Done some editing, rewriting and correcting, it is not likely perfect yet, but a whole lot closer I believe, thanks for the response so far! More of it would be greatly appreciated. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ It had been an exceptionally wet summer he thought, as he walked along the downtrodden path, the familiar path back home. The heavy rainfall spoke of a great harvest, perhaps the greatest of the century. The lush farmlands by the river were greener than anyone could remember, and the vast forests to the north seemed nothing short of a wall made of the purest emerald. While he would usually have been overjoyed by all this, both the harvest and the feasting that would certainly follow, Dalon found that he was strangely oblivious to it all. It simply did not matter anymore. Indeed, he was known for taking his sweet time home, enjoying a relaxing walk after a long day’s work. For over a week now, this had not been the case; he had as a matter of fact been rushing as best he could, and had not even bothered to swim in the nearby Redford River as he had done every day for as long as he could remember. Even when he had taken the time and went to the local inn with his fellow farmers for a mug of dark ale, something he would normally do at least every other day, he could not take his mind of it, not for one second. He could not miss it, would not. A small muddy pond that had formed in the road from the recent downpour seemed to be the least of his worries at that time. A moment later he lay sprawling in the mud, cursing as he got to his feet, he looked down at his worn linen rags, they were dripping with dark, fresh mud. Dalon threw his pessimistic thoughts aside as best he could, then shook and brushed off as much of the mud and water as he could manage without delaying his steady march. The rain had been falling heavily most of that day, but as the sun began to set in the east, it had ceased and the clouds had scattered and revealed a sky all in gold. He was almost running by the time he saw the lights from his humble residence in the distant, and upon seeing them he sped up further. Full of excitement, he closed the distance between him and the sturdy stone fence that he had built with his father so long ago at a pace most amazing for the rather heavyset farmer. As he reached the fence he bounded over it, barely clear of the far end, but managed nonetheless. Had you been standing in the shadows that very night, seeing farmer Therian leap over the fence, you would without a doubt had raised an eyebrow, if not two. Dalon had given no regard to his soaked clothing, he rushed inside the small farmhouse where he had lived with his wife for nigh on five years. He kicked his worn leather boots off on the way, wrenched his soaked shirt over his head and threw it onto a chair in front of the fireplace. He must have been quite the sight, face flushed from the unusual strain of running, pants stained with mud and his bare chest dark with dirt as well. As he entered the bedroom he shared with his wife, Dalon found that it hosted a tiny crowd that very night. He made his way through the concerned midwives and excited relatives, and in the process he drew quite a few surprised and even shocked looks. But Dalon had not even noticed. Once beside the bed he reached his hand out to his wife. She took it and smiled up at him, a tired smile he saw, he must have been just in time. “I am so glad to have you here, my love.” She said and gave his hand a gentle squeeze, barely noticeable. As he was still gasping for air, Dalon did not trust himself to speak, but smiled and nodded reassuringly. He was there now and would not leave her side until it was over, everything would be alright. The minutes he spent kneeling beside the bed, his dear Elenna’s slim hand held tightly in his right, were the longest in his life yet. Of the actual process he remembered little, if anything at all. Having never been fond of seeing blood in any form, he kept his gaze fixed on Elenna’s face, though occasionally he let his eyes wander to their joined hands for a moment or two. Every time her face twisted in agony and her nails bit into his weather beaten skin, he just smiled. Now and then he ran his free hand slowly over her forehead to wipe the sweat away and soothe her. He could not actually recall when it was all over and she had finally relaxed her grip on his hand. The memory of old Mirlanda who held young Therian up, red and screaming he would carry with him until the end of his days. It was as if the ancient midwife spoke to him through the winds of a great storm, one he was fighting his way through. Far it had sounded, but coming closer every time it echoed in his head. “A boy!” He had a son, Dalon had scarcely believed it, even though he had been used to the idea of his wife being pregnant for nearly half a year by then. He had decided on his name, too, while finding a girls’ name as well was never even on his mind. The child will be a boy he had thought, and he would name him Renthon after his grandfather. When he held the boy close and felt his tiny heart beat against his skin, the farmer swelled with pride. He swung the boy around in his arms, completely ignorant to all those around him who shared his happiness. Those short moments of complete bliss were his and his son’s alone. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you for your time.