Aether Sváss Essay

Aether Sváss Essay

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A screeching north wind raked the moor with bitter talons, driving the snow before it in lances of vicious ice. It depressed the sky in iron-grey clouds, their billows cloaking the moon, and flayed the dead brown sedges. The mud froze hard, their customary treachery exchanged for the new danger of slippery ice for the duration of the winter. Far beyond the mire, in the stone castle at the edge of the moor, a woman screamed in the agony of her labor. Droplets of sweat beaded her brow and shone in the flickering firelight, and flowed freely in hot rivers between her tightened shoulder blades and down her ruddy face. Her soft woolen shift was dark with moisture.
"Please," she sobbed, her arms trembling with effort as her fingers slipped and seized on the rope that suspended her from the rooftree. Her knees buckled, and the old leech woman caught her before she could fall, withered fingers biting through shift and flesh.
"Please do not let it come!”
Another spasm wracked her body, and she screamed again, her wails rising with the curls of smoke that brushed the roof overhead. The wind answered with its own unearthly howl. A toothless grimace split the midwife's craggy face as she lifted her kerchief and wiped at her own forehead, raising her gaze from beneath her patient's skirts to stare impassively into the mother's dull eyes.
"Bad luck," the old woman snapped in a cracked voice as thin and quick as a whip. "You've a solstice child, a midnigh’ child."
From beyond the curtain that divided the room in two, there came the sound of a startled cry of a child. Two pairs of eyes peered around the thick-spun veil, one frightened bairn and a worried father, retreating only when the leech woman fixed them all with a sharp-eyed glare.
"Pleas...


... middle of paper ...


...ew what I wanted, only myself. I want the drengr, to run away with him into the forest. My face grew rjódr and suddenly heat consumed my body, burning every inch. A sting filled my eyes, but no tears would rush to relieve the feeling. My heart began to pound faster as my body slowly became numb. THUD-THUD-THUD! My heart began to hurt; I leaned on the wall for support before almost falling to floor.
TANK! TANK! DUNK! Stones thudded against the ground in my bedroom. Irritation clawed at my stomach as I expected another verse of infatuation as I managed to stumble towards the windowsill. My heart stopped. The tousled hair on the top of a drengr was before my eyes. He lifted his eyes and looked deep into my soul. His eyes transitioned to rosewood and his face burned a crimson color as my body did.
“Gipta aptann,” his low voice like a lion in a deep cave. “Aether sváss.”

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