Rob Does Words
Treating fiction poorly since 2019


Dazel trudged through the crowds of people quietly upset at all the noise and activity.

He had been here for almost a week longer than he had originally thought would be needed and his plans didn’t look to be ending anytime soon. If only Tori hadn’t just up and left like that, maybe things would be different.

The sharp sunlight shone through the hole in the ceiling and those who dared to stare into the cloudless sky would see the creatures flying high up there drinking in the yellow light. Dazel made sure to not be directly under the gaping hole, lest he suffer the clawed fate of countless others who had failed to escape the creatures notice.

Tori made her way through the tunnels in the mountains which connected all the marketplaces and towns. She felt somewhat ashamed of herself for leaving that other guy back there, but she had her orders and, for now, he played no part in them. Even so, a part of her regretted not bringing him along for company; he was kinda cute after all.

She found the abandoned marketplace and, after making sure there was no one around, went inside. She found the usual half dozen addicts sleeping off their daily high just inside the door. Toward the rear of the space sat the person she had come in to speak to. He, too, was high on something, but he was still awake, staring into the middle distance blankly.

“Hurei?” she asked him. “Are you with us here?”

“Aren’t I always, young one?”

“See, you say that, but you only call people 'young one' when you’re high.”

“I am whatever you need me to be.”

“Well, I’m staying here until you sober up. So make it quick, old man.”

Tori made herself comfortable on one of the empty sofas and very quickly realised that the last few weeks of traveling had made her more tired than she realised and she was sleeping within minutes.

Dazel had found a stall in the middle of the bazaar that had the winning combination of being out of the direct sunlight while not being in shadow and a merchant who didn’t seem to care that he had just been sitting there for the last three hours.

He figured that Tori would come back for him once she had dealt with the family business she had used as the excuse to leave earlier, but until then, he was going to just relax and do nothing.


Dazel had been traveling at night for months, sleeping during the day to avoid the creatures. He had struck an issue today, however. As far as the eye could see was just flat desert. There were no outcroppings, no caves. Just desert.

“Quite the dilemma, wouldn’t you say?” a voice said behind him.

“There’s a town over there, right?” he asked, turning to face the girl who had been tailing him.

“So they say.” she replied, somewhat put out that he wasn’t surprised to see her.

“Is that where you’re heading?”

“Well, I am following you.”

“Yes, I noticed about a week ago.”

“And you didn’t do anything about it?”

“Well, are you planning on harming me at any point?”

“Not really. I’m just information gathering, really.”

“Hm. I’m a dead end in that respect,” he lied.

“Well, I’m still getting paid either way, so it doesn’t matter to me. Even if I know you’re lying.”

Dazel chuckled. “Well it’s all academic if we can’t get across this desert.”

“Why can’t we do it the way we’ve been traveling so far? Travel at night, camp during the day.”

“Well, number one, there’s nowhere to camp out of sight. Even if we’re not moving, those things will get us, so we’d need to make it in less than a day, and since the desert goes beyond the horizon, that’s probably not going to happen.”

“And two?”

“The sun is too bright to camp out in the desert during the day, even if the creatures weren’t an issue.”

“So I was right, then; dilemma.”

“Do you have any solutions?”


“Do tell. I’m out of ideas.”

“This, coming from the man who convinced that village to feed and shelter him for free?”

“This is a completely different situation. Also, if you’ve been following me for that long, you should know that I mostly just wing it.”

“Fair enough. My plan is kind of boring though, compared to you.”

“Boring is good. What have you got?”

“We wait for another day or so and jump on the traveling market that we somehow kept ahead of this whole time.”

“Of course there’s a comfortable, direct to where I want to go ride that I could use,” he complained as the girl laughed beside him.

Tori woke with a start. The room was somewhat lighter, although it was candle light, not sunlight. Hurei was pacing across the room, chastising another person she recognised instantly.

“You can’t explain to me why I should keep you around and yet you insist that you’re worth something to me?”

“Hurei, I’ve always been worth something to you,” a voice calmly explained. “You brought me in on this with certain expectations which I always exceeded. Now, when you stand to lose everything, you try to throw me under the bus.”

“You failed me, Plenti. You are in no place to make those demands. Now leave.”

“As you say, Hurei. I don’t want to be here for what happens next. Good to see you again, Tori,” he added as he left.

“You told me he was dead, Hurei,” she said coming over.

“I tell a lot of people a lot of things, Tori. It is my prerogative.”

“Perhaps. However, we are family. What is it you always say about family?”

“Where is he?” Hurei asked, ignoring the accusation behind Tori’s words.

“Around. Safe. Waiting for me to come back for him.”

“What did you tell him?”

“Nothing, although I’m beginning to regret that.”

“Regret is a theme of our lives, Tori.”

“As you keep saying, oh wise, fearless teacher.”

“Your sarcasm will see your life ended early, you know. Now, take me to this man. This saviour of us all.”