Jump to content
  • Join For Free and Get Notified of New Chapters!

    Are you enjoying a great story and want to get an alert or email when a new chapter is posted? Join now for free and follow your favorite stories and authors!  You can even choose to get daily or weekly digest emails instead of getting flooded with an email for each story you follow. 

     

    Mawgrim
  • Author
  • 810 Words
  • 272 Views
  • 6 Comments
Recognized characters/events/plots from Dragonriders of Pern belong to Ann McCaffrey

Empty, Open, Dusty, Dead - 11. Eleven Turns Later

Zalna rubbed her fingers again to try and get some warmth and movement back into them. Benden in winter was hard on old bones. Gemalth rarely stirred from her heated couch during those dark, damp months. Both of them longed for spring and sunshine.

It was getting more difficult to write these days. The cold stiffened her fingers and there just didn’t seem much to say anymore. Everything exciting in her life was past. She and T’san had led the Weyr for twenty-seven Turns and now it was up to Talanza and J’mer to continue.

The hides on which she’d written her journal over so many Turns were spread out before her. She had to make a decision about what was to be done with them, but firstly, she wanted to finish her last entry.

I’ve had a good life, she wrote. It’s had its share of triumph and tragedy, like many others. The best moment has to be the day I Impressed Gemalth. The worst, the day K’torl didn’t come back from Fall. Dealing with tragedy at an early age gives a person more resistance to it in later life. Nothing will ever cut so deep again.

She paused, nibbling the end of the pen, then continued.

I’ve pondered over the Disappearance for many a Turn. I still remember all of my friends at Fort; K’torl, my first love. D’gar, my first friend. S’brin, his weyrmate, killed just before the end of the Pass. Poor J’rud, whom D’gar never realised cared for him so deeply. R’feem, who was kind to me when I dreaded Gemalth’s first mating flight after K’torl’s death. Tirelle, who helped me to cope with Mardra’s bitchiness many a time. So many more, who all vanished that night, who have travelled throughout my life and are still going forward as I write. All I can do is wish them a safe journey to that final destination, so far into the future. I’m sad that they will have to fight Thread again, but it is, after all, our purpose as dragonriders. May they all fly safely and live as long a life as I have done. They deserve it.

She had said too much. All of the theories she and T’san had come up with plus her account of their long ride, were written on these hides. Although she liked to think the future was unchangeable, as Creline had said, a small part of her wasn’t absolutely certain of that. Therefore, her speculations must remain hidden and unread.

After we came back from our journey forward, T’san and I reckoned we’d figured out the mystery and realised what a heavy secret N’rax and Creline had been forced to bear. No one must know, until the time comes for that rider of the distant future to solve the riddle of the Question Song. Rightly, I suppose, I should burn all of this, but something - vanity maybe - stops me. Instead I am going to hide my writings somewhere they won’t be found. Not the archives; they are too well maintained for anything to remain hidden for long, but in a safe place where they should remain undisturbed. Maybe they will rot away, or tunnel snakes eat them, but that’s chance. It’s odd really. I don’t want anyone to find these, but at the same time, I’d like to think someone will one day read my words, giving me a kind of immortality beyond the factual statements in the official records of Gemalth’s Hatchings and my twenty-seven Turns as Weyrwoman at Benden. Tomorrow, T’san and I will finally leave this place and go into retirement at Ista. The Weyr is in good hands. It’s time to forget the past and just enjoy the present, day to day, as dragons do.

She signed her name with a final flourish. There, it was done. Anything she wrote at Ista would be free of secrets. It might be fun to set down some of the tales she had heard over a lifetime, such the ones her long-ago nanny had told her. Funny things Gemalth had said, jokes she had been told. Ephemera that served only to amuse and perhaps inform. Some stories shouldn’t be lost.

Setting down her pen at last, she methodically rolled up each hide as Cassaru had taught her, tying and sealing them. Then, after placing them in a bag, she put on her oiled coat and left the weyr, pausing only to stroke Gemalth’s snout on her way through.

Where are you going? her dragon asked, sleepily.

Just to put away our past. Be back soon.

Can we fly somewhere sunny, then? I would like to swim and sunbathe.

Tomorrow, dearest. You and Huylonth can spend as much time in the sun as you wish, at Ista.

Good. Gemalth’s eyes closed again. I like Ista.

Thank you for reading and following this story. I've really enjoyed reading all the comments.

On Thursday February 3rd my next 'Dragonriders of Pern' fanfic will begin. 'To The Weyr' tells the story of Jevikel and Kadin, the two boys rescued from Threadfall just outside Benden Weyr.

Copyright © 2021 Mawgrim; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 8
  • Love 11
  • Fingers Crossed 1
Recognized characters/events/plots from Dragonriders of Pern belong to Ann McCaffrey
You are not currently following this author. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new stories they post.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

Well done and eagerly awaiting for more!! This series has captivated me and has become a favorite!!

Thank you for creating more of this world!!

Never Ending Story Thank You GIF by patternbase

  • Like 3
  • Love 2
Link to comment

A great final chapter and a great story.  This one was truly well written and flowed beautifully.  I hope that Zalna lived many more years in the sun at Ista and had many happy times.  I sort of hope that at some point; someone does find her writings and realize what a heartbreak those that left behind went through.  

  • Like 3
  • Love 2
Link to comment
1 hour ago, centexhairysub said:

A great final chapter and a great story.  This one was truly well written and flowed beautifully.  I hope that Zalna lived many more years in the sun at Ista and had many happy times.  I sort of hope that at some point; someone does find her writings and realize what a heartbreak those that left behind went through.  

@Mawgrim, @centexhairysub, sounds like a possible new series!!!

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
Link to comment

I wonder where Zalna will hide her journals.  I do hope someone in the future finds them, perhaps D'gar?  Great story!

  • Fingers Crossed 1
Link to comment
5 hours ago, raven1 said:

I do hope someone in the future finds them, perhaps D'gar?

You never know!😄

  • Like 1
  • Fingers Crossed 1
Link to comment
View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..