Story for the day: The Tempest and the Mountain
A sample chapter from the book I am currently writing. Enjoy.
|Dhenidha and Dhirghena|
The Tempest and the Mountain - Chapter 2
The Hakriyaa, the Haanta leader of the combined armed forces for the islands and mainland outpost, had died. The last allowance made was the sanctioning of Khantara’s request to travel toward the eastern continent, but after Khantara’s departure the Hakriyaa, aged and ripened from years of war, fell ill and passed on. He had been the Hakriyaa for the better part of two-hundred years, fashioning strategies from his sanctuary beyond the temple and leading his men into the glories of war where necessary but he had always permitted those experienced in the ranks to make their own proposals for battle tactics and did his utmost to guide without being an overbearing ruler. Under his command, the forces of the Haanta flourished and were successful in every contest between Thellis and themselves, but once the intrepid leader had gone, a new Hakriyaa was instated and placed in the sanctuary to delegate his commands as he believed appropriate.
Upon the Hakriyaa’s Amghari Bhidhaas, the celebration in honour of his induction, the Hassan Omaa, Haanta leader of the social collective, was to appear to give his esteem toward his new complement. As he and the Hakriyaa ruled over the Haanta nation sharing equal parts of the whole, his presence was expected and attained at every commemoration, but in this instance the instatement of the Hakriyaa would have to be missed. At the time the Hakriyaa was receiving his due reverence and benediction from the head priest, the Hassan Omaa was in the infirmary holding his mate’s hand while she was giving birth. Although the leader of the collective was certainly elderly by this time, showing all the natural signs of age for one of almost two-hundred years, he had not lost his fortuitous heritage in the ways of virility. He obeyed the command given to all of those who kept life mates amongst the collective and performed the sacred act of Khopra each night in the home he shared with his Traala. Many children over the course of a hundred years were bequeathed them and though his mate was an older woman as well, they enjoyed all the felicity of wondrous companionship.
The Hassan Omaa sat beside his mate and smiled with senseless joy to see her reclining in such a manner, prepared to give birth to another child. There was some struggle on her side in the way of added pain due to her age but she performed beautifully and succeeded in giving birth to a male. The child was placed into her arms for her and her mate to remark and each parent made the usual comments of asserting that the infant bore the semblance of mother over father, but upon thorough inspection, it was evident that the wriggling infant was closer to the Hassan Omaa in likeness. Both retained the same silver-white silken hair, the same deep grey skin tone, the same vivid lilac eyes, and though the father’s countenance was graced with the telling signs of sagaciousness, there was an artful subtlety in the child’s appearance that could not be mistaken.
The matter of a Mivaari name for the newborn was of some concern, as the parents wished to project all their aspirations for the child’s future into one suitable name. Over the course of the next few days, the child was carefully inspected. He was only just born and yet he was always wanting to be moving. When held he wished to be let down, when let down he wished to be held and after mere days, he was already meaning to crawl. His endeavors to writhe about were permitted and treated with coos of affection by the Ankhimari and her attendants. When placed down for resting, he fidgeted, he fussed, he grew easily uninterested in sleep or the comforts of his basket. From the moment the sun rose over the white-sanded horizon of Sanhedhran, he would move every moment of the day, toys and any object of curiosity were soon discarded in favour of another, when he was not stretching his arms or slithering along the Ankhimarron ground, he was engaged with eating. He protested against ingesting the warmed formula he was bade to drink. After tasting the sweetness of the substance once, he cried until his mother’s breast was placed in his mouth to quiet him. It was not customary for Ambesari, those who were given their Mivaala, to be expected to feed the Haanta young when they had pressing tasks to perform, but it was requested on behalf of the child when all other methods of nourishment had failed. The Traala of the Hassan Omaa was applied to and she happily supplied means for the child, watching his gratified countenance and closed eyes from her position above him while he suckled.
It was soon discovered that he would not eat anything beyond what his mother could provide and she therefore came three times in a day to the Ankhimarron to feed the voracious being’s hunger, but even as the woman was gone from his company, the child would yet fix himself to any breast that was within his reach. Any female with significant ripeness who lifted him into her arms had her mounds attacked by his tiny hands and gummed mouth. There were many comments made about the child’s adoration of certain feminine attributes and when he would not cease his pulling and gripping of them, he was held less and less by the chagrined attendants. When the child realized the silent neglect to his ardent demand, he employed tactics of his own and would surrender to crying if only to be picked up again. Nestling his sweet features between the large breasts of a maternal creature was his object and he was only quiet and still when in the valley of a woman’s chest.
Though the child was all dulcetness and affection, there was a viciousness to his character that had begun to appear as he grew. The instant something disturbed his happy existence, whether a moth flittering in through one of the open windows on evenings or a leaf from a nearby tree blowing into his basket, it was destroyed. He would take any disturbance into his hand and crush it with all the might he could muster, defeating the annoyance with a fierce glare and a gleeful grin. This concurrence in temper gave rise to the name of Dhirghena, the Tempest, and all surrounding him and watching his manner agreed that this was a suitable designation. He was devoted one moment and ferocious the next as though he would undergo such an alteration in person without knowing it.
Only one year after Dhirghena was born the Hassan Omaa and his mate returned to the infirmary prepared to grace the Haanta islands with yet another child. This birth, however, drew forth some complications and though the mother was indeed of a good age, it was decided that the child within her was to be removed from the womb, as it was much too large to be birthed in the established sense. The mother was placed on her back and given all the requisite sedatives to ease her discomfort, and when the child was finally taken from her, she felt an excessive exhaustion and reprieve assail her. There was some concern for the child’s size, for though Haanta males were larger in form than females the immense weight and measurement of the child at birth was unexplainable. He was examined for any injury incurred during the Ankhimari’s procedure and when he was found to be in faultless health he was given to his two Ambesari to be fawned over and favoured.
This child, as large as he was, was affable and easily pleased as if he were honoured to be paid so much dutiful attention. He had not cried when born. He was calm, enjoyed smiling and the moment he could part his gums, he remained in blissful stillness while being fed. He was not as interested in his mother’s milk as was his brother, but he took pleasure in the warmth of his healthy appetite being appeased.
At the time the Hassan Omaa examined his child, he noted how much he bore the semblance of his mate. His skin, though grey, was light in colour and thicker than accustomed. His hair was coarse and bristled, giving his head the appearance of a grey stone blanketed in a delicate white moss. His eyes were a pale shade of violet and though his brows were not yet formed, his propensity to beam at everyone who passed his basket gave him a forthcoming aspect. The Hassan Omaa held out his aged finger to test the child’s strength but soon found that the worry spent over his wellbeing would soon be bestowed on himself. When his finger was gripped, he was pleased to feel the firmness in his child’s hand but when he attempted to pull his hand away, the child grew distress at the lost of his father’s finger and crushed it in his gasp. The Hassan Omaa felt the bones in his finger weaken and fracture and the Ankhimari was asked to mend him as he found a fitting name for the smiling, grey creature.
“This one will be our strongest protector,” the Hassan Omaa proclaimed. “His Mivaari name will be Dhenidha, and he will be a mountain of might for our people.”
It was agreed that the size and strength of the child recommended the designation of Mountain and so his name was attained.
While Dhenidha was enjoying being fed, Dhirghena was standing to the side, eagerly wishing to see his brother who had roused such a commotion in the Ankhimarron nursery. He noted the enormity and joyful expression of his brother from afar and his was soon encouraged to approach him. He bid his mammoth brother a wily hello and was moved to scratch the moss-like hair on his head, giving rise to amiable giggles on both sides. He repeated the name Dhenidha a multitude of times and he rather liked the manner in which the Mivaari designate was uttered as something in the nature of the word gave character to the happy infant before him.
Dhirghena attempted to hold his younger brother in his arms and with some assistance, he was able to rock him back and forth until Dhenidha succumbed to sleep or laughter. Although it was not usual for two Haanta Mivaari to take such interest in one another when every Mivaari was deemed consequential as the next, the Hassan Omaa and his mate were pleased to observe how considerate and attentive Dhirghena was with his younger brother.
“These will be important to our people,” the collective leader hummed to his mate, regarding Dhirghena swinging his brother in the cradle of his small arms. “They care for each other and though we are meant to care for all of our people, I will watch these two very closely.”
The Hassan Omaa carried his mate out of the Ankhimarron, leaving the two brothers together in their rapturous delight of one another.
From the day Dhenidha and Dhirghena were placed together they were seldom seen apart. When the mountain was fed, the tempest would spend the chief of his time crushing silverfish underfoot or hastening after the attendants, and when the responsibilities were reversed, Dhenidha was content to accumulate all the crooning the Ankhimari would accord while his brother was enjoying the temperateness of the female flesh. They grew with great alacrity, always eager to be out, always eager to play together, and always equally eager to rest side by side. The mountain became still in his bearing and the tempest had never ceased his movements. They matured into handsome children, each of them with a gleam in their eyes and intelligence in their manner, the larger ever conscious of the feelings of others toward himself and the smaller ever plaguing his brother with games and devising ways to goad him from his tranquility.
Although Dhirghena was the elder, Dhenidha showed signs of blossoming first. His hair grew into a white fluff, his shoulders became wide and his arms grew thick with brawn, but his gentle countenance remained unchanged. It was remarked by all who observed him that he was likely to be the most becoming Haanta to ever walk their islands. His strength was uncounterable, his quietness of speech beguiling and there were high expectations for such a child. Dhirghena was given the same consideration. His silken hair was the subject of much discussion, his small waste and broad shoulder recommended his suitability as a brother, but the feature most concerning was his devious grin. He never seemed to cease his smirking and treated everything excepting Dhenidha with a cunning air and deceptive smile. He must be planning something was the general estimation concerning the particular child and those who surmised such a notion would be right.