Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The King's Challenge #155 and #156

TKC 155 and 156

Siri corners me as we nudge our horses into motion. Swinging into my path, she forces me to stop.

“We need to talk. Let the others get ahead,” she states.

I love my sister, but I know her also. She is usually sweet, but can be stubborn and insistent. Cross her when she has something she feels needs doing and you will pay for days. I know this from experience. When we were younger and I displeased her, she would deliberately drop my food during serving for days … until I apologised.

Thus, here and now, I do as she says. She will probably rope Hanna in and I will not be fed for days.

“I know what you are thinking,” she says.

Quirking an eyebrow, I say, “Really?”

“Right now you think about your stomach,” she grins.

Laughing, I throw my hands in the air. “And I thought I was the Delver!”

Siri eyes me. “Yes, funny that.”

Instantly I swallow my mirth and eye her right back. “Meaning?”

“You never told me.”

“You did not reveal your healing powers,” I rebut.

“I never hid anything, Damin. I merely thought I had an affinity to animals. You, though, knew what you could do and said not a word.”

I knee Forest into a slow walk and Siri falls in beside me. The others are a distance ahead of us. “Siri, there’s ten years between us. When I discovered I could hear thoughts you were not even two years old yet. I didn’t not tell you; I simply thought of you as too young.”

“Granted, but when you absconded five years ago I was already heading to my sixteenth birthday.” She lifts both eyebrows and gives me the Siri glare, the one able to strip skin from the boys back home.

“Dad told me to keep it close,” I admit. “He said trouble was coming and it was better that no one knew of my ability.”

Slowly she nods. “The night he died he told me the same, yes.”

I close my eyes as defence against that particular agony. Two months after I left Grenmassin, our father was trampled by the horses in the corral when a lightning bolt struck inside the enclosure. We have not discussed his death, as we have not spoken of how alone Siri must have felt after.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper.

Her lips tighten. “Never mind that, Damin. It is in the past. And I am sorry as well, for what was said or not said is now also behind us; bringing it up does not help us.”

“What is it, then?” I frown.

“Are you comfortable with your ability?”

“No.”

Again she nods slowly. “But you know how to control it?”

Releasing a breath, I say, “For the most part. What is your point?”

“I am not sure yet. Can you, for example, be specific when searching for an answer?”

“Siri, what? Do you want to know if I probe for whether a person is Glonu or Ilfin that the answer is specific?”

Shrugging, she stares ahead. “I think so. I also wonder, though, if you will receive more than you can accept and …”

“It does not work like that,” I interrupt. “I do not hear thoughts as words; I see emotions as images. Only with Lyra am I able to hear all and I have taught myself to shut it off. She deserves her privacy and I think I do not want to know everything.”

“You prefer the old-fashioned method of discovery?” she laughs.

“With Lyra, absolutely.”

Siri stares at me, realising I do not desire levity in this. “Fine. Emotions as images, Damin? How will that help you tell a Glonu from an Ilfin?”


I glare at my sister. “You assume I will do this.” Jerking away then, I add, “Genetics alter our hidden emotions. I have to use that.”


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