Herman Lester grunted as the door opened for no reason other than he hadn’t been expecting the door to open. Of course, Master Lancaster had gone into the room. It only made sense that he would also come back out. He briefly considered why he had forgotten to consider this until he suddenly forgot about considering it when Master Lancaster spoke.
“Hernester,” that was his name now, garbled over the years into something that it wasn’t, “I need you to go into town and get some supplies.” Master Lancaster, also known as Bartlan, which was easier to remember than the Master’s full name, Bartholomew Lancaster, stood over Hernester as he held out a list to him.
Bartlan was taller than Hernester, but that didn’t seem right. Hernester considered this as he recalled he was considering something earlier as well. Perhaps it was the same thing. He stopped as he looked down and realized he was sitting. Hernester stood, and as he did, he realized he was now the same height as Bartlan. He took the list. He wondered why he ever thought he was shorter as he looked at the paper in his hand. “What is this?”
“The list of supplies I need from town.”
Hernester was going to ask about the items on the list. Some of them seemed odd, but Bartlan’s words interrupted his thoughts and brought forth a different question, “The town?”
“Yes, remember? The one with the elves.”
Hernester had a hard time remembering it. When was the last time he had been there? Which direction was it? No, he didn’t remember it at all.
“I’ll set you on the path as usual. If you remember anything at all, remember to stay on the path.”
“Stay on the path.”
“Yes.” Bartlan nodded with a wide grin. Of course it was wide. It always was. Part of his lips had rotted away, exposing the Master’s teeth permanently. “My supplier will recognize you, and fill my order as usual. He’ll then send you back with the packages. Try not to lose any this time.”
Bartlan escorted Hernester to the door and opened it. “Stay on the path.” he repeated, and pointed to the path leading away from the home.
“Stay on the path.” Hernester started walking.