It wasn’t until they were halfway home that Sylvia realized she managed to forget the indigo thread once again. She kicked the cart in frustration, glancing down at her furry companion. “Obmuj, my mother is going to absolutely kill me.”
Obmuj, apparently oblivious to the seriousness of the matter, rose both hands over his head and started clapping excitedly.
Upon coming closer to the village, however, Sylvia realized thread may be the least of her worries. For even before traveling down the last long hill it was easy to see her village in the valley was deserted. The lanterns usually making all the house windows glow as day became dusk were out. More oddly, not a single person could be seen anywhere. She continued driving the cart toward her family’s home, both the mule and Obmuj whining nervously now. Normally when Sylvia returned from a day at the marketplace, the smells of her mother’s cooking gave a warm greeting and her father came out to take the mule back to their barn. But as she rode up to the modest stone structure, this place too was obviously empty. The mule reared its head and let out a loud snort.
“It’s okay, boy.” Sylvia’s voice quivered in her own reassurance. Sliding off the cart, she scanned the ghost town village. Not even Mrs. Retsnom’s cat, which usually came out to great anyone as though it was utterly attention starved, made an appearance. The cat’s absence made Sylvia regret even more now the long journey she just spent carrying half a smelly fish from one of the other market vendors.