Nature Abhors a Vacuum
“There was barely enough room in the back for us to sit as it was,” Aiden said after a
quick calculation. “Where are you going to put all of this?”
“Yeah I know, I'll think of something,” Pacian shrugged, leaving Aiden to wonder
what his solution would involve. Knowing his friend, it would probably involve Colt
running alongside the wagon all the way back to town.
After they had finished loading the iron, the two young men peered curiously over
Colt's shoulder to see what was happening. The crossbow bolt, bloodied and bent, lay in
the snow by his feet. A bandage, stained already with the wolf’s blood, was wrapped
around its midriff. Nellise had her eyes closed in prayer, one hand delicately placed near
the wounded area. The wolf lay still, surprisingly calm given the close proximity of
“Why are you helping it?” Aiden whispered. “It did try to kill me, you know.”
“How could I let such a smart animal die?” Colt replied, probably being sarcastic.
“Humanity has done enough damage to this region. This one lives.” Aiden hadn't heard
him so serious before. This was clearly an issue close to his heart.
“Yes, he will live,” Nellise agreed, “but he's lost a lot of blood. I'm afraid he won't be
able to fend for himself for some time.” Colt nodded, deep in thought for a long moment.
Finally, he looked at the crowded back of the wagon, then at Pacian.
“So, how do you feel about running?” the blond rogue asked with an impish grin.
It was well after sunset by the time the wagon rolled to a stop in the sodden ground
outside the gates of Bracksford. Aiden sat at the front of the wagon, huddled underneath
his hood in a futile effort to stay dry, sitting next to the driver and Sayana. He had hoped,
in the back of his mind that it might have stopped raining by now, but was disappointed
with the continuing downpour. They had been gone for three days, and yet nothing had
Pacian leaned against the side of the wagon, struggling to catch his breath after
jogging alongside the wagon for miles. As Aiden had learned years ago, his friend lacked
the stamina for running and could only imagine how sore and tired he was now.
The only reason the blond rogue had agreed to give up his seat in the wagon was
because Colt had also offered to run, since they both had 'special cargo' to haul. But even
on a bad day, the rugged outdoorsman was in much better shape than Pacian. There were
two guards standing at the gate, one of whom stepped forward to address them.
“Hell of a time to be showing up at our gates, sir,” he called to Mister Samuels, the
crumpled little man wearing a perpetual scowl at the journey he had to endure. “But it
sure is good to see you. I hope you're hauling food; with all this damn rain we've had,
most of our supplies have been ruined.”
“We've a few days worth of supplies for the town, and a few passengers, as it
happens,” Samuels replied. “I ask that you expedite our passage into the town, young
“Just let me check your cargo and I'll wave you through,” the guard replied, walking
towards the back of the wagon with a sputtering torch held aloft. Aiden cast a concerned
glance at Samuels, who shrugged back at him. They had no idea how the guard would
react to finding a wolf in the back. Colt had indicated that if it was a problem, he'd set it