Emery sat on the train and watched the scenery go by. It was late at night. Miles sat across from him, leaned against the window, asleep. He hadn’t told his mother or brother about seeing their dad early on the morning of his disappearance. He hadn’t told the wardens who’d come to investigate it either. He didn’t want to cloud their judgment.

To him it had seemed like his father was saying goodbye. If he’d told the wardens that they may have stopped the investigation. After all, that meant that their father had left them of his own volition, something that Emery couldn’t fathom. The note their mother had found seemed to confirm this, but she seemed to have kept that to herself, just as Emery was keeping his thoughts to himself.

Before they’d left the forensics mage from Saintann had finally arrived but all he could say was that there was evidence of some kind of trauma. He couldn’t identify if it was physical or emotional or even magical. He couldn’t say who it was from.

Emery sighed and closed his eyes, wishing that he’d asked his father why he was up. If he’d spoken to the older man, would he have left them? The element of the unknown was what bothered him most. Why had he left? Where had he gone? Were the strangers that the villagers had been talking about to blame? The thoughts swirled around his brain until he fell into a troubled sleep.