Friday, June 14, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Eighty: Downtime

The wall is finished. Troops, be they guards or soldiers, are undergoing vicious training. Backup leadership is in place if it's needed. Pubton's not as ready as it should be - its head carpenter isn't here, and a big chunk of the workforce is elsewhere - but it's as ready as it's going to be. Let the Non come, if they're going to come.

My job in Pubton is finished, I guess. I have business elsewhere. Business I've been putting off for too long.

After finishing my rounds of the town - gods, Pubton is so BIG! - I went home and fetched Eve. I asked Julius to give us a bit of privacy (he's been on or around me constantly since he helped save me), and though he remained in sight of us, the little spider silently agreed to let Eve and I have a moment alone.

We had a picnic.

I've picnicked with Eve before. Once, long ago, when I was still living back at the old castle. Logan, bless his crazy little heart, was trying to bring Eve and I closer together. He seemed to understand her better than most, and he thought it fit that her father understand her, too.

As I recall, Eve departed the picnic by leaping off of the walls of the castle and murdering a mammoth. I think that's what happened, anyway. It was a crazy time.

This picnic was not so mad. Eve is much better behaved these days, having spent a lot of time reading under Robert's tutelage and learning to play the lute with Ed. She's become quite proficient in the latter - Edmund says she's almost better than he is, after only a few weeks of progress. She's a whiz like her mother, she is.

We sat down under the golden tree to have our picnic. I laid out a blanket and some cut meat and veggies in baskets while Eve stared at the tree, running her hands along the bark.

"It's big," she commented quietly.

"It is," I agreed, plopping down onto the blanket and inviting Eve to do the same. "I swear it's bigger 'n when June planted it. Did I ever tell you 'bout that, kiddo? The first day we were here?"


"Ah. Well. Won't bother ya with it again. Was a… weird day, thinkin' back. Was all wilderness. Only thing up… was this tree."

I shoved a carrot in my mouth and chewed. "Yeah. Weird day."

We ate. Eve is not nearly as voracious as before, and her portions are far smaller. She's also no longer strictly a meat-eater, and will happily scarf down salads. I'm glad of it. Meat and only meat ain't good for the tummy, my mom used to say. The poop doesn't come out right.

"You're going away?" Eve asked after finishing a cucumber-and-turnip sandwich.

A little taken aback, I nodded. "Uh. Yeah. Just for a bit, though."


I pointed over the wall, over the trees, over the plains. The peak of a lumpy mountain loomed behind a cluster of clouds.

"Oh." Eve touched the tree again. "Mommy?"

"Yeah. Mommy."

"And… brother?"

"… yeah. I guess so. Him too."

She scooted in close, resting her head on my shoulder. "Can I come?"

"No, it's too dangerous. Bora'll look after you."


I hugged my daughter. "It's gonna be okay. Somebody there can help me find them. I don't think she'll hurt me."


"I'll be okay." I smiled, brushing the hair out of Eve's eyes. "You're the only one allowed to kill me, kiddo. Anybody else is just wastin' their time."

That would've sounded horrifying to any other family, but I think Eve's had her fill of murdering me for one life. She smiled, leaned in, kissed me on the cheek, and napped on my shoulder.

Gods. The golden tree, it's grown so large.


Dragomir the Co-Mayor

1 comment:


    (Matt you sadistic bastard, ya hit me in the feels! Although I guess today's entry does work pretty good since Father's Day is this Sunday).