HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  


 Moving On.

Go down 
Rends the Gar

Rends the Gar

Posts : 414
Join date : 2013-08-29

Moving On. Empty
PostSubject: Moving On.   Moving On. EmptyMon 27 Nov 2017, 17:28

The sweet, cool night breeze played across the small yard between the Wolftail Inn and the tiny cottage behind. The usually busy inn was quiet tonight; the bar had closed early and there were currently no guests to attend to. Rends and Silke had done the closing chores with some help from the surviving Prodigals, giving Harriet some privacy to grieve after the terrible news had been delivered. Even the children had gone to bed early without too much protest, and suddenly for the first time in a long time Rends found himself with no immediate crisis to manage or fires to put out. He finally had time to grieve. So he kissed his son good night and stepped outside with his pipe and pouch on his favorite bench, propping his boots up on a stool.

Smoke no longer collected under the brim of his hat. No more shadow clouded his features as he puffed contentedly beneath the fallen Ragabash's bowler. For a moment he puffed, content to remember his friend and think.

"It sits straighter than the old one."

Rends looked up and noticed Silke leaning against the door frame. She shivered, wrapping her shawl closer around her shoulders, blowing on a steaming earthen mug.

"I never liked how that Ranger hat was always crooked even before you lost the ear."

She made a fine adjustment to the hat and Rends felt it settle into place. She smiled sadly, eyes still red and voice a touch hoarse. He smiled back, reaching over and pulling her down smoothly onto his lap. She curled into him, nestling in him while he wrapped her in his arms.

"I reckon that was his plan all along. He always knew it'd look better on me, but the damn fool was too proud to admit it."

The joke felt hollow, and neither deigned to acknowledge it. Instead they held each other for a time, sharing mulled cider and grief.

The silence was a good thing, broken by the night song of crickets and the eerie cry of owl. But in the deepest shadows Rends could see the yawning void, sucking everything ever into it. He could feel the chill of the Abyss in the night breeze, heard the haunting laughter of its lord in the trees. He burried his face in her hair and banished the void with her scent.

"Silke, you ever lost anyone? Anyone close to ya?"

She'd begun idly scratching at the scar on his chest with one finger. She was quiet for a long time, tracing the circular bump over his shirt.

"I was a baby when my parents were killed. I hardly remember them. I remember Mother sitting in a meadow, with flowers in her hair smiling at me. And I remember the smell of yeast and barley and a big, full laugh full of joy and love where my father should be. That's it. After that I remember the screams, the smell of blood and spilled beer. I cried, but I was too young to really know what was happening. I remember a cold, crowded, miserable ship and some evil thing down in the hold with us. Jakob and I were the last ones left. I remember crying. But not for the other slaves, or for Jacob when he hid me away that last day when finally hit shore. For myself. I only cried for myself back then."

Rends pulled her closer, making comforting noises. Before he got much out, she silenced him with a soft kiss on his neck.

"Then you came along and changed that. And what's more you had a whole family for me to fall in love with. I love the way you love me, the way you're such a rock that can't ever be broken. I love Zoe for being the woman I wish I'd been when I was younger, and Connor for the way he looks at her. I love how earnest Eaton is and how he and Jana are so quick to share what they have. I love Zas because you all count on him for so much. I love Harriet like a sister. And I love Kefka like a brother. But I've never lost a brother before. I don't know how this is supposed to work. But I think maybe it's not as bad as it could be. He gave himself up to save all of you, and for that I'll always thank him."

Rends turned to meet her eyes. They were glittering with fresh tears not yet shed. He reached up and cupped her cheek. He wanted to kiss her and let the moment last, but looking into those eyes he felt a wrenching in his gut. He looked away, unable to hold her eyes any longer. When he spoke his voice was a hollow whisper.

"We lied to Harriet."

She pulled back, confused.


"We lied. He didn't die in some heroic last stand while we retreated."

He turned back to her, his own eyes seemed dark pools now. Silke repressed a shiver.

"We fought our way into the Heart of the Abyss. We killed or drove off everything that stood in our way. Some of us took a few hits, and a couple were on their last leg, but we all made it to the end. Mocks and I were up front, clearing the path when we finally came to the end. And then we were given a choice, just me and Mocks the Night."

He blinked, startled to feel tears running into his beard.

"See they didn't take Brave in War jest to have some fun with him. The Abyss wanted to make him its agent, someone it could empower to act on its behalf and act as a warden. Brave in War weren't interested, so it gave the choice to the two strongest Garou it could find. Silke I almost gave in."

He squeezed his eyes shut, a deep well of shame welled up within him.

"I wanted to give in. I wanted that power, and I wanted to make sure everyone got out safe. It was my fault we was down there in the first place, so it's only fair I be the one to pay the price, right? But I turned it down and left the opportunity for Mocks to sieze it instead. He said he was doin' it to buy our freedom, but I swear I seen somethin' in his eyes. He wanted it. And I let him have it."

He took a shuddering breath and broke into sobs. Silke pulled him close, letting her tears fall into his hair and letting him bury his face in her breast and holding him while sobbs overtook him for a time. She let him weep for a time. When the last of the tears had fallen she smoothed out his hair and let him hold her for a time.

"Why didn't you take it?"

He was caught off guard by the question and answered before he knew what he was saying.

"Because I knew we could fight. We may not have won, and we may not have gotten everyone out, but it was still an option. I told the others after that he was jest after the power, but what if he made the right decision?"

Silke took his face in both her hands and forced him to look into her eyes.

"Oh Sweet. When will you see that not every burden is yours to carry?"

She smoothed back his hair again, adjusting the hat.

"You made your decision. You chose to trust to the strength of those around you. You chose the harder path, not because it's harder but because it is right. You chose right. That's not easy, but it's easier for you to see the right path because you're so aware of what tempts you. But Kefka wasn't like you in that. He lived in shadows all his life, and could lie as long as the day and you'd never know. He always had an edge about him, some terrible darkness just below the surface. And so do you."

Rends blinked, feeling chilled again.

"I thought you two were brothers at first, you're so alike. You never could resist the chance to show off when he was around, and he thought the sun shone out of your ears. And you both had that shadow just behind your eyes. I see you fight it every day, and every day I see you beat it just a little further back. But I don't think he ever confronted that darkness like you do. He liked it too much."

They sat there for a while, letting the cricket song wrap them up. And as they sat Rends thought. And as he thought, he felt something slide into place inside. He'd been carrying a secret guilt ever since he'd left the Heart, the terrible knowledge that it should have been him to fall instead of Mocks the Night. But sitting there beneath Luna's gaze, the smell of long forgotten cider that'd spilled at some point on the air, he thought about his wife's words and felt peace. He'd made his decision, and Mocks the Night had made his. It still hurt, but it was merely the hurt of loss now, and not mingled with the terrible weight of guilt. He leaned back and felt Silke melt into him.

While he thought, a plan began to take shape unbidden. He'd stared into the Abyss its self and while not unscared, he'd come out too see the light of day again. He took the words of the woman he loved and made them a part of him. He faced his darkness every day, and fought to control it and himself. His thoughts turned to Galveston, wondering if others could make such a claim of mastery. And his thoughts turned to his travel sack, and the metal clad skull of his father within, and a plan proposed long months ago when the world was a different place.

Then he pushed those thoughts and plans aside to worry another day, and lost himself in the smell, feel and taste of his wife.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Moving On.
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
| :: Rage Across Texas Forums :: Tales of Renown-
Jump to: