The Man by the River By Tyler Svec (Part Three/Final Part)

Lily dropped down to one knee, kneeling next to the man who was laying on his stomach. His clothes were torn and tattered and he had apparently been cut by the numerous rocks that were known to be on the bottom of the river.

Lily had already turned the man over on his back by the time Ellizar caught up with her, huffing and puffing while she had barely been winded by the short sprint. Ellizar’s eyes went wide as he looked at the man that had washed up on the side of the river.

She looked into his motionless face, quickly noticing that the man’s chest rose up and down with his breathing. He was alive. The only explanation for his condition, that made any logical sense, was that he had fallen over the great falls, but to her knowledge no one had ever survived such a fate.

She grabbed on his hands, surprised to find it warm, indicating that he hadn’t been in the water as long as some people they had come by in the past. She turned his hand over looking at the palm, seeing a mark she hadn’t seen on anyone before. Three slashes were across the man’s palm, seeming to shift and move as she looked at them.

Lily held her breath and showed the scar to Ellizar who quickly became as white as a ghost. Questions danced through both of their eyes as they looked at each other and then looked back to the scar on the man’s hand. Was it actually possible?

“What do you think Ellizar?” Lily asked. Ellizar searched around them for anyone who might be watching.

“I think we’ve stumbled upon a most rare find,” Ellizar replied. “We both know that’s no ordinary scar.”

“I can’t believe this is actually happening; to us of all people!” Lily exclaimed trying to keep her voice down in case there were people nearby.

“Yer tellin’ me, the fact that somethin’ this great could be happenin’ teh a dwarf is more then I could ever ask for. My family might not think I’m crazy or delusional if they saw what we’re seein’ right now.”

“Why do you think this is happening to us?” Lily asked.

“Why does anythin’ happen the way it does? Clearly we were meant teh find this man, now what are we goin’ teh do with him?”

“You’re asking questions I can’t answer,” Lily replied standing up and pacing. Ellizar meanwhile, probably in an attempt to make himself look taller, was standing on a rock right next to the man. “My family already hates me for what I’ve done, I doubt they’d forgive me if I brought home a man that would offend them on first sight.”

“So yer family still doesn’t approve of yer belief?” Ellizar asked. Lily shook her head.

“My family is like your people, to absorbed in themselves to give a thought about what might actually be the purpose in life. They have their money and they have their status and that’s enough for them.”

“Well, at least one of yeh had the sense teh realize the truth. I always wondered why yeh didn’t live with yer family.”

“I do not live with them because I am not wanted.”

“If yer not wanted, then why have we been traveling fer so long to get to yer hometown.”

“Because I cannot help but cling to the hope that someday they might want me back. That they might one day, look into my eyes and see their daughter and not some stranger from the street. My love for them is deep and I will hold out as long as I can. I have to believe there is hope that they will see the error of their ways. My family is nothing I can explain in a short conversation, I’m sure when we get there the situation will be able to better explain it to you.”

“If I’ve traveled this far, I will surely travel with yeh the rest of the way. I cannot let yer family look down on yeh as though yer a slave. I can hardly believe how far I’ve come. We have covered many more miles than I thought it would be; dwarfs’ are not known fer travelin’ like this.”

“It seems we both defy our races.”

“It seems we do. Now what do we do about him?” Ellizar asked, silence passed between them.

“Wake him up and see what his story is?”

“I suppose so,” Ellizar holding his axe at the ready. He held it to the side as Lily knelt down near the man once again. The man slowly began to stir. He struggled to move as Lily helped him sit up. Ellizar jumped down off his rock, holding the axe at the ready.

“Don’t make any sudden movement sonny, or they’ll be the last one’s yeh make,” Ellizar replied. The man looked at the axe and then at the person holding it before looking towards Lily.

“Are you alright?” Lily asked. The man looked around at the trees and then to the thundering falls as though it was all new to him. He looked at them again and then down at himself, interesting both Ellizar and Lily. He seemed to act as though he was from a different world.

“Where am I?”

“The man’s a bloody idiot!” Ellizar replied.

“Ellie, he’s not an idiot he just woke up.”

“Say what yeh want, I still think he’s a bloody idiot.”

“How about we start with an easy question. What’s your name?” Lily watched as the man looked around seeming to study everything his eyes were laid on.

“My name?” the man asked, pondering the question. “My name?”

“You do remember your name don’t you?” Lily asked. Ellizar moved close to Lily.

“Bloody idiot,” he whispered to her.

“You my friend are the bloody idiot, Ellie.”

“Blasted elf kind, always tryin’ teh outsmart people.”

“You’re not much of a challenge.” The man laughed lightly, before wincing and grabbing his side. “What’s your name?” The man thought hard for a moment.

“Drake,” the man answered, seeming relieved that he had at least been able to think of that much. “Drake Thomas.”

 

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