Haidley IX-XIII

Never eat eggs or
onions on a sacred
day and then expect
nothing when in temperance.

 

IX

“It wasn’t nuffing,” Haidley

said in response to

that stare Senna always

gave when she wanted

the truth. But, as

always, Senna got what

she wanted from you

in the end. He

stood there patiently waiting

for the blow. He

was expecting it. He’d

learned early on not

to flinch in anticipation

as it always made

the blow that much

worse. And recovery meant

longer than usual. So

he steeled himself but

tried to stay relaxed.

“Ain’t gonna hit you,

boy,” Senna finally said.

“Thormo wants repayment though

for the dead ‘un

you left behind. He

said it was you

he wants in payment

for the dead ‘in.”

 

X

Haidley looked up surprised.

“Thormo’s the worst of

the lot, Senna. You

know that. He’s a

lying fat pig who

deserves a tickler more

than compens…compensay…money!”

Senna’s eyes softened for

a moment. “Compensation, Haidley.

And it’s not money

he wants. He wants

blood. Yours. But I

said no cos you

fought fair on this,

so Klax tells me.

And by the rules

of the clans, you

were in the right.”

Haidley looked in askance:

“Then what does he

want if not blood

money. I fought fair.

That’s the end of

it.” But Senna smiled.

“No, the Clan elders

have all agreed that

for a life a

life must be owed.”

 

XI

Haidely suddenly understood. His

face turned pale. Then

he made to speak

but Senna held up

her wizened hand, long

rheumy and frail. Yet

her hold on her

stave was firm. She

punched the floorboards with

it. “Enough Haidley. The

decision was made. You

will join the Rabbits

for an indentured period…”

The announcement seemed to

fade from Haidley’s mind.

He glanced about at

the assembly of Ravens,

his brotherhood, his family.

Most of all his

eyes settled on Senna

and saw her for

the first time, an

elderly woman who was

giving up what pained

her deeply. A tear

welled up and he

brushed it angrily away.

 

XII

“The cut sneak will

pay. Of that make

no mistake. You will

take him under your

wing and work him

to death. Do you

hear me? I want

that ratty bird dead

before summer. And part

payment; the rest we

will extract from Senna

and her clan. Once

they are dealt with,

then will I be

satisfied.”

 

XIII

Haidley’s friends were around

him once the announcement

was formally concluded. Klax,

Mingus, Ragron and Miqee

sat glumly watching their

best friend wrestle with

the news he would

be serving the Rabbits.

As if in unison,

they all spat at

the thought of the

hated rival clan. Finally,

Haidley left without speaking.

The others trailed him.

Nothing was said and

it wasn’t for them

to speak out first.

 

© 2017 L. Tafa

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Author: b20f08

I enjoy solo wargaming and writing. The first caters to the boy that never grew up; the latter satisfies a deep desire to communicate. Cheers.

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