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The Texture of Dawn...
Haft 1
It was palpable, pulpy even, as his bare feet felt the mossy green yielding softly under his hard nails.
Above the spears of evergreen swayed and whipped like so-many blades singing in the battle-line.
Beyond to his broad back crept traitor Dawn, the rose-nailed sissy who announced the coming of the mighty Sun.
In his hand dangled the hobbit, a plump bitch of middle-years what had been fermenting in its warren all of its bread-fed days a-plumping for the morning feast to come.
Stunned it hung from his mighty brown hand, pale and sun-haired like a fat little elf but not jabbering its insufferable lies, just pining to be spitted and roast!
He jog-trotted, the quickest of his kind, fleeter than all, not smashing through moss and mud like some slogging maw.
The spears of everlasting green swooned and sang above in the whipping wind, singing him along to Mother Camp, to the place where he was born...
“Mah!” he soothed, “Mah! Up from you sleep! Got breakfast!”
From the mossy eves of the great hollow tree shuffled his Mother, so little, soft and weak, her small face pale and round like the moon, her thin lips lacking fangs to jut, her round little eyes un-shaded by hairy overhung brows. She was ugly—but she was Mah.
He stood proudly, towering over the soft little woman who had birthed him, her hips forever ruined from the act, leaning on the great trunk of the Tree Most Ever Green that his grim father had hollowed out for her.
“Mah, meat fer you—fresh got!”
As he said this he swung the plump little bitch up by its ankle in his mighty left hand and drew back the ax-haft he ever bore as his half-breed taint in his mightier right to beat its head and his mother ran to the dangling thing in her crooked way, almost falling to save it from the pot stroke, “No, Baby! Not another life for mine. I'm tired...losing my taste for meat.”
He was struck speechless. Mother had never turned down meat. Of course, that had all been rabbit and possum, pig and raccoon, honk and cluck, heron and crow, doe and buck, squirrel and the bear cub he was still so proud of braining. Come to ponder it, Mom and the Hobbit bitch looked more alike than Mom and him. So he understood her aversion to be something like an ork's aversion to crime and cannibalism and lies. As always he would forgive her softness—it being her quality after all.
She was hugging it and swaddling it like a baby and to his deep-creased brow ridge, scrunched in offensive disdain, she said, “Please, Baby—I'm not an ork. I can't eat any more meat—least not what comes on two legs.”
“But what to do with it, Mah?”
She hugged the numbly whimpering bitch hobbit and cooed, “My folk keep pets. I'll pet it and it will gather me roots and make bread—sweet things to eat!”
“Blast, Mah, sweet things make us weak—we eat meat!”
She was now holding the hobbit bitch by one hand and holding his hard-nailed hand with the other and looking up into his eyes, scratching the calloused pads of his palm with those soft little nails of hers and pleading, “Please, Baby. Your father is always gone dwarf-squashing and you—your always off playing speed-skull. A pet—especially one like this that can talk—and cook—would be fine company.”
“Mah—only humans keep pets. It's wrong. It's slavery—it is better off dead!”
“No,” peeped the little thing, “I want to live!”
“It talks! Mah, it's gonna yammer like a human—maybe even like an elf!!”
And it talked again!
“No, elves lie. Hobbits speak truth—nor do we steal like dwarfs! And we don't kill like humans—we're fine pets!”
“Mah, it talks—shut it up!”
For a hunter who stalked the dusk and the dawn all of this loud yammering—the loud yammering of little things, soft little things—was irritating. Mother was cuddling the soft little bitch in that endearing way that was like an infection of softness—like to turn an ork into a human and a...
Mother read his face like she always did and cut his thoughts before they spiraled inward on themselves, “Haft! Your ork half is strong. You should wield the ax. When you father returns to rut on me, I'll demand that he kill me or support your taking the ax. You are twelve-and two now, as big as any of those idiot orks and as smart as The Shaman. It's time. Do not think weakly of yourself. Take up the ax!”
The whimpering thing hugging his small mother's hips, like a caricature of Mah in miniature, was looking up at him in awe and cheering him on with its little blue eyes. This gave him a sense that his time had come, like when a squirrel and a thorn both give warning of the same viper.
Haft placed his rough hand on his mother's shoulder, soft and small as it was, and rumbled, “Hide it in the tree when Dad comes. I go to find him and demand the ax.”
And the little hobbit bitch clapped her hands and slapped her feet like a rabbit and cheered him on his way and chattered, “My ma-ma, we'll make rooty bread all day and nibble all night!”
'What is this forest dark coming to?'
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