Days In Short Supply

True to her word, Kazka once finished on the fields headed for Eifa’s house. It’s was a small, simple abode like most found in Vinen. However, its garden had become largely unkempt and overgrown. It was a real pity because Kazka remembers it being marvellously pretty when she was a child. Still, it was to be expected, she supposed as she wandered up the short path to the front entrance where she recalls rapping gently on the wooden frame twice and then waiting.

No reply was forthcoming. Brow furrowed Kazka tried again this time with a louder couple of knocks. Again she waited and again there met with no reply.

“Eifa, its Kazka, are you alright?” The young woman soon called out hoping that she would not startle the old woman. Not that the pink eyed youth had ever seen Eifa startled in all her life. Alas, there could always a first time and Kazka hated the prospect of it being her.

Still there was no reply. By this point Kazka was quite concerned, her brow deeply furrowed she considered whether to knock and call out in unison when she caught sight of someone passing by on the nearby street.

“E-excuse me…” For reasons unknown to her she had been ruthlessly anxious at calling for help.

To his credit however the man did stop to look around until he met eyes with Kazka, at which point he offered a forced warm smile. For some reason she remembers that most clearly.

“Yes, what can I do for you?” Were the words which passed his lips.

He too had been an older man; younger than Eifa, Kazka thinks, but getting long in the tooth all the same. He was also Tsuaru. She could tell immediately for he lacked the additional pair of nostrils. It didn’t matter to her that he was Tsuaru and not Ymbal, and Eifa likely won’t notice, she thought.

“Um… well, I’m trying to check on someone in this house, have you seen her?” Were the words which tumble out of Kazka’s mouth. To be truthful she was not sure what she intended to say before she had started to say it and expects the man could tell as a result.

“Sorry, I can’t say that I have. Why, is there a problem?”

“Well… maybe, I don’t know. I’ve tried knocking and calling to her but there’s been no reply.” The pink eyed woman’s shoulder sunk, she felt stupid saying those words for it sounded as though she was worrying over nothing and had interrupted this man’s day for no reason whatsoever.

To his merit the man showed no signs of anger or annoyance at having potentially been bothered for no reason, in fact his expression turned grave. It seemed he was not like other, younger, Tsuaru and as quick as he could turned and wandered up the path to join Kazka on the abodes doorstep.

Without a sound he pressed his ear to the door and listened. Kazka waited cautiously unsure of what to do.

“I hear nothing, are you sure she is home?”

“I-I don’t know for sure but she had been working the fields…”

“Say no more. I will try.” With that the man knocked on the wooden frame three times, but did not wait. Right after he declared in a loud clear voice, “Are you alright in there…” Not knowing the name of who occupied the house he turned to Kazka with a raised eyebrow asking in silence for the woman’s who lives here’s name.

“Eifa, her name’s Eifa.”

“…Eifa? Can we come in?” The Tsuaru name quickly added finishing his previously half spoken query.

He waited, they both did, but there continued to be no reply. A sound of mixed frustration and concern escaped from between his pursed lips. It lasted only a moment, for as long as his thought Kazka suspects, and then he tried the door. It opened. Kazka was astounded for Eifa never left her door unlocked but could bring herself to say a word before the Tsuaru man slipped through the narrow crack and into the house.

Hesitantly, she followed feeling alarmed without what left like logical reason. That was until she had reason when she caught sight of Eifa. Immediately it was obvious the old woman was dead. Kazka’s heart sank, it did more than that but she does not have a better word for it. The man beside her put a hand on her shoulder and uttered, “My apologies.” There was a pause, it was as though it lasted forever but when it was broken it was done so by the Tsuaru man when he queried, “Were you family?” Unable to find words Kazka simply shook her head. The man gulped, Kazka heard it, and then he issued a fresh query, “Does she have family?”

“No…” The pink eyed woman said finally finding her voice and then adding, “Her son died many years ago and her husband passed several winter’s back. They were all she had.”

“She will see them again now in the great beyond that comes after.” Was the response murmured barely above a whisper.

Kazka being Ymbal cannot say she believed that. The great beyond is something Tsuaru believe in. She remains ill-informed as to where it originated, from whom, when or why but knows enough to understand those words are meant to comfort. It offered little but she doesn’t think any words can comfort when a loss is sustained.

“We should go. Alert the authorities. Come. This is not a place to dwell.” The man was right but Kazka made no efforts to move. Sensing the young woman’s pain he guided her away.

Thankfully, for both of them, Kazka did not offer any resistance to his guiding and soon they were out of the simple house. He closed the door properly and just as luck would have it spotted an official. He shuffled over to them leaving Kazka by the closed house door. Whispered words were exchanged before this new man, also Tsuaru, sighed defeated and then could be heard asking to be shown the way.

The old man who had made the discovery alongside Kazka did an about and lead the official back to Eifa’s house. The official took one look at Kazka, made the incorrect assumption she was a daughter of the deceased and then disappeared inside.

He was gone for no time at all and once on the doorstep again offered his condolences to Kazka, locked the door and departed. As he went questions were fired at him from a small group of townsfolk. At first he offered no answers; until the questions became so numerous he must have felt there was no option.

He stopped then, cleared his throat, checked over his shoulder to find the young woman with long black hair and pink eyes being led away by the old Tsuaru man, Hemin, and then answered.

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