The Rockbottom way

The Rockbottom way

rock-bot·tom /??räk ?bäd?m/

1. at the lowest possible level.

2. fundamental

3. a family of hard-asses

My father, Bael, works in construction and goes where the work is. We moved often while growing up. While we traveled through towns, Pap would point out various houses he worked on and proudly tell us he built this and that. (And then, of course, criticize the rest.)

My sweet mum, Dorae, is the rock and matriarch of the family. She kept us all grounded while raising us and continues to reins us all back in for family gatherings so grandchildren can fill her home.

Kort, my eldest brother, was named after some distant relative on my mom’s side that we never met. (I sometimes wonder if she just liked the name and made up the relative.) I don’t actually know what Kort does. Every time Ringo asks him what he’s been up to, the answer is a variation of, “oh, a little bit of this, a little bit of that.” He lives very comfortably in (expensive place) with his wife, Reiya, and their two kids. 

Omar is my other brother. He was named after my father’s good friend who had died in the war. Ambitious is not an adjective I’d use to describe him, but he’s definitely reliable. He is loyal and has a compassionate heart. He often goes on errands for Pap as needed and makes sure Mum is doing OK. 

As for me, I’m the youngest, and well, … I was given no name at birth. I had arrived too early and wasn’t expected to survive. Too much heartbreak as it was.

This was right after the Second War. Pap had been hired to do construction work in Stormwind so the city could be rebuilt. My parents rented a cottage in Elywynn Forest, near Redridge, while Mum was pregnant with me. 

Each day, while Pap swung his hammer and hauled lumber in the Dwarven District, Mum did chores and watched over my wee brothers as they played outside. Occasionally wild boars would roam nearby, looking for food. Pap built a fence to keep them out, especially the one nicknamed by the locals as “Bellygrub” for its enormous size and appetite.

The gate was left ajar one morning and Omar, not more than three years old, had wandered out. Mum was startled by the sound of angry snorting when she turned and saw wee lad in the charging path of the overgrown beast. She reached him in time to shield him from the impact as the boar sent them sprawling. His tusks had gored her, slicing open the side of her swollen belly.

Kort grabbed Pap’s gun by the shed and shot at it, but the boar retreated back into the forest so he then ran to Stormwind to get help.

In the days that followed, Mum recovered with the help of the humans in Redridge who had heard the news. They say I strained to breathe and grew sickly. Pap felt helpless at home so he often spent his spare time hunting for Bellygrub.

Several weeks went by before he found the overgrown boar by the river and attacked. Bellygrub kept dodging Pap’s blows and knocking him on his feet while scampering away. The back-and-forth dragged on for hours until physical exhaustion finally took its toll on Pap.

Pap returned home in defeat and told Mum about the battle, expressing frustration — and a bit of begrudging admiration — at the blasted boar’s resilience. Mum heard me cooing and told him that I shared the same stubbornness for I wasn’t planning on budging either. Pap walked over to the crib, gently picked me up and our eyes locked.

And that’s how I got my name.



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