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Writers: Yvonne
Date Posted: 29th September 2019

Characters: Taril
Description: Humari has left Sunstone Seahold
Location: Sunstone Seahold
Date: month 11, day 4 of Turn 9

Taril stared numbly out over the water as the sun sank beneath the waves. Somewhere there was a ship that was taking his heart from him. Humari was gone.

Slowly he turned and started making his way back to his office. There was no point in returning to his rooms at the Hold, not if she wasn’t going to be there. He smiled, bitterly. **She’s not coming back.** Why would she? He was a cripple and a criminal. Disfigured and a liar. He had nothing to offer her. It had only been a matter of time until she figured that out.

Conversations eddied around him as he walked. He heard children laugh, then the sharp sting of pebbles on his shoulders. He whirled and glared behind him but the brats had already run off. **Tides take them,** he thought darkly.

Tumaril didn’t run when he saw him. He didn’t scream at the sight of his father’s scarred face. But he would, if Taril was ever lucky enough to cross paths with his son again. It was a bleak thought.

The merchant’s office building loomed ahead and Taril took the keys from his belt to unlock the door. He lit the glows and sank into the chair behind his desk, staring at nothing. After a moment he pulled open a drawer and withdrew a bottle of sharp liquor. It burned going down.

Humari was gone. It was his fault. **I should have kept her safe. I should have known.** He’d killed the man who’d been too careless to repair his fence, causing the stampede in the market that had injured Humari. But this… he didn’t even know who had attacked his wife. It was because of his ledger, though. It had to all be connected somehow. The bastard who had touched Humari, Vinalee attacking him by the docks, the missing book… it was all connected, if he could just figure out how.

Dodger appeared from /between/ and landed on the desk in front of him. The little brown crooned softly as Taril reached out to rub his eyeridges. “How am I going to fix this?” Taril asked quietly.

Dodger had no answer. After a while, the flit curled up between the inkwells and sheafs of hide to fall asleep. Taril rubbed his arm where Vinalee’s knife had cut him. The cut was beginning to burn. It was probably infected but he couldn’t summon up the effort to care.

It all led back to his missing ledger. Taril picked up the bottle but didn’t drink. Instead he twisted it between his hands, trying to figure out what to do about his ledger problem when it seemed so insignificant compared to the roaring emptiness that Humari had left in her wake.

Last updated on the October 26th 2019

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.