For One Nen

For One Nen by Capri S Bard Read Free Book Online

Book: For One Nen by Capri S Bard Read Free Book Online
Authors: Capri S Bard
above his right elbow – nothing.
    Tinnen didn’t see any blood on his arm but he did smell the stench of charred flesh. Atenilek approached Tinnen with a face of vacancy and only a few paces away he collapsed in a crumpled heap on the shore. Tinnen stood in the light of Ot and cast a small shadow over Atenilek’s face. Taking his own shirt he wiped the tears and sweat from Atenilek's brow and face.
    They began coming, Het from all over the empire. The bellow had been heard by Atenilek’s cousin, Lakis who was on guard at the entrance to the sparsings as many made ready the grounds for the event. He called upward toward his younger brother. “Bring the others to the water.”
    Atenilek’s family came in droves. The Het were a massive people and rarely all together because of their constant service to the Empire. But they all came. The Het from deep inside the tunnels and tall rooms of the empire, the Het that guarded the tunnels that led to the surface, the Het that were carving out the lower basin, and the Het that were on lake duty across the water from Atenilek all came running.
    Yet when they came close , they found Tinnen curled up next to his giant friend weeping great sobs of sorrow.
    When Lakis arrived , Atenilek’s parents were already there. His father picked up his son like any Dad would easily pick up his boy, and carried him away. Tinnen didn’t know if his friend was alive or dead.
    Tinnen paced to and fro in front of the entrance to Kent’s palace where Atenilek had been taken. No one came in or out all through the evening. But by nightfall Ish, the gatherer of the dead , had been summoned by Kent. When Tinnen saw Ish coming he curled up by the corner pillar of the palace, and there he stayed all through the night. He only moved to place a tiny morsel of food in his mouth every few hours. Otherwise, he barely moved his lips. No one gave attention to his whispers.
    “Giver of L ife, my friend needs you. I’ve wanted to be great instead of being so small but if you let my friend keep his breath I will attend to him all of his days. He will be my master and I will be his servant. Never will he be without me for I will be his right arm that you took away. I give my life for this purpose.”
    By morning , Lakis came from the Palace to attend his guard duties and behind him were more cousins, and then Tinnen saw him; Ish, and he walked alone. The gatherer of the dead was empty-handed. “Do I dare hope,” Tinnen thought.
    Through the giant doorway Atenilek came with his parents beside him, Atenilek, strong and proud. Tinnen ran to his new master and bowed low.
    “Master I give you my life to do with it what you will.” Atenilek patted Tinnen on top of his furry head the way one wo uld affectionately stroke a pet.
    Atenilek was about to speak but his father interrupted coarsely, “Go home , Nen. You have a sparsing to prepare for.” Atenilek’s face was down-cast and he said nothing.
    Tinnen followed far behind and stayed next to the opening of Atenilek’s home , curled up on a rock. The Het came and went from Atenilek’s home but no one gave any thought to Tinnen. And why would they? Tinnen’s own family had even given him up for dead. They weren’t going to give their rations to this tiny pip of a thing; the one everyone was whispering about throughout the entire empire. Tinnen was the one that had taken the arm of a Het, the first thing taken from a Het for as long as any of their tellings could recall.
    Tinnen placed only one bite of food in his mouth every few hours to make his food last. However after two days he was at the brink of death.
    For two days, deep inside the home of Atenilek, his parents spoke softly of the ancient tellings; how those of the past rebellion now roaming the surface of hell, waited to welcome a small number of newcomers from the underground.
    297 AE
    Aboard the EGRESS
    Tala paused from her story when she saw Mathis coming from his class and walking past

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