Here’s Chapter 1 of a new tale of Arnd!
Please enjoy “Arnd and the Trackless Desert, Chapter 1: Even Heroes Lose Their Way”!
The summer had been long and abnormally hot this year. The sun hung high above their heads, its fierce blazing seeming to bleach the blue from the sky just as it sucked the moisture from the soil of their small garden and reddened their skin.
Exhausted from the work of turning the soil to ready it for the midsummer planting, Ailin wipes the sweat from her brow with the hem of her simple cotton sundress, oblivious to the immodesty of such a motion – after all, there was no one this far from the towns, no one but herself and Auntie Nem of course. The girl – more a young woman now, as she neared fifteen winters – looked over at the comfortable rocking-chair set under a shady tree nearby, where the old woman napped through the heat, and smiled.
To pass the time as she toiled, she began to recite to herself one of the stories she had heard so many times, one brought to mind by the heat of the sun and the feeling of the earth crumbling in her hands and under her toes. So focused was she on her work that she hardly noticed that she was whispering the words aloud, nor did she see the sliver of eye peeking from behind the eyelids of the old woman who watched and listened with an acuity that belied her advanced age.
“The great hero Arnd, deep in grief over the loss of his beloved, had wandered heedlessly and far for many, many days…