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Old 01-08-2004, 01:54 PM   #31
Spirit of Mist
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 2,897
Mithadan has been trapped in the Barrow!

Hilde Bracegirdle/Surinen

Dinsűl had not been well as the sun rose that morning, nor had he gotten out of bed. Spending the early hours laying in the cool shade of the tent, his son Surinen wordlessly took over his father’s obligation to the clan, providing the bread for the afternoon meal. Sitting on a worn mat beside the fire, with one knee drawn to his chest, Surinen patted the dough between his uplifted hands forming a well-practiced disk, and slapped it onto the concave iron pan resting over the fire. He watched it closely for a moment and once he saw it puff slightly in the hot pan, turned it over and reached out to shape another portion of dough. After a moment he grabbed the cooked bread and with one hand laid it down on a cloth and struck it, quickly expelling the hot air before placing it under the cloth to wait until it was required. With the other hand he slapped down the next to cook. It was a familiar rhythm, something that could be done with little thought, though the heat of the work was taxing even this early in the day.

Surinen smiled, as a soft muttering emanated from the black darkness of the tent behind him, his father whispering to his dreams. Dinsűl would be right enough given a little more time. It was not often that he had had cause to celebrate in this way and it was not be held against him. For his old friend and cousin had returned after a long absence, and though the desert had not claimed him as had been thought, his people did, and that most joyfully. He came bringing word also that he had heard news of Surinen’s sister Mîrya, who now appeared to be living under the protection of a benefactor some days further west of here. So Dinsűl had felt doubly pleased and had drunk giving expression to twice the amount of thanks, and further multiplying his happiness, until the evening had grown late and Surinen had gone to bring him home, with his many tears of joy and incoherent declarations of gratitude and best wishes.

Setting the last round in the pan to cook, Surinen took the empty vessel where the dough had rested and rubbed it hard with his rough hands, dislodging the small dry bits that adhered there. Gathering them up carefully he placed them before a small bird that was waiting expectantly before him. “Do not worry,” he said. “Dinsűl is not making bread today, but neither will I forget you.”

Having finished his duty, he quickly made coffee over the dying fire and brought a bowl of the bitter drink into the tent. “Father,” he said softly, placing his hand on Dinsűl’s shoulder. “Father, you must awake. The women will be arriving soon and all is ready. Here, have coffee. I have been here too long already and must leave now.”

Dinsűl rolled over and after a moment asked for water, which his son quickly brought to him. “Go son, I am awake. Go and my blessings and thanks go with you.”

Surinen stopped short to watch as he left the tent, for close by a horse and rider thundered hurriedly past toward the leader’s encampment, frightening away the bird that had been picking at the last crumbs of dough. It was Surinen’s fellow outrider Narayad, his lance held high but with no pennant to signal danger. Wondering what tidings brought Narayad so quickly back; Surinen took his own lance from its position by the tent flap and swung up on his horse. He would know soon enough, but sooner yet once he reached the outskirts of the Eagle Clan’s sprawling borders. Turning his horse to follow Narayad’s trail, he quickly headed out past the flocks and herds, into the waste beyond.

Last edited by piosenniel; 04-05-2007 at 11:33 AM.
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