He wondered whether going into the tent was all right. The tent was not big enough for all of them. He followed Ali. Elemas wife made a noise at something Elema said. She rose and passed them with her daughter, and they left with a skin over them. She would go to Ados tent. Ado was alone with just the young daughter.
He and Ali settled onto the wifes bed, a raised pallet of woven sticks a foot off the ground. There were other skins atop the sticks, and they lay with the skins theyd brought inside covering them like tarpaulins. The tent was designed to keep out sun, not rain. It hardly rained enough to bother making tents waterproof. Soon rain trickled through the matted roof. Rain under a tree, he thought. The skins kept them relatively dry. But it was noisy with the rain drumming on the skins. It was impossible to stretch. His cramped muscles ached from the day. He could not turn. Ali was too close.
He nearly panicked. He felt out of breath. He breathed the stale air deeply.
He counted in his own language to one thousand and then in theirst?k, lama, sadi, afur..
. Slowly his thoughts dissolved into the rain.
Excerpted from The Names of Things by John C Wood. Copyright © 2012 by John C Wood. Excerpted by permission of Ashland Creek Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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