Hoping to leave the war behind them, Marisa and Tana embarked on a simple life. But an exiled past is not an escaped one.
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No matter how many she plucked, each morning there were more. Clumps of catweed which flung their nose-itching seedpods into the air at the slightest touch. Mushrooms that withered by dusk, but bloomed anew each dawn. Blades of serrated grass. She hardly felt the scrape of the grass when she dragged it from the ground fistfuls at a time—but always with her right. Her left rested in her lap or swayed uselessly at her side as she worked.
Numb fingers were treacherous. Sticking herself with stinging nettles, she wouldn’t realize until she saw the blood. In the early dawn hours dew still clung to the weeds, and they’d slip through the unfeeling fingers of her imperfect fist when she pulled. That frustrated her more than anything.
It could take most of the morning, tending to their little garden plot. Around when the summer sun began to bear down on Marisa’s shoulders like a weight, and the heat of the day truly began, Tana would rouse herself. She’d spring out onto the cottage porch with a spin, a yawn, and a smile. Swinging a pail for the ewes beside her, she’d chatter on about phantom bears heard in the night or heading into town to receive another of the endless letters from her brother, who had enough sense to remain a prince, not renounce it all to quell the anxieties of a now un-soldier.
But it seemed to suit Tana, this place. The work kept her strong, and the sun had coaxed a yet more beautiful brown from her skin.
Afternoons of pruning and plucking abused plants, for a handful of potatoes. It wasn’t just the weeds, but the rodents and vermin that took whatever they pleased. Some months floods. Some months drought. These things over which control was meager. In her hand, Marisa rolled the dirt-encrusted, craggy-skinned ball of a potato. For all that worry and work, it was smaller than her thumb.Continue reading “Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones – The Gloam of Gathered Past”