Benji’s Fun Fact Story Corner #71
Krane left the boy to warm up by the fire whilst he went back to collect his hammer and a few souvenirs. No blade kept its edge like the black antler of the Yarl deer, and the small boy definitely wouldn’t be able to heft Torins spare axe or lift Kranes hammer. He heaved the body of the large muscular deer effortlessly through the snow. It left a trail of pink, bloodstained snow behind it as he threw it next to the now roaring fire. Torin was waiting with his glinting axe, and he quickly ripped out the horns and cut off the crushed head. He then proceeded to skin it with surgical precision, to make sure that no meat was lost. The coat would be another to add to their collection. This all went down almost without a noise, with the only sound being the chattering of the young boys teeth as he shivered.
“Are you going to say something boy, or are you just going to sit there and freeze to death.”
Torin barked this at the frail figure, and then the figure spoke.
“I was there for days. Alone. My family got taken away, and I was forced to come up here with only a loincloth on my body, all because I stole a loaf of bread. I collapsed and dragged myself to a tree trunk, until those deer found me, then you saved me. I am not cold large man, simply furious at the state of my world.”
The boy had fire in his eyes, intense and dancing. His teeth has stopped chattering as well. Torin gave him a hard stare, cold and unforgiving, and then it melted away and he began to laugh with such fervour tears started pouring from his eyes and ran into his hard, black stubble. When he had stopped, the boy still had him fixed with that intense gaze.
“Aye brother, you truly are something. I underestimated you! You looked to be scrawny and weak, but your spirit is strong. Travel with us! And we will teach you everything we know.”
Krane simply nodded as he stirred the pot of snow he had collected over the fire. The meat of the deer would be tough and stringy, but would be fulfilling and hearty, just as he liked it. The boy was shocked, probably expecting a very different answer, and then he cracked a lopsided grin. So, their pact was made.
They trudged through the snow, still only two pairs of legs marching through the snow but now one extra pair dangling off the shoulders of the man with the red beard. They were conversing constantly, and were in high spirits. The small boy now kept the black horn of a deer in his belt, and wore the coat of the first sheep he had managed to slay around his neck. His thin arms had grown thicker with muscle and the rest of his frame was beginning to fill out, but his legs were coming back to him gradually and thus was now resting on the shoulders of the man they called Krane.
“If you don’t mind me asking, why are you people so big? There was no one your size in the place where I used to call home.”
This time, it was Krane who answered from below.
“Used to call lad? That is your home, your birthplace!”
The boys face soured, and he spat into the snow.
“That place is no home of mine. Plus, you haven’t answered my question!”
He replied indignantly. Torin spoke up from in front of him.
“Oh that’s a real tale brother, you might not understand.”
The boys interest was now piqued, and Torin could tell, he smiled.
“Well, we are descendents of an ancient people. You see in our world everyone was apart of one great family. Including all the creatures and plants that lived in this place, so everything and everyone was related, that is until the First Father died from old age and the leaders of each family began to fight each other. All yearning to have the honor of being Father or Mother. Our part of the family was descended from giants, and our leader thought that we should hide out in the mountains and wait for everyone to calm down. We age very slowly you see, the slowest out of all the families. Our perception of time is different too, for example we only reach maturity when we reach about 50 years of age. We waited for what we thought was a small amount of time, and by the time we descended from the mountains there was no world anymore.”
Now it was Torin’s turn to have the sour scowl on his face.
“The rivers ran red with blood, the plants were ravaged and dead, old friends lay dead in half dug graves. There was no green to be seen in our world anymore. Nothing remained of the great families, they had warred themselves into a stalemate, and warred still. Me and Krane were the youngest of our family, and now we are the last ones alive, the rest have passed on into this mountain, for you see this mountain was always the place where the oldest would go, right before they die, and we were hoping to see some trace of them but so far… we haven’t found anything. That’s the end of the story brother, its ending isn’t happy, sorry about that.”
End of Benji’s Fun Fact Story Corner #71