September 19, 2014

In Which Lettie Has Something to Tell

March 12, 1187

There was little Lettie could do but slump forward and rub at the top of her forehead, as if massaging the news would make it easier to process. Searle was out training with Lonriad, as had been the case with most Thursday mornings since Asalaye's passing--and Lettie's schedule this term didn't require her to be at the university on Thursdays until the afternoon. Her father-in-law knew all this, but that it was indeed Thursday was some...

...well, not luck. Not luck at all, or at least not good luck. But she could see why it would be easier to tell her before telling Searle. "How did it happen?"

"The guards who got there said they'd been able to fish him out some ways downstream, near the Royal Shire. Of course, it was too late by then. He was always a good swimmer, but the current was just too strong, and the water was too high with all the snow melt."

"But what was he doing in the river at night?" And a river so far from his own home, no less! Sparron hadn't been prone to night wanderings since Prior had been born.

Oh her poor, sweet little Prior. It would take everything she had not to ride to Tetranshire immediately in some misguided attempt to comfort him.

"A boy had fallen in; apparently his mother is ill and Aerina needed a certain herb for the cure, one that only grows on the south side of the river. Figures--she usually goes to gather these things on Thursdays." Her father-in-law kicked at the floor. Probably stumped as to how to tell his sister without making it seem like it was her fault. "His two sisters were with him, and the older one ran to the village for help. She found Sparron."

"Did he get the boy out?"

"Yes, but the current was too swift to pull himself out as well. The girl ran back and found the two guards this time. One of them took the children home, where the boy is recovering now. The other brought Sparron to Father Sextus, who then sent for me." Severin sighed. Age-wise, he had over two decades on Sparron and would have expected by default to outlive him by about that much. Regardless of connection, the old never coped well with the deaths of the young. "I took him back to Octavius then, just before I came here."

"I see." So yes--Prior knew. He'd likely been roused as soon as Severin had left, if not earlier. It was a cruel thing, to keep the death of a child's parent in the dark. Even crueler than telling the child. "Octavius and them--"

"They're taking it about as you'd expect. Octavius can put on a brave face if he chooses, but it's never easy losing a child. Even Camaline wasn't her usual self upon hearing the news. Your poor mother will be carrying that household for the next couple months, mark my words." Her mother. In all her worry about Prior, she'd once again managed to forget that Sparron was her own stepbrother. She'd never gotten used to that fact. "Perhaps you ought to call after your classes today."

Whether he'd hinted purely for her mother's benefit or he too had Prior in mind, Lettie wouldn't ask. But she did nod. "I will."

"And do you think it would be better if you told Searle, or should I?"

Honestly? It would have been better if no one told Searle. It would have been better if there'd been nothing to tell.

But there was, so someone did have to. "Maybe we should tell him together."



Van said...

Sorry about the wait. Plus, everything else. But it had to happen, for reasons that will become clear in a few posts' time.

Mimus said...

Well, all things considered, it is surprising that Sparron lived that long - and kept mostly lucid as well! Given the times, he could have died much earlier or would have "needed" to be locked up by his family as depending on the kind of schizophrenia, the afflicted can become quite violent (as seen at least once with Medea).
But I'm glad that what he did was not brought up by a halluzination and he had indeed helped someone in need. I suppose that can be a bit of relief for his family... Keyword being "can". :/

Is it just me or have the reasons something to do with Ietrin and "Holden"?

Van said...

I kind of doubt Sparron himself expected to make it to thirty. Medea also went at thirty, but Sparron was in a much better state. The fact that he wasn't locked up, plus having a support circle beyond "Geneva when she was still around" no doubt had a lot to do with that.

But yeah--at least the kids turned out to be real. If they hadn't, this probably would have looked like a suicide, or a very bizarre accident. Post after next is just Camaline and Octavius, so they'll be a pretty good representation of how the immediate family (minus Prior, who would be a different case entirely) is coping at present.

Nope, the reasons around Sparron's death are Sparron-centric, though I could see how it might throw the Holden situation for some loops. But I think it goes without saying that this will have a profound effect on Jeda.

(For the record: after Severin left Tetran Keep, Octavius sent Florian to alert Lorn and Leara, then went to the castle himself. Hard as it would have been for him, I don't think he trusted anyone else to tell Jeda. Everyone else will hear through the grapevine, starting with the stewards.)

Winter said...

Wrong as it sounds, I'm glad the kids were real. I'm glad Sparron got a 'good' death. If he had to die, then it's better he went doing good and before the disease could claim him entirely. But there's a long, long list of people my heart is breaking for. For someone who didn't seem to think much of himself, Sparron had a lot of people who cared about him.

Poor Lettie is in for a rough time, between Searle and her motherly urges toward Prior. The only person who could have understood her situation is Sparron, honestly. Thankfully, she's a strong lady. Someone will have to be in that castle, because it's definitely not going to be Searle.

Van said...

If nothing else, I figured I owed Sparron a "good" death. So the kids got to be real.

You're right that there will be more people mourning Sparron than he tends to think. Beyond his family and close friends, he also has many acquaintances who held him in high regard and will probably regret not getting to know him a little better. Of course, Octavius and Prior and Jeda have suffered the biggest blow.

Lettie may have to take some of that pent-up motherly energy and use that for Searle. It's true that she's going to have to be the rock between the two of them. But yeah--if anyone could have understood, it would have been Sparron. :S

Penelope said...

Of course there will be a lot of mourners! The only person who didn't love Sparron was Sparron. :(

So bummed right now. So very very bummed.

Van said...

He will be missed, and not just in-story. :(

Sorry. :(