Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Wow, I haven’t written fiction for quite a while. Such is the story of my life during the summer. I am going to quickly upload this little snippet of the ongoing lives of Argora and Vilenok. As is typical, I have a bunch of items on my to do list for the day: gardening, library run, school shopping, zucchini processing and one appointment.
Argora and Vilenok
Walking up the sidewalk to Vilenok’s front door, Argora stopped in shock. Holes filled the front garden where someone tried to dig out bushes. Exposed roots for a foot down showed with cut marks near the bottom of the openings. Whatever would possess her friend to do such damage to the plants? Weeds and flowers littered the front lawn. She shook her head in amazement and continued to the door.
Knocking on the door, she opened it and called out.
“We are in the kitchen,” Vilenok said. Her voice sounded strained like she might have hit her thumb with a hammer and still wanted to appear happy.
Argora took a deep breath. Nerves plagued her. Meeting an orc matriarch intimidated her. She wanted to make a good impression with her friend’s mother, but she doubted her ability to do so with the older woman. As she walked into the room, she surveyed the scene once her eyesight grew accustomed to the dark.
A single candle flickered by the sink as Vilenok washed morning dishes. At the table, a thin woman lounged with long spidery legs. Her gaunt features made her look almost young with no wrinkles do to her skin stretched taunt. Her voice sounded brittle as she spoke.
“My daughter expects me to wear these ridiculous eye shields so she can open the shades for light to filter into the room. She said it is good manners when hosting a dwarf.” The old woman looked ready to pounce if Argora disagreed. “You wouldn’t want a mother to suffer would you?”
Argora smiled, her lips trembling. “Heavens no. I don’t mind if it is a little dark.” She placed the baking dish she carried on the counter.
Turning around, Vilenok’s shoulders relaxed as she mouthed the words thank you to Argora. She wiped her slim hands on a towel and moved a stack of three plates next to the dish. A serving spatula and three forks lay on the top, clattering a bit as she set them down.
“Mother, this is my neighbor and friend, Argora.”
Before Argora could respond the old woman shook her head in regret. “I can’t believe the world has come to this. Orc and dwarf sitting down to coffee, it is an abomination to our fighting spirit.”
“My mother would agree with you.” Argora took the lid off of her dish and began to scoop rhubarb crisp onto each plate. “She fears our peaceful nature will change being around the orcs. I think it will enable us dwarves to express our frustrations better.”
Vilenok took a plate to her mother. She poked her fork at the plate she sat down with. “I thought chocolate was a dark brown.”
“Oh, it is. I realized I needed to use up my rhubarb and made a crisp instead. I hope you aren’t too disappointed.”
A spluttering sound turned their attention back to Vilenok’s mother who looked at Argora with surprise.
“This isn’t sweet.” She took a second bit. “I like the tartness with the rich crunchy toping.” A bigger bit went into her mouth and she talked with her mouth full. “I have never understood why dwarves were so fat, but this is delicious. I thought you drank honey and ate horrible sweet desserts.”
“Well, we drink mead which is a honey wine and I did cut back on the sugar to not overwhelm your sensitive palate.”
Before the old woman could object to being called sensitive, Vilenok jumped into the conversation. “What is this rhubarb? Could I grow it in the front yard?”
“Speaking of your yard, what are you doing to those poor potentilla bushes?”
Vilenok growled. “I received a notice that my yard does not meet the standards for the neighborhood. I have a week to comply. I tried to dig up the weeds, but I got mad. I thought I would turn it all into grass. But I like this rhubarb. Could I plant that instead?”
“Growing anything is beneath an orc.”
“Yes, mother, but I need to live by the ordinances.”
“Most dwarves plant their fruits and vegetables in the backyard, but there are no rules about that. It would give your yard a distinct look.” Argora thought of how appalled some of the snooty dwarf woman. “I will help you.”