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The Unspeller and the Book of Days


Homecoming
Loken, Killian and Jasper were coming home. Finally, after months of waiting for spring, they were
coming. On the morning of their arrival the air inside the house and out whirled with anticipation. The whole
family scrubbed, washed and polished the house as if the returning brothers were royalty.
Aesa found Tannon in the kitchen, pounding at a lump of dough. Her hair was tied up in a knot and
she wore an apron around her waist. She poked a hole in the dough and then flipped it over and pounded it
again, stopping to wipe her nose. He hoped his mother wasn't going to use that piece.
“I'm baking,” Tannon announced. “You can't have any because we're saving it for Loken and Killian
and Jasper.”
He gave a mock pout. “Can I have just a little bit?”
“No, Aesa.”
“Please? You're my favorite sister.”
She sighed and shook her head. “No! I can't.”
“Mum, Tannon won't let me have any. And I really want some.”
His mother pressed her lips together to keep from smiling. “I'm sorry Aesa, Tannon is right.”
“I guess you're still my favorite,” he told Tannon and scooped her up to kiss her on the cheek.
When he set her down again she turned back to her pies. “I know.”
Aesa went outside to start his weeding chore in the large vegetable garden in the field next to the
house. In the distance he could see the wheat field. It looked green and healthy so far, the small new grasses
covering the fields, promising to be a good harvest. But if the ground continued to flood disease could
flourish.
The weeds seemed to be doing well, he noticed wryly. Nothing seemed to stifle them.
Tandrick was already there, dig ging into the dirt. Aesa joined him and grabbed at the roots of the
weeds, his knuckles grinding into the soil. It should have been a tedious chore, but he liked looking back at
the rows afterwards and seeing them clean and neat.
Tandrick just wrenched at the weeds. He still wasn't speaking to Aesa. The silence between them
didn't surprise Aesa as much as how long it had lasted. Tandrick, in his quiet, methodical way, could hold a
grudge like no one else, Aesa realized. He could do little about it until Tandrick decided to forgive him.
Laeron interrupted his thoughts. The clouds are full of rain…there’ll be a storm tonight. I should mention that
the desert is a lovely place. Ver y dr y.
Aesa almost laughed out loud. Well, that makes it paradise then. Off you go.
The dragon sounded wistful as he replied, No, I like it here…enough.
My brothers are coming home today.
I know. You told me yesterday. And the day before. And possibly the day before that, I think.
Sorry.
Ah, I envy you. Dragons do not have loyalty to family and clan--Our only loyalties lie with the empire.
Aesa reached the end of his first row, and looked back to admire his work. Tandrick moved on to the
next without a glance backwards, dig ging into the dirt. A cloud passed over them, and Aesa shivered in the
cold wind that blew through his shirt.
The thrill of weeding passed after the third row and then it was just plain work. Fortunately, it wasn't
long until Gesta ran in from the house, waving at them.
 
 
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