It's All Over Now, Baby Blue by Bob Dylan

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last

But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast

Yonder stands your orphan with his gun

Crying like a fire in the sun

Look out the saints are comin' through

And it's all over now, Baby Blue

. . .

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you

Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you

The vagabond who's rapping at your door

Is standing in the clothes that you once wore

Strike another match, go start anew

And it's all over now, Baby Blue

She brushed off all requests and breezy hails, Peachblossom's steady back taking her beyond the cheerful faces manning the walls of New Hope, beyond the fields cultivated in the fertile ground against the water, beyond even the blooming gates of apple trees glowing in their orchards, gnarly bodies awash in beauty. They trotted, his withers flexing between her thighs, past the sleepy grey curves of the river, between alleys of green new leaved trees that bent and dappled the sunlight, wildflowers everywhere.

Two miles upriver, they turned into a familiar path. Keladry of Mindelan, Lady Knight, swallowed. Peachblossom snorted, sensing her distress, and turned his big head to fix her with a horse's calm, reasonable stare. It lent her strength.

It was not a long walk, nor a far one, once they reached the ruins. She dismounted under the sign, Haven, still nailed to the arch like a rebuke, its artist dead, buried within these walls.

She walked through the graveyard in the clear sun, past tombstones and whittled markers, past flowers planted and bouquets laid on every grave.

Kel sat in the center and prayed to the Black God for their passage, just as she had every month for two years. She felt drained, and tired.

She could do no more for them.

With a sigh, she arose, stared for a moment at the burn-scarred buildings, ghosts dancing about her, skipping down the streets with ducks and chickens, laughing around cookfires.

It was only her memory.

It felt real.

Finally she turned on her heel and strode out to Peachblossom, life leaking back into her with every step. Peachblossom grazed solemnly on the overgrown verge of green grasses by the walls. Kel made a note to have someone come with a scythe and cut back the weeds.

As she rode back, still painfully silent, she plucked a blossoming branch from its trunk, a present for Lady Yukimi, the peppery Yamani who was newly-wed to Neal. It was a particularly beautiful one, and Kel knew Yuki would be happy to use it to garnish the table in the house off the Infirmary that Neal, Yuki, and their adoptive daughter Irnai shared.

Tobe would be missing her. Peachblossom sidled, the air was sweet, and for now, Kel was alive.