The countryside is beautiful and blissfully devoid of people, except for the occasional farmer or his family off to one side of the road or the other. I can hear them in my head as we pass them by. Concerned about the price of potatoes, or the wetness of hay, there is no malice or intrigue to their thoughts, yet they intrude on my own before they fade and are gone again.
I cannot remember a time when I could not hear them. The voices in my head shouted and cried and screamed in fear of a thousand hidden terrors or fretted over a hundred worries. Were that all fated me to suffer, I would simply have borne myself away to some hidden mountaintop or valley devoid of people.
Alas, that cannot be. Peace eludes me. Duty would steal my soul if I would let it, for also, I can see the future.
That is why we are on this road today, my faithful man and I, approaching yet another wooden bridge at the edge of yet another town. Darkness approaches ahead and the people must know what they will be facing.
I am compelled.