Caarin (pronounced like Car-In)
A chapter of kipleyarren
Authored by April L. Gerard
The one room wooden shack was bare, save for a lone bed with a man sleeping in it and a couple of chairs nearby. The sun was streaking in through a small window that was positioned directly across the room from the foot of the bed. Dirty dishes seemed piled up high against the adjacent wall next to the single basin stone sink and a piece of board attached to the wall to serve as a countertop. In the far corner of that same wall, one could see two tiny hammocks strung up in the manner of cobwebs and each one held a small being known as sprites.
The man was stirring from his restless slumber. He shook his head slightly and sat up grudgingly, allowing his feet to meet with the cool of the bare wooden floor. The coolness felt good on the soles of his feet for he and his companions had traveled many days through the wooded low mountains without foot coverings. It was not the first time he had done so. He had hoped to reach this small secluded area before sunset yesterday, but had been delayed because his two sprite friends seemed to know no boundaries as to how to get themselves into trouble with the humans who occupied the surrounding area in this part of Kipleyarren.
He had been raised here by his grandfather, away from all the other races that occupied the land. This place held many memories for him, too many memories he thought. The young man's arms were sleeved with intricate, detailed tattoos that marked his anguish and defiance of the world around him. He began to stretch out his arms and soon one could see that a pair of thin, transparent wings outlined in black, were slowly and painstakingly stretching out from his back. They were a secret of his true identity that few knew for he always hid them. He knew well the dangers of letting others know too much.
He stood up and looked around. It had been a long time since he had come back to this place. Grandfather had sent for him by way of a Messenger. Of all things, Grandfather chose to use a fairy to send for him! He could have done without the reminder, especially since most Messengers were Leains. The Leain men were just too wishy washy for his liking, although he supposed that had more to do with the Matriarchal structure of their people than it really did with the men themselves. Still, he would rather not have much to do with them. But the sending of a Messenger did hold meaning, he knew that much, and so the implications of the whole thing was not lost on him. And now, the old man was nowhere to be found. Figures.
He reached for his clothing and started to get dressed, the sun shining in on his bare skin, giving off that morning look some of the women he'd known had said made him so "striking". He could never quite believe their words however. Most had other reasons for wanting to bed him, when they discovered what he was they always wanted more than he was willing or even able to give. And then there was always that look of mistrust that would enter their eyes, keep them wary of him with their new found knowledge of his identity.
He would have to wake the two sprites soon. They never cared to get up too early, especially not with the dawn of the morning. He rose to meet the basin and found the water pump to be dry. He would have to clean up outside near the stream. The shed out back would provide the privacy needed to relieve him of the pressure growing in his bladder. He looked back at the bed and thought momentarily of sleep again, just a little more would've been nice. He sighed, there was no use in trying to sleep further- he was up now and wanted to get this business with his Grandfather resolved before noon so that he could be off again. He did not want to be here any longer than he had to be.
"York!Nolan!" the man said gruffly. "We need to get moving to and find Grandfather. The longer it takes us to get around, the longer it will take to find Grandfather and get this business dealt with. Which means the longer it will be before either of you can taste a swig of beer at Charnaltalve."
The two sprites, unkempt and uncoordinated, sprung up immediately. They looked at each other with a mocked frightful expression and said, "NO BEER?!" They each scrambled around and in their efforts they managed to get themselves tied up in their tiny little hammocks. The sandy haired one eyed him in Astonishment. "Caarin! What do you think your are doing? You can't tell a couple of deserving sprites No Beer!" Apparently, being tied up was less important to his small friends at the moment than the thought of no beer..
He tried to hide his mirthful look, those two were such a riot. He composed himself quickly and spoke again, "No what I said to you York was that if you don't get up and help me find Grandfather, it will take you longer before you get a swig. Meaning you might want to rethink laying in those hammocks any longer."
"Caarin, you could be doing some serious damage to us! Don't frighten a small guy like myself with such things!" This time, it was dark, black haired sprite, Nolan, who spoke.
"There's not a thing in this land that frightens you two. After all, your always so willing to get into so much trouble wherever we go. Now lets get around so we can search the area woods, Grandfather can't be too far off. I'd like to get this over with just as much as you two." He said. And then in a much quieter voice, almost like he was talking to himself more or less, " I just have a different set of reasons for wanting to move on." and with that, Caarin moved to the door and as he did so, he heard a familiar whistling sound. He stopped short of putting his hand on the door handle and sure enough the door opened to reveal that Grandfather had made it home. Caarin realized he had not seen the man in nearly 10 years and with startling clarity understood that there was something urgent in the morning air.