…Turning his thoughts away from this, Azaniah leaned back in his chair and stretched. Yawning, he scratched his belly and stared thoughtfully into the warm firelight; reflecting on days long past filled with old friends whose faces he now yearned to see and touch again. The small room about him was cozy; cluttered with piles of books and papers scattered across every surface. All was now concealed however beneath shadow for the study had grown dark with the fall of night. All that could be seen was illuminated by the dim waning glow of the flickering embers in the tray of the fire place. Aza’s eyes grew heavy as memory and imagination stole his attention away into the depths of sleep and dream and he was soon snoring into his chest.
An hour passed. The dim red color of the room had given way to the pale blue moon light now pouring through the tiny window a little behind where the man was sleeping. Carefully the latch of the door was lifted by someone outside. The thick oak door creaked lightly as it was pushed open. Then across the wooden floor boards tiptoed a pair of precious soft feet to the arm of the chair. For a moment the creature stared at Aza as he snored through his beard. She reached out, gaze unbroken, and poked him, hoping to stir him but to no avail. So she knelt at his knee and, taking his large rough hand with both of hers, she brought his palm and its warmth to her chilled face. It filled her up like hot tea being poured into a cold mug.
“Papa…” said she in a whisper. Consciousness jolted through Aza at the sound of her voice. His hand came to life on her cheek. His eyes half opened and through the blur he saw his daughter’s countenance wrapped in lunar light
”Ah, Sola-Dei. I must have dozed off in my chair again. What time is it?”
”I don’t know Papa.” the child responded.
“My goodness,” he said looking to the clock above and beyond her “it’s nearly half past one. What has roused my dear at such an hour?” Pulling her into his lap he guessed, “a bad dream?” To this she nodded sleepily while resting beneath her father’s chin. “And what of this dream disturbed you?”
“There were bears roaring.” she said.
“Oh that is frightening. What happened next?”
“You were there…” she continued now drifting back to sleep.
“Was I now? And what became of me amid the roaring bears?”
Now waking a little she said: “You scared them away.”
“However did I manage that?” he pondered.
She grinned lazily as she answered “Your roar was louder than theirs.”
“Oh, I see” he chuckled. “I’m sorry.” But she did not hear for she was already fast asleep again at peace in her father’s arms…