Mordred's mother covered his finger in gauze, making sure to be at least slightly gentle (which was difficult for the fiery woman) and Mordred was at least semi-thankful for it. Truthfully, the pain on his finger had all but been whisked away into the blue sky. He was still thinking about the trail and about what might have waited beyond it. The idea of something more than just Grange and the bowl in which it sat was tantalizing and it screamed for him to come and explore it. Yet, he had a family here, and part of him wanted to make sure he was tethered down into this bowl.
The feeling of adventure, as all people know, is the strongest feeling a man has. It's one that demands the attention immediately and almost always catches it. Adventure screams your name like a lover, reels you in like a professional fisher, and sometimes it butchers you, yet a heart longs for nothing more than to explore where no man has explored, and do what no other has done. It's this that makes it so strong.
Mordred was no different a man even though he was still a boy, aged at only sixteen. His heart yearned for the small path that cut through the forest and into the beyond.
His mother finished cleaning his wounded finger and told him to go out and meet his father in the field, only she used much more swear words and spoke to him in a meaner tone. Mordred deeply wished she'd never speak again.
So Mordred went out of the house through the back entrance, careful to step over the mice that had taken up household there. His father, Burnie Kain, was a burly man with a handlebar mustache, long dark locks, and a face that seemed to be made from a chisel rather than genetics. He was a hard man, a strong man, and a kind father. He was the yin to his wife's yang. He was always polite and kind to Mordred when the situation didn't demand any of the opposite. He was known throughout the village for his ways, admired for all of them.
Burnie Kain sat on a tree stump carving something that Mordred couldn't see. His father had his head bowed low, and his classic grin was replaced by a grim and determined stare. Mordred stood a foot away from his father trying to glance at what those big hands were carving. His father sat still, dead silent, only his hands moved in a rhythmic pattern --- carving and sawing up and down, side to side.
"Dad," Mordred began, "what are you carving?"
"Dad," He said again, "hello?"
"Son, I've know you wanted to go into the forest."
Mordred's face was pale --- everyone knew the forest was forbidden to all but the lumberjacks, which his father was.
"You know I was like you some time ago. I was young, sort of on the slow side, but the gears in my head turned just the same. I longed to leave the village and find some place full of... fairies or dragons - stuff people always are tellin' stories about, we were kids ya know. I made it farther than you did, I made it to the very edge. I could see through the trees and at this huge mountain that stretched into the sky. 'twas a fire mountain, some say it's home to the dragons as it spits the same flames as the dragons do - so the stories say.
"I stood at the edge, I was about to leave when something in my head told me to turn back. Son, I wasn't prepared for it. I was a sma' one. I couldn't even lift a rock without breaking a sweat on my forehead, come to think of it I hadn't even said my first swear word. But I wasn't prepared and neither are you boy. So tell me, do ya really wish to venture into the forest? Do you really want to leave this place?"
Mordred sat in awed silence, he'd never known his father had tried to leave. He never knew his father was small either! What else had he not been told? Mordred would have to find answers to these questions later, his father asked if he was ready again. Mordred, much to his disappointment, found that he wasn't. He wanted to leave, but he wasn't ready. He shook his head, told his father no, and his father clapped a hand on his shoulder. Then he said something that both surprised Mordred, and made him happier.
"Then I guess we'll have to train you, don't we son?"
The feeling of adventure had to be followed, for Mordred he wouldn't have been able to resist it. He'd have left that night, unprepared, and he'd have surely died in the forest. Fate would have been different then. The world would have been different.
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