Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July, Day 5 & 6


I suck at writing while I travel.  Friday was a prime example.  We wanted an early start, so I missed my normal time.  We stopped in Great Falls for breakfast with my mother-in-law after driving over an hour.  Back in the car, we stopped in Havre, Malta, and Glasgow for drinks and bathroom breaks.  Arriving at our destination in Wolf Point, around five in the evening, nine hours of travel, the rest of the night was filled with family, dinner, and rodeo.  No writing!!!

Frankly, I am surprised that at the moment I have time to write.  Everyone is taking a nap.  I would love to join them, but this will be my only time in seventy-two hours.  Later today, we will participate in more stampede fun, rodeo, and family time.  I love it all.  Because of the schedule, I opted not to bring my laptop.  I wanted to pack light and see if I missed it.  On my last trip, I didn’t turn it on once.  Well, I miss it.  Now, I have to wait until Monday to type my chicken scratch.  But on the positive side, I have been working on the story a bit.

Writing into the dark poses problems at times.  I was faced with where to go next with the story.  A dwarf had died and Vilenok (the orc) wondered about the mourning process.  Hum, so did I.  I have done no world building up to this point except vague ideas that are in my thoughts.  Luckily yesterday (Friday), I had the excuse of traveling to the North Eastern corner of the stat to visit family.  My work peculated, much like the second cup of coffee Argora made for Vilenok.  This morning while trying to take a nap, visions started to point me in directions for both the orc and dwarf traditions.  Vilenok will be the first orc in history to attend a dwarf death ceremony.



As I suspected, I didn’t get any writing done on Sunday.  After driving seven hours and going to work for an hour, I was tapped out.  I also picked up our beagle puppy from the kennel.  He was hyper.  I took him for a long walk and snuggled with him.

I didn’t think I would blow off Monday.  I intended to write, but after taking Leo (the beagle) for his walk, I started working in my flower garden by the mailbox.  I didn’t work all that hard, but I lost all ambition.  I thought I would write in the evening which is always a bad thing to think.  Instead, we went on a family picnic with friends.  I did take the opportunity to take a mini artist date and play with my camera.  I am hoping some of my pictures will work well to blow up.  In fact, I am thinking I should start working on a collection.  But, that is a topic for another day.


Argora and Vilenok

“What in the world are you doing?” the deep voice boomed, breaking the quiet morning.

Argora jumped and exclaimed in freight, dropping the weeds she just pulled from the garden filled with an assortment of colored lilies and daisies.  She turned around to look up.

“You scared me half to death.”  Argora pulled her gloves off her hand.  As she began to stand up from her kneeling position, Vilenok took her elbow to help her stand up.  Argora appreciated the help.  Her joints ached from being crouched over the plants.  “I am weeding my garden.”

“How do you determine a weed from anything else?”  Vilenok leaned over to inspect the clump of green foliage piled in the driveway.  “Some of it looks like grass.”

The dwarf woman chuckled.  “True enough, but grass is supposed to be in the lawn not the garden.  Well, unless it is ornamental.  Weeds are anything I don’t want in my garden.  This is a flower garden, so if it isn’t a pretty blossom, I pluck it out.  The same is done in the vegetable garden.  Don’t orcs garden?”

“Why would we do that?  We are warriors.” Vilenok stood even straighter.  “We eat meat and gather the rest of our food.”  A thoughtful expression crossed her face.  “I guess it could fill the time.  Since moving here, I don’t get to roam the forest as much.”

“It can be a hard adjustment.”  Argora bushed off the dirt on her skirt.  “Well, let’s have some coffee and cake.” 

Instead of going to the front door of her yellow house with white trim, Argora led the way around the side to her backyard.  Amongst all the flowers, bushes, herbs, and flowers sat a little white gazebo with yellow chairs and a table.  Vilenok ducked through the archway and sat down.  A white tablecloth donned the table with a vase of purple irises off to the side.  The table was set for them.

“This seems a bit fancy,” Vilenok said.

“Yes, I was in a mood to be surrounded by my pets.”  Argora’s hand swept through the air to encompass her gardens’ delights.  “My friend Kathina was such a lady.  She would love to have tea in such a setting.  I do this in her honor.”

“This must be part of the dwarf mourning ritual.  How long does the mourning last?”

“Each dwarf has their own time of grief and their own individual rituals.  As a community, we will have a burial ceremony to celebrate her life.  Yesterday I was told the ceremony will be in a week.  However, those closest to her may mourn for weeks afterward.”

“Will you mourn for a long time?”

“I will actively mourn until the ceremony is over.  When I think of her after that, I will think of her fondly and miss her.  I am sure the same happens for you.  If it were a family member, you mourn longer.”


Argora looked up from pouring the coffee, waiting for more of an explanation.  When none came, she finished pouring the tall mug for Vilenok.  In her mug, she filled it a quarter full and finished filling it with cream and sugar.  She had been experimenting with the drink.  If she cut the bitter with the creamy sweetness, she liked it.

“So, orcs don’t mourn?  I guess that confuses me.  You never think about the dead or do anything in their memory?”

“The day an orc dies; their body is taken to the cliff of victory or the cliff of disgrace and thrown over for the land to take back its nutrients.  If the orc died in battle, he body is tagged and it goes to victory.  All other deaths are sent to disgrace and forgotten.  The grave combers harvest the bones from disgrace for menial items like bowls or spoons.  Victory gulch relatives use the bones for weapons and ornamental items.”  Vilenok touched the chain at her neck that held a round disk with a design engraved on the front.  “This is from my father’s shoulder bone.  He was a great warrior.  I carry this to remind me of my duty to his memory.”

“How will you be honored if you don’t have the opportunity to die in battle?”

Vilenok looked down into the blackness of the coffee.  “I am doomed to disgrace since I didn’t die before the peace was made between our people.”

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