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Challenge: October 2007 Challenge - Prompt 22. Journey
Universe: M7 Dungeons & Dragons
Characters: Vin, Josiah
Rating: Suitable for all ages
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“It’s been a long and strange journey,” Josiah murmured, poking the fire.
“It’s not finished yet,” Vin replied, referring to both their current adventure and to their time together.
“No,” the wizard agreed, rubbing his stubbled cheeks as he looked at the five sleeping forms around them. “Not yet, not for years, but too soon all the same.”
“Life is to be lived despite the length,” Vin countered, turning to scan the woods around them.
Josiah watched the half-elf for a few minutes, a small smile on his face. Vin spoke rarely, so when he did it was worth listening. Shifting his gaze to the surrounding woods, he wondered at the younger being’s ability to reach to the heart of the matter.
Only very few people knew of Hannah’s existence, Vin was one of them. Two seasons ago, Josiah had returned to the small village and headed straight for the Inn where he proceeded to drink too much and cause trouble. Events had spiraled out of control and he had ended up being held for murder.
Vin had known, had believed in his friend so much, that the half-elf had sought whatever evidence he could to clear Josiah’s name. That had led Vin to Hannah. That discovery eventually led Josiah to confess his greatest burden to his friend. What surprised him was that Vin never judged him, didn’t condemn him.
Josiah could still remember the half-elf’s words, “Life is full of joy and grief. Joy will lighten your steps, grief weigh them down. Shared joy is multiplied. Shared grief is halved. I’ll help you carry this burden and keep your secret,” Vin assured.
Since that time, Josiah had found the courage to share his story with the others in his group, wondering at the warmth he felt at the approval in Vin’s eyes as he shared the story with the other five. The wizard had been amazed at the lightening of his burden. Not for the first time, Josiah wondered if Vin’s wisdom was a type of magic all its own.
“Rain in two days,” Vin said quietly, startling Josiah from his thoughts.
“And it’s at least three to the meeting point,” the wizard sighed, moving to stand next to the half-elf. “Four if the roads turn to mud.”
Vin nodded his agreement. “Rest now, Josiah,” the archer suggested. “I’ll wake Chris and Buck for their watch soon.”
Resting a hand on Vin’s shoulder, he squeezed gently. “You make sure to rest as well, my friend,” he instructed. “The journey of life can’t be made if one is asleep on their feet.”
The wide grin Vin offered at the advice, brought a matching one to Josiah’s face. Suppressing a yawn, Josiah turned and made his way to a clear place by the fire, settling in for the night.
Before drifting into sleep, he couldn’t help reflecting that, for the seven of them, their journey together may not be long, especially for Vin, but it would always be an adventure.
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