These two were short, so I’ve smooshed them together into one mega-microfic. (*cough*) It follows my dearly beloved Tarenthal of the Karantiri stories, very early in his time in the Kalvarine woods.
As always, check out Thimbleful Thursday, and all of Lyn’s projects.
Tarenthal stepped out into the sunlight, eyes closed, letting the rays wash over his face. It was as if he could feel the shadows sliding off of him, dripping from his body and into the ground where he’d never need to see them again. Finally, a chance to start again…to be free. Somewhere that he could look like he belonged.
“Hey, haren’said,” he heard barked from behind him, and his heart stopped–the shadows wrapped around his throat–at the slur of a word. “Aren’t you supposed to be reporting somewhere?”
Still unclean. Still marked as the enemy by the red in his eyes.
But he would still try again.
“Give him a moment, will you?” This was a new voice, and Tarenthal opened his eyes, tentatively glancing back at the speakers. Both painfully bright with their light hair and eyes. Both traced with gold. Both of the Caller’s line, then. She looked disgusted. He looked much the same, though the guard knew it wasn’t at him. “If his Honor believes him worthy, then he is such.”
“Look at the bastard’s eyes,” she shot back at him–her brother, Tarenthal presumed. “Do not tell me that someone with that crimson bloodstain through his soul can possibly be worth risking ourselves over. He will sooner let us die than protect anyone.” The words in the Kalvarine language were harsh, foul, bitter. Tarenthal could feel each one hitting him, their poisoned barbed points sinking into his heart.
“I’d do no such thing.” His own Kalvarine was rusty, having grown up speaking Metadrine, and he knew his accent still betrayed him. But he wouldn’t stand for this. “His Honor has given me a chance. I will not disappoint his family.”
“You already disappoint me,” she spat in his direction before storming off. The other man stepped up to Tarenthal, resting a hand on his shoulder.
“I am willing to stay my judgment for now, new brother.” His voice was soft. “But do not expect many others to.”
“I don’t expect any to.”