Sitome returned to his cottage. He continued with his daily life as if nothing had changed, but he was haunted by the irrevocable absence. He missed the smell of her head, the feel of her fur. He missed her rolling in the herbs.
Travellers seeking medicine and shelter often came to see him, relating stories of Salun’s palace, now in ruins.
“It is cursed,” they said. “You can hear agonising screams echo through the crumbling halls.”
The travellers would tell of how they were lost in the forest surrounding the palace, but a golden cat guided them on their journey; she led them away from the palace ruins and brought them to Sitome’s cottage. They said the cat would disappear into the night, the sky exploding with gold.
Sitome gave the travellers medicine and shelter and every night he sat on his porch and looked up at the evening sky, watching the gold shimmer through the Northern Lights.
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