The grey-haired auctioneer smiled at the group of men gathered before him. "Gentlemen, that concludes the auction of the Yeis properties. Please come to the front and settle your accounts with Mr. Lewis here."
Orin stood with his hands in the pockets of his faded overalls watching Mr. Lewis collect the signatures of the men who had just purchased his father's properties. Of course, Mr. Lewis had been right when he said that Orin couldn't run the farm himself. He was, afterall, "just a kid." But at fourteen summers, Orin felt he had already experienced more than any "kid" his age should.
Mr. Lewis gestured to Orin to join him. The slightly heavy
man was red-faced and sweating from the evening sun. Orin
noticed his bald spot before he rose from his seat
"Looks like you'll be enjoying a tidy little profit
from the auction, son," said the auctioneer.
Mr. Lewis glanced at the auctioneer sideways and frowned.
"Uh, that is, if your father hadn't owed so much to the bank," he said, correcting himself.
"That's right, son," Mr. Lewis added. "There's
just enough for you to get yourself from Tynr to Spur, if
that's still where you want to go."
"Oh, yes sir," Orin said, shifting his weight,
"my Pa used ta tell me all kinds a stories 'bout the
Spur an' the knights there an' all. I think he'd like me ta
go there now that he's gone."
"Alright then. I've arranged for you to ride with a
wagon that will be heading in that direction. Now mind you,
it won't be able to take you all the way there. You'll have
to arrange for your own transportation once it arrives at its
destination. But you're a smart kid, aren't you? You'll have
no trouble at all. The wagon will be coming through town
tomorrow, so you'd best be getting yourself together."
"Thanks a lot, Mr. Lewis. You been real kind ta me, sir."
"I'm glad to help you, Orin. You're a good kid and I
wouldn't want to see anyone take advantage of your situation.
Now go on and get your stuff together."
"I will, sir. Thanks again!" Orin said, and he ran into the farmhouse.
"Nice kid," said the auctioneer.
"Yes, but he's a dreamer like his father."
"His father would've been better to teach him the
truth about the real world than to tell him fanciful stories
about knights in shining armor."
"Maybe. But then we wouldn't be able to enjoy such a nice profit, would we?" Mr. Lewis winked.
Orin didn't sleep much that night. Though he knew he
should be feeling more upset about the loss of the farm, the
anticipation of travelling to a strange new city was all he
could think about. When daylight finally broke, he walked
around the farmhouse one last time, and made his way to the
center of the village.
Orin took the quiet wooded pathway that led from one of
the main roads in Tynr to the cemetary. He stood beside of a
fresh mound of dirt and looked at the headstone resting there.
He had been taught to read and write his own name and his
parents' names. "Otilio 'Otis' Yeis" it said, along
with some other words he wasn't able to make out. Next to his
father's headstone were two much older looking headstones.
"Ellesandra Yeis" was printed on the one that
marked his mother's site, and the other he knew said "Amberlyn
Yeis" though he couldn't read it. These two headstones
were worn with age, but Orin thought they looked good after
ten years. Or had it been eleven? He couldn't remember
exactly. He had been old enough to learn that the sister that
was supposed to be born never was. And he had been old enough
to learn that his mother had gone with Amberlyn. And he
remembered missing his mother and crying for her for weeks.
So he had to have been three or four when it happened. If
only the dates on the stones had been written with numbers
instead of those blasted archaic symbols!
Looking around the cemetary, Orin noticed that many of the
other grave sites in the area had flowers on them, and he
felt guilty for not bringing any. He had considered taking
some of the wildflowers that grew in the yard of the
farmhouse, but since the farmhouse now belonged to someone
else, he felt it would have been stealing. So instead he laid
his hand on each stone and said goodbye to each quietly in
Orin caught the wagon from Tynr and rode it as far as it
would take him toward Spur. At each stop he had to negotiate
his travelling arrangements with a new group, but eventually
he made it to Spur. Since his arrival, he has met many
interesting people and been influenced by each in some way.
The outspoken bard whose beau causes him feelings of
jealously that he can't explain, and doesn't even recognize.
The leuian priest whose sense of honor he admires above
all others and whom he would never want to disappoint.
The well-mannered knight whose confidence and charisma are
The dark-skinned, dark-haired woman who seems "bad"
on the surface, but yet is so pleasing to look upon.
The red-haired woman who always smiles and hugs him.
The noble hithual whose cheery eyes and hearty laugh make
his heart ache for his father.
The woman of peace who is always so polite to everyone.
And everyone else he has met, no matter how briefly, because they have all given him something to learn.
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