Written by George Sanders

Yvette and Jacques worked at their father's bakery. Yvette was a writer. Jacques was a painter. Their father had them work their talents as much as he had them baking. They weren't from this region, and their father's stories of other places made their dreams full of exotic travels.


They were twins. Other than their different interests in writing and painting and their genders, they were mirrors of each other. There was a rhythm when the three of them were baking together. The bakery supplied two taverns and the few households with bread. They made enough to get what they needed and had pleasant days. Through travel seemed far away.


That changed when the man died outside their door. He was torn apart by a gangly giant beast. They hid in their house while the battle raged. Their father stood at their bedroom door with his sword. A bow leaned against the bed behind him. The monsters, there had been more than one, were dispatched by others in the town. After that, they continued baking every day, but he would not let them open a book to write or paint. They had to bake more. People were arriving in the town from the surrounding farms and neighboring towns. The mayor needed double orders every day. After baking, they practiced with the bow. They practiced with sticks. Their father put an order in at the blacksmith for two swords. They wondered if they were going to leave. Their father had packs laid out on the table in the back room.


About a week and a half after the man died, there was a knock on the door. A woman asked for Yvette to come to the town hall to read her stories that evening. The next day there was another knock. The woman asked for Jacques to bring some of his paintings and his paint. Their father went with them and stood arms crossed in the back of the town hall. He did not say anything to them about either night.


Two days later, there was another knock. Jung stood at the door and greeted the baker. "Amis, could we have a word?" Amis knew Jung. He was from the Hunter's Guild in a neighboring town. After the recent incidents, Jung was organizing a group called Ardelis' Arrows to help protect the town.  Ardelis was a Ranger that helped protect the town. Amis let Jung in and listened to his words. The town needed to quadruple the bakery output. Jung had people that could help bake, but he also needed people to help with the Arrows. He had seen the twins practicing. Amis took Jung to the table in the backroom and sat in a chair. "I saw the mayor value my children for more than just bakers. Will she value them as more than just soldiers to throw away? What I need to decide is do I travel with my family or let them travel with the Arrows."


Jung put his hand on Amis' shoulder. "I think the mayor hopes we can all travel together as one community."




Author's Notes

The name Amis appears in the medieval French poem Amis and Amiles, about two friends who make sacrifices for one another. In the header picture, the third building on the right (just past the empty cart) is the bakery. Straight ahead is the town hall before Lavani became mayor.

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