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Old 06-29-2008, 06:25 PM   #156
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Harreld - noon, same day

Harreld smiled at Léof's bout with the beer, but his mind was elsewhere. He had never been around a corpse before, but for some reason it did not sour him much. Death comes to all. No, his mind was on another who was not far from where they sat eating their noon meal. He thought about all the words that had passed between he and Ginna; he had memorized them all. He also had memorized the turn of her face and the movement of her arms as she plied the bellows, how a strand of her blonde hair fell into her face as she worked, and how she let it hang and did not shirk from the bellows until he told her to rest; then he would watch furtively as she pushed the rebellious strand of silky hair out of her face. He had memorized that motion too.

For a long while as they worked together, he had been happy with all that had been said, and enjoyed the quiet of the work. But then he had begun to think that maybe more ought to be said, and while he concentrated his skill on his work, he focused his mind on the question of what to say next. He had not been sure. At least, he had not been sure if he dared to speak his mind more clearly than his blundering words already had. "Ginna, I know you are of higher birth than I, and so I almost fear to ask." No. That would not do. "Ginna, I would have you to wife. Are you willing to think on it?" Or, "Ginna, will you be my wife?" That last had seemed all the wrong timing, to be said over a smithy's fire. But then, why not? Would that not be the most appropriate place, as it was so much a part of him? So he had been getting up his nerve to say those risky words when Rowenna had come by and ruined the moment, no fault of hers.

So now he sat with his back to the baker and could not see Ginna, and did not wish to call attention to himself by turning to look. Why, he wondered, had he sat on this side of the table? He could not say; he had not given it thought when they had come for food. Maybe that was indication that he did not want her to wife as much as he thought. Don't be a fool, Harreld Smith! he said to himself.

"Harreld, you're quieter than usual, and that's saying something," Eodwine ventured.

"Oh, just thinking on this and that."

"What this and what that?" Eodwine asked.

"Oh, about smithing. Some of the finer points," he said, and smiled, pleased with his own personal joke in regard to Ginna at the bellows.

"I'll leave such things in your good keeping, Harreld!"

Just then Rowenna came from the kitchen. "Frodides can spare me for the afternoon," she said.

Eodwine rose. "I suppose we ought to get back to the animal pens, then, if we can get Léof out of his ale cup!"

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 07-11-2008 at 04:26 AM.
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