Continued from 10/366 – Night Terrors (Cont.)
Morn spent the next few days in Cleric Josten’s care. Thankfully, Cleric Josten had sent away everyone that had come to see him, including Celeste and Jaque. Morn had felt sick since he had regained consciousness. His mind kept wandering to his father and the other 51 people that had died when the zombies broke free. Cleric Josten offered him food several times a day, but Morn couldn’t bring himself to eat.
Two days in Morn heard Master Scaine and Cleric Josten talking. Morn moved up to the edge of the doorway and sat down so he could hear better.
“How is he?” Master Scaine asked.
“He’s making progress, but he’s still processing everything. He won’t talk to me yet. I’ve tried talking about everything from the weather to what happened that night, but nothing will get him to talk to me. He’s also not eating much. I’m afraid that if it continues, his body will start to give out on him. He’s lost nearly fifteen pounds,” Cleric Josten said.
“You told him about the deaths?” Master Scaine asked. “He didn’t need to know that right now. He’s still processing his father’s death.”
“He deserves to know,” Cleric Josten said. “I understand that he’s going through a lot right now, but he should know the truth of everything. He should know what happened.”
“How much did you tell him?” Master Scaine asked.
“I told him enough. He knows how many people died and that it’s over now,” Cleric Josten said.
“Good. If you had come to me first, that is all I would have wanted you to tell him,” Master Scaine said.
“It is over, though, right?” Cleric Josten asked.
“We drove them out of the village. Until we can get the enchantment repaired, they will keep coming for it. We’ve had to put initiates on the walls at night every night to keep up defenses,” Master Scaine said. Morn couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “If you’ll permit me, I’ll go check on him. Maybe I can get him to talk a little.”
Morn pushed himself to his feet and moved back to the other side of the room as fast as he could without making noise. A moment later, Master Scaine entered the small room. He didn’t look happy, but he didn’t seem upset either. Morn couldn’t stand the look of indifference on his face when he sat in the chair next to the bed.
“How are you recovering?” Master Scaine asked. His eyes were as penetrating as ever. Morn didn’t even try to open his mouth to reply. “Are you still not talking?”
Morn blinked at him.
“I think it would do you some good to spend time with Celeste and Jaque. I’ve already contacted them, and they will be here this afternoon,” Master Scaine said.
“I don’t want to see anyone,” Morn muttered.
“I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t deserve to see anyone. I should be put to death for what I’ve done,” Morn said. The words had come out before he could stop them.
“You didn’t do anything, Morn. It was an unfortunate circumstance that couldn’t be avoided. If I had caught on to your curiosity sooner, you would have seen the inside of the graveyard, and the gargoyle would have never broken,” Master Scaine said.
Morn thought for a moment about what he had heard, “What are the zombies after?”
“What do you mean?”
“I heard you say that they would keep coming to get it, whatever it is,” Morn said, “I want to know what they are after.”
“Ah, I see. Well, zombies are not free thinkers, you see. They are mindless and set about a single task throughout their existence. In this case, they crave life and will try to consume it until there is none left. Here in the village is an abundance of life,” Master Scaine said.
Morn nodded. “Do you think they’ll be able to fix it?”
“I believe they will. I sent a notice to Flanton to request assistance. Hopefully, they will be here soon to assist with repairs. Then life will go back to normal,” Master Scaine said.
“It won’t be normal, though,” Morn said. “So many people died. My father died. Nothing will ever be the same again. All because I couldn’t control myself.”
“Using zombies to perform the laborious work around the town comes with its risks. This is as much my fault as it is every person that knew what you were up to. Your father was a good man, dedicated to making this town a better place for everyone, including you. You shouldn’t be ashamed of that,” Master Scaine said, “You are as curious as I was at your age, I should have paid closer attention to you.”
“Did anything like this happen when you were my age?” Morn asked.
“My entire village was wiped out. There was nothing left,” Master Scaine said. “It’s something that I’ll always have to live with, and it taught me a valuable lesson about having a clearer view of what I’m doing before I do it. Though it would appear, I’ve overlooked something here as well.”
The sadness in Master Scaine’s eyes made Morn break eye contact.
“I’m sorry,” Morn said.
“Don’t ever look away from it,” Master Scaine said, “Rashem’s teachings tell us of the joys and sorrows of life. The sorrows are the greatest teacher for us. We have to keep moving forward and preserve what we can. After all, no one gets out of life alive.”
“What about the people that lost someone?” Morn asked, “How can I face them?”
“Rashem is very clear that life is a precious thing. We have to savor what time we have with those we care about. I think you’ll find that the people in the village won’t be as meanspirited as you think. No one is coming here, calling for your head. You lost something precious too, and they know it.” Master Scaine said. “I’ve got to go talk with the other Masters now, but you should eat something and talk with Cleric Josten and your friends. They are here for you, and you should lean on them now more than ever.”
Morn nodded. “Thank you, Master Scaine.”
Continued 12/366 – Conversations (Cont.)