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The walk was a bit longer than anticipated.  Dreah was pulling his bounty on a small sled behind him.  While the going was relatively easy, he was still pulling three dressed carcasses.  He thought about hooking Tike up to it, but per Tike’s usual clairvoyance; he ran off into the woods as soon as Dreah had the thought.

It wasn’t with just a bit of aching muscles that Dreah’s face lit up in a big smile as he rounded the corner and saw his cottage in the distance.

Looking closer, he noticed a familiar horse-drawn buggy outside of the cottage.  It was Lorindra’s parents!

He looked down at Tike, as he walked along side of him, “Looks like we’ll have company tonight, big guy!”  Tike looked at him incredulously, “Dah and Mum are with us, so you be on your best behavior.”  Dreah gave a firm nod to show Tike that he was serious.

At that, Tike bound into the woods, giving a “sniff” in Dreah’s general direction.

“Oh well, fair enough.  Stay out of trouble you old hound!” Shouted Dreah as Tike ran off.

Tike never was much of a house dog anyway, Dreah thought to himself.

Dreah didn’t head into the cottage immediately, first he had to take care of his kills.  He did knock on the door, though, to let them know he was home.

Dah came out immediately. “Dreah, there is something wrong with Lorindra. She isn’t feeling well!”

Dreah sprinted inside, forgetting about the three carcasses yet to be processed.

Lorindra was laying on the day bed, that doubled as a couch in their open area room.  Mum was sitting beside her, applying a wet cool cloth to her head.

Mum said, “Drin and Wrin ran to our house yesterday, telling us that she had fallen ill.  Dah has called for the Creal, but he was away picking those blasted flowers of his!”  She started weeping.  “He left a message.  Oh Dreah, I hope he comes soon.”

Creal was the local healer.  He was an herbalist of sorts, knowing every plant in the area and their different useful properties.  He also had some magic about him, particularly attuned to nature some believe.  We’ve never asked him; just glad that someone with his ability had taken up residence in our little frontier hamlet.

“She’s been drinking a bit of this broth I made for her,” Mum said, “but, she doesn’t take much.”

“I’ve been up with her all night, Dreah.” Sniffles beginning again.

“Mum, it’s my turn now.  Go see what Dah is doing. I don’t remember following me in.” Taking the wet cloth, Dreah delicately stroked his beloved’s brow.

Mum nodded.  “I’ll go check on him now,” she said as she stood up to leave.

“Drin, Wrin!  Where are you boys.”  Dreah looked around.

He heard them before he saw them, shuffling down the stairs.  They looked down at their dad, tears in their already red and swollen eyes.

“Dad!” They ran to him, burying their faces in his lap.

Through muffled sobs Dreah could hear, “We tried to get Dah and Mum, but mom is sick.  We had to leave her, but we didn’t want to. She made us go, we didn’t want to!” Drin cried as he tried to speak.

“My boys, it’s ok. You did the right thing.  Mom will get better.  She’ll be alright.” Dreah looked deeply into his children’s fearful faces.

“She will, dad?” Wrin said.

“Yes son, she will.  I’ll make sure of it,” Dreah said.

Dreah looked up to hide the tear that was beginning to fall from his own eye.

“Now, where is that fell-fetched healer!” Dreah said in exasperation.

_____________________________________________

Thus continues the saga of Dreah Darkholder.
This is a fictional/fantasy writing on Zwingli’s Blog, for NaNoWriMo. If you read this anywhere other than Zwingli’s Blog, then I’m flattered!
Z

 

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I was once told by a professor I dearly loved, “we all have at least one book in us.”

I believe him.  After much thought, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo.  The silly thing is, it took BBB’s post to remind me that today was the beginning of it!

Thanks Bear!

So, in honor of NaNoWriMo and my brand spankin’ new computer, we’re off to writing!

______________________

Dreah had been hunting for a couple of days.

This wasn’t unusual. When he hunted, it was usually for three or more days at a time.  He didn’t go often, at least not any more.  Not since he had gotten United.  The last thing he wanted to do was be gone from his better-half, Lorindra for very long.

Let’s not forget the kids!  They had been blessed with two beautiful, if not exasperating boys.

Yes, the last thing he wanted was to be traipsing through the woods for weeks at a time.  Some called him a hunter, others called him a ranger, some just called him a woodsman.  He thought of himself as “her’s.” There was no longer a “me,” just a “we” in his mind.

The unusual thing would have been the absence of any game being bagged.  Now, that would be highly unusual!

Per the ordinary, he was bringing back plenty of food.

He had brought down a deer.  He liked deer…A Lot!  This particular doe was on her last legs, quite literally since her back left leg seemed to had gone lame.  He knew that she wouldn’t see but a few more nights before being caught by the wolves in the area.

He had thought about taking the old buck.  He was well into his twilight years as well.  There were plenty of young stags around to take his place.  But, when the time came to take the shot, he just couldn’t.

Perhaps because he felt sorry for him. Maybe because he was starting to feel his age as well.  Maybe because he wanted to give some other hunter a chance at bagging him.

He didn’t know.  He just knows that he couldn’t take the shot.

He had also brought down a couple of wild hogs.  Not that he liked them as much as deer, but they were becoming a nuisance to the outlying farmers.  These were the easiest to find.  He had promised farmer Leland to take a couple from his land on his way back home.  One day of analyzing the tracks and rutting behavior.  One early evening to catch them unaware.

Now, the family will have both deer and pork in abundance for quite a while!

Sausage, jerky, smoked, salt cured… Oh how he could taste the goodness already!

And bacon.  He loved bacon.  He was convinced that bacon could make any meal better!

He looked up at the sun.  It was about mid-afternoon by his reckoning.

He let out a loud whistle, and barked out: “Tike!  Where are you boy!”

Out of the woods, ahead of him along the path, he heard a bark.  Through the underbrush bound a big black dog!

He was truly a mut, by every standard.  Sure, you could make out the water-dog breeding, but other than that you just couldn’t be sure.

He wasn’t as big as some dogs.  But, his head came up right above Dreah’s waste.  He weighed in at right over one hundred pounds.  He would almost be called lithe and muscular, if he wasn’t quite so big.

A nice black dog, with a single while line bisecting his chin, falling along his neck, onto his chest. It ended into a white star-burst on Tike’s chest.

He had been Dreah’s companion for many years. Truly, best of friends.  Hunting, tracking, even fighting together in the wilds.  It was almost as if Tike could read Dreah’s thoughts.  As if he knew of Dreah’s intentions before the action ever came. Almost like one Intention working through two bodies.

Dreah just felt blessed that Tike was by his side.

Another hour and they would be home.

Dreah couldn’t wait!

__________________________________________

Thus begins the saga of Dreah Darkholder…
This is a fictional/fantasy writing on Zwingli’s Blog, for NaNoWriMo. If you read this anywhere other than Zwingli’s Blog, then I’m flattered!
Z

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