Spring arrived with mud and a torrent of bad news. Autumn sat on the washhouse bench, removing her clay-encased sabots, wondering what she would be privy to at table tonight.

She sighed as she hung her cloak on a wall peg; even though she was new to the inn, she could feel the weight of sadness the roof and walls were being made to bear.

None were immune from these awaking times tragedies; even the benevolent air of the inn offered no protection against strife.

A stillborn child; collapse of an outbuilding being rebuilt against wintering damage; fields and gardens parched by snow-drought then drenched by sleeting rains. Skies eerily silent of the songs and calls of returning birds.

Autumn wondered if folly for her to cast the fortune beads under such bleakness? Could the story told be anything but of further despair?

scrawled/scrawling for mlmm first line friday: ‘tis the season of our discontent