Monday, January 14, 2013

Day Three-Seventy-One: Simple as that

Picking up where I left off, more or less: Grayson got rid of Philip. I don't know how, or where he sent the ghost, but the deed is done. Pubton is safe, the animal population is slowly and inexplicably returning to town covered in bruises, and I have a week-long, ill-timed vacation. Most of that is thanks to my son.

I haven't had time off, official time off, since before the fall of the castle. Back when we were prepping for Logan and Eve's wedding I had a few days away from my guard duties. Since then I've either been… dead… or dealing with everyone else's problems. Mayor is a full-time job, and with our food stocks at a dangerous low I can't afford to lounge about for a day, let alone an entire week.

But that was the deal. I only learned of it afterward, but Grayson wants me to be his personal plaything for the entire week. I've left control of Pubton more or less in Harold's hands; the skittery little noble has actually grown into his own in that regard, and seems capable of making decisions that please most everyone, not just the nobles. I barely spend any time with Harold outside work, but I should really treat him to a beer some time. He's a good fella.

Just needs to stop staring at Libby. He's harmless and has no chance, I know, but he needs to stop. Grr.

Speaking of Libby, she's happy to have me watching over Grayson this whole week. She spends an inordinate amount of time in the woods these days, visiting with June. I know they're planning a project together, and I know Libby's trying to keep it a secret from me. Why she is I have no idea, but I hope it's for the good of us all.

'Hope' implies that I have no idea what's up with them, of course. I actually do know at least one detail, confirmed for me during my first hour with Grayson:

"They're going to dig."

"Huh?" I looked down at the boy sitting opposite me. He was holding an ice cream cone, one of Bora's specialty items, and licking the drips off the sides. He'd been eating it for the entire hour. "What'd ya say, kiddo?"

"I answered your question. They're going to dig. You wanted to know what mom's doing with the witch; now you know."

I fidgeted. "How… do you do that, son? I wish ya wouldn't."

He smiled and licked his ice cream cone again. I noticed, not for the first time, that the lump of ice cream on top was almost perfectly round. "How do you do what you do?"

"Uh. Whaddya mean?"

"You know." Lick. "That thing. I want to know how you do it. You tell me and I'll tell you."

Unnerved, I tried the jokey route. "What, ya mean, like, wettin' myself whenever I'm in trouble? It's a learned art, m'son. You see, you have to drink a lotta water through the day, then you think about sources of water reeeeeeal haaaaaaard. Like the river! What's it called again?"

"The Potos River," Grayson replied.

"Yeah! That. Think about all that swishy-swashy liquid, movin' around under the ice. Maybe even the snow meltin' like crazy off the rooftops. Then you go out 'n get in as much trouble as ya can, 'n sure enough SOMETHING freaky will -"

"I don't care about your bladder."

No mistake. His voice was gentle and his eyes didn't flicker, but there was authority in Grayson. A command to stop. I cut my idiot explanation short and lapsed into silence.

Grayson reached over the table, motioning for me to take his hand. I did. He observed my fingers, wiggling them one at a time, creasing the skin with each touch as though looking for something he couldn't find. Eventually he shrugged and retreated.

"You're tainted," he said. "Come, let's go play with a ball."

We played with a ball.

Tainted. That's not the first time someone has called me that. Or something along the same lines.

This is gonna be a weird week.


Dragomir the Father


  1. "No, Grayson, *you're* tainted." Wets self in fear of Grayson's response. -Dragomir the Coward

    Seriously, Drago, you need to find out what the fuck is going on with your son and find Eve to destroy him. Screw Libby and how she would react at this point. She has to know her son is screwed up.

  2. Well that explains how Dragomayor keeps spitting out broken cheat code kids.

    He's "tainted".

    Much like the punch bowl at Prom, or the water in Mexico.

  3. Man, Grayson is one of the most frightening characters I've ever read in a story. Excellent!

    1. This comment makes me glee.

      Not that they don't ALL make me glee, but if I think about it too much I'll wonder what 'gleeing' is, and that's a bad thing.

    2. I'm picturing you gleeing!

      But it's true. Good work on the subtle, simple creepiness of this 'kid'.

  4. Eww...taint...don't they have toilet-paper in his universe?

    (Crude joke, but Matt demanded fart jokes last week.)