The Long Retreat No. 55

She had another choice. Falthejn’s warning about magic stuck with her. Even with all the risks, the life of a magiker seemed good enough. If he had told her the truth about her chances, she had a chance to do something, and to be someone worth remembering. Danger didn’t scare her, not really, and she’d always been the one, among her friends from the city, willing to jump in, to lend a hand. Sif the Magiker, she thought. She could see that.

She leaned back against a tree, pulling her bedroll up to her neck and shifting to a more comfortable spot. She closed her eyes, then opened them, in a way. The world was so beautiful, if you knew how to look. She could see the way that power flowed around Falthejn, and the strength of the bond that Hrothgar and Alfhilde shared. She saw the spirits of the forest flitting around the trees, and the color of the wind as it rustled the branches overhead. She reached out a finger—not a real one, she reminded herself, willing her body to stillness. She touched a branch twenty feet overhead, and felt he ripple it pushed into the fabric of the world as it moved.

She smiled and opened her eyes. It was peaceful here, in ways she better understood now. This place was a place of refuge. She blinked, unsure where that thought had come from. Magic, she guessed. Neat. She toyed with the idea of looking around some more, or pushing her mind’s eye further out from the camp, but suddenly, she was very tired, and the sun was further down than she’d remembered. She laid down, closed her eyes, and was soon asleep.

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