[AW] Take your children to work year
AW for one! Bellad's bandaging Fleur while his children "mingle" inside the Circle building
ooc [+726]
In the increasingly distant past in his ever-distant homeland, Bellad used to be have a hard time holding himself back from interjecting whenever he knew the right answer. As a pup he would fidget uncomfortably, all but whimpering at his Elders to consult him for whatever his peers had no response to. In the now and on Circle grounds with his apprentice, Bellad was more patient. He did not shoot down any of her answers.

There weren’t any grievous errors to correct, but, being a student and teacher, he still had to react with more than curt nods and grunts. For most things, he spoke and prodded just enough for her to remember certain details. He quizzed her on how to know coneflower root was still good to use, to make sure she remembered not to employ it once it’s lost its scent. And, following his approval of her assessment of the inner bark of willow, moved right on to the rose hips. “Yes. Rose hip tea. It is good for stress and good for pain in the stomach.”

An eye like his, trained to spot familiar outlines of leaves or the color of petals or tiny berries, it would be foolhardy to assume that he hadn’t noticed the changes to Sólveig’s demeanor whenever her friendly manner found no purchase with him. He was not tone deaf. What eluded him, at times, was the realization that the stifling grip of uncompromising control over himself would weigh down more shoulders than his own.

Some part of him hoped that this would simply pass. He owed no one constant mirth and smiles. Besides, he was pretty certain he was still an improvement over Ridgewell. Digging through such excuses, but unable to shake a sense of roused self-consciousness, he did overlook the tiny innocuous hint one of his children provided Sólveig with. The better to corner him with.

He did not expressly forbid her from asking the question. But some part of him dreaded it in advance, wise to when the prelude to a question likely did not involve asking what else willow bark was good for or what was safe to add to rose hip tea. Clearly it took her as much effort to face him with the question as it took him to withstand it. But clearly the girl brave enough to ask to study under him had what it took.

The scarred healer had only mere moments to recognize how he dearly wished they had just returned to the work of the Circle. The more Sólveig narrowed her question down to a specific night, to a specific incident, the more Bellad’s shell broke. The corners of his mouth twitched like his face didn’t know what expression to make. His nose scrunched briefly as though he’d caught a whiff of medicine gone putrid.

Miserable. The word drew a strange sound from him, as undecided, it seemed, as the involuntary spasms of his muzzle. As though he hacked out a single mangled syllable of a laugh that was not laughing. A scoff, perhaps.

Yes, miserable, and the whole pack heard no doubt. 

“I…” His throat was dry and he coughed, cleared his throat in a futile gesture. There wasn’t any actual blockage to clear. “I do not…” No, a false start. The makings of a lie. He didn’t want to lie to Sólveig. “I didn’t…” Where did he even want to go with it? The meager start of a stillborn statement. With strain, he started over again. “The fire…” There was no smoke in the room, was there? Why did it feel like he couldn’t see much of it anymore?

“The fire… cost me dearly. Cost me, cost Ierian…” He inhaled, standing before her a crumbling statue desperately trying to hold together.

“… everyone.”

He squeezed his eyes shut. He felt afraid. He felt angry. He felt lost, like the room was no longer there and it was just him against the ashen void. “Should have been stronger… Should have faced the fire.” The more he spoke, the clearer it seemed that he was no longer speaking of the fire, or indeed of himself, from recent times, let alone from now. Bellad, once again, was chastising the young Songthorn for a fire from years ago. For not having been stronger then.

A past failure projected into the present.

Messages In This Thread
Take your children to work year - by Bellad Songthorn - 2 October 2021, 08:11 PM
RE: Take your children to work year - by Bellad Songthorn - 25 October 2021, 11:07 PM
RE: Take your children to work year - by Bellad Songthorn - 29 October 2021, 09:23 PM
RE: Take your children to work year - by Bellad Songthorn - 22 November 2021, 06:08 PM

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