Friday, April 29, 2016

Beyond the Rim Installment 25

Thurgod commanded the gate to his compound to open as he flicked his hand. He watched as the latch gave way and the metal swung away. The smith god's rounded shoulders slumped, and his hand trembled at his side. He stepped through the gate, then reached behind and threw the gate shut again. The gate shut with a loud noise.
Thurgod proceeded to the door of his living quarters, but stopped as he saw its hinges turn open before he reached it.
"Is that you, child?"
"I heard the gate bang shut."
Thurgod took a tenuous step forward. "I am sorry, child. I was not thinking of your sleep."
Oorgo stood in the doorway, staring at the moonlit silhouette of the smith god.
Thurgod sniffed, and reached forward with his hand. "If you are  still in the door, I cannot come in, child."
"Sorry, master." Oorgo stepped away, and hearing the footsteps Thurgod stepped inside. He pictured his bed of iron only a few rooms away.
"That is not my name, child."
"Sorry, master."
Thurgod had taken half of a step towards his own door, but then paused and pointed his face at Oorgo. "It is I who should be sorry. I have woken you, and when you have obviously wanted to ask me a question, I have rebuked your sleepy head. What did you wish to know, Oorgo?"
"The Queen. What did she say?"
"What did she say?"
"When you went to talk to her."
"The Queen. Yes. Yes. I spoke with her tonight. She had questions for me."
"Questions about smith work?"
Thurgod remained still, frozen in his half-turn. "Questions from one god to another."
"But what about? Why did she call you away?"
"Are you afraid, child? What is the meaning of so many questions?"
"Are my parents coming?"
"What do..." Thurgod canceled his own question to catch Oorgo as the first sob nearly threw the boy over.
"The queen is terrible. She..."
"Your mind is too small at this hour, child. You need sleep." Thurgod cupped two of his fingers over the boy's mouth, but left his nose open. "Little boys should not be wakeful at this time, not after so much walking."
" parents..."
"I think that they are coming, child."
"You do?"
"If you were not going to believe me when I answered, why did you ask me?"
"Why did you ask me to tell you, if, when I told you, you would only ask why I thought so?"
Oorgo began to answer, but his answer was lost as his head flopped onto Thurgod's arm, and he was asleep again. The smith god carried the child back to the bed of straw, and before putting him in he remade the bed.
"The hearts of little boys should not be troubled with so much, but for now it has to be. You will be made stronger."
Thurgod's eyebrows raised.
"Yes. Stronger. You will have arms like mine. Metal will bend because you strike it. You will be a fine smith."
"Yes, child. You will carry a whole crate along the whole Way and not grow tired."
"A magic crate?"
"Yes. You will carry a Queen's Chest, full of secret things that you have made."
"What kind of things?"
"Things you invent. Things I could not make."
Oorgo tried to answer again, but only muttered a whisper.
Thurgod continued. "You will go through the city, and some will say, 'There is Oorgo.' And you will enjoy sunsets. And you will be the smith for people, as I am the smith for gods."

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