March 9, 2014

In Which Thetis Learns the Nearer-Truth

October 4, 1184

"I had the dream again last night, Thetis."

Florian slumped, his eyes glazed. He hadn't slowed down since Severin had gone missing. The baron had offered him time off, and Thetis and Esela had both begged him to take it, but he'd soldiered on, claiming he didn't have time to miss the boy when he was working.

But he had to miss the boy some time, and the universe had deemed that time to be his sleep. Strangely enough, though, Florian's reoccurring dream had little to with Severin himself. Thetis's best guess was that it stemmed from that bitter lack of control, but certain elements were beyond even that.

"The monsters keep fighting. There's no strategy. I try to strategize, but it doesn't work. Not with all the voices." He shuddered. He'd told her he suspected there were thousands of voices. "Up, down, left, right... A, B... anarchy. Democracy. Anarchy. Anarchy. Anarchy."

The same word had woken her some nights before, when he'd sprung up and screamed it. Those voices did love their anarchy. Whatever that meant. "Did you at least escape the evil ledge?"

"Yes, but now there's a haunted tower!"

Thetis swallowed. She hoped her son didn't show up as one of the ghosts. "Maybe you should lie down a while before bed. Try to think about something else before you fall asleep--anything else."

"Maybe that would be for the best." He did have an early morning ahead of him anyway. The poor man hadn't managed to sleep past sunrise for several days now. "Good night, Thetis."

"Good night, Florian."

He stood up and trudged to the bedroom, shutting the door softly behind him; the kids were all trying to sleep upstairs, after all, unless maybe the late second trimester pains were keeping Esela up. Thetis considered heading up for another quick round, just in case. She may not have been having the wild dreams, but sleep wasn't easy for her these days either.

God damn it, where had that kid--?


Well. That answered that. "Severin!" Thetis sprung from her seat and hurried around the couch, not sure whether to hug him or smack him first. He looked to be in one piece, but she had debated long and hard about whether to leave him that way. She supposed she'd alert Florian first. "Florian! Severin's back!"

"PRAISE BE TO HELIX!" So much for hoping the kids wouldn't wake. "By the way, you're grounded!"

"And you will be for quite some time," Thetis agreed. "Now, where on earth have you--?"

She stopped. This wasn't right. Of all her children, Severin had always been the most combative when it came to rules and punishments, not once so much as eating a carrot without her having to force it halfway down. The last time he'd been grounded--and for a much less substantial sentence than this one--he'd nearly put a chair through the window.

But here he stood, quiet enough that he might have been his brother, head hung low, staring at the toes of his boots. No. Not right at all.


He looked up just long enough enough for her to catch a glimpse of something in his eye. Was he... crying? Thetis swallowed. She didn't think Severin had cried since he'd been a toddler. Some days, she feared he lacked the feeling required of it. "Sweetheart? What's wrong?"

A sniffle. "Why?"


"Why is the world so c-cruel?" The old childhood stammer that had plagued some of Thetis's sons tripped up Severin's tongue as he collapsed into his own hands, muffled sobs leaking from his wrists. "She never d-did anything to them! She didn't hurt anybody!"

"What?" Thetis drew nearer and took to rubbing his shoulder, as he'd never liked as much as her other children. There were no shrugs of protests now. "Severin, what are you talking about? Who is 'she'?"

"Rina. She... she was just t-trying to take care of herself. It wasn't her fault. Even if it w-was, someone sh-should've known better. Or at least t-treated her better!"


"Why is her father such an asshole?

"Why are so many people such fucking assholes?"

She let the cursing slide. She had been wrong all these years, assuming that her stone-cold, asocial child had no more capacity for emotion than any rock in the orchard. That couldn't have been further from the truth.

He had more emotion than he--than most--could bear. Knowing that, cutting himself off from the world had been the best defense he had.

And that made it all the more difficult when he finally made a connection.

"I don't know, sweetie," Thetis muttered, her hands meeting at his shoulder and squeezing him tightly. "I don't know."



Van said...

This post took place on Rina's birthday, and was posted on Severin's.

Oh, the things that amuse me.

Ann said...

XD I sense 'Fwynn' levels of DESTINY!

But oh goodness, poor Sev! I'm very glad he's opening up (about time!) but it's hard, very very hard. Good thing he has the family he does! <3

Van said...

XD Fwynn had the same birthday!

Severin seems to have Shaken Pop Can Syndrome and exploded upon the long-awaited release. If anyone can deal with that kind of thing, it's Thetis (or maybe Celina... but, you know, Thetis is Severin's mom, so she kind of has the advantage there). I'm sure Florian will find some way to help too once his subconscious gets through the last rival battle.

Alix said...

Twitch Plays Naroni. I see what you did there. lol.

Severin definitely seems to care for Rina a lot. I hope it works out for those two.

Van said...

Every once in a while, there comes along something I just can't not reference. XD

There are not many people in Severin's world capable of affecting him the way Rina does. They're both still young... but hey, a lot of Naronians seem to get with their teenage sweethearts.

Penelope said...

Poor Severino. :(

Van said...