Maya snatched the last of the clothes out of the wardrobe and threw them into the trunk with the rest of her clothes and accoutrements, then strode quickly to the kitchen to gather dried and preserved foods.
It was coming, there was no time to lose.
They had to get what they could onto the wagons before they left, and…where was Amedeo?
Maya walked quickly to the front door, calling his name as she went. She stepped out onto the porch and looked up and down the street, he was nowhere to be seen, just the wagons lining the road, waiting to leave. She put her hand up to her eyes to shield them from the sun and peered into the distance…it was there. She could just about make out a shimmering in the air on the horizon, far away from here, but still there.
It was coming, the Abatement.
“Amadeo!” she shouted. “Amadeo, where are you? Come here!”
“I’m here, I’m here” a man’s voice said, as a burly looking figure approached the house, carrying a hefty bundle wrapped in cloth upon his shoulder.
She put her hands on her hips and sighed, rolled her eyes. “What’s that man? I told you we need to leave, it’s coming! Can’t you see?” she said, gesturing to the phenomenon.
He stepped up to the porch and, with a grunt, set down the bundle upon the floorboards. “Yes I know woman, I can see it well enough from here, but we’ll need weapons; we don’t know what we’re going to come across out there, and these are desperate times…”
“Weapons? What do you know of weapons, you son of a lumberjack? You’d be no more able to cut down a man than a fishwife with her broom!” Maya cried, eyes wide.
“So?” he said, a hurt look upon his face, “better have them anyway; besides, we can both learn from somebody on the way. There’s Fosco…”
“Oh yes, and a pretty penny he’ll charge us for that!” she snapped.
“…and there’s Gaspare” he continued, finger in the air, “and anyway…” as Maya drew breath and opened her mouth to interrupt, “…anyway, how hard can it be to swing a sword around? And I have my father’s axe…”
“Uuurgh!” Maya exclaimed, turning on her heel and striding back into the house, “well just put that stuff into the wagon and help me finish packing our food. Then I’ll need you and one of our neighbours to put that trunk aboard…”
Amedeo grimaced and hefted the package back onto his shoulder. His wife was a trying woman, but she was right, they needed to get a move on if they were to escape in time.