Short Story : The Warming In The Early Night's Life

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The din of chirping and trilling birds foraging in the early morning woke Durstan Duwgen. Arg, it’s dark, he thought, why can’t birds break their fast quietly or sleep until the sun is up? He looked down from the rafters, where he made his bed, and saw his father, Gaurn, working a hand bellows breathing new life into the dying embers of last night’s fire. The stone fire pit, used for cooking and warmth, sat in the center of their roundhouse on the slate floor. The house was typical for farms in Pitgorm. A dry-set, four-foot-high, circular stone wall about thirty feet across hid under a conical thatched roof, the eaves nearly touching the ground. A double ring of oak posts supported the rafters, and a circular platform built on the joists …show more content…

We…I always thought we would be mated.” “I’ll give you a piece of advice, son: girls don’t like being taken for granted and women even less so. You need to—.” “When I look like you.” “Could be too late.” Durstan and Gaurn wore matching natural-color wool tunics over dark gray wool trousers that were tucked into scuffed brown buskins. Each tunic, cinched with a wide cloth belt at the waist, had wide, dark green trim on the neck, cuffs, and hem. That was where their resemblance ended. Durstan bore the look of a child and his father that of an adult. Durstan was slim and sinewy, his father was stout, broad-shouldered, and heavily muscled. Gaurn looked like he wore a couple overstuffed down jackets under his clothes. Durstan had fine, straight, chestnut hair and green eyes, which were rare and only found among his clan. Most Toktamysh children had blond hair and blue eyes. His father had curly dark hair and a bushy beard; although, a bit too much gray showed, and he had the dark eyes of an adult. Both were tall for their kind. Durston was five-foot, Gaurn an inch less. The average Toktamysh male was between four-foot-six and four-foot-ten. Durstan would look like his father when the change was finished. That meant he faced a period of pain as bones, ligaments, and tendons thickened and reshaped to accommodate the demands huge muscles exerted on them. At sixteen, he would take his place among the adults. Women went through the same change with similar

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