((I took a little liberty with this week’s prompt. It’s supposed to be to write a story set in a country you’ve never been to. Since I hadn’t really developed western Naren yet, I decided to set it there since I wanted to stick to my own fantasy world. Here’s my first story about Naren Sorias/Harrier.))

Trouble. That’s what you are.

The words echoed in his mind from a distant past. He quickened his pace as he approached the edge of the roof, jumping just as he reached the edge, and landing on the roof on the other side of the alley below. He kept running. They were, no doubt, looking for him. He just had to find the right spot in this block of homes to descend before he came to any wide streets that he wouldn’t be able to jump over.

It worried him that they had found him here. The oasis town was not large, and he hadn’t been here for long. In fact, he had just been passing through, and the caravan he had joined had stopped here for the night. Of course, he was running, where else was he going to go? He supposed he could have taken a ship, but something unnerved him about being in a tiny boat in a large body of deep water. That and the fact he expected them to think he had taken a ship, made him decide that it would be better to take the caravan.

Except it wasn’t.

He hopped over the dividing walls between the uneven roof tops, and ran to pick up speed again. Another alley, this one was only slightly bigger than the other, but it presented little challenge to his long legs. He supposed it was one of the benefits of being a western elf. They averaged a bit taller than their eastern cousins and humans, and much more taller than the dwarves in the mountains, which is where he had been hoping to go. He already knew people there, and they didn’t care that his name was not official. Thril Gandir mages never showed up there. Dwarves had their own regulations for mages, and their own rules about names. As far as Sorias knew, they and the dragons were the only societies in all of Naren that did not celebrate Name Days. Not that he ever met any dragons, but he had heard from travelers from the east.

He jumped another alley, glancing behind after he landed on a roof on the other side. He didn’t see any sign of his pursuers. So he looked over the sides of the building. It was late, and most people were inside by now. He saw no one in the street below. He decided to climb down the back of the building. It would be easier with the back stairs. He gingerly climbed down from the edge, careful not to fall. Although the distance to the first landing wasn’t far, it was enough that it would hurt. Once he was there, it was easy to descend, but he stopped at the second floor and knelt by the door there. He couldn’t go back to the inn, and going with the caravan in the morning was a bad idea.

So was running off into the desert alone, but he didn’t know what other choice he had at this point. The town was too small. They would be able to find him again if he stayed another day. He pulled a hair pin out of his bun, letting a strand of his long white hair drop down his back. Now was not the time for being vain. All of his desert covering was back at the inn. He had his money and the clothes on his back that he had been wearing in the common room of the inn when the men had come in looking for him.

Nothing but troub—

The memory of the voice was interrupted by a lock clicking. He pushed the door open to find himself in the kitchen of the home. A white cloth headcover and headband hung beside the door. He grabbed those, and an bag which he emptied of facial beautification products before continuing. He took some fruit off the table and some full waterskins and put those in the bag, which wasn’t big to begin with but it would do. He left the bag and head cover next to the back door as he tiptoed further into the house. He lucked out by finding a rack with clothes left to dry on it. He grabbed the largest white robe and took it with him to the back door. Before leaving, he took out his coin purse and left a few coins on the table.

He climbed down the last stairs as he put the head covering on, draping the cloth over his ears to protect them after daylight arrived. He decided against changing his clothes in the alley. At night, it was cooler, and he was dressed appropriately for that. He stuffed the white robe half in the bag; most of it resting on top in a messy pile. He hurried off towards the northern street that led out of town and into the desert night.


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