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One Way to Find Out

Writers: Emma, Len
Date Posted: 3rd July 2011

Characters: F'veas, Grumfin, Trelda
Description: Introducing Pastrah and a taste of his life
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 2, day 26 of Turn 6


"Boy!" The tone was harsh. "The klah is cold." A mug was slammed down on the
desk, some of the aforementioned drink slopping over onto the table.

Pastrah put down the dish he was washing and came over to take his
grandfather's mug away and refill it with fresh klah. He had been
trying to get dishes done so he could go out and begin to work in the
fields, for the day. His breakfast was what his grandda left him
after he had had his fill.

"Quickly!" There was no hint of affection, more annoyance. The brat by
rights... Well if his mother had managed to keep her legs crossed when she
realised that she wasn't going to impress. but no, Finstah had to prove she
had no more morals than any of the other women in the weyr, and clearly had
bedded everything in sight. Even, she confessed a thing that had gone on to
be one of those perverted men on green. Clearly this lad was no better,
unless they kept an eye on him.

The old man's tone startled the young child, who spilled some of the
klah on the table as he pored. "I'm sorry!" he cried out, cringing.

"Get that cleaned up!" barked his grandfather. "Are you nothing but a half
wit?"

Pastrah ran back to get a rag to mop up the mess. His mind was
detaching from the whole scene, going to a place where no one, not
even his grand da could touch him. It was by route that he cleaned up
the mess and prepared himself to be hit.

A hand was raised. "It's not worth it," he snapped. "Get out of here. If I
hear from the headwoman that you've given her any trouble today you will be
feeling the back of my hand, or my belt across your backside. D'you hear me
boy?"

At that the boy ran as hard as he could out of the cotholding.
Hopefully the old man would be too far in the bottle by this evening
to remember that he had done that. Being tall for his age, he swiftly
ran through the woods to the main Hold and all the way to the
Headwoman's office.

Knocking on her door, he called out, "Headwoman? Do you have any work for
me?"

"Come in lad." One look and she could tell that there had been yet another
run in with his grandfather. "Sit down for a moment."

Pastrah slid into a chair, his chest heaving for breath, his eyes
still wide in fear.

"Catch your breath, then tell me what happened." It was obvious, but she
needed to hear it from him.

"Just the same stuff...why does he hate me so much?" In the boy's
mind, his grand dad was the only family he really knew and had around,
but why did the man so obviously dislike him? He hadn't been this bad
when his mother and grandmother had still been alive.

"It isn't you lad, it's your father and what he represents." That the boy
was a dragonrider's get was common knowledge. "You know that your mother did
nothing wrong, and she did once tell me that she thought she loved your
father, and that she thought he loved her too."

"And now I'm stuck with neither one of them and no one loves me." At
that the young boy sighed and wondered why he had ever been born.

"You don't know that for certain about your father," the headwoman told him.
The boy was smart he might be able to get the hint to go find him from that.
She couldn't outright tell him to leave,but she could put the idea in his
head.

At that, the boy blinked and looked up at her. "Do you think my dad
would have me? I mean, he's a green rider and all. What if he
doesn't want me around?"

"There is only one way to find out."

Pastrah looked at her and blinked harder. Was she suggesting what he
thought she was suggesting? "How...how far away is the Weyr?"

"I don't know, but it's north of here." Several days ride, she thought,
more on foot, but if the lad was determined enough he'd find himself a
runner, or a trader group going that way to travel with.

The way she worded it made the boy think the place was far away. "If
only I could call his dragon, or something." There was a dream he
often had, of his da coming to his rescue. It had never occured to
him to do his own rescueing.

"That's something nobody can tell you," she advised. "I hear they only talk
to their riders."

The boy nodded. "I met her once, she was a lovely dragon."

"Maybe one day you'll meet her again."

Last updated on the August 3rd 2011


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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.