Return

“Almost there, my little Lady.”

There’s a worry clasping at my boy’s words, leaving them to creak through its grasping fingers. I mewl back softly, trying to sound calm, but it feels as though a bird flutters in my belly, fighting to escape.

It’s been three years since Lad returned home. His previous visit did not end on overly good terms; his father threw him out and told him only to return once he’d found an apprenticeship. After a little hunting and some undignified begging, a master of the forest agreed to take us on, and we’ve been working and learning there for over a year now.

But I fear this may not be good enough in the eyes of Lad’s father. The old man had visions of grandeur in his mind, not of humble forest work. But Lad has no drive for grandeur, and nor do I; to pursue it would only bring misery.

Returning home feels like a final step in accepting our place in the world. It’s confirming to his family, and to ourselves, that this is our path.

It’s a bit daunting, but it feels right.

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