Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day Eight-Hundred-Nineteen: Honesty is some sort of policy

It took an hour of quiet walking for Fynn to work up enough nerve to ask the question that’d been on his mind for the last two days. It festered in his brain like a jittery tumour, bumping up against every thought and tainting them with a desire to know - and an equally powerful reluctance to find out. Curiosity won in the end.

“How come you’re mad at dad but not us?”

Logan turned, a breath of white puffing from his lips. He cocked his head and licked at his half-frozen beard, leaving it even more frozen a few seconds later. “Say what?”

Fynn bowed his head, staring down at his snow-encrusted boots. They were between two hills, their destination city still far enough away that it could not be seen from the highest heights these lands had to offer. Fynn imagined that Logan and Eve could skitter there in half the time, but Fynn was not near fast enough to keep up, despite his magic, and he had no real desire to be carried by his sister. He thought she might break him in half, either on purpose or by accident.

“You aren’t mad at me, or… y’know.. her,” Fynn repeated, meekly jabbing a thumb back towards Eve. He did it slowly, as if fearing that she might somehow take offence and attack him. She did not. “But we’re Non too. Kinda. Sorta. Why aren’t you mad at us if you’re mad at him?”

Logan scratched his chin, his eyes travelling from Fynn to Eve, then back to Fynn. Fynn couldn’t help but notice that Logan’s eyes seemed to linger on Eve a lot longer than they did on himself. Eventually, Logan shrugged. “‘cause you guys are honest. I guess. S’not the same.”

“I… I dunno what you mean,” Fynn said, feeling helpless.

Sighing, Logan set his pack down and fell into a bank of snow, collapsing backward with clumsy precision. He appeared to be seated in a throne of billowy white, and not too uncomfortable to boot. He motioned for the other two to follow suit, but only Fynn bothered, and he settled for a cross-legged crouch. Eve remained upright, unblinking and possibly bored.

“Suit yourself,” Logan grunted, rolling his eyes at Eve. “You ever gonna be normal, lady?”

“The wolves will gnaw on what is left of your corpse, O king of the murdered,” Eve replied. 

“Oh.” The prince didn’t appear perturbed. “Guess that answers my question.”

Eve had only spoken a few times during their journey, and the majority of her responses were simple threats with no deeper meaning. Nevertheless, Fynn had taken to translating her speech with a segment of his magic that he didn’t understand - or even control - and on this particular occasion, he caught the translation just fine. 

“She says she’ll be normal if we kill the fat man,” Fynn explained. “Something like that.”

“His bald head will shine bright atop its pike,” Eve added.

“Or, she’ll… go crazy and kill everyone.” Fynn’s eyes goggled, and he turned to look at Eve. “Uhhhh… you sure about that, sis…?”

Eve merely shrugged. “His ribs will make a fine drying rack for the skins of the dead.”

Sitting forward, watching the siblings intensely, Logan smiled faintly. “You can understand her? Hells, guy, you’re doin’ a lot better ’n me. Here I thought I was pretty okay at gettin’ her. What’d she say there?”

“She said that his ribs will make a fine drying rack for the skins of the dead,” Fynn said, shrugging. “Sometimes I think she likes to be grim. S’kinda her thing. And, uh, you didn’t really answer my question.”

Logan grimaced. He sat back in his snow and ice seat again, steepling his fingers. “Which question? The one where I said you were more honest?”

Fynn flicked his boots, squirming a little as the snow chilled his rear. “I don’t think there was another question…”

Smiling, though looking far older than he should have, Logan spread his arms. “To be fair, you kinda answered it for me. You two’re honest. You’re open, y’know? You tell it like it is, ’n like it is means bein’ who you are. I know that you’re an earnest little kid, Fynn, and that you just found out what you are. Can’t be mad at you for that.”

Fynn looked at Eve. She glared back, her glowing green eyes drilling into the back of Fynn’s head as he whipped around again, either fearful or shy. “And her?”

“Hell, she saved my ass,” Logan admitted. “And yeah, Eve’s been a bit of a mystery, but that’s not her fault. She couldn’t tell people what she was. Chances’re good she knew ‘bout as much as you did, and once she knew better, well… she was doin’ other stuff by that point. Still pretty damned honest, when you get down to it.”

“But dad’s not honest,” Fynn said. It was not a question.

Logan breathed deep. He clicked his boots together, tapped his fingers against his knees, nudged the snow with his toes, rustled through his backpack for a length of jerky, and stared at the sky. He seemed to want to do anything but talk about Dragomir, yet he did these things so quickly that Fynn assumed he was trying to get through the motions in a hurry so he could talk about Dragomir. The act of fidgeting was part of the preparation.

“Dragomir’s always been a liar,” Logan said around a bite of jerky. “But I used to think he was an honest liar. If that makes sense. Now, though… he’s just a liar. ’n I’m afraid his lies got my sister killed.”

The word ‘sister’ dried Fynn’s mouth, and he probably would have felt a great deal more awkward about the situation had Eve not interrupted their conversation by driving her fingers through the gut of a werewolf. Its death throes broke the tension quite nicely.

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