[Story] Ember Kindled - A New Life (Chapter 2):
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“Time to pay our dues,” a man tells his spouse, lifting a mighty offering of grain and melon off the table. “Klu has blessed us with a bountiful harvest, it is only natural,” she replies. They step out from the front door, boldly incised with ‘The house of Spurius’. Departing from their warm and brightly lit porch, they plunged into the cold, dark streets. “I wonder if our fortunes will continue to persist…” he questions aloud. Interjecting his vocalised thoughts, she says, “don’t you know, to doubt is to bring misfortune? Rid of such vacuity.”
They proceed to silently wind down the streets, stopping in front of a marble gate preceding a massive wooden temple. After a moment of admiration for the building’s grandness and paying respects, they enter the temple and set their offering at the feet of Klu. Amidst their silent prayers, they are aroused by a distant cry. “Do you hear that?” The lady asks, as she stands up and looks around, “that sounds like a baby, why would there be a baby out here at this hour?” She begins to investigate the premises as the cries get louder. “Over here!” She beckons, looming over a small basket by the temple steps. The man walks over, peering at the bundled baby in disbelief. “Hello?” She disconcertingly calls out, “is anyone there, whose baby is this?” The ambience remained as silent as it was dark.
Hours passed as the skies began to illuminate, the silence penetrated by the early fowl. No one had come. “Perhaps it is the desire of Klu that we care for this child? Perhaps this is how we pay our dues?” She finally said. The lady lifted the baby out of the basket, nuzzling it up to her bosom, and the couple left for home beneath a red horizon.
In the distance, a cloaked figure stumbles off, wracked with tears, overrun by tremulous grief. Whilst clutching her faint heart, she falters, “I am so sorry, I was no better than him. May Klu watch over you and may you grow to be kind, that you might one day forgive me.”
Autumn turns to springtime and many seasons pass. “Cælius, can you collect the eggs today?” A woman asks. The young boy nods and scoops up a basket on the way out of the lodge. He walks down the familiar pathway to the coop but stops short to the rusting of a hedge. He stares intently at the bush as it begins to violently shake. The boy drops the basket as a young girl bursts out from the hedge. He quickly regains his composure as he notices she is grasping a small hare in hand. They momentarily exchanged blank stares. “Hi, I am Maecia, what’s your name?” The girl asks. Putting on a brave face, he replies, “Cælius, Cælius Spurius”.