Since the first evacuation had gone relatively smoothly, when they woke up and got on the road the next morning, the atmosphere was quite different. The squads were more comfortable — more hopeful. Still rattled, of course. They’d all seen Harie come back with the townspeople who had nearly been left behind. But there was a distinct undercurrent of “maybe that hadn’t gone so badly”, and that was a difficult sentiment to squash entirely. But Wilom was having trouble trusting that things would continue to go smoothly. He didn’t know whether he was affected by Harie’s persistent bad mood and the Colonels’ persistent, tired resignation — that feeling of being very near the end of a draining project, knowing that soon they would be able to rest, but also knowing that there was nothing they could do about it yet — or whether he was just starting to get cynical, but he couldn’t help suspecting that something was going to go wrong before the end of this assignment. Continue reading
Vanda met Wilom early in the morning the very next day.
“You know,” she said, “Just because you wake up this early, doesn’t mean you have to inflict it on the rest of us.”
“You agreed,” Wilom said. Continue reading
Wilom leaned over the side of the boat, unsure whether it was safe to trail a hand in the water. The ferryman’s pole barely left any ripples. The eerie twilight non-sky tinged everything blue and black. Continue reading