The Bracelet of Lambazini


4. Willow

I ride to the hollow log that I keep my hunting knives in, I grab them before turning west towards the Hinbriar Mountains. I quickly find the tree that I hide my bow in. Dismounting Lyria I climb halfway up the tree and put my hand in the hollow, bringing out my bow and quiver. I have two dozen arrows, plenty for hunting.

I turn back east and ride to Willow’s Place. “You’re late,” says a slightly annoyed voice as I dismount, I smile at Beau, “Hmmm, I wonder who’s fault that is, weren’t you meant to wake me up?” He looks away, “Yes, well-“  Will walks over and says, “Stop it! You’re acting like children.” Beau pouts.

“Anyway, I wanted to show you something.” Will looks at us seriously. Beau laughs, “Lead the way.” I can understand why he laughed. Will is quite the inventor, and so every time we come to Willow’s Place we heard those words.

Will goes to his horse and takes something out of the saddlebags while Beau and I sit down under the willow tree. He walks over grinning and holding something behind his back. “I’m sure you two know the story of this place.” I nod, but to my surprise Beau shakes his head. “Please do enlighten me.”

“Honestly, do you ever listen in school?” Will mutters shaking his head.  Upon hearing this Beau smiles widely, “Nope, you should know that by now. How long have we been best friends? Eleven years?”

“I think it is your turn Storm,” Will looks at me as he sits down. I begin the tragic tale of Willow. “A long, long, long, long time ago, before our grandparents were born,” I was interrupted by Beau’s raised hand. Feeling like a school teacher I say, “Yes Beau?”  He looks at me slyly, Whoops I think. “Can we please make the story not so long ago?” I look at Will as he flashes a quick lop-sided grin.

I begin again, “A long, long time ago, before our grandparents were born, there once was a beautiful maiden named Willow. She had many fine suitors, but she refused all of them.  For there was only one she wanted, the simple farm boy, Briaac. The two were in love, but Willow’s father did not approve of his beautiful daughter marrying a lowly farm boy. Briaac proposed to Willow and she accepted, not caring what her father thought of their marriage. Willow’s father would’ve rather seen his daughter dead then have her disgrace the family, and so the night before their wedding Willow and Briaac were on this hill, when Briaac pushed Willow back suddenly. He had been shot instead of Willow, as Briaac was dying, Willow sung him into the next life. It is said that all manner of creatures came to watch his passing.”

Beau nods, “Alright, so why is this" he gestures to the clearing, "called Willow’s Place? Is it just because she sang to him here?” A thought struck him, “I am not sitting on top of a dead person am I?” he said in horror, quickly getting up and moving away from the Willow tree. I hear a ‘thump’ and look at Will who is laughing so hard he hit his head on the tree. “Ouch,” he says rubbing his head.

After we had all calmed down I answered, “It is called Willow’s Place because this is where she was buried, Willow died of grief nine days after Briaac was shot. Willow was buried here because this clearing overlooks the valley, and it is a beautiful sight, just like her.”

“Yes, now for my idea,” says Will, “I was thinking…” Beau shakes his head, “Always dangerous, did it hurt?” Will looks at him curiously, “What? Oh. Anyway I was thinking…”

SQUAWK!!! “Oh come on!” Will says to no one in particular. Dart swoops down and lands on Beau’s outstretched arm.  Dart turns and bobs three times up and down towards a particular clump of trees. “Good Dart,” he says to the bird before turning to us, “Someone is watching.”

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