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Old 10-16-2006, 02:39 PM   #228
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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Rôg leaned forward as Azhar spoke, brushing a stray strand of hair back behind her ear. It was a natural act, he had often done it for his sister in their younger days. Daira’s hair was always unruly, much to her distress. And being the younger brother, he took what opportunity afforded him to poke a little fun at her when he could.

Azhar’s temple felt still a little warmer than usual as his fingers brushed across it. He glanced at her eyes as he drew back. They were bright, but not, it seemed to him, with illness. Bright more like from the workings of her quick mind. Intelligent.

‘Did someone teach you how to fight with swords and bows?’ she asked.

Now how to answer that . . .

‘We are not a warrior people, but living in the desert we have some basic knowledge of how to use weapons. Enough to defend ourselves. Our greatest enemy though, or so it seemed to me, was that we were broken into so many little groups and our pride and our fears held us apart from one another. That had to be overcome first before we could join together in strength.

‘Or maybe that lady you were looking for was so powerful she could drive everyone off?’ Azhar continued.

The girl must have drifted off at the last of the story. Just as well . . .

‘We did find her. That is, her friends from Gondor were finally reunited with her. She wasn’t really lost, though, only staying with the Elders from my tribe. Learning some things about herself. I suppose she could have driven the evil ones off by herself, but she didn’t have to in the end. We were all there, together; our strength multiplied a hundred-fold by our working with each other.’ He nodded at her last question. ‘So, yes, I think you could say those from outside our clans . . . Aiwendil, those from Gondor, and more so, the Elders of our clans . . . they put the idea in our minds that we could and should work together.

He glanced at her, wondering what thoughts were going through her mind. Was his explanation enough to satisfy her?

She did look tired, now. Recalling what she had said before her questions about the battle in the south, he turned the conversation back to what she’d asked about what was wrong with her. ‘How about you, Azhar. I was curious about what you said. How you felt like there was a fight going on inside you – between your mind and your body. And I’m more curious how you said that if you could just step outside for a moment, you might somehow get better.’ He narrowed his eyes and considered her closely.

‘Tell me, little one, when you’re lost in sleep, what do you dream of? Can you remember?’

Last edited by piosenniel; 10-19-2006 at 03:15 PM.
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