Chapter 1 - Twins
“Bryn, hold still. I can't set this splint if you keep squirming. I told you not to jump across the gully. Ma's gonna tan your backside and Pa's gonna kill you. You know it's almost harvest time. Now you'll be as useless as a plow without a horse.”
Bryn winced as his twin sister tightened the knot holding his broken arm. Aeowynn was adept at patching him up but she didn't hold back with verbal lashings.
“I almost made it though, ‘Wynn! Just another foot or so. It would have been spectacular too. You don't need to be wound up as tight as Ma and Pa.”
She gave an extra pull on the knot.
“Oww!” He gritted his teeth as his sandy colored hair fell into his eyes.
“Quiet. Next time I might not be here to patch you up,” she said.
Bryn frowned and studied his sister. Her long brown hair had unwound from their usual braids and her brow furrowed as she inspected his arm. He had broken it trying to jump over a narrow, but deep, depression in the fields near their home. His sister was always there to help him whenever he got into trouble, and that seemed to be quite often. She paused and looked up at him, her silver eyes shining like two moons.
“Are you still wanting to join the convent?” he said, unsettled by her comment about not being around.
“We’re turning sixteen next year, Bryn. We have to choose something. And besides, I'm not going to join Pa in the fields, or on the water fishing, and I am sure not going to pick the tannery. The convent is peaceful and I want to help others. I want to serve Tamos.”
“You think Tamos wants to hear your squeaky voice during rituals?” He was joking, but he still made the signs to ward off impurity. Joking about praying to their god wasn’t a horrible offence, but he felt he had used any stored up mercy. Looking down at his broken arm he knew he would need all the mercy he could get.
“Very funny. Look around us, Bryn. Tamos has really blessed us. Serving him can't be all that bad.”
The sun chose that moment to peek out behind some passing clouds, spreading warmth across the gentle hills. They could faintly hear the crash of the waves hitting the cliffside below them. Some sheep wandered close to them ripping at the green grass.
“But couldn't you serve him more out there?” He gestured towards the North road that led to the larger towns.
“What? And travel the countryside with you? Do you really think Pa’s going to let you go adventuring?”
“Well, I wasn’t going to ask him, obviously.”
She sighed and sat back, happy with her work on the splint. Suddenly she exclaimed. “Oh, I’ve got it, Bryn! Join me serving Tamos!”
“Uhh, did you bump your head? I’m not going to join the convent, sis.”
“Obviously not the convent, dung-brains. The monastery! I was talking to Sister Nesta a few months ago, and she told me stories of traveling monks. We have had none here in years, but they used to visit the towns spreading Tamos’ goodwill. You could do that!”
“A monk? You want me to join a monastery and be a monk?”
“A traveling monk. Pa couldn’t say no to you joining the monastery. And if Tamos happens to send you out on adventures who could blame you?”
“And how would I convince Prior Martyn that would be a good idea?”
“Hmm, I haven’t thought that through yet. It wouldn’t be right away, of course. You would have to finish your training first. I know if you start farming like Pa, you’ll be stuck here your entire life.”
“I don’t know. That’s a pretty crazy idea.”
“Not as crazy as jumping over the gulch!”
Aeowynn and Bryn laughed and lay back on the grass, watching the sheep graze. Far in the distance, they could hear the peal of the monastery bells ringing.
“It's time to head back. I'll try to soften Pa's wrath for you,” she said.
“Thanks. I owe you. For that, and for this.” He tried to lift his bound arm.
“I love you too, my dear brother,” she said with a smirk.
“Yeah, yeah. I love you too,” Bryn didn’t like admitting it out loud.
Aeowynn laughed at his awkwardness while they made their way towards their home.