a look that said he could tell.

“Met Vala when ah woss there. We had a chat, an'... Oh ah knaw I’m going to miss it ‘ere.” She sobbed a little bit, and leant despondently against the cart. Hugon sat beside her and picked up her hand. “Luv.” He said, finding it hard at that moment to keep the expression his soul wanted to make off his face. “Gaw sit ‘ere. Say goodbye to it won last time. I’ll fetch the lads.” He said in a deep, reassuring voice to her.

Their two boys had been playing much as if nothing at all was going on. Even if they understood what was going on – and kids always did, to some extent – they didn’t seem to feel much for it, at least Hugon thought, and hoped. Words like those they’d used, “moving”, “no work”, “hungry”, meant bad things, they could hear on his voice, and they no doubt meant even more than words like “tummy-ache” or “Da will get right mad”, but they were still at least a little bit distant. The two of them still lived with the carefree, safe idea that all of those things were something that Mum n’ Da would take care of, and it would be alright in the end. The little world that Hugon, with all he could muster, wanted to keep intact. There was no doubt that they were sad to have to say goodbye to all of their friends.

Just the visage of Hugon trotting up was enough to get Orwen and his big brother to hop off the fence where all the kids in the village had sat, and go back with him when they'd gotten to wave goodbye. They asked him a few question of the kind that kids ask, to which Hugon had some, but not all answers. His eldest seemed angry.

The Mõn-rock sky above flowed in jagged, violent patterns. An ill omen of old, though one Hugon only believed in enough to be mad at it for showing up now. The roads had not been safe for honest folk for a long time by now. He’d have to be scarier than those out there could ever be.

An hour later, they’d left their home behind.
To Celulai.
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