Okay. Enough of a break. Time to get back to it, me.
Read Tag…One More Time – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 1.
Read Tag – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 2.
Read Tag – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 3.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 4.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 5.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 6.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 7.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 8.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 9.
Read Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 10.
Read Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 11.
Read Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 12.
Read Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 13.
Byell stood on the edge of his field. In front of him lima and tomato rows alternated, a thirsty crop with a dry so water would disperse throughout the field evenly. Behind him his orchard started, apple trees and pear trees, another thirsty crop meeting dry. A mallet hung loosely in his right hand, slipped through his palm, and landed with a dull thud on the dry earth by his boots. He wiped sweat from his brow and looked down as if confused by the sound, then slowly raised his head and scanned the horizons. “No rain.” He clenched his fists. “No clouds, no rain.”
His thirsty crops pulled what water they could from the dry, the ox yoked with the ass, and both suffered for it.
A duct ran from the Vell to his fields and he spent the last hour damming it so no Vell water would reach them. Tardiff stated it correctly; the Vell’s water quenched like poison and none knew why.
He sobbed and pulled a leather pouch from his pocket. “You promised.” A knotted cord held the pouch’s top closed. Sweat ran down Byell’s cheeks and mixed with tears. “I gave you my daughter and you promised.”
He pulled the cord and the pouch opened. He bit his lip until it bled, tasted the blood on his tongue, spit into the pouch, and mixed the contents with his finger.
He walked his fields. Every few steps he took some grains out of the pouch and sprinkled them on the ground.
At the end of his transit movement caught his eye. The trees around his fields had once been loud with wildlife. Birds followed him when he furrowed and he talked with them. “Are those grubs to your liking, Mr. Grouse? Does that worm serve, Mrs. Tanager? And you, Mr. Grosbeak? Are you getting your fill?” Swifts flew over him as flies and grasshoppers took flight. Opossum and stoat waddled at a safe distance behind him to catch any gleanings.
Now the trees were silent. He prayed to gods old and new to bring the wildlife back and kept his eyes alert for any signs of life in his fields, so the dark movement, the fluttering of black against the withering green of the trees, caught his eye and he looked.
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