in darkness


Cell 2
Castle Anvard


Lanisen is curled on his cot, asleep and snoring softly.

Tyren makes a slight face as he has a word with a guard and enters – clearly the noise grates on him.

Lanisen doesn’t even miss a beat. He’s still fast asleep, sawing logs.

Tyren once again directs the guard to deliver the day’s rations. Force of habit.

Lanisen shifts and rolls over, facing the door and blinking his eyes open. The noise has evidently half-woken him. He squints in response to the light and sits up, digging the heels of his hands into his eyes.

Tyren asks, “Feeling any better?”

Lanisen drops his hands and stands up to bow mechanically. “If I say no, do I got to drink more of that stuff?”

Tyren says, “That, I believe, is Adrian’s department, not mine. I am a knight, not a healer.”

Lanisen considers this groggily for a moment. “Head hurts. Throat hurts. Can’t breath through my nose. But if he asks, I feel fantastic.”

Tyren lets out a mirthless ‘ha’-type sound. “He will have nothing less than the truth from me.”

Lanisen eyes him. “Well then. I feel great. Really brilliant. Top of the mornin’, honest.”

Tyren’s brow arches. “Seems I can’t expect the same from you.”

Lanisen shrugs. He rubs his temple with the heel of one hand, closing his eyes briefly. “Was tastin’ that stuff all night. ‘Drather just have the cold, serious.”

Tyren asks, “And you think every cure is going to be pleasant and painless?”

Lanisen shoots Tyren an oblique look. “Feelin’ /real/ cured right now.”

Tyren’s brow arches further. “Wounds fester when not seen to properly. A knight knows that well.”

Lanisen says rather irritably, “It ain’t a wound. It’s a cold.”

Tyren rolls his eyes slightly. “Adrian will have the truth, and he will act as he sees fit. That’s that, and I’m in no mood to argue it at the moment.”

Lanisen winces at this prospect, looking thoroughly miserable.

Tyren asks, “If there is nothing else I should be made aware of?”

Lanisen starts to shake his head, but pauses, glancing to his sleeping cellmate. “A light?” he asks abruptly. “Just a candle or somethin’? Please?”

Tyren sighs a bit. “I’d think you would have learned to do with what you have by now… still, I suppose I will see what I can do.”

Lanisen says, “It’s gettin’ dark earlier.”

Tyren says, “I wouldn’t hold your breath.”

Lanisen stares at the ground and mutters, “Figured I’d ask, anyway.”

Tyren merely nods once.

Lanisen doesn’t look up, but he shifts after a small pause, and the topic shifts too. “What you said… what you said… before,” he begins haltingly, “About changin’, even when it don’t make no difference… How?”

Tyren lifts a brow. “Half of the choice is coming to the conclusion on your own.” He actually quirks a faint smile, however, as he continues. “However, I will, I believe, say what I can. It may make no difference to the rest of the world – but you yourself will know. If the life a bandit is no longer what you wish to define you – then refuse to let it. It will not change your circumstance, but you have a choice in how to deal with it.”

Lanisen listens silently, keeping his head lowered. “I don’t want it to keep… definin’ me,” he says quietly when Tyren has finished. “But what I did… it’s who I am, ain’t it? I’m, I’m here, it’s gonna follow me around for– I’m not gonna get away from it, it’s too… it’s like…” he trails off, and gestures to the scar on his neck in illustration. “Can’t change it. ‘S part of me.”

Tyren says, “As is the potential to rise above it. It will not erase what you have done, no. Letting yourself remain defined by the past, however, leaves you nothing in the future.”

Lanisen frowns slightly. He seems to find this answer empty.

Tyren says simply, “The choice, of course, is none but yours. If there is nothing further, I have other duties to see to.”

Lanisen shakes his head, glancing up to Tyren’s face. “No… thanks.”

Tyren nods once, and exits.

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