A single bell tolled from the tower. It’s rhythm was slow and melancholy, giving the abandoned streets an even eerier feel.
“Who’s ringing the bell?” Andryn asked absent-mindedly.
“Beats me,” replied Bryn.
The two troopers continued up the cobbled road past piles of detritus. Here and there were splatters of blood, and much of the masonry was scarred by missle strikes, and some doors still were punctuated by arrows.
“I wonder where the bodies are?” Andryn mused aloud as he switched the reins of his trailing horse to his other hand.
“I was wondering that too,” Bryn replied. “There doesn’t seem to be any in the street, and there was no evidence of graves on our way into town. Maybe everyone survived.”
“Or they are all in a heap somewhere,” his friend retorted.
“Maybe we shoud be check that bell out,” Bryn suggested.
“The sergeant said wait for the column,” Andryn reminded him.
Just then Bryn caught a glimpse of quick movement out of the corner of his eye and drew his sword by reflex. A cat then shot out of the alleyway and clammered over a wooden fence.
“Nervey?” Andryn asked.
“No, just cautious. There is something not quite right about this place.”
“The horses don’t seem bothered,” Andryn observed. “That’s always a good sign.”
The pair soon arrived at the town square and discovered what seemed to be a make shift barricade. It too was abandoned.
“What do we do now?” Andryn asked.
“Wait, I guess,” his mate replied.
The two tethered their mounts and sat against the barricade. Andryn handed his comrade a couple of hard biscuits and a lump of cheese, and they ate as the sun declined westwards.
“Crappy last meal,” Bryn said with a smile, nudging his friend with an elbow.
Andryn gazed at the setting sun, and then down the road where the column should arrive from. “Crappy indeed,” he replied without any mirth, and placed his sword across his lap.