Fianna returns to Teltin

Fianna returns to Teltin

A Story by CJ Tyrone

a reunion of two people that grew up far apart, fought each other in the war, and have now reconciled their differences.a stand alone chapter from my fantasy saga.

She reached the village center at sunset. The place was abuzz with exertion, banter, and hope. In the courtyard, a broad-shouldered man hoisted a log onto his shoulder, then turned around.

                He gave her a long hard look. Without a word, he continued on his way. Fianna was irritated but not surprised, and broke into a jog to catch up with him.

                “Still haven’t learnt your manners, Cragen?” she said, addressing his bronzed back.

                “In case you’re blind, young woman, I happen to be very busy,” he replied without turning around.

                “You didn’t miss me?”

                “Sorry, what manner of creature are you? Excuse my poor memory, but then again, it has been a long time.”

                Fianna snorted, crossing her arms. A civil conversation was impossible. But she followed him anyway, until he set the log in front of a half-completed cabin.

                A small boy ran up to them. He stopped before Fianna and stared at her with liquid eyes, in unabashed curiosity. Ash brown curls framed his rosy face.

                Fianna laughed, and crouched down to peer at him.

                “He’s beautiful. Is he yours?”

                Cragen grunted in reply.

                “Can I hold him?”

                “Just don’t drop him. Look, son, there’s that aunt of yours who got duped by the [1]mercs.”

                The boy was a little too large to hold, but Fianna managed, and he only squirmed a while before settling down. He was soft, warm and utterly delightful.

                “How?” Fianna sighed in wonderment.

                “What do you mean how?”

                “I’d never imagined that you’ll be a father!”

Fianna giggled when the boy wrapped a plump arm around her neck.

                “Stranger things have happened,” Cragen muttered.

                “And who would that poor, suffering woman be?”

                “You’ll see her. She’s a solid woman.” he said with some pride.

                “Really, I’m happy for you. I could almost forgive you for clobbering me [2]three years ago! No matter, no matter, this is amazing.”

                She bounced the boy up and down for a while, singing and talking with him. He couldn’t quite speak yet, but he laughed and shrieked when she lifted him into the air.

    A woman came towards them. She wore a brown tunic and no shoes, and moved her robust body with an earthly grace.

“Teague! What are you doing there?” she called, flustered.

When she saw Fianna, she stopped short in bewilderment.

“By the Gods, if it’s not the hero in the flesh!” the woman said, clasping her hands to her chest. “Where are my manners? It’s my honour to meet you, Lady Fianna Dunevale, Champion of the Common People!”

Like a worshipper before a holy shrine, the woman came up to Fianna, the visage of reverence etched in her kindly face. Fianna put down the boy. She took the woman’s hands---they were warm and comfortable---and tried to humble herself, but it only added to her heroic aura, in the woman’s eyes.

When the woman turned aside to scold Teague, Fianna took the chance to look askance at Cragen. He only shrugged. Apparently he did not find it to his wife’s benefit to dispel the fairy tales. Neither did Lord Treon. He did not wish to immortalize his own mistake, nor be constantly surrounded by accounts of his son’s sacrifice, if the story did turn into a legend. Let the people believe the heroic tales, let them find hope in the stirring myths, because the truth was difficult and uninspiring.

Fianna spoke warmly with the woman for a spell, the woman apologizing for her own crudeness, while Fianna tried to ease her anxiety. For the long stretch, Fianna felt like a cheat.

“You have a lovely son,” Fianna said. “He has your eyes.”

“Thank you, Lady, but I can only hope that the Dunevale blood runs true in his veins! Me, I’m only a farmer, I have nothing to offer to the world!”

“Don’t say that. Your work is needed here.”

“I wouldn’t be here in the first place, if not for the courage of your Ladyship. You and your brother felled the wicked wall that stood for five thousand years! We owe you everything. Would you be staying awhile? If you like, I’ll let you have the boy whilst you’re here. Tell him all about your journey, teach him something good; better your influence than mine. Sorry, I’m asking too much, if it’s too much trouble"”

“Oh no, not at all. Thank you. I’ll be staying in Lord Treon’s guest cabin, if you need me.” Fianna said.

“Oh dear, it’s almost sunset. I do have to be going now. I owe you my life, Lady Saviour. I don’t have much, but if there’s anything you need, anything, just ask. Sorry, I have to take leave of your Ladyship now, sorry.”

 With profuse apologies, the woman bowed and left, waving her goodbye until she disappeared behind a row of cabins. Fianna watched the stocky woman, deceit gnawing at her own heart.

“Brother, do your wife a favour, and tell her the truth,” she said, picking up Teague again.

“Let her believe what she wants. Us simple folk need the stories where heroes are heroic all the way. Sometimes I wish I never met you.”

“What’s her name?”

“She didn’t tell you? That silly goose. She’s Tallulah O’ Morain. Everyone calls her Tally,” Cragen said, chipping away at the log.

Fianna turned her attention to Teague, who was now squirming in delight. He grinned broadly, tiny white teeth showing.

“See goo, see goo,” he said.

“Is that your Mother’s name?” Fianna smiled at him. “Then your Father must be a very rude man.”

Cragen snorted, but he smiled too.

“First words,” he muttered.

He straightened up to his full height. He was a man now, a husband and a father, and the weight of it etched lines on his face. But the hard light in his eyes was subdued by love; and fulfillment. When he was not bent on vexing her, Fianna could see an elusive tenderness in him.

“You take care of him now, sister. Don’t scare him with those ghastly tales of yours; he won’t get any shut-eye that way. Don’t feed him any molasses, it’ll ruin his teeth.”

He dropped his tools on the grass, and exhaled loudly.

“Well, sunset. About time. Supper?” he held out his broad hand.

Fianna took it, for the first time in their divergent lives.



[1] mercenaries"the layman word for Miethlings.

[2] One Teltin year= 450 days

© 2010 CJ Tyrone

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Added on December 30, 2010
Last Updated on December 30, 2010
Tags: high fantasy, family, reunion, village, saga, magic, rustic, emotional, children, fathers, siblings, peace, new world


CJ Tyrone
CJ Tyrone