APAGear - Volume 5, Number 6 - October 2003
It was early morning the sun still hadn't crested the eastern mountains. The air was cool in the valley and so activity was high. Everyone wanted to get as much done before the sun began its long journey overhead. However in a hut on the eastern side of the village the work had started many hours before.
"Push.... Push... Your doing well Diane it won't be long now" It was Diane's first birthing and her mate Jonas was standing outside the hut impatiently waiting for a chance to see his mate. One of the tribe's Thrals, Willams, was preparing to go through the rites for the first born. He knew what to expect and was also preparing to deal with grieving parents. He would have to confer with thrall Elair the midwife of this birth as well, he never truly liked this woman but she was a talented Thral. Jonas was pacing rather quickly in front of the hut, it was a bit much for a 20 cycle man to bear. He however seemed to be taking it well, or as well as any man could. All knew the price the valley takes for the lives it gives. Willams knew Elair had gone through all the treatments and rites to try and ensure a safe birth, but as always there was little hope. Both Jonas and Diane are young and hey will have other children, and they would grow old and be happy. That is the promise of the valley, the promise of a simple life, a hard life, but a happy one.
"You look distressed Jonas."
"Should I not be? My mate is in there going through this pain alone. She should not be alone."
"But she isn't alone Thral Elair is with her and will take care of her. Besides it is not permitted for men to be present during births."
"Why not? Why shouldn't I be there to see my child born, even if it is a corpse!?"
"You know it is the price we must pay, you have know this always" Willams sighed. "I'm sorry it's harsh but true. Besides your mate shows great courage and strength, she does not question the valley's will."
"It's not that I question and I know she is very strong, but I will start my life as a father with the pain no father should have to bear."
"Diane?! Diane I'm coming!" Jonas rushed into the hut. Diane was laying in the centre of the room propped up with pillows and covered in blankets. The Thral Elair was at the ready sitting waiting for the child. She looked up at Jonas.
"What is he doing here? He isn't permitted!"
"Jonas you must leave now" Hissed Thral Willams as he tried to grab Jonas by the shoulder. "Men are never permitted here"
The look in Diane's eyes told him that she needed him . He would be damned before he abandoned his mate at any moment. He would see his first born and no rite or man would stop him. He turned to face Thral Willams.
"No I will see my first born and I will support my mate. I will be damned before I leave them." Jonas shrugged off the hand of the Thral and rushed to Diane's side. As he took her hand another contraction wracked her body and Elair had to put her attention on the child as it came into the world. However instead of a still form, a wailing flailing form emerged. Jonas and Diane's first born was alive. Neither the Thrals or parents knew quite what to say. Elair went into her routine and checked the baby over then swaddled it and handed it to it's mother. The child was a healthy Baby boy. They named him Davod. Thral Willams along with Jonas took the child to present it to the village while Diane with the aid of Elair recovered.
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