Friday, July 17, 2015

July, Day 9


Friday

The other day I read a fellow writer’s blog.  He is challenging himself to write a short story a day during the month of July.  Almost daily he mentions how his wife likes his latest story which he doesn’t think is all that good.  Now this writer is one that has been living the business since the 70’s.  He is good.  When I hear him doubt his work, I feel comforted that I am not the only one that thinks they aren’t writing to par.  On this particular day, he also talked about not getting any readers responses.  He thought he might stop the challenge.  Again, I was comforted.  I wonder what I am doing with my own challenge.  But like him, I will continue even if what I write is drivel.  I am having fun and hopefully growing as a writer.

 

Argora and Vilenok

The door glided open as Argora approached.  The magic never ceased to amaze her.  In the dwarf caverns, the use of magic was strictly forbidden due to the fear of evil magic.  Humans were fascinated by magic and allowed it for everything.  She suspected the humans tried to mate with elves just to give the gift of magic to the human race. 

Homesickness swept through her as she took the elevator from the landing down fifty feet.  The clear glass walls and doors allowed her to see the different types of rocks streaked with gold and sprinkled with sapphires.  In the obituary shared with the community, she learned that Kathina’s favorite gems were rubies.  Her trip to the dwarf store was for that but she also thought she might buy herself a new beard chain for the ceremony.

The elevator stopped and opened.  Stepping out, she smiled.  The cold air felt good after walking through the sweltering heat.  Mist from the beautiful dwarf-made waterfall moistened the air, cutting the dank smell of clay.  The jewelry isle looked crowded, so she wondered to the gem section.  An especially robust dwarf turned from the counter that displayed rubies, and he nearly walked into her. 

“Excuse me.”  He stepped to the side without glancing at her.

She placed her hand on his forearm.  “Grogrim, I am so sorry to hear about Kathina.  I have so enjoyed being a collector with her.”

The dwarf, tall for their race, recognized her as her words muddled their way through his pain of mourning.  His lips curved upwards, but the smile failed to reach his eyes.  Leaning forward, he allowed her to give him a hug.  As they pulled away, he wiped tears from his eyes.  Argora felt a lump forming in her throat.

“Thank you, Argora.  You know she has been sick for months.”  He waited for her to nod.  “We expected her death.  In fact, I am a bit relieved that I no longer have to care for the sickness.  I do miss her already though.”

“Of course you do.  I can only imagine the stress of seeing her suffer.”  She shifted her weight.  “How is the rest of the family?”

“They scurry around trying to comfort me.  The oldest is making all the arrangements for the ceremony as if I am too old.  He invited dignitaries from the human and elf races.  Kathina’s death is the first not affiliated with the war.  I was angry at first for making this a display to the public, but Kathina probably would laugh about it.  She enjoyed learning of other races.”

Argora felt a bit uncomfortable.  Though they occasionally served together during the weekly ceremonies to Brokkr, god of the forge, she didn’t know Grogrim all that well; yet, here he talked so personally.  She struggled to think of something to respond.

“My new orc neighbor, Vilenok, and I have been talking about the ceremony of the dead.  People are curious about that which they don’t know.”

Grogrim nodded.  “If she is interested, she can attend as well.  In fact, in my anger, I told my son just to invite the blasted orcs as well.  I am not fond of orcs, but if the other races are coming, orcs shouldn’t be excluded.”

“I wasn’t…” Argora pulled at her beard.

He tried another smile.  “I know you weren’t asking.  But if you are friends with this Vilenok, I truly don’t mind her attending the ceremony.  It is better than dignitaries.  I am just an old miner from the caverns.  All this hupla about integrating the races make me uncomfortable.  But, Kathina was always curious if orcs were as mean-spirited as the stories.  She would like a common orc, a friend of her friends, to join the ceremony.”

“Vilenok is rough spoken, but I have grown fond of her.”

“Very well, I will see you tomorrow.  I have to go finish my shopping.”  Grogrim patted her on the shoulder.  “Thank you for listening to an old dwarf.”

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