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Old 11-06-2006, 12:55 PM   #14
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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Nogrod's post

It was getting dark as Fastarr came back to his tent. He lit the greaselamp and took off the boots he had worn all day. The stench was bad enough. Slowly he streched out and dropped the boots between the first and second linen walls of the tent. Then he got up and took the lamp into the tent itself. Even though the rugs on the ground were thick they felt a bit cold to the feet. The spring seemed to have taken a few steps back.

Fastarr took a couple of the firewood and lit a small fire. Only after the fire started dancing did he took his belt and scimitar away. It was a bliss to be on oneís own after a busy day. The kettle he had put on the fire started hissing slowly, marking that something was happening but that there was no hurry whatsoever. Lazily he studied his stores to find some tea, honey and wine. Ah, the water is almost used. I should get some more. Itís easier to do it now than as a first thing in the morning... Well, not just now...

The water boiled. He added similar amount of wine into the water and waited for the right sound to emerge from the kettle. Then he put some leaves to his cup and carved a piece of solid honey to join them. As the wine-water was about to boil, he poured it over the leaves and honey and put them aside to steep. The sweet and comfortable fragrance spreaded all over the tent and took him over.

Fastarr laid on his back waiting for the tea. Why is Khandr still waiting? Canít he see that this is not going to work? Too much power-play, too little love, I say. We should go home the first thing tomorrow. I should tell him that. And all these rumours, and the Ulfings in the first place... What do we do here? We should be with our own kin if something does happen, not here among strangers who wish us no good...

He was feeling so nice and lazy laying down on the rugs that had only started to warm up under his body that he had to really make an effort to sit back up again and take the tea before it would get cold. The air outside really felt chilling right now. But the cup happily was still hot and the scent of the drink filled his head. It was indeed hot enough to burn his mouth so he sipped it carefully, turning the cup around between his fingers as not to burn his hands. He could feel the warmth of the drink going down his throat all the way to his stomach. Lifeís little luxuries this is... this surely is...

It surely had been a busy day. From the early morning onwards Fastarr had been on the move. First he had taken Khandrís and his wifes horses to an outing in the surrounding countryside. They had made a good sport of it and the horses seemed to be happy with it, as usual. After the lunch he had walked around trying to hear what people were talking, making a few discussions with the locals himself too. That was not something he especially liked but he was told to do so and so he had to do it. There was lots of talk, lots of ranting and lots of just mere boasting. There was nothing he could report Khandr about, if not for the overall tension and talk of evil that clearly surpassed his taste in quantity as well as quality, even if it was just joking. Maybe it was just the way these Ulfings were?

In the afternoon Briga had asked him to join her on her way to the market and he had made her company. Even though it had ended him carrying all the stuff she had wished to buy, he liked Briga. She was a Borrim-lady of the house with all the qualities and good to her husbandís retainers. Fastarr had nothing to complain. But shopping with ladies were a lot of work.

The evening had went with a lengthy bargain with a local smith who was trying to take a preposterous payment for the little work of changing one of Hengstís horseshoe and changing some worn parts of the bridles. He had actually managed to settle the dispute to a reasonable level but was more than angry afterwards. It was near he ran over a couple of kids that called him, the foreigner, names when he was getting down the street with Hengst towards their place.

But still he had had to take a tour on the local inns to hear the latest. There had been nothing new tonight. Just the usual gloating and whispering outside the hearing of the stranger. No one was friendly and Fastarr saw no reason to be friendly either.

The tea run out soon enough. Fastarr took the last draught of it and got slowly up. He went to his bed and draw the quilt over him. Different persons he had met today whirled through his mind. Embla... she was one of the Bairka, one of those who had turned his life into a misery a long time ago and now she was there everyday to remind him of it. And still it was unsettling to him. But it was not just hate he felt.

Last edited by piosenniel; 11-11-2006 at 06:48 PM.
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