…He leads her away almost carrying her.
They disappear into the blackness beyond the ring of flames.
They choke on the oily smoke, blind with tears.
Within the flames
A voice sings, farewell, to the stars…
The fires glow against the horizon behind them.
She cannot see them with her eyes but she feels them still.
She will always feel them.
Red… Like the Rowan.
Red… Like blood.
The Way-Stone sits beneath the canopy, marking their route in its curves and lines.
She has never seen this place but she knows the value of the carved rock.
They have been here.
Her people…the rock is clean…scraped of its moss.
She knows its language.
She can read the white pebbles placed carefully in the hollow.
Three nights ago they were here.
And safe; they have vanished into the heartland and the stones tell the way.
She sweeps away the pebbles.
There will be no clue left for others to follow.
They will see the stone with eyes that cannot read it.