BLACKSAND LANDER 28 FINAL CHAPTER2011-12-28 at 01:44 am Blog RSS
Back at the bow boat, Alar replaced the nest in the cabin and left the door open. The chick seemed well, stripping a fish his mother had dropped on the deck for him.
Alar put a fire in the tork and got his fish. He rinsed the salt from his fish and was about to drop it on the flame when he stopped. He reached inside his pouch and brought out one of the leaves he had saved from the bumpy green pods.
He moistened the leaf with gill water then laid the fish in the leaf he tied it with a piece of the leaf that stringed from it. He had been right the leaf had ridges and strings in its fibers. The leaf smelled pleasantly sweet. He folded the leaf covering the contents like he had seen in the pictures then placed his grinding stone in the flames and the leave pack on top of it. He sat there unsure of when it would be done.
His mind wondering on what it might taste like if at all different. Already he could smell the fish and the smell of the leaf turning brown. He maneuvered it around with two reeds and turned it over. It was a rich brown on one side and he did like the smell.
Moments later her pulled it from the flames and let it cool. Unsure if the outside was edible or not, he decided not to eat it. Remembering all of Minsk’s warnings about things that carried poison. He knew that the heat killed most poisons.
With curiosity he removed the wrapper. It smelled good too but strange. He poked at the fish. Much like when wrapped in flail. It was moist and tender. He tasted a bit of it.
“It’s good, really good.” he said as he ate several more bites of the fish. If he lived to see tomorrow it would prove the leaves were not poison. He seriously doubted they were.
Later before the sun slid out of the sky and below the horizon, Alar cast his net into the sea. There were not many but he came back with at least six fish. He speared them and left them to dry .
Torch now lit in his cabin, Alar worked on sorting the pictures and drawings. He put them in the order he remembered sorting and resorting them until it was right. He separated them even further with how they had been presented then tied them each in their own booklets. First was on the planting, then on the growing, then on the collecting and then on the cooking. He looked at the last book and shuddered a bit. It was on the History of family markers. He had drawn them carefully. He had drawn the man and his symbol carefully too. He wanted it all to be right. There was much he would do to make the History Crank seem interesting. He thought about making a small plant display with a real plant growing but wasn’t sure if it would survive the winter.
He made a short list of things while he had his quill filled with ink. Gathering of food was a number one priority and storing it too. He would need much flail for the winter. Some dried for fire and tinder. Some flail would be needed for ropes and things to hunt with . It was not easy to dive in winter.
He would need to coat the inside of the new craft with crack keeper too so it would keep out the cold air. There was so much he had to do. He had to get a new shirt too. Mara would be ashamed if he wore that to her wedding. It was stained with colors of the dyes, tattered from use and torn for use of small pieces of cloth he always seemed to need.
He was making plans to make some cloths but he had no weaving skill and would pay Mara or even Tanna to make him some and perhaps a new shirt and pants as well. Winter would come with cold he would need to get a seal this winter for shoes agains the cold especially for Mara.
Again alar stopped. His journal a gain in his hands as he wrote of the day. And in the personal side as he wrote of Tanna’s visit. Her hair glistening red and bright in the sunlight was a memory treasured. One he elaborated on as he wrote its description. “Her hair flame gold in the summer sun, touched by breezes touched her face gently.”
He laid his journal aside and dumped the fire from his tork wetting both tork and torch down for the night.
A large squawk and a small echoed in the darkness then all was quiet except the slap of the waves against the bow outside.
Morning came, Alar was up early fishing and then diving for food. He collected several fish in the net and took his spear below. He returned with a good sized eel he had been watching for a week now. Nearly a weak passed before he hard the Shell horn sound in the distance he shimmied down from the tower he had been cleaning out of habit. A huge craft and several smaller ones were headed toward the bow boat.
Alar didn’t recognize the large craft with the yellow sail trimmed in red. He waved and was surprised to recognize Minsk at the helm of the boat guiding it toward him. Mara had been blowing the horn.
Alar frowned as he glanced at the other passengers on the boat. There were several, he could see Abby, Tanna, several of the boys from the cranks a few older men, and then Rast.
The bird flapped flying about the top of the mast of the craft as it docked.
“Where are you going with your new craft Minsk?” Alar asked and received laughter from all aboard.
“Your new craft you mean Alar, this is the History Crank.. Much room for all things you intend to put in it. All that wisdom you keep writing down.” Minsk said laughing.
Come here boy, these are the fine folks that helped create it for you , give your thank you’s !”Mara shouted pushing Alar onto the new dock.
Alar shook each hand in turn until he reached Rast’s hand and stopped.
“I don’t blame you..” Rast muttered.
“Alar,, he insisted they work hard and made sure you had many storage boxes for the things you would need. He built the ones out back too for more plants..” Mara said and smiled kindly at Rast.
“You did,… with or without a broom? “ Alar asked.
“Without.” Rast said turning red. “ I never new how hard it was to be a docker.”
Alar noticed he had not said Low boater or high boater. He took the boy’s hand and shook it firmly. “I still don’t like you, but I don’t hate you and if you did that well perhaps you can help on the History boat from time to time.” Alar said watching the other boy’s face turn bright with anticipation.
“You need my help Elder Mock? You are the Blacksand Lander, Elder Marcus has been teaching us of this for a month now… I am ashamed I tried to harm you and Miss Mara.” Rast muttered. He looked down.
“Yes, I could use someone honest to help here from time to time… you best not be lazy!” he said realizing this was an apology.
The boy smiled and looked at Minsk. He nodded. “I told you boy, if you learn to work hard you will go far… look out for that line!” Minsk yelled and every one laughed as Rast tripped over the bow line and nearly landed in the water. A month or so ago, Tanna would have let him hit the water instead of catching him as she did.
Tanna ran into the large cabin area and returned.
“Alar,, its not really good,,, but I’m doing better. Mama Mara said so,, if you want them.. You need them,, I see your bottom.. “ Tanna said laughing as she handed Alar a set of dark blue pants and a yellow shirt.
“You made this for me?” Alar asked in disbelief.
Her face turned crimson.
“I wish to ask, you in front of all,,,if when Minsk and Mara wed,, you be my wife as well. I will care for you, make you a good husband. Our children will grow and learn to read and write and of our history, and our future. But I need to have your answer and your Mother’s permission.” Alar stated taking the pearl he had kept special since he had opened it. It was silvery blue. He had found it when he was getting the dye plants.
Tanna looked at Alar, he brushed the tears from her cheeks..afraid of the words she was about to say.
“I have always loved you Alar,,I only threw fish at you because I wanted you to see me.” she looked down.
Alar tilted her head upward gazing down into her eyes, eyes that always melted his heart. He kissed her gently getting roars of approval from the people all around.
“I kept that first fish until Mara snatched it away and tossed it.” he laughed.
“Angela!” Mara called suddenly startling Alar. He glanced up and saw Tanna’s mother come from the cabin.
She stood there looking at Alar, then at those around her and Mara too.
“You take my daughter, and if she goes hungry, or freezes to death,, I will beat you with a broom harder than Mara ever could young man! She is all I have in this world since her daddy died.”
“Angela,, “ Mara called softly putting her arm around the woman.
“Alar is a good boy, he will take care of her. And if you don’t marry that Jake fellow from the Terse Crank boats you’re a fool! His been here every day for a month just to catch a look at you !” Mara told the younger woman with a shake of her finger..and a quick kiss on the blushing cheek.
“I wanted Tanna happy first.” she admitted as she glanced at her daughter.
“Alar makes me happy Mother, I am going to be a teacher! I’m going to start a school too!” Tanna said and looked at Alar.
“Flail is needed people,,, that school will have more than just our children on it if Angela is joining the Terse Cranks! And Abby here has friends she too has met. It will be filled “ Alar laughed and hugged Tanna.
“It’s ok?” she asked shyly.
“It is perfect and Mara too will help teach if she wants, I know she loves to teach.” Alar said..”Mara I gave you the dye for your dress.. And you too Tanna..”
“Come look at your new craft, time to show the dresses later at the wedding!” Tanna said laughing. “ how much dye did he think we needed mama Mara?”
“He thinks we need the ocean full of it .” came a reply.
Inside the cabins were sections and shelves. Places for more plants to be stored away from cold. The crank boat was also sealed like Alar’s boat had been.
I borrowed a bit of that dark sand ,,,” Minsk smiled and showed his hands stained with a bit of darkness. “Rast had his hands full lugging it from the bottom for hours..” Minsk said and patted the second boy on the back.
Alar smiled at least Rast and Minsk had come to an understanding, there would be peace on the crank boats. Several of the young boys looked expectant at Alar as Minsk introduced them.
Excuse me gentlemen..” Alar said and left the new dock, returning shortly with several sharp bask knives of various sizes. He handed them to each of the young boys.
“You must tell me how they cut the flail.” Alar encouraged as they gasped with pleasure.
Alar turned to Rast. “I have something for you. Here,, it needs only gill water, not salt.. And if you make a bigger box,, ask Minsk for blacksand, he will get, you must be responsible for this ,,, it is history your history. I found it under the sign your parents carry.” Alar said and gave him a small plant he had found growing on its own under the symbol he recognized as Rast’s family Marker.
There were gasps from around those standing there even Mara and Minsk. Rast stood there staring at the small green plant in the flail box.
“My family,,,their marker?” Rast questioned.
“Your family still love you Rast, but you needed to grow up, so did I “ Alar said with a smile.
“Thank you Elder Mock…thank you Blacksand Lander.” Rast said.
“There is much to do Alar, the ice is moving down from the North early.” Minsk said. Those bins need food for winter I suggest you two boys start fishing together… all looked up as the sound of a bird flew and landed on the deck.
Alar laughed as a second bird landed.
“LIttle Bird! You can fly!” Alar shouted and picked up the small bird and tossed him in the air. The female landed on the top of the new mast and from the way she eyed Alar, he realized she was following his boat, not the bow boat. Her chick was now free, and so was she.
“Mama mara.. You and Tanna have much to make for wedding things I have pearls you can use to trade to get what you need.
“Boy you keep them pearls you got a wife that might need things too!” Mara shouted and Tanna laughed..
“He’s right mama mara we have much to do.. It will be a great wedding,, crystals and ice and black sand.. I intend on standing on that black sand when I say yes to a Blacksand lander!”
Alar knew from the look on her face and her eyes to Minsk and Mara, she knew all that they knew. He grinned. “a Lander Family!”
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