Continued from 11/366 – Conversations
After Master Scaine left, Cleric Josten brought in a bowl of stew with some bread and offered it to Morn. Morn took the bowl and smelled it. The thick broth with the meat and spices made Morn’s mouth water and his stomach growl.
“Sounds like you may be finally ready to eat,” Cleric Josten said with a warm smile. “Did Master Scaine say something to ignite that appetite?”
“I’m sorry, Cleric Josten,” Morn said, looking up from the food. “For everything that-”
“There’s no need to apologize,” Cleric Josten said with a wave of his hand. “You only need to promise me that you will go forward learning from your mistakes and embracing the good things that happen to you.”
“I promise,” Morn replied as he picked up the spoon.
Morn finished the bowl and bread fast enough that Cleric Josten went and got him a second. Morn had nearly finished it when Jaque and Celeste arrived at the tiny house.
“You’re eating!” Jaque said, “that’s great.”
“I am,” Morn replied.
“and speaking,” Celeste said, sitting next to Morn and throwing her arm over his shoulder. “We were beginning to get worried about you. How are you feeling?”
“I’m fine,” Morn said. “I’m sorry that things went the way they did.”
“Everything will be fine in the end,” Celeste said, “They got all the zombies out of the town, so the worse is over now.”
“And we’re still actively working to repair the enchantment. We’re looking into placing the enchantment into something that will be less fragile,” Jaque said.
Morn nodded. “I shouldn’t have been so stupid to think that there would be no ramifications for my actions.”
“Everyone makes mistakes, Morn, and the unfortunate truth is that the world we live in is filled with dangerous things that can kill a lot of people very quickly. Rashem teaches us in all these things,” Cleric Josten said as he walked into the room, “There are dragons that fly high over the mountains that house giants, goblins are burrowing and raiding near the roaming orc tribes. Our world is full of danger, and our job is to stabilize and protect those we can amidst all of it.”
“Thank you, Cleric Josten,” Celeste said.
“I think that you’re ready to go home now, Morn,” Cleric Josten said. “Celeste, Jaque, would you two please accompany Morn home?”
“Of course,” Jaque said.
Morn sighed heavily, put down the bowl, and stood up. “Thank you, Cleric Josten. For everything you did for me.”
“I’m just a servant of Rashem. I do what I can to live by his teachings,” Cleric Josten replied with a half bow.
Celeste, Jaque, and Morn left the small house and stepped out into the brisk afternoon air. Morn looked around and took a deep breath. There was still fire damage to some of the buildings nearby, but the townsfolk that passed him didn’t give him any attention.
“It’s weird not seeing any zombies in the streets,” Morn said as the trio began their walk across town. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the town without them walking around.”
“Yeah, we thought so too at first,” Jaque said, “It’ll be a little bit of time before things get back to normal, but until then school’s been canceled so that we can help in the fields and with repairs.”
“I can’t believe all this happened because of one statue,” Celeste said. “You’d think it would be harder to break something as important as that.”
“I heard Master Scaine and Cleric Josten discussing something about that earlier,” Morn said, remembering the conversation. “I think something else may have happened.”
“What do you mean?” Celeste asked.
“You remember the night the statue broke, I saw Master Scaine talking to someone about an attack. Then this morning, Master Scaine and Cleric Josten were talking about the zombies trying to get to something,” Morn said. “Master Scaine said that the zombies are attracted by the living that are here, but it feels only partially true. I feel like he was talking about something else when he was saying they were after something.”
“That seems weird,” Jaque said, “What would they be after?”
“I don’t know, but I think there’s something down in the monastery that the undead are attracted to,” Morn said, “Where do they come from anyway?”
“They come from the people that died in the town,” Jaque said, “when they are buried in the center graveyard.”
“Is that normal?” Celeste asked. “Are undead just a thing that happens?”
Morn shook his head, “My father was a follower of Rashem, and nowhere in the teachings does it mention that undead roams the world. I think it may just be certain places. You know magic, Jaque. Is there anything that you know of that could make zombies?”
“Necromancers can make them, but there are none in the town,” Jaque replied, “That’s why we are having issues repairing the statue.”
“Then, where are the zombies coming from?” Celeste asked as they rounded the corner. Three guards patrolled in their direction. “We should talk about this when we get to Morn’s house.”
“I agree,” Jaque said, “I’ll run to my house really quick and grab some of my books. Morn might be onto something.”
Jaque broke away and disappeared down an alley. Celeste and Morn walked in silence the rest of the way to their neighborhood.
Morn stopped when he saw his house. He felt another stab of guilt as the tears welled in his eyes. Celeste put her hand on his shoulder and stood next to him.
“Is with Rashem,” Celeste said. “I know it’s hard, but you have to go in. Do you want me to stay outside to give you a minute?”
“No.” Morn shook his head. “I want you there with me. I don’t know that I want to be alone in there yet.”
“I’ll be right beside you, then,” Celeste replied.
Morn walked up to the door, turned the handle, and it creaked open, revealing the living room. It was dim since the curtains were closed. The fireplace was cold, and a thin layer of dust was on everything. Morn was fine until his eyes fell on his father’s chair. He couldn’t stop the tears from coming as he moved over to it and fell to his knees, resting his head on the seat.
“I’m sorry, dad,” Morn whispered through the sobs.
Continued 13/366 – Conversations (Cont.)