Posted this in my guild's forums, and once I finished it was suggested by Rasco
that I post it over here. Enjoy, and check out The Faceless
guild site over at enjin!
Deyannore curled up in the crawlspace. It was her favorite spot inside the house, where she could smell the bread baking from the oven vent nearby, and because of said vent, the spot was always warm. She scratched at her arm. The yelling had attracted her here. It was her uncle. She knew Irilan was confronting her father about what Des did. Running her fingernails absentmindedly up her elbow, she listened intently.
“How can you be so calm?” her uncle shouted, “Your oldest daughter nearly killed your youngest!”
“You know children fight. The girls in particular. Deyannore should not have taken Drillian’s book, and Desdemona tells me she summoned an atronach to attack them when they went to retrieve it.”
“The girl was merely curious! You won’t let her study with the others. Aedra strike me if I know why…” he smoothed a hand over his face in an attempt to calm himself. “I don’t know what happened, but Deyan would not attack her sisters. Desdemona nearly killed her. Her arm was broken in eight places. Eight! Not to mention the burns…”
Deyan stopped scratching her arm, remembering the sensation of burning from earlier that day. Her uncle was right though, he had told her not to worry, that the Eight did not let them remember pain too vividly. “It will all be over soon. The healer will fix you right up.” A trickle of blood ran down her forearm to the wooden slats beneath her. The mottled flesh was all but healed. She had scratched away a scab. Her uncle would not be pleased.
“…didn’t see the burns, but surely you’re exaggerating.”
“Exaggerating my arse! You’re right, you didn’t see them!” her uncle bellowed.
“Not so loud Irilan, you’ll wake them.”
“You should care half as much to be as loud!” he said, more quietly. “You should go wake her and apologize, and hold your daughter the way I did when I dragged her half-alive into town earlier today.”
“So melodramatic. Look.” Deyannore peeked through the boards into the room. From above she saw her sister’s shadow fall from the doorway before she entered, blearily rubbing her eyes.
“You’ve woke one,” her father said, giving her uncle a pointed look before getting up and kneeling before Desdemona. “Little one, why are you about at this hour?”
“I heard you and Uncle… are you fighting? Am I in trouble?” she glanced toward the ceiling. Deyan’s heart thumped once loudly as their eyes seemed to meet for a half-second before she withdrew from her spy hole, but not before she saw her uncle grit his teeth and turn away.
“No, sleepy mouse,” came her father’s voice, “no. Back to bed with you, right.”
Deyan could feel her sister’s eyes on her place before she turned and left. She let out a sigh that might have been too loud, but she guessed the others didn’t hear. The floor creaked as Des crossed back to the door. She frowned and looked down at her scab, poking at the bumpy black flesh that surrounded it. Des must have noticed her cot was empty and come looking for her. She should get back…
On her way out to the other house she ran into her uncle coming around a corner and fell back on her arse and elbows. Her uncle, once he realized what he’d knocked over, swore silently and quickly knelt down to help her up. He was big for a Breton, huge really, and standing up she still didn’t reach his kneeling height.
“Divines, Scamp, why aren’t you abed?” he murmured as he gently brushed the dirt off her. He pulled his hand back when it came off sticky red and covered with dirt and looked at her. She averted her eyes down and away, lips pursed in a quiet, miserable apology as her eyes teared up. “Oh Deyan,” he pulled her into a hug, “and I suppose you heard all that?”
Her eyes were pulled up to the stars as he held her. “Most of it,” she mumbled into his shoulder.
“Would that you were my daughter,” he said. “We wouldn’t stay here for this.” He released her and smiled. “Don't look so sorry Scamp! Let’s see those whites.”
She smiled at him, showing off her missing tooth and leaving him chuckling softly.
“Come on then,” he said, standing and taking her hand, “You’ll stay with me tonight. I don’t want you sharing a room with those…” She looked up at him when he paused. “With your sisters for a while.”
Her uncle walked her to his house, which was sidled up to the main farmhouse that held the horse stables. She liked the horses. They were some of her favorite animals on the farm. She told her uncle so when he put her to bed.
“Oh yeah? Shall we get you a horse then?”
“No,” she said, “I’d much rather have a dog.”
“A dog, eh?” he asked her as he retrieved a bandage from a drawer. “What a good idea! Tomorrow when we go to town, we shall get you a dog,” he said as he wrapped her arm. “Maybe we’ll teach it how to bite,” he muttered.
She laughed, not catching the anger in his words, and he smiled down at her. As he finished binding up her arm and tucked her in she asked him, “Why must we go to town tomorrow?”
“The healer couldn’t finish fixing you up today. We must go back tomorrow so she can finish.” He got up to leave.
“What is it?”
“Isn’t this your bed?”
“Yes.” He bent down and kissed her forehead.
“Where will you sleep then?” She kissed his bearded cheek.
“Don’t worry Scamp. I’ll sleep under the stars tonight. Isn’t it a beautiful night for it?”
She looked out the window. “I want to sleep under the stars too.”
“No, you need good rest in a bed tonight. It’ll make the healer’s job easier tomorrow.”
“Goodnight, Deyannore,” he said as he left.
“Goodnight Uncle.” He shut the door behind him, leaving her to close her eyes and dream of fiery stars.