Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Speak Easy #159 - Pyre


Pyre sat cross-legged on the ledge outside the cave at Eagle Peak, trimming the leopard skin that his cousin, Tulie, had gifted him recently in celebration of his last name-day. The fur was thick and the skin supple; Tulie had done a superb job curing the hide. Pyre felt certain he would look very striking draped in the cloak this would make.

Pyre set his flint knife aside, laying the hide in his lap and stared, unseeing, as thoughts of his cousin filled his mind. He thought of Tulie, out in the forest with her band of women, learning survival skills and exulting in a freedom that Pyre could only long for. It hardly seemed fair to him, that Tulie, as Heir to the Rioni tribe, could be free to roam the wilderness for days on end, while he, Heir to the Kuran tribe, must remain ever confined, needed for one task or another; this time to aid his father in planning and storing winter inventories.

"Where are you?" he wondered idly, sending the thought out into the morning air, imagining her lovely face in his mind and forming a connection just like that.

"I'm at the fork of the Tilik river," came the reply, silent except within his mind, "Janna is teaching us how to spear fish." And suddenly Pyre’s mind was filled with images that Tulie must be projecting to him; of four women perched somewhat precariously on rocks jutting out over the river, thrusting and stabbing long spears into the dark, swirling water.

Pyre closed his eyes to allow the images to continue undisturbed; vicariously enjoying the impressions Tulie sent of her friends, unfettered by responsibility and duty. Tulie sent a whoop of joy through the mind-link as one of the younger women struck true; muscling her spear up out of the water with a large, glistening, wriggling fish dangling from the end. Suddenly losing her balance, Breean fell off the rock and into the water. But the river was shallow and she managed to keep the fish on the spear as she splashed her way to the shore, laughing and heedless of the shocking cold. The girl lay the spear down amidst the sand and the rocks, the fish still firmly attached, and they watched, collectively, as it fluttered for a moment, magnificent in its struggle, then wilted and lay still.

"I've got to go, Pyre. I'll need to get Breean out of these wet clothes and you should not be here for that."

"Wait," Pyre sent a thought back through the link, "I can help. Show me your location again." He studied the details she sent into his mind, until he found what he was seeking."There, stop. Hold your sight; yes, just there." He fixed his attention on a small pile of driftwood leaning against an outcropping of stone some distance from the shore.

He opened his mind to the power that lay dormant within his spirit, shaping flame from the spark of his imagination; casting fire through the link he held with his cousin, where it flared into existence and suddenly the driftwood caught and burned brightly with an unnatural intensity.

"Yeah, Pyre!” Tulie exclaimed. “I knew you could call fire, but I didn’t know you could project it like that!"

“I didn’t know you could project images either; it’s what gave me the idea.”

“Well, thanks! This was a big help. I never asked; what are you doing?”

“I’m working on the leopard hide you gave me and wondering what I ever did to deserve such a gift?”

“You gave me that cloak of silver fox fur last summer, don’t you remember?”

Of course he remembered. It had taken three seasons to hunt enough silver foxes to make the cloak. “Nothing but the best between cousins, right?”

“Right! I have to go, cousin. Maybe I’ll see you soon?”

“Probably not before winter sets in. But, you never know.”
He felt the link fade as he opened his eyes and became aware of the weight of the fur in his lap, “Thanks again for the hide, Tulie.”

But she was already gone.

He sighed, and picked up his flint knife again, wishing he could be spear fishing, or hunting silver foxes, instead of waiting for his father to call him to task.

“Pyre!” As if on cue, Aron popped his head out of the cave, “What are you doing? There’s no time for daydreaming. We’re waiting on you in the storeroom. Let’s go”