Roads: Neither Here Nor There


This too shall pass.

There wasn't much chatter to interrupt, nor people to stare, when I brushed the door open. This far out on the trail, there weren't many people left who could afford a night's stay.

I chose a quiet corner and waited for the barmaid to come over. Her eyes were a little glazed, I noticed - perhaps the only noticeable thing about her. One more person who'd seen how little the world had to offer.

She seemed nice enough, though. Wiped my table down and took my order with a smile that was tired but real. I paid in silver, tarnished but genuine in the same way.

"You've seen a few miles, traveller. Going far?"

"I've been a long way, true enough. Still got a way to go, though."

We locked eyes, instantly recognising each other for who we truly were inside.

"Just one more inn, perhaps?" Her voice was low.

"Yes." Why lie? She knew.

"I'll - I'll get your drink."

I took a risk and caught her sleeve as she turned away, carefully keeping my voice casual.

"You could come with me."


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