This is a snippet from my third short story, to be included in Three Tall Tales. The title is - Tarr's Lament. Enjoy!
Widukind made sure that Tarr had the best seat by the fire, and a bowl of water and cloth to wash his hands and face. Then Widukind served Tarr a large bowl of hot food and a cup of ale, which Tarr quickly drained; Widukind promptly refilled it. Tarr was so hungry that he practically swallowed his food without chewing. He could have eaten more but did not want to appear to his kinsman like a glutton. But Tarr’s concern was unfounded as Widukind refilled his bowl and insisted that he eat his fill. Tarr knew well the code of hospitality; he could not refuse his kinsman’s food, especially since he was told to eat his fill - it would have been an insult. As Tarr happily ate he began to relax. And, after the two men shared a cup of ale, toasted the gods, and each others health, the conversation began in earnest.
Widukind was well aware about the murder of Tarr’s son, Helgi. He also knew about Tarr’s revenge and was concerned about Tarr. Widukind needed Tarr to have his head in the right position and thought that talking about the dastardly event could help Tarr. But, it would have been rude and out of place for him to speak first about it and, out of necessity, made some small talk until Tarr interrupted him and brought it up.
“Widukind, my friend, brother-in-arms, and kinsman, I know that you are aware of Helgi’s death. It saddens me in many ways when I think of it. I can still see him lying there, alone.” Widukind saw the pain in Tarr’s eyes as he spoke. It was as if the eyeballs themselves were cracked open in pain.
Copyright - Tarr's Lament @2013 Terry Unger