Bristled brooms brush proudly against the path's roughly hewn cobblestones. The stones come together to form the floor of the bazaar, and long ago they were as jagged on their top face as they are now in the spaces between -- where the stones meet each of their neighbors. This path winds through an area of woodland to the west of the village, but the trail favored by most travelers -- the one that crosses the rocky hillside to the west -- has been in disrepair for quite some time. Travelers are rarely made aware of this fact before they arrive in the area, as word travels slowly when sent beyond the high surrounding walls.
Darkened slippers of rough spun cotton cling snugly to the man's feet. His person rests comfortably in the matted corduroy arm chair in the corner of his loft apartment. He takes a deep breath, then another. On the third his chest begins to rise, but stops as a sharp pain in his ribs manages to cause another of his unfortunate coughing fits. Slipping his feet from their respective domiciles -- first left, then right -- his grizzled toes find respite from the cold in the browning shag rug on the floor. With chipped toenails and cracked heels, his unkempt feet speak in part about his age, but announce unendingly about his self care.
Despite the bite of the wind on his face, he finds himself to be un-phased. Perhaps mostly un-phased -- having ignored the frost forming on the scarf he wears -- which had begun to rub his nose raw. He wrinkles his nose and decides to stop and adjust it. Either way, his mind was elsewhere.
The sound of a cool misty rain as it falls atop a once bright tin plated roof is nothing if not calming. In this moment it could not be more what he needed to sooth his rather unfavorable mood. The birds softly began chirping, the grasshoppers provided the melody, and the bullfrogs in the nearby pond came out, bringing with them the loud bass rhythm of the forest. Despite the rain's having been noticed by all sorts of creatures around the secluded cabin, he glooms on, oblivious. That is to say, he was oblivious up until the racket of frogs had begun their croaking.
He feels uneasy as he tries to keep stride with her – the woman who has his heart, but whom he’s only just come to know. He takes a few steps, then a few more. The more he tries to keep up, the more his pace falters. His heart races, rather than his legs, and his mind trips and stutters with the thoughts he's been trying so hard to avoid.
As he stood alone, Sinbad felt the wind as it raced through his hair, a peaceful feeling, despite it causing his loose clothing to billow and throw volumes of salt into his mouth and eyes -- though they were closed. "Sinbad!" Lucy called out. Sinbad did not hear her, or simply chose not to, as he was much more interested in what he was doing; something which was both idiotic and dangerous.
"Sinbad!" A woman's voice calls out. Sinbad"s eyes finally snap open. He finds himself on the floor of a tavern. It seems like a vaguely familiar place. "Where am I?" Sinbad wonders aloud. "Sinbad. You are an idiot." Lucy answers back.
"Awful bright out here." James says to himself as he comes to. Balling up his fists he clears the crust from his eyes. Elsewhere other men are working. Hard labor for the king. ‘For him great things!’ Finishing the mantra aloud, James sighs.
The sun rose before Jay did, and he ached. His body ached, and moreso his mind. His head ran circles around him and his heart fluttered to find her in his bed, soundly sleeping. Of couse, it was not unusual to find Lucy there, but it was still jarring. He hadn't completely adjusted himself to their living arangement, and so the mix of confusion and joy he felt each morning was unrequested but pleasant.
Walking swiftly along an oft-trodden path, James whistled to himself an old familiar tune. Not a shrill whistle -- no, certainly not -- as that might have disturbed the child strapped so snugly on his person. His whistle rang out across the plains and valleys around him. Though its sound was bright and clean, its melody was less so.