Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day Three-Fifty-Nine: The Prisoner

June won't give me answers.

Libby won't give me answers. 

The rats seem to be too tired these days to give me answers.

Grayson… Grayson's a child, and he's selectively cryptic. I shouldn't have to get answers from him anyway.

Lord B.T. hasn't replied to a couple of probing questions, and even in his previous letters, he gave no answers.

Edmund returned today with no answers. Every town he and his little entourage visited was shut up for the winter, and not willing to entertain trades until the spring. They certainly weren't parting with their stockpiles of food with snow still up to their ankles.

Even my dad won't give me an answer. I straight out asked him today, in my frustration, if he planned to take over Pubton. He shrugged his armless shrug and gave me a smile that probably was an answer, but it wasn't what I wanted to hear, so I dismissed it.

I went to the one person in town who might be willing to talk, even if every word was commensurate to a slap to my face.

Lady Evangelina has been locked away in one of the top-floor rooms of the pub for almost a week, now. Libby essentially turned the room into a cage, using spare wood to create solid bars to keep Evangelina away from the door and the window. She gets two meals a day, and was watched over by a guard most of the time until we realized she wasn't a threat. Now somebody pokes their head in once an hour to make sure she's still there.

When I went visiting, she was. I brought a chair in and sat it down in the small space between the bars and the door, closing the latter behind me.

Evangelina looks a wreck. She's still wearing the same bulky winter clothes she had when we hauled her away, though the bullwhip she was carrying is sitting in Robert's kitchen. Her face is gaunt and tired, her hair looks like it hasn't seen water in a while, and she has an air of defeat about her that's usually better associated with peasants and drifters. Given what she's been through, I guess she's allowed to feel pretty crappy.

She barely looked up from her cot when I sat down. I expected as much.

"I could have brought my goblin," I said as a starter. "I think he used ta do this stuff professionally. Interrogatin', you know. But I didn't. Y'know what that means?"

She shrugged.

"Means I wanna have an honest conversation. I wanna know what you know."

"What'll you give me in return?" she rasped. "Driscol? I doubt you can swing it, murderer."

I sat back and cleared my throat. "I didn't kill him. He killed himself, trying to take out The Baron."

"You're half responsible." She looked away, towards the barred window. "With the fat man dead, that makes you wholly responsible."

I tensed. I'd wondered if this subject might come up, and, bam. Here it was. I'd also decided what I would do if it did. "He's not dead. The Baron, I mean. He's still alive."

Evangelina shook, her laughter dry, bitter, and devoid of humour. I thought she might ask if I was lying, but I guess she can discern lies from truth. "Fuck. Fuck me. He really did die for nothing, then. We failed."

She sat up straighter, peering through the bars, eyes fixing on me but seeing something else, something behind me. Memories, maybe. "We wanted to help you. He wanted to help you. You, your wife, your friends, every one of those witless peasants who let themselves be ruled by Jeffrey. We wanted to make that kingdom prosper and you spat in our faces, preferring to let a simpleton sit on the throne."

"You tried to destroy the castle!"

"WE DIDN'T WANT THAT!" Now she was on her feet, words crackling with anger. "YOU THINK WE WANTED TO SIEGE THE FUCKING CASTLE?! WE TRIED SO MANY THINGS… we had so many ways to get rid of him… so many you don't even know about, before the fat man brought you in against us… so many… but they didn't work… and the siege didn't work… and his death, his death didn't even work, even though it wasn't supposed to be a gods damned death…"

"What?" I sat up straight, watching her pace towards the bars, a caged animal.

"The spell," she breathed. "Something went wrong. Obviously it went wrong. The last ditch measure if he got caught… he would use the fire, then trigger another spell to escape… we would meet up… outside the castle…"

She went silent, her head dipping. I stood and moved close to the bars, wondering if she was whispering the rest - and, stupidly, I stepped within grabbing distance. Her hands wrenched through the spaces in the wood and clutched my tunic, pulling me hard towards her. 


She spat in my face and threw me back. I stumbled over my chair and hit the wall. Voices came from outside the door, and it flew open, knocking me into the bars again. I wondered, as several people charged in to check on the yelling, if Evangelina would try to hurt me again - but she'd retreated to her bed. She was crying.

I left. I only had one answer, and it wasn't the one I'd expected.

They're siblings? Cripes. What's next, is June gonna turn out to be their freaking mom?

I give up,



  1. It explains the secret language.

    1. I always figured there was a slight resemblance between the two. Didn't ever think they were siblings though.

    2. I somewhat hinted at it in this day's comic. Look closely at the mug.

  2. Ooooh.