by Jennifer R. Donohue
Sometimes, you can stop to breathe.
Sometimes, you repack that worn leather pack, which has been with you longer than any companion, and find the detritus from when you started, from before you bled so much. From when you were just goofing off in an inn, or at a trail marker.
A whetstone, from before you had a magical sword which never needs honing.
That last bottle of lamp oil. A forgotten healing potion, always a fortuitous find.
A cheap trail ration, long hardened beyond edible use.
The dog-eared book you meant to keep a diary in, or writer letters home. Did you ever write letters home? Maybe on holidays. Did you ever return home? Not even for a visit.
Why adventure? It's better, somehow, than farming. Than working at a tavern. Than entering a monastic order. Not everybody good at fighting wants to be a gladiator. Not every man is good at fighting, or woman good at cooking.