A Rare Ending

Dunsa set down her sword. The monster was dead, the celebration ended, and Coll gone home to her husband and brothers. She stood at the edge of her fathers’ valley; their cottage and paddock directly below her. Neither was outside nor was the dog, but Dunsa lowered her profile to a cross-legged sitting position to avoid being seen. She hadn’t decided if this place was where she wanted to be just yet.

After the quest ended, Witta returned to his shop to sell the trinkets he’d collected and to make arrangements for obtaining and selling more from the Baltenes he’d befriended along the way, someone else did something else longish to describe but different from the first one on the list, and even Heb just went back to being a soldier. Dunsa hadn’t given it any thought. She stuffed her few clothes and her [quest prize thing] into a pannier and humped off into the mountains toward home expecting her enthusiasm to rise with each mile. And it did rise for the first bit. Occasionally she skipped when the trail flattened or declined. She’d even sprigged a forget-me-not and tucked it above her left ear—which made her cry and think of Coll.

Coll would be home for a week or more by now. The jumping, crying, and bellowing of her return already dulled to just a heartfelt squeeze in the kitchen or extended kiss before the day’s work dipping tapers.

240 words on day 887