CHAPTER ONE: Born to be a Hero (7)

     “I hardly call two feet of water a puddle, especially to us dwarves! Besides, we’re not natural born swimmers, you know. A fish is a fish, and a dwarf is a dwarf! As for myself, I hardly trust the water I bathe in.”

     “As ill-frequent as that is . . . shall I continue? Do you wish for me to remind you how Dhumond died as well? I can recount with exact detail, if it’s slipped your mind, how we lost our beloved Dhumond and why we’re forced to live where we do now.”

     Bornen crossed the room slowly and sat himself at the table, directly opposite of Shenon. They exchanged stares of irritation, but as soon as the name was mentioned, a wave of despair passed between them. “That won’t be necessary, Shen. I remember all too well what happened on that day . . . a day I shall never forget.” A mist briefly formed on his eyelids. “But all of that's different! I’m sure if Grom were to become an adventurer, nothing of the sort would-”

     A flash of fury ignited in her stare, and Shenon’s expression showed her obvious disdain to remain on the subject. “Absolutely not! If anything, Grom will finish his studies and choose a noble trade worthy of his skills. Perhaps he’ll be a smith, or even a carpenter, or stonemason,” then she added hotly, “he’ll have his choice, but he will certainly not be an adventurer. I won’t hear of it anymore.”

     “A stonemason?” Bornen slammed his hands upon the table, rattling the slender vase that decorated it with a lone velvety thistle. “Hah,” he scoffed mockingly, “don’t make me laugh. That kind of trade is too common for us dwarves. He’d be settling for less than he deserves. And as for carpentry or smithing,” his voice was rising as he added angrily, “what ordinary professions! A simpleton can swing a hammer at iron or a nail. Grom is meant to be more than that, and you know it. He will be a hero, a champion, a-“

     “Grom,” she interrupted him, which only vexed the old dwarf as the heated argument continued, (which was slowly out-burning the blazing fireplace), “will finish his studies and find a craft that suits him. The boy will not, I repeat, will not go gallivanting about looking for trouble like some fool with a death wish. That’s final!”

     Just then, like a spirit that’s summoned out of the darkness, the front door flew open and a short silhouette stood in the entryway while white flakes of snow whirled past it from the outside world. Emerging from the windblown snowfall, holding a large pile of freshly chopped wood, was none other Grom himself.

The End

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