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The Fireside Tales - Chapter Fifty-Two
Chapter Fifty-Two: Tension

"The rope is frayed. It will soon break."

Standpoint was still in mourning. The deaths of the past few days was still evident as when Valtyra, still furious beyond all limits, rode up to the front gate, no one waiting save for Shayliss. Her red hair was a complete mess, though, and the white cloth dress she wore was covered in spots of dirt. Yet, that face of hers pulled up in a great big smile when she saw the half-elf approaching.

"You're home!" Her tone was one of great relief. However, that changed when she noticed no one else behind Valtyra. "Where are the others?"

Valtyra slid off of Shadowshine and kept the horse's reins in her hand. "They are coming. I rode ahead."

Shayliss's eyes did not miss anything, "It is getting worse, huh?" Valtyra started walking and she followed beside the woman, "Why don't you just tell them?"

The half-elf gritted her teeth, "I can't!"

"Why not?" Shayliss asked, her voice half-pleading. "You are tearing yourself up over this! The more you keep it in, the more pain it will bring you!"

Around them, the town was silent. The occasional citizen passed them by, but everyone looked like they were within their own world. None of them would have heard, or even cared, about the pair's conversation, yet Valtyra took her voice down to a whisper anyway. "I cannot! Even if I wanted to, I can't! You don't-"

"I dare you," Shayliss whispered with a hint of a snarl, "to say that I do not understand. See what happens."

Valtyra growled but turned her face away. She could feel the fire rising in the woman just as much as she could feel hers. It was burning and painful. Yet, something pushed that back. A voice inside of Valtyra was saying that Shayliss was just trying to help, that lashing out would not do any good. But that was a snowflake against the blazing fire.

"I know what you are going through now more than ever. Do not insult me by telling me I do not understand." Shayliss's tone turned back to a plea, "Please. Let me help you. Tell them."

Valtyra shook her head. "No."

"Then let me tell them! You don't even need to be in the same room!"

The half-elf gritted her teeth. It was tempting. She could not help but realize that Shayliss was right. Telling the others about her nightmare could relieve tensions. Not only that, but telling Shayliss about it was a great relief. Doing the same with the others would do a lot to start the recovery process.

But, there was something that held her back. A subconscious thought that rejected any idea of revealing secrets that should be buried. It was hard enough to deal with it herself, but letting others know about it could also bring a pain that could not be healed. And, she had to admit, but there was a childish part of her that was determined to fight back against the nightmare by hiding it as far down as possible.

Valtyra continued walking and did not answer Shayliss.

Shayliss stopped following Valtyra.


Do you have any comments, questions or concerns? Please leave a comment or email me at sean.francis@rivalcastmedia.com!

Also, you can follow me on Twitter for updates on The Fireside Tales, or just random statements I may make: @Miggnor23.

I'm quite lost. Can I see the previous Chapter?

I just arrived! Could I see the first chapter?

Next Chapter Coming On January 20th!
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