c h a p t e r 8
he was not able to depart right away...
Indeed, the boy needed a few more days to get his strength back. The journey had taken far more of a toll on his young body than he'd realized. His ankles ached. His back often shrieked. Yet at her home he was able to rest, and take in countless varieties of scrumptious food.
On his last day there, the boy prepared his pack to leave.
"Don't forget these" the woman gave him his pondering pack along with his bark charm. Looking on, the boy admired the apothecary once more, particularly the fine, glaring crystals upon the shelves, and the great rows of books, many of them seemingly ancient, with soft, gilded pages, lined up in perfect rows.
Turning from the counter, the woman eyed the boy: “You ready?” she asked.
He nodded. “I don't know how to thank you,” he said.
Shaking her head, she replied, “Just bring these home.”
She placed the pack upon his palm.
“What do I owe you?” he said to her.
Shaking her head, she echoed her previous words: “Bring these home.”
The young boy felt a rush of joy and gratitude.