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!