Staring up at the stars, Wally slowly exhales the smoke in his lungs, while whispering an echo to the question inscribed on the now-burnt note leaving his lungs. “What’s it all about?” he utters before drifting off to sleep.
The stars swirl and he finds himself looking at a wooded valley, the air thick with early summer insects and pollen. Disjointed rumbling precedes the covered wagon lurching into view; the blonde haired barbarian pulling at the reins while a confused horse meanders forward. The perspective flits up to a nearby tree bough with the hum of gossamer wings just in time to watch the wagon pass and head toward a group of tents in the distance.
The image blurs and reforms; now the same wagon is blocked under a shady copse of fur trees with the door open. The pollen and clumsy flying bugs have been replaced by heat and the sonorous hum of cicadas. Noxious odors, the clanking of glassware and occasional swearing emanate from within. A stones throw away sit a young woman and a male laborer around a small but stately table that has been covered with a lush red cloth. Upon the table an active harrow deck and some upturned cards. Suddenly there is a palpable BOOM from the wagon and an acrid smoke billows out. A girl half-elf and a pig, both singed, run squealing from the wagon.
Once again the scene fades and changes, this time to a deep winter’s night. The viewpoint is drawn hesitantly to a small house, where the forest has been largely beaten back. The eyes fly up to a lit window and peer in. Inside, on the hearth a large cauldron bubbles with soup. The wagon-driver is laying face down on the floor next to a younger boy, both repeatedly pushing themselves up with their arms and clapping before lowering themselves and repeating. In the far corner, the harrow-reader and an older but timid man busy themselves with rudimentary prestidigitation.
The images and scenes play out all night- all the while the town in the backdrop taking more and more ground.
Finally at daybreak, Ralla nudges Wally awake from his impromptu bed in the grass. “Hey, breakfast is ready.” He blinks awake “Girl, you look even better than you did in my dreams. Why’d you even wake me for, you got to take first dibs on them eggs since you eatin’ for two.”