'Dead'. The word itself causes me to take notice. Surely this person who seems the master of his world could not have faced a situation so dire. What lies within the world of men-folk that could do such harm? The warmth of my drink calls to me and I take a larger swig. I again feel the burn as my chest warms to its touch.
"It was only my father's teachings that kept me alive in that world." My host looks towards me as he rises from his seat. He raises his glass and nods his head. I nod back. Another glass would be a fine addition to the conversation. I drain what is left.
"Be careful with that," Clarisa notes. "If you are not used to these spirits, it may come back to haunt you."
Her smile touches me, her manner so at ease.
"Aye, that is what they call this in their world."
Reenie refills my glass, then his and again takes his place before the hearth. He pauses, again tasting his past. I can almost see the memories filling his thoughts. He pushes his feet against the floor as his chair begins to rock slowly.
"I longed for adventure. The life of a farmer was not for me." He pauses again, looking around his cozy home. It would seem he is what he would never have wanted to be. "Then, one day I said goodbye to my father and set out into the hills.
"What did your father have to say?
"I think he understood, though he did not send me off with a smile. Although the lessons I learned in my foray are what makes me what I am now, my one regret is I never saw my father again."
"Reenie's father died that winter, dear." I am surprised to hear Clarisa's voice, though I could see the pain in Reenie's face.
"I spent the first night in the mountains, as I had a hundred other nights. The mountains is what I loved, what pulled me away from the fields of my youth, my father's work; not mine. I wished for only new horizons, new vistas which the mountains stole from my eyes. The only way to see them, was to cross them. In two days, I reached the Valley of Rivers and my adventure truly began."