July 31, 2016

In Which Severin Does Not Leave Floundering

October 11, 1201

"Everything all right?"

Severin's father had a serious look about him more often than not, but if the hard, unblinking glint of his eye was anything to go by, he already knew the answer to that question. That wasn't unexpected. If there was reason to act as if he wasn't at least a little upset, Severin hadn't see it--so, why would he have bothered to pretend?

Especially when the only reason he'd seen fit to disturb his father in the first place was to inform him. "The dog died."

His father's posture stiffened as if cued by his frown--shoulders braced, arms forward, fists balled. There was no denying that Balin had been old for a dog, unless it was to argue that Balin had been downright ancient for a dog. Severin would be sixteen in December. He didn't know exactly how old Balin had been, as he'd made himself part of the family as a full-grown dog, but... well, he'd been a full-grown dog well before Severin had been born. And not only had he been older than Severin, but Nato and Alina as well. Any other dogs who'd been acquired at the same time had been gone for years now.

And yet, it had only been in the past few weeks that Balin had shown any beyond-aesthetic signs of his age.

"Well... no one can say he didn't live a damn full life for a dog, I suppose." All the same, his father didn't fight the escaping sigh. "I don't think I was prepared for it, though. After so many years of him putting off dying, I suppose I'd figured he'd never bother with it at all."

"At least he went peacefully, it looks like?" When that was said of people, Severin had yet to see what difference that assertion made--but, in Balin's case, given how unnaturally long he'd lived anyway... "Viridis found him. He was just curled up, like he'd gone to sleep and just stopped breathing at some point, none the wiser."

"I don't know. I think he knew it was coming. He always was uncanny that way. My uncle said he was more of a familiar than a pet; don't ask me what that means exactly, but you couldn't deny that Balin was always rather more--"

His father's voice came to a stunned halt, his lip curling inward and his eyes falling prey to a series of rapid-fire blinks. It might have been best to let him finish or not finish the thought as he saw fit, but Severin couldn't help himself. Anxious confusion was not a state in which he wished to leave his father floundering. "Father?"

"I know I can't be certain--" And yet, the catch in his throat insisted that he was. "--but I think my uncle is dead."



Van said...

Managed to get just enough alone time to whip up this post. But now to bed, because long car rides wipe the hell out of me.

SB said...

As attached as I am to my dog, someone better check on me when she dies. What an odd revelation though - stunning really.

Van said...

More on Isidro's uncle and his dog near the start of 1202. ;)