to keep a secret

(Continuation of story that started on June 28th.)

Part VI

Mum beckoned me from across the Hall. Our guests for the evening had taken their leave rather hastily. Estiya, as we had expected, stayed.

“Do you think it would be alright if Estiya, your dad and I met you and Violyn in your room in about two thirds of an hour? She might want to talk to you…alone…”

Mum was always considerate. Not once had we heard her raise her voice. Not once had we seen her order someone to do something without clarifying first. She was a good Queen.

“Yeah, mum.” I half-mumbled, half-spoke.

She squeezed my shoulder with a warm gentleness, “Go on, then, dear.”

Violyn was still in her seat, trying her best to blend in with the furniture. She looked a little… guilty? Afraid? Perhaps a blend of the two.

“Come on, Vy. Mum said we have a while to ourselves. Let’s go!”

It wasn’t that I was afraid of my little sister, although I might have been a little. It was more of wonderment. Quite suddenly, she seemed all grown up and mysterious. I had lost my little sister.

Violyn walked solemnly down the corridors and up the stairs to our rooms. She did not skip a single step up the stairs. She did not grin and wave at the painting of the little boy with the bright eyes. She simply walked past all of it and quietly opened our bedroom door and set herself down on the edge of the bed.

“I’m sorry. I really am! I should have-”

“Hey, it’s alright.” I took her hand in mine, “You can tell me whenever you like. You don’t have to tell me now. You know that, don’t you?”

I had my share of secrets. Some things aren’t easy to talk about.

She nodded quietly and raised her eyes to mine.

“Remember the Viridi incident?”she asked, quietly.

Viridi was a deadly drug. When I was eight, I sipped out of a poisoned cup of tea meant for mum. The drug doesn’t affect children very strongly. I lost a couple of weeks in unconsciousness, but I lived.

“Of course…”

“That’s when I…had an adventure with some queer folk in the Nightlands. Estiya was being held hostage. We returned together. But some of it stayed: the ‘magic'”

She whispered the final word with a hint of awe and wave of terror.

“Vy, I-” Violyn gave my hand a warning squeeze. I followed her gaze to the door.

“Estiya?”

“Shh!” she whispered with a wild look in her eyes,

“Violyn, I found it.”

T. E. Pyrus

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