Torquere Press www.torquerepress.com Copyright ©2005 by Sean Michael First published in www.torquerepress.com, 2006 NOTICE: This work is copyrighted. It is licensed only for use by the original purchaser. Making copies of this work or distributing it to any unauthorized person by any means, including without limit email, floppy disk, file transfer, paper print out, or any other method constitutes a violation of International copyright law and subjects the violator to severe fines or imprisonment.
Coming Home Turtle The Wind's Will Blown Together by the Wind Weaver * * * * Coming Home Bren tried to melt into the side of the barn as he looked around nervously. He kept his head absolutely still, only his eyes shifting from side to side until he was convinced no one was nearby. Only then did he allow his head to move, making a more thorough sweep of the area.
Each adjective was punctuated by another slam against the wall until Bren's teeth clattered. “Now get into the house. Your Da will be in shortly." The little girl nodded. “You're not going to chop him up, Da? He looks so scared." Dark eyes glared at him for a long moment, hard and furious. Bren couldn't stop shivering, couldn't stop the slow leak of tears. Eyes trailed over him, over his ragged clothes and thin frame. Then the big man shook his head and sighed. “No, Rian. I won't chop him up. Get on in." Once the child was gone, the man sighed again. “So, boy, what do you figure I should do with you?" He blinked up into brown eyes, rattled and shaken. A single thought went through his mind, over and over, blocking out everything else. He wasn't going to get axed.
"Well, then, there's precious little use in killing a perfectly functional man, isn't there?” Another sigh and the man shrugged. “I need to think on it. I can take you over to the town; turn you over to the watch. Or maybe you can consider working it off." "W-work it off?” He wasn't sure which option sounded more ominous.
She wrapped her thin arms around his neck, eyes fastening on Bren for a moment. “I was having a little weep, Da, and then I needed you." "Come on, Bren.” Without looking back, Iral started toward the house, speaking gently to his daughter. “Did you happen to stir the beans when you were in having your weep?" Bren hung back, not trying to run away, he just felt like an interloper. He felt bad, making the little girl cry and intruding on this little family. And he felt jealous. Rian had a father who obviously adored her. He had nobody.
what you want, boy." Three place settings were placed on the table. “Of course, it's a half-day's ride for me, so I'm not leaving until the morning. So, you can eat or you can find yourself a soft spot in the lean-to behind the house and wait until dawn. Your choice." He licked his lips. His growling stomach won the day. The handful of berries he'd had with his tea in the morning had been the first meal his stomach had seen in almost three days. He moved slowly, silently to the table and slipped onto the bench, hands tucked under his thighs.
He shook his head and looked down at his bowl again. “Don't have a home." He glanced up and then back down again. “The boys let me travel with ‘em, but I had to be lookout in return. ‘Fore that I did ‘prentice stuff for a smith—stacked wood, fed the fire. Hated that. And I dug for a wellman for a while. An’ ‘fore that I stayed with a farmer and his wife. They were nice, but when she got caught with a baby of her own they didn't want no older boy no more." "Sounds like you've been a busy lad. Well, you think on the stocks tonight and if working sounds more pleasant by dawn, I'll set you to hoeing beans. Ah, there's my baby girl.” A warm smile wreathed the man's face as he rescued the tottering earthenware pot. “And you didn't spill, either!" He doled out two little cakes for Rian, four for Bren and himself. The cakes smelled wonderful—sweet and spicy and utterly delicious.
dishes together. “I'm glad you're here! You can fill the dishpan. The well's behind the house and the bucket's on the rope." Bren picked up the dishpan and took it outside. The sun was almost gone, painting the sky with long fingers of dark pinks and purples, leaving the dark blue night sky in their wake. He hurried around to the back of the house and filled the dishpan with water. He took a cupped palmful of it for himself, astonished at the sweetness of it. He'd bet the big woodsman had dug the well himself.