Warm. Cold. Wet. Dry. Pain, no pain. Nothing at all, just darkness and a glowing triangle flickering dimly in the distance. Blood seeping into the dirt. Raindrops. The faraway voice of someone she loved. Nightmares a hundred years long. Wait - was what that last one?
Saw a little girl and her dad whizzing past on identical scooters, and she was yelling “I can’t wait for the new Star Wars movie! It’s going to be awesome!”
Truly heart-warming to see such youthful enthusiasm. But all I could think was “Obi-Wan once thought as you do. You don’t know the power of the Star Wars franchise, to take idealistic expectations and grind them to dust.”
“Jude! Jude!” Elize burst into the young researcher’s office,
excitedly waving a pamphlet excitedly in the air. The warmth of the summer day
blew in through the open door, bringing with it the smell of sand and anesthetic
from the lab down the hall.
“You won’t believe it,” Teepo yelled, chomping down on Jude’s
face. “It’s absolutely the most exciting news!”
Elize ran nimbly around Jude’s desk, expertly avoiding piles of
books and papers. “Look at this!” The girl pushed the brightly-colored pamphlet
into Jude’s hands. “Isn’t that the best?”
Elize had been awaiting that pamphlet with great anticipation for
the past few weeks. A gesture of good-will, Gaius generously sponsored building
a new butterfly house in Trigleph. It would house butterflies from all across
Rieze Maxia, and even housed a special butterfly research lab, one that would
focus on butterfly husbandry. According to Elize’s latest issue of Pro-Pinkest
Illustrated, Elympios was home to a very rare, pink butterfly (Lycaenidae rosea), one that scientists
believed was vital in reviving Elympios’ former ecosystems. The butterfly
apparently channeled mana to flit from plant to plant, and in doing so
maintained mana equilibrium in its environment. It had taken Elize a whole
afternoon of research in the library to really understand what the article was
But that wasn’t the really
“See!” Elize pulled a pink envelope from her pocket. “I
entered an essay contest for Pro Pinkest Illustrated and won two sneak-peak
tickets to the butterfly house! I was hoping that you would come with me!” Jude
didn’t need to know that she had originally asked Driselle, but the governess
was too busy.
“We never see Jude anymore!” Teepo wailed, circling the two.
“Doesn’t he want to spend time with us anymore?”
Robin is already relieved at someone who can recognize the difference between love and infatuation. Henry doesn’t seem to find solace in the fact.
Pleasantly scrunched eyes and a plastered smile keeps his face as soft as ever when speaking to comrades, but wringing hands betray the difficulty in his admission. Still the words don’t feel right on the tongue and so he tumbles the thought around between fingers like a curse he hasn’t quite perfected yet. Had it been hard to say? And if so: because it was painful to admit to the truth, or because he is merely trying to convince himself of what he knows is not?
Physical pain is something the man has learned to withstand, but matters of the heart wrench and bleed anew in much uglier colors, no matter how one tries to condition themselves. And they are doubly as confounding about whether to pursue and let blossom in a situation such as his. Truly, she thought it a non-issue for someone who never talked about such dreams or interests; perhaps everyone has their moments.
Brown eyes march along with his blue pacing before her desk. She sighs and sets her quill down, quirking a pointed brow at his plight. The only reason she can fathom for him coming to her about this, is if he’s HOPING for reinforcement that it’s all a stupid distraction.
“Well, I should certainly hope so, Henry. I hardly need my most willing and vicious dark magic user going soft.” Heh. He should be either given permission to lift this burden from his chest, or have it near burst in anger at her for suggesting he abandon his feelings.