Fan The Flames
“Tam…”, Tiresias croon as the witching hour reaches its peak. “Tam…” she demands in a voice that comes from somewhere and nowhere at the same time. Linn stirs uneasily in his sleep. He is pale, and his jaw is set. “It’s time for you to wake up, Tam Lin”, she says, employing the authority and magic of someone that is less than a god but perhaps as great as a Council-member.
Linn stands up. His eyes turn shiny and crome-like. A wave of light illuminates the night and in short order he wears the garb of a huntsman and the face of a killer; with brown soulless eyes. This is his true form, what his glamours hide.
Tiresias reappears behind him, a simple feat for a ghost. She strokes him on his forehead and uses that very same authority. “What is it, Tam Linn?” She strolls around him. “You cannot”, and now she pauses for a dramatic breath,” sleep?”
Linn frowns. “I was sleeping. Until something woke me up.” Tiresias walks through the bed and then up on it. She places her head on his left shoulder while stroking his right chin. “What was it, you think, that woke you up?”
Linn stares intently at the floor of the bedroom, gazing into the grain of the wood. “There was something”, he eventually mutters. “You have missed something, haven’t you, Tam Linn?” Tiresias asks.
“I have missed something”, Tam Linn repeats for himself in what he thinks is the emptiness of his rented apartment. “Something crucial”, he adds. “A secret, perhaps?” Tiresias whispers to Tam Linn, in the secret confidence of friends.
“A secret…” Tam Linn says. “And…?”, Tiresias tangents. “Can it be that there is a great and horrifying secret here in Fallowfell? A secret, protected by lies?”
“Someone is hiding something from me. They always do”, Linn says in emotionless voice. “They think I won’t find out, but I always find out. I always find out.” He stands up abruptly. “I ALWAYS FIND OUT!”
“But…”, Tiresias interjects from the bed, now balancing on its covers with her ethereal body. “But”, Linn says in a frantic voice, his eyes still buring,” why can’t I find the secret out? Is it Rune Fallowfell’s lack of control? Fenrir, who surely must be in contact with his granddaughter? Elena Havenius’ magic, which would allow her to hunt any supernatural she likes? Esaia Eldridge, who cheated death?”
Tiresias launches herself through the air and drifts on winds in a circle around Linn. “Maybe there is a greater secret. Maybe it’s hidden in lies. Maybe”, she says with emphasis,” they’re all lying. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.”
Linn bobs his head, his eyes leaving spots of light on the opposite wall, very much like a car’s headlights. “Yes. Of course. That’s it. They’re lying to me. They’re all lying to me”, he says with grim realization.
“But what, more specifically, is it that they lie about?” Tiresias asks with a rhetoric flourish. “What event came before the Bonfire Ball. Before Rune Fallowfell’s transformation. Before the first steps in Helena Gravsten’s plan?”
“Nidar Greyscale’s arrival in Fallowfell”, Tam Linn says. Yowl suddenly leaps up onto the bed and yowls in Tiresias’ direction. She tenses. Cats have always been able to make out the dead. Alas, her goal here is has been achieved, she thinks to herself before vanishing. All that is left now is too watch the dominoes fall.
“You want me to do what?!”
Elena stares at Sara.”I’d like to think that the person who wants to be forgiven should come, and you know, ask to be forgiven!”
Sara nods.”And he will”, she responds,” any day now. I just wanted to… even the playing field a little bit.” Sara stops.
Swallows. “I can hear his thoughts, you know.” A warm wind, relatively warm, speaking in March, pass them by. In the background several people play hockey on the frozen surface of the Hermannstadt with the knowledge that it soon won’t be possible. “He… Rune loves you” “Not like love, love“, she hastens to add,”but like love a sister.”
“So just give him a chance? That’s all I am asking”, Sara says with a note of finality.
Esaia Eldridge prepares his magic. He nods to Gomagog. “Hit me”, he says. Gomagog stares at him, baffled. “Eldridge, you do realize that I can put my fist through a door of solid steel, right? I’d just kill you.”
Esaia Eldridge just smiles. The wonders of this modern new science has allowed him to reach depths of his abilities he could previously never have dreamed about. Gomagog shrugs. “Your funeral”, he decides.
Gomagog draws one gigantic fist back–
— and punches Eldridge. Two things occur at the same time; Eldrige is blasted back, his nose bleeding, and Gomagog shakes his fist. “What the hell did you do”, Gomagog says, accusation coloring his voice.
“One moment please”, Eldridge states. Gomagog nods. Eldridge jumps high into the air. “I already know you can fly”, Gomagog screams as Eldrige flips around mid-air, “and yeah sure, the acrobatics are real-” Eldridge lands in front of Gomagog with a boom that destroys his ear-canals. Dirt and snow pelts the giant, causing him to close his eyes.
When he opens them, there is a crater in front of him. One made by Eldridge. “Density, you motherfucker, you have managed to make yourself denser”, Gomagog comments. “I am impressed”, he says with a certain awed expression.
Eldridge gives him a smile full of secrets. “Oh, that’s not the most impressive thing I can do.”
Two wolves, one bigger, one smaller, both as white as the snow they run on, play among the peaks surrounding Fallowfell. Theirs is an communication of rough tumbles, of paws with claws retracted and the joy of running in a pack, albeit a very small one.
The bigger one starts to howl, but this no mere warning nor a declaration of war, this is a song of sorts. The smaller one joins in, adding her ‘voice’ to the bigger one’s howl, a howl which is lighter in intensity but just as strong.
In the song of their howls one can make out several things. Loneliness. Grief. Separation. But also. The joy of family reuniting. Of memories shared. A promise made, never to be separated once more.