Gelfrey took a small boat from the northern coast and rowed himself to the nearest island. It wasn’t a terribly long ride, but it felt as though he had come much farther when he arrived and saw the desolation for himself. The shore was make of tiny grey pebbles, peppered here and there with black ones, and the sky above was dim and dull to match. He climbed out of the boat and pulled it as far as he could onto the shore; he had no intention of letting the tide take it away.
As he walked up from the water-logged shore onto dryer land, he found if hard to believe that there were no trees. He had explored islands before, but there had always been trees. And he had heard right there was no grass at his feet, not even the yellowed kind. There was only dried mud and rocks. It was hard to see very far ahead, despite the lack of vegetation, due to a faint mist that filled the air.
Gelfrey shifted his pack and walked on. Eventually the rocks started to form two lines, as though they had once been the edges of a road. He began to follow it, hoping to find some actual ruins. It took nearly an hour, but he was not disappointed.
What had once been a bustling village– or so he assumed– laid at the end of the road. Gelfrey wondered whether there had once been a fence around it; the wood would had been decayed by then, but he supposed he could look for evidence of one later. What really fascinated him were the remains of the buildings. Whoever had one lived there had gathered the largest stones that they could find to form their walls. They were mostly shades of grey, but he thought that he could see one of white stone far down the path. They were hardly recognizable as houses, for they had no roofs left, and the walls were crumbled to varying degrees.
By then, Gelfrey’s hunger had really set in. He sat down beside one of the taller ruined walls and opened his pack. He Took off a large chunk of bread from the loaf, then a flew slices of cheese. He knife slipped while he was cutting a second slice of ham. And he grumbled as blood rushed down his hand from his thumb.