I sit back and relax believing I will hear a wonderful tale of adventure. I look into my glass, the spirits coating the sides with their amber hue. Its aroma rolls up and fills my nostrils. It is a heady brew indeed. I watch the flames dance in the hearth as we hear a faint rumble coming across the Siris.
"Sounds like a storm is coming in, dear."
"Much like that night in the mountains." Reenie rocks back, then stops. "Aye, that night," he says as he rocks forward. "The first was like any other night I had escaped to the mountains, calm with cool breezes coming off the peaks. I was sure my decision was the right one. The second night was much the same. I looked forward to seeing what was on the other side, but felt the comfort of familiar surroundings. Then as I looked out through the final passage, that last tunnel that hinted at what was on the other side, I remember shuddering. I stood on a precipice; the biggest decision I ever faced was before me."
"Decision?" I am lost. What decision is it he will make?
"Aye, to turn back." I watch as Reenie leans forward, the chair not moving beneath him. "I felt the pull of the safety of home. I could go back and shrink before my father, though he would have simply shrugged it off to the rebelliousness of youth. He would have doubled my work for a time, but that would pass, I was sure of it. It was then a vicious storm blew in from the sea. I was not prepared for the onslaught. I had found no cave to take refuge, not even so much as an overhang to shield me from the relentless rain. I curled up behind a boulder and tucked my cloak around be. It was one of the longest nights of my life."
I watch as the memory sinks in and he lifts his glass to his lips. The light of the flames dance along the rim of his glass as he sips one more memory.
"Then, as the light broke across the peaks, the storm subsided and the sun shone upon a world I had never seen. As I looked across the last peak the distant rumble of the shore rode in on a fresh breeze. For the first time I could taste the world where the salt of the sea met the dirt of the land. What greeted me was not the pounding of rain and thunder that kept me pinned behind a rock, but the distant sounds of life. Below was a most magnificent collage, a painting of valleys and rivers and forests as seen from above that ran out to the Western Sea. Just then, the first beams of the new day rose enough to touch the waters and filled them with the deepest of blue."
He sits back again, partially obscuring him from my view behind Clarisa.
"It was then I knew I had chosen the right path, a path of discover."
A crack nearly sends me from my chair. Perhaps that night, all those long years ago has a memory. As the storm burrows in, it is time to retire, for tomorrow is another day; another dawn.