He smiles as a harper walks in, and walks up to his table. "May I join you?" she asks, and he smiled. "I'll take that for a yes," she says with a smile, and pulled out a chair. "I'm Jialla, from Kielac."
"You're..." Tarinn sneezed, interrupting himself. "Sorry... You're a bit far from East Rock, aren't you?"
"Yes, I am. Then again, so are you. I came for the Hatching." she smiled.
"You're a candidate?" Tarinn asked with wide eyes.
Jialla laughed. "No, I'm too old. I just wanted to see one for myself, and the one here at the Healing Den is the soonest. Why are you here, ... ?" She left an obvious pause.
"Tarinn." he supplied. "It's a long story." he said, and Jialla smiled.
"That's okay, I've plenty of time." Jialla said.
"I'm from Sennet Seahold, originally. I'm not a very good fisher. They say I'll get better... I'm only 12. But I want to be better now. I wanted to see what fishing from a boat was like, so I stowed away on one of the big boats. It would've been perfect, except for one thing." Tarinn rattled on, in a typical youthful manner.
Jiala raised an eyebrow, and smiled a little, subtly encouraging him to continue.
"The boat I chose wasn't going out and coming back like I thought. They were going on a trip down the coast to Woodhall, to deliver a load of fish. When they got to port, I got off of that boat so fast, they never saw me."
Jialla smiled. "They left without you, I take it?"
Tarinn nodded. "They didn't know I was aboard, so they're not at fault... I am."
Jialla nods again. "So you were left to wander around near Woodhall?"
"Aye," the lad said, sniffing. "and then I got lost, because I didn't know the area. Was without food or shelter for three days -- water I had plenty of. I stayed near the river once I found it the third day."
Jialla nodded again, hailing a server to bring some more tea.
"While, jus' my luck, it rained that night -- rained like ther' was no tomorra'. The river swelled up so fast -- I climbed up on a rock to get away from it, but it kept a comin' and soon I had m' own private island. T'was not as big as th' table even..."
This was a new story for Jialla. In all her years as a harper, she'd heard of those trapped by a raging river, but never about someone trapped IN a raging river. "What happened?" the harper asked, enthralled.
"I sat there about half th' day, when a bunch of hikers came up. A girl-- found out later her name's Jeyann -- jumped in to come get me, but a big wave washed me righ' off the rock. I tried swimmin' but the current caught me. She swam faster, and caught me. Her friends and then some dragonriders pulled on Jeyann's rope and hauled us in. I was sore afraid I was gon' drown... 'n' I been swimmin' since I was four!" Tarrin hurried through the story, his bad grammar masked by the emphasis he put on certain parts.
"So how did you get here?" Jialla asked.
"Oh." Tarinn said, "One of the dragonriders was doing some searching for the Healing Den, and brought Jeyann and I here two days ago. We're going to Stand for Impression..." Tarinn sneezes again. "That is..." he sniffs, "If I'm healthy enough when they Hatch..."
Jialla smiled. "I'm sure you'll be well by then, Tarinn. Besides, I'm sure Master Kshau takes very good care of the Candidates for her weyrlet."
Tarinn drank his tea, a smile on his young face. Jialla stood up. "I'll see you later, Tarinn. Take care now."
The teacup comes from Ablan Hold at the Kshau Protectorate.
Background from Peeling Pixels.