III – The Doctor

The doctor road in silence next to the man that had knocked on his door that morning. He wasn’t a loquacious man and that suited fine with the doctor. He wasn’t much for small talk either. He was hoping to rest his eyes, while trying to find a comfortable position on the hard seat. He had never been to Dacia and didn’t know anybody there. It wasn’t a popular place to visit and it was avoided if possible when traveling through it. The doctor didn’t know why. He wondered why any doctor would refuse to see someone in Dacia. Frankly, he wasn’t bothered that Dacia was an eluded place. He wondered if it was all superstitious nonsense.

From the horizon, he could see the sun sinking behind the horizon. The doctor felt a bit uncomfortable and sat up. He heard the rumors of purloiners and other bandits roaming the trail at night. Woodland Trail wasn’t a safe place to travel in the dark. Robbers tend to prey on travelers and sometimes killed their victims. The doctor could take care of himself, that wasn’t what worried him. He had a secret he wanted to avoid exposing if he had to and certainly from this man he barely knew.

“We’ll stop near the town of Harz for the night,” the man looked concerned at the setting sun. “Then we’ll continue the journey in the morning.”

“I thought we would be arriving to Dacia today?” the doctor said.

“We could reach it,” said the man. “But it wouldn’t be safe for now.”

The doctor couldn’t disagree.

They stopped at Grinder’s inn in Harz, a small inn near the edge of town. The man went to settle the horses at the stable while the doctor signed in. He took his key and walked up the stairs. His room was at the end of the corridor on the left, but before he could reach it, he heard angry male voices coming from another room. He paused. They were loud enough for him to hear what they were saying as if they were close to his ear.

“Don’t mess with me. Give me what I came for, doc,” said an angry  voice.

“I told you I don’t have it with me,” the voice trembled. “Please don’t!”