Wearing a Rut

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"Think I'm starting to wear a rut in the paving stones," Emma muttered.

A breeze stirred but it didn't catch her hair. The flags by the gryphon roost swung gently ahead but she took no notice as she continued her plodding path to the well. "As if I don't have better things to do in my old age than carry water," she mumbled tiredly.

Someone brushed past her hurriedly, feet slapping on the cobblestones as they ran. Always rushing, these people. Always trying to get there so cursedly fast.

For a moment her mind was filled with the memory of running with her sister in the fields by the farm they'd grown up on. "Deja vu," she began aloud but then the deja vu intensified, pulling at her with more weight than any water-laden bucket could.

Why had she said that, she wondered. Why was she getting more water? Who was she bringing it to? Where were the buckets?

She stilled for a moment. Everything around her seemed to lag and lurch then hold. No one moved for a long moment. Silence took over and without moving her head her eyes moved to find the top of the tower. The tips of a gryphon's wings pointed out, the bird as motionless as a statue but frozen mid-stretch in a feathered V. Nothing moved and the dragon she'd momentarily dreaded she would see perched above, one horrible clawed foot burning into the very stone... wasn't there.

Sound returned and then movement a second later; rushing citizens galloped heedlessly past her once again.

The breeze had disappeared but she shivered for a moment. Her eyes still searched for the dragon she hadn't seen... had never seen... but remembered with horrifying clarity for something she couldn't have witnessed.

"For a moment I thought I was back home, before the plague..." she whispered with a voice that sounded like a pale echo of a thought.

What? Why did I say that? That didn't even make sense, I wasn't thinking of that anymore, I was thinking of the... Her eyes found the top of the tower again. Still nothing there.

"Monster!" someone yelled.

Emma turned to find the source of the commotion. Another one of them had arrived. They came less frequently than they had but they still smelled like death and blood and something cold and unholy every time. Emma threw the rotten apple before she even realized she'd been holding anything. The risen thing moved past without reaction. They always did that too. The king was still pardoning them, it seemed. Everything else that was going on and still the man greeted each personally and let them rejoin the world of the living like nothing had happened.

She ground her teeth, anger flashed through her for a moment. Then she sighed. She was old. Even the sigh was old, more habit than actual expression. Her feet began moving again and she retraced her steps, moving again along the route she's paced more times than there could possibly be numbers for.

After a few steps she answered her own earlier question aloud. "O'course I'm talkin' to myself. Only way to get decent conversation in this city."
I followed her one day after noticing her. It was...amusing.
There's an NPC (several actually) that have routines in Stormwind city. Emma is one of them. They don't interact with the player and instead follow a route on a timed-loop.

I'm sure the Horde have their equivalents.

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