Anywho, during #AYearAThon this month I read W.i.t.c.h. 10 A Bridge Between Worlds, and I've been dying to write more on this ever since! So it's FINALLY out! I may just do a second chapter right after this one, if my right hand holds.
It's short, but here it is!
He was thirteen. Young, arrogant, and self-assured, Kaleb was positive he was ready to join the rebellion. Not that Aldurin would listen.
“But my father was the leader!” Kaleb yelled at the now thirty-seven-year-old Quelthar.
“That’s why I don’t want you to join,” Aldurin replied. “They targeted himbecause he was the leader, and now you’re living with me.”
Kaleb turned away, furious. Aldarn had heard his two sons were training in private to take the trials to join the black, double life of a traitor. So the old smith had browbeaten his blood son first, and now it was Kaleb’s turn. The tall young man refused to be demeaned into obedience without a fight.
“Yes, I’m living with you now, but you can barely afford me!” Kaleb ruthlessly pointed out. When Aldurin’s right eyebrow twitched slightly, he knew that he’d touched a nerve. He plowed on. “You took me in, and taught me that I have to work to eat, and I know that’s a truth. I have lived that truth here in the forge, and in the fields. But I want to do more!” Kaleb lowered his voice, and tried to plead for understanding. “Father,” he begged, “I want to help those who were wronged, like I was. I want to protect people from my fate, and the fate of everyone here. Please. Grant me an audience for a trial.”
Aldurin was not an old man, but he looked it. Years of suffering and pain, of oppression and sorrow, had aged him. Thirty-seven years was a long time to watch the innocent suffer, and the artisan wore the burden as a cloak that would never be removed. Looking back Kaleb knew that his refusal was an attempt to spare the last of Lei’s family, but at the time, it only annoyed him. He could not fathom the strength of faith in him that Aldurin had to summon before the ironsmith shut his eyes and grunted, “Fine, but any slacking off before then, and you don’t get one, and you don’t eat.”
Excitement flooded the young man, and he began to jump up and down, chanting, “Thank you, I won’t let you down! I—”
Pain cut the memory off short. His right arm felt as if it had been ripped open and boiling oil had been poured inside. Jerking awake with a cry, Kaleb curled up around the broken limb. It took him a few seconds to realize something smelled terrible, and that something was chattering away to him.
“So sorry, honorable master Human sir! Blunk did not mean to hurt Human rebel’s arm, sir! Blunk only wanted—”
Kaleb had had enough. He’d been reliving a wonderful memory. In fact, it was perhaps the happiest time in his life, save when his family had been alive. But he could barely remember back to that time. His life in Aimbrish was all he had to reflect on, and being there again had been a blessing as he slowly starved to death in this tiny hole with the stupid little Passling.
Enraged he punched the small, stinky creature, and then curled up to sleep.
“No, no, Human sir!” Poor Blunk was breathless, but still managed to stumble to his feet. Although in pain, exhausted, sick, and starving, Kaleb felt a little bad for striking the runty, green being.
“What do you want, Passling?” He groaned, his eyes closed. “Did you find food?”
“No sir, something better!”
“Like what?” He asked.
“Well Blunk did not find it, Human rebel sir, but it’s there!”
“A portal, sir! A portal to a different world just opened up! And it’s right above us, in the chamber where the opening is!”
That got Kaleb up.