by Ruth Davis Hays 2011
This story is a prequel to the first Translations from Jorthus book, THE DAWNSTONE TALE. It pertains to one of the main characters from that series and will possibly answer some questions about him.
Faerlins are a race of Jorthian fae, like elves though stronger, taller, and hardier than the elves of this world. They stay within the areas known as the Fae Wood and generally avoid other people. Once a faerlin, or faerl folk, is sent out of the Wood, they can never return.
Ammarron was one such faerlin. She was a young maiden when her comfortable life with a rich family was stolen from her by her son ‘Khiall. He is NOT a faerlin, and this is part of his life’s tale:
PART TWO – Under One Roof –
Lauralei found it a most awkward time sitting around the dinner table with the family. Solomen silently shoving his food into his mouth in order to be done with it and free of his family as quickly as possible; his two wives quietly respecting his right to a peaceful meal; the twin boys swinging their legs restlessly and staring from one face to the next, looking for a reason to argue or tattle on something. And then, there was ‘Khiall sitting several chairs away from her, picking at his meal joylessly, his head down trying hard to disappear into his black veil of hair.
It was almost intolerable. The only good thing was being able to look at her stepbrother. She got to secretly admire his more mature looks, the slanted eyes, dark brows, and pointed ears. Being allowed to go out hunting had given his pale skin a warmer tone than she remembered from their youth. He could have passed for an elf, except for his new height.
As they had walked home in the downpour, she had noted that he was just over six foot. An attractive height, she remarked to herself as they had plodded along. She had a small frame, barely reaching over his chest. Yet, as they had embraced under the wet trees that afternoon, she had felt as though their bodies were a perfect fit.
Shyly glancing up, her eyes cut along the table to see what he was doing, only to find her little brother, Galian grinning at her for no reason. Rolling her eyes, she went back to eating.
Dinnertime crawled into an eternity. She sighed. Part of her ached to be gone from the room, but she desperately wanted to ask ‘Khiall if he would come talk with her later, and that would not be possible until after Solomen left the room. As she waited, her mind thrummed with the memory of their kiss.
She was startled out of the reverie by her father’s voice.
“I see my food is not good enough for you?” The gruff man snorted.
Looking up, as they all did and seeing to whom the comment had been directed, she was not surprised to find Solomen’s glare planted firmly on ‘Khiall. Reaching out a broad hand, her father slapped the back of the young fae’s head and ordered him to leave the table if he was not going to eat. ‘Khiall, who had frozen at the attention, mumbled an apology and quickly tried to stuff some of the fine venison into his mouth, only to have his fork slammed back down onto the table by his stepfather’s palm.
“Don’t insult me, Boy! I gave you an order,” Solomen roared, his keen gray eyes on fire with some resolution that he was not sharing, but burying under his anger. “Now, leave my table! I don’t want to see your ungrateful face again tonight, do you understand me?”
Lauralei saw ‘Khiall’s fist tighten on the steel utensil until, without looking up, he said, “Yes, sirra,” and swiftly pushed away from the table, retreating to the stairs before the twins even started to snigger.
She wanted to scold her father and run after the fae, but she knew that this might only bring more thunder down upon him. So, sitting silently, she was somewhat surprised when Ammarron’s sweet, sad voice was heard.
“How has my son so offended you, my husband?” she asked gently.
If anyone but Ammarron had spoken, Lauralei felt certain that Solomen would have furthered his tirade. But, her beautiful, lilting faerlin voice, thick with her dialect, was like a balm to all there. It eased the older man’s temper and he turned to her, his tone calmer.
“He was late coming home tonight,” he said, glancing briefly at his only daughter. “That was a clear abuse of privilege. I allow him to help with chores and practice hunting with my boys because it is not healthy to stay inside all the time. I allow it for you, my dear. But, I cannot allow him to take advantage. It makes for bad character. He is not a child anymore,” to which he added with a roll of his aging eyes, “thank the gods. That excuse has wasted too much of my time. We must give him discipline. And I will not tolerate him sitting here tossing his food about his plate and wasting it after I have provided it for him. Especially when he brought nothing home to contribute to the meal.”
This last bit he mumbled with a proud nod to his son, Corian, who had shot the deer they were enjoying. Ammarron nodded briefly and patted her husband’s hand. “You have given him, and myself, many blessings over the years, and I’m sure that he does appreciate it, my love. But, he is young and wild at heart. We are Fae; we do not do well staying inside for long. Perhaps if you would allow him to go back to school, or have more time in the woods, it might calm his spirit.”
“Fine,” Solomen resumed stabbing his meat and quietly proclaimed, “He can start by helping chop wood tomorrow. Winter will be upon us soon. We will need to stock up. That, added to hunting and drawing water, should be plenty of outdoor activity for him.”
“Thank you, dear.” The faerlin woman smiled, though Lauralei could tell that she was not altogether pleased with the conclusion.