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Category: Writing and Poetry

my book - chapter one - part 3

'twas too long for one blog so i split it up into chunks :)

part one    part two    part three

It was two hours past midnight when her arms gave out. Sigyn could not find it in herself to even gasp as the contents of her cart tumbled out onto the dirt and grit. She simply stood there and stared, even as her waterskin leaked from a tear in its side, the parched ground drinking up the liquid like a dying man in a desert. 

Her eyes smarted, but Sigyn ignored them. She hadn’t cried over her mother’s death, hadn’t cried when she was forced to work the loom for bread, hadn’t cried when she left behind everything she knew. She wouldn’t start now.

Sigyn ignored the taste of salt in the back of her throat and crouched down on stiff knees. She inspected the cart for damage, and was dismayed to find the wooden spoke barely hanging on by a sliver of wood. She couldn’t fix it here, with no proper supplies and no idea how to go about repairing it. 

She didn’t bother looking around for help- she hadn’t passed a single person on the path so far, and doubted she would for the rest of the journey. She would simply have to carry what she could by hand.

Sigyn removed the shawl lining the cart (no small feat, considering the splintering wood and fabric had almost become one) and began filling it. Clothes were a necessity, as well as the small amount of water remaining in her waterskin. These alone took up more room than Sigyn had hoped. 

Sigyn slung the shawl across her chest and tied it around her neck. In this makeshift sling she set her sewing set, comb, and the bone-handled knife she’d purchased in Bakkeheim. The ornately carved dining set, carved by Sigyn’s father for her parents’ wedding, had to be abandoned. It pained her to let the beautiful dishes go, but there was simply no room.

Sigyn stuffed the deep pockets of her skirt with the dwindling supply of bread and fish she’d brought with her. She opened her jewelry box, and looped a few strands of cheap pearls and beads around her wrists. She didn’t bother going through the rest of her belongings- any other valuables she might have owned had been sold. 

A pang went through her heart as Sigyn stood and made to leave the pile spread on the ground. It wasn’t a part of her plan to enter Jonsgård with so little, but she would have to make do. Sigyn’s gaze was drawn to the dishes again, their polished wood still gleaming, dirtied as they were. 

She could afford to take one, Sigyn reasoned. She picked up a soup bowl, carved around the rim with a pattern of wolves and flowers. It could fetch a good price, yet Sigyn knew she would never sell it. 

Sigyn could think of no more reasons to stay, and, with a whispered farewell to her cart, set off again. Jonsgård was so close, only another hour or so away. She would be there by the end of the day, even if she had to make it crawling on her hands and knees.

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