Someone sat on the fence. The smoke from the pyre blew into her eyes. The river was too wide and deep to cross without soaking half of her body. She would have to walk around the pyre and pass close to the person sitting on the fence. There was simply no way around it. Unless the person was blind he or she had already seen her. It was the only explanation she could think of as to why she could see someone and they could not see her. As she walked by the funeral pyre she could see it had more than one body on the top of it. The dry smoke made her eyes sting. Heat radiated off the pyre for several yards.
As Margeaux drew closer to the person on the fence, she could see from the features it was a man. He appeared to be a farmer. His slightly pointed ears and high cheekbones gave him away as a half elf. His hair was dark and shorn just below his ears. His clothing was simple. Boots, pants and a tunic belted at the waist. The closer Margeaux got to the man the more she noticed about him and the pasture. The fenced in land was a mixture of dirt and grass. Some chickens scratched at the ground trying to find food. One cow was white with some brown patches and the other was white with some black patches. They looked more thin than thick around the middle.
Margeaux raised her right arm in greeting.
"Hello to you!"
She stood next to the man and allowed her gaze to wander over to the funeral pyre. Several moments of silence passed before he spoke more words.
"My wife and child. I'll be lost without them. My wife and I ran a little trading post from our home."
"I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Will you be able to continue without them?"
"Yes, but what's the point? I'll be out here alone with no one for company. There isn't a living in that."
"Sometimes survival is what counts first. The living is second."
They continued to watch the pyre burn in silence. The flames continued to twirl around each other and climb into the air. It did not seem like they would ever stop but Margeaux knew the flames would have to go out at some point. Flames always did, whether they were literal ones like fire or figurative ones like love or life. There was no one powerful enough in this world who could live forever. Margeaux didn't see the point in that. What fun would life be for someone who lived forever? Their friends and family would die and they would know heartache and loss multiple times until the end of time. She knew elves lived a very long time, normally. It was something she learned when the shaman guild had classes on the different races of man. They could be on this land for hundreds of years before they pass away. She noticed his hair had some streaks of white in it. This man, this farmer, must be older. She could not guess his age.