Last time, Durmond Priory Archivist Grishnack Soulclaw inspected the condition of the charr cub in the care of the four elves, and found it to be adequate. This doesn’t mean that the adventures of caring for cub are over. In fact, they are just beginning.
Though I may speak some tongue of old
Or even spit out some holy word
I have no strength with which to speak
When you sit me down and see I’m weak
We will run and scream
You will dance with me
We’ll fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free
lyrics from Learn Me Right, as performed by Mumford & Sons Ft. Birdy
It had been two months since the baby Charr had made her home in Fort Salma. The townsfolk had gotten used to seeing her either carried by Shani or Unia, or playing in the front yard of the small house with either Pania, Abisayo or Wren.
There was just one small problem. They still hadn’t picked a name for her.
On this particular day, that was the furthest from Shani’s mind, as she was making repairs and cleaning her Colt .45s. The baby wasn’t far away, sleeping away in the small basket they had made for her, which they’d rock in order to get the cub to fall asleep. But sometimes, the small cub would wake up and her curious nature would kick in.
Shani was performing a delicate task as she took apart the chamber in order to clean the casing and the barrel. It had to be done just right in order to make sure there was no last ing damage to the pistol. It required one small screw driving, a flat head, which she began reaching for, then found it was handed to her. “Thank you,” she said without looking up.
“What was that, Shani?” her mother called out.
“Jist thankin’ ya fer…” Shani paused and realized the direction of her mother’s voice was not the direction that she was handed the screw driver. She looked over and saw the baby Charr watching carefully. Naturally, she had something in her mouth. Looked like the grip of an old flintlock. “Mama, baby has a flintlock butt in her mouth.”
Unia walked into the room and saw the sight. There was the cub, chewing away happily on the pistol grip, and watching Shani. As Unia entered the room, the cub removed the grip from her mouth, waved it in the air to Unia and called out in her best voice, “Flin’lot!”
Shani and Unia looked at each other, then to the cub. “What was thet, baby?”
The cub repeated the action and shouted out, “Flin’lot!”
“Abby!” Shani called out toward the front door. “Get in here! An’ ifn Wren an’ Pania’s ’bout, get them inside too!” Very soon, the three elves rushed into the house and gathered around the table.
“What’s goin’ on?” Abby said as she caught her breath.
“Watch,” Shani said and took the pistol grip and held it up to the baby Charr. “What’s this, baby?”
“Flin’lot!” she said aloud and clapped her hands. The others began to smile. Her first word.
“Whaddya think,” Shani said with a grin. “Flintlock sounds like a good enough name. An’ from the records o’ the caravan, we knew her daddy’s warband was called the Burn warband.”
“Flintlock Burnfur,” Wren said with a nod. The others seemed to agree. It was an odd name for an elf, but for a Charr it was perfect.
“That ain’t the only amazin’ thing,” Shani said as she turned her attention back to the cub. “Baby… Flintlock. Can you find me the crescent wrench with an extension an’ get me a 7 8ths inch socket.”
“Shani, that’s a wee bit…” Pania stopped as she saw the cub looking through Shani’s tools. It took a while but she managed to find the crescent wrench, the extension, but she picked up the 5 8ths socket.
“Close, Flintlock,” Shani said as she looked at the socket. “Thet’s a 5 8ths. I need the 7 8ths.” The cub put down the socket and looked at the others, then picked up the 7 8ths and held it up triumphantly for Shani.
Shani took it and grinned, nodding to the cub. “Thank ya, Flintlock.” Then an idea sparked in her head. “Flintlock, who is this?” she said pointing to Abisayo.
The cub looked to Abisayo and grinned. “Abby!” she called out.
“An’ this?” Shani said pointing to Pania.
“‘Nia,” Flintlock said. Pania smiled wide as the cub tried to say her name.
“An’ who’s this?” Shani said pointing to Wren.
“An’ this?” This time she motioned to her mother, Unia.
“Nana!” Unia beamed as she heard the cub call out to her.
“An’ who am I?”
Shani grinned and the others looked to her. Pania nudged her a bit. “Are ye gonna start ta cry, Shani.” Shani gave Pania a small push, but wiped her eyes. Today was a momentous day for the small family tucked away in a corner of Fort Salma.