Blog battle time again, and this week’s word is “Rope.” It truly amazes me how such a simple word can be a seed that bares much imaginative fruit. As for the story below, due to the great comments I received about Chorus, the raids on Tamier, and the Ibrian’s, I have decided (my imagination as well) to put forth a bit more of the story. Also, once the first few chapters are nicely put together, just enough to tease for the completion of a future novel, I will add a link to a blog battle for you all to take a deeper peek. Until then, here is Thaylon, the youngest brother.
Thaylon held his face heavenward, eyes closed against the warmth of the sun and the salty mist of the sea air. It was amazing how well balanced he was, how at ease his fortitude when at the mercy of the buoying ship.
It seemed the closer the Ibrian army got to Odwaht, the harsher the waves. Smiling, Thaylon spread his hand against his belly, eyes still closed, and knees softening enough to keep his balance. Yes, he was indeed created to be a man of the sea…or at least a fisherman. Although he had a gift for honing wood, and constructing fine ships, he didn’t care at all for the splinters that peppered his calloused hands.
“I said the rope, Thaylon!” Leedrah’s raised voice finally broke through his trance. She growled in resignation. “Never mind. I should have known I would be stuck pulling these sails alone. This is exactly why the Rights of War are reserved for Ibrian’s of 20 years, and not those barely 18.” She jutted her chin towards him before pulling the rope into place and watched another sail catch the wind, buffering against the force of the waves.
Whispering, his amen, Thaylon took his place by the other rope. A tinge of red colored his brown face, more from embarrassment and less from the sun. He had only turned 18 two days past, but unlike other Ibrian youth’s his age, who would have stayed home and worked on forging roots for their future crafts, and waiting until they were old enough to take place upon a warship, Thaylon was on a warship.
How the Father King had made it so that he was the only one born in Ibria during a season that made him odd man out, he could not comprehend. But if Argaso and Chorus had not petitioned the Cheiftains to give him a place on a warship to earn his right to a bride and land, he would have been 27 years old before he saw a raid. Twenty-seven! to everyone else’s 20 to 24. And even if there weren’t a land to raid he still would have had to wait until an Ibrian girl was of age before he wed her. Still he would be…old.
“Forgive me, Leedrah. I didn’t mean to abandon my ropes. I was just—”
“Standing about daydreaming with your head in the clouds, while the rest of us prepare for war.” She shook her head and wiped sweat from her brow. The tight, red curls of her wooly head had drawn up from the sea mist and the sweat from working the sails, her drawn forehead at least two shades a deeper brown than it had been three days ago.
“I wasn’t daydreaming, I was offering prayer to Father King.”
“Oh?” Her countenance suddenly changed. Prayer was obviously more acceptable.
Thaylon narrowed his dark eyes at the sun again. “Yes. I was praying that things in Odwaht-Ibria be such that there is no need for bloodshed,”
“A worthy prayer, and one we need. If the reports are true and the naturals of Odwaht have decided to resist, the streets will run with blood. They were offered peace for assimilation. There is no forgiveness for such a break in the covenant. We will war. It is the Ibrian way.”
Thaylon watched her, listened to her words play over again in her mind. It is the Ibrian way. If Thaylon had not known that Leedrah was the adopted daughter acquired out of a raid herself, he would have thought she was natural Ibrian herself. “I was also praying for favor with the raid on Tamier.”
Leedrah snorted. “What could you possibly pray for that? Breaking through the foundation of Tamier will be easier than breaking through a zoweiss egg. The men or boys of Tamier are as renowned as the warriors of Ibria,” She propped her muscled arm over Thaylon’s shoulder. “The only difference is they are known for leaving the women to do all the heavy lifting while they keep their hands and faces pretty. That raid will be over long before it starts.”
She rolled her shoulders. “Now when Rodden-Ibria, my home, was raided, that was a different story. Bloody business, but sometimes deliverance cost just that.” She put her fist over her heart and gazed heavenward to the Father King in thanks, before a smile spread across her broad face.
Thaylon turned away, his stomach fluttering. He had always had an eye for the woman, though she was much older than he and married to the son of her Ibrian father’s brother—securing her place in her adopted father’s clan by blood of future children. This was to be her last war campaign before she was placed in reserves, same with Argasso and his wife who also were aboard the ship. Then, Leedrah, like his older brother and sister-in-law, would return home and deepen their roots with family.
For Thaylon, it was the start of several more campaigns with the promise of a young bride acquired by Chorus’ large hands.
“But I bet you are praying for a lovely bride as well, eh? No shame in it. The more adept she is to convert to the way’s of Ibria, the better. And good for her to have such a handsome bridegroom!” Leedrah pinched his check.
Thaylon blushed all the more. “I just pray she loves the sea. I would love to have land on the water and Tamier, I hear, has beautiful ocean boarders.”
“I pray in agreement, for the Father King’s favor upon you!”
Thaylon brightened, more than he thought possible hearing the only woman he had ever fawned over wish him well living almost forever away with a bride all his own.
-“Ready your sails and your weapons! We reach Odwaht-Ibria in three quarter hours!” Argasso’s voice boomed overhead.
War. Thaylon gulped and pulled upon his sails hoping the tug would knock out the sickening feeling that had suddenly hit him.
THE END FOR NOW
Made it in in exactly 1000 words! Hope you liked it 🙂