The Fever – Part 3

"Hello! We're back!" came the loud call from the forest.

The children dropped their sanding blocks and ran out to the landing. A Galka and two Elvaan men stood at the water's edge, a raft of logs in their care. Rauteinot followed behind the children, brushing the sawdust from his apron and trousers. Another man emerged from the house, his hair beginning to gray and the tips of his long ears ever so slightly starting to droop. In his arms he cradled a tiny Mithra kitten, its eyes still not open.

"The baby! The new baby came!" squealed the children as they reached the raft. The Galka opened his arms and grabbed both of them, lifting them up in a big muscly hug.

"What did they name the baby?" he asked.

"They named her Coullene."

"Yeah, Coullene, after Grammy."

"An Elvaan name? Well I suppose."

The older man brought the kitten down the bank to show the others, a blonde-haired slip of a Mithra with faint tan stripes across her face. Despite their rough appearance, the men fawned over the baby and all insisted on holding her, including the Galka. And after they all had a chance to hold her, Rauteinot insisted that the poor little thing be taken back into to the house before she got cold or someone sneezed on her or a Goblin kidnapped her.

His father clapped him on the shoulder as the baby was taken inside. "I was the same way when you were born, but I have to say your kitten is the prettier."

Rauteinot punched his father playfully in the shoulder. "Thanks. So is Gatih still resting?"

"Still asleep. The midwife said she'd spend most of this week asleep. Your sister's with her now."

"Good. Hey, I'm just going to pick up a little in the shop and then I'll be in for lunch."

"Done with that cabinet?"

"Almost. Giving it the final sanding now."

"Nice. I'm looking forward to varnishing it. See you inside." He turned and headed up the bank himself.

Rauteinot sighed happily, watching everyone disappear into the house—his brother, his brother-in-law, the hired man, his nieces, his father, and now most importantly, his day-old baby. The past was just that, the past. And for the first time in years things seemed to be right in his life. The Mithran healer had not found a cure for Kazham fever, but she had found a cure for his miserable life.

End of Story

FFXI and all related concepts, characters, worlds, and events are property of SquareEnix. Original characters and story elements are property of E. Potter, writing under the pen name of Miratete.