The Talk

“Hey, Os.”

“Hey.”

“Um, got some time t’ talk?”

“…Yeah. Yeah, c’mon in, Kimby.”

“Thanks. Um…before you start yellin’ at me, I just wanna say I don’t think I did anything wrong.”

“And what makes you think I’m gonna start yellin’ at ya?”

“I mean… I ‘magine you’re prob’ly pretty pissed.”

“And why ‘d I be pissed?”

“I dunno. You’re my brother. It just…seems like somethin’ that’d piss ya off.”

“Well, yer wrong. And I a’ready told Frank yer both adults. Be together ‘r don’t. I dunno what ya two even want from me at this point.”

“Maybe t’…have you be happy ‘r somethin’?”

“I’ll be happy when I can wrap my damn head ‘round it, a’right? I just… ‘S weird, okay?”

“I mean, I kinda get it, I freaked out at first too, but why’s it this much of a problem for you?”

“Seriously? You’re seriously askin’ me this. You’re my sister. He’s my best friend. Pretty much like a brother t’ me. It’s like my brother an’ sister are together, and that ain’t right.”

“Well, we are and it is.

“I ain’t tryin’ t’ break you two up. Why’s it matter so much iffen I approve? You’re gonna do whatcha want anyway.”

“Oh, I dunno, Os. I mean, you’re kinda one ‘a the most important people in our fuckin’ lives or somethin’.”

“Maybe gimme more ‘n a few days before breakin’ down the door and askin’ why I ain’t sendin’ you flowers, then.”

“You are so immature sometimes!”

“Fer once, Kimby, I’m honestly bein’ calm about somethin’ that’s botherin’ me a bunch. Just…get out if you’re here t’ yell at me t’ do…I dunno even know what. Carin’ too much, I guess.”

Carin’ too much??”

“Yeah! ‘Cause if ya two don’t work out, guess who gets stuck in th’ damn middle?”

“And you’re just so certain we ain’t gonna work out, huh?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“But you’re thinkin’ it, Os. You’re thinkin’ it.”

“No, I ain’t.”

“So…what, we just need t’ avoid ya for a while, until you’ve decided yer over it?”

“At this point, I’d settle for both of ya not shovin’ week-old relationship sex in m’ face.”

“Frank panicked! Thought you were gonna… wait, week-old? What are you even talkin’ about?”

“He came t’ me just last week, askin’ permission t’ date my sister. What’re you talkin’ ‘bout?”

“I… We’ve… Oh.”

“…How long, Kimby?”

“…’Bout a…month ago? Had our first date. He didn’t…?”

“No…”

“…Well, there ya go. Yeah. S’ been about a month since I kissed ‘im. It all just kinda…fell int’ place from there.”

“Since ya kissed ‘im? Was that even a fortnight after ya ran int’ each other here?”

“Listen, I ain’t gonna sit here and justify m’self t’ you.”

“Ya met your childhood rival then two weeks later you’re throwin’ yerself at him, and ya don’t think that requires even a lil’ bit of justifyin’? Kimby, what the bloody hell are you doin’?”

“I dunno! And I was not throwin’ myself at him. I just kissed him. And… I couldn’t ‘splain it, anyways. It was…”

“Was what?”

“Ya know how a magnetic piece ‘a metal flies and sticks t’ another piece…?”

“…Yeah.”

“Was like that. I can’t put it any other way and I ain’t gonna bother tryin’, either.”

“Kimby…”

“What?”

“I need some time, a’right? Just…time t’ wrap my brain ‘round it.”

“Fine. I… I didn’t expect things t’ go this way, but… I’m real glad they did.”

“I’m still right mad at ya fer not tellin’ me sooner, but… Get over ‘ere.”

“D’ya really think me tellin’ you a month ago that I was thinkin’ of kissin’ Frank would somehow have made th’ situation better for ya?”

“Yeah, ‘cause I could’a locked ya inside yer room.”

“Ya do know I figured out a way t’ sneak outta there by th’ time I was twelve, right?”

“…I did not. What else ‘re ya hidin’ from me?”

“None ‘a your business, big brother.”

“Fair ‘nough. But… Kimby. I gotta say this: if he hurts you, I’ll kill ‘im. If you hurt him, I’m never forgivin’ you.”

“I’m not too worried ’bout that.”

“That makes one ‘ve us.”

Sunny Afternoons

Just felt like throwing together a small montage of my characters enjoying a cool, sunny afternoon.


The sun’s rays shone through the newly cleaned window pane, casting a warm glow on the wooden floor in Osbeorne’s bedroom. Satisfied with his work, the blacksmith grinned and trudged out to the main room. He opened the front door, letting a fresh, cool blast of impending spring air rush into the house. Winter held many memories, some of the more recent ones dear to him, but Os was very much so looking forward to leaves on the trees and warm nights at this point.

He stretched his arms and closed the door, heading back into his bedroom. His bed was currently littered with ribbons, decorated papers, and twine; in the center proudly stood his two gifts: one for Jaemy and one for Kimby (a small painting and an intricate shelving unit, respectively). Sparing a moment to think on both gift recipients, he sighed and ran his hand down his face; by far, the two most complicated women in his in life. Thankfully he had ‘Ridia. What’d he say to her that one time? She was complicated, too, but in a good way? A soft, lopsided smile took over his lips as he remembered that rainy day a few weeks ago. Complicated, indeed.


The smell of an old tome conjured many feelings and thoughts for Aeldes, but chief among them was always amusement. This text had, during its initial inscription, smelled like ink and parchment and potential; now, most considered it to smell of decay and the loss of a different time. That could not be further from the truth! Its smell was layers upon layers of existence and living and learning! So many had learned from this piece: their fingers laid upon it as they studied, translated, copied. It had history and depth which made it immeasurably special.

Her finger lightly glided above the page, conscious of keeping as much oil from her skin from contacting it. This text was not new to her, but she also did not have first-hand experience of this particular time period. It was a fun one to read, partially because she was not trying to compare it to her own admittedly fluid memory. Oh, it looked like that mistake was copied over from the previous manuscript; it was tickled her fancy when something like that happened. A copied mistake today could be tomorrow’s new theory on an entire branch of science. This one was minor enough to not drastically affect anything, so she smiled quietly and left it unmarked.


Pale blue eyes reflected the bright blue sky as they watched a cloud lazily drift overhead. Kimberly’s lips slowly twisted into a petite, dreamy smile. What she did might have been rash — Nellie straight up called it stupid — but Kimberly was confident with the decision. It had to be better than getting all tongue-tied and stuttering every time he winked at her. There was something inexplicably…magnetic about him, and she gambled that taking a risk would even things out. If only a little. Now that the ice had been broken, so to speak, maybe it’d be easier for them to actually…talk. She wanted to talk to him.

One note of a small chuckle floated up from her lips as she contemplated the absurdity of the past two weeks.

Who’da thunk?


Blood-stained clothes bounced down the steps of a farmhouse, their owner rushing to grab more water from the nearby well. Ada grimaced as the sun blinded her and kept pushing the crank as fast as her arms allowed her to, the heavy bucket jerking up the rusty chain awkwardly. What seemed like an eternity later, the young woman — she was going on fifteen, after all — ran as fast as she could with a heavy bucket of water in both hands.

This baby wasn’t going to deliver itself, and her mom needed more water.

 

Inspiration

Osbeorne filled his lungs with cool, still air, breathing in the scents of a land on the cusp of winter. His errands were finally done and he even managed to finish early, too. He ran over the list again in his mind, just to be sure: finished delivering those gates, picked up his newly tailored shirt, bought some more of that platinum ore, and picked up another several jars of apple cider. Chores accomplished, he turned his attention to the rest of the day.

What to do…

As he walked down the lane to his house, he couldn’t help but go back over the last couple of days in his head. A lot of intensely personal stuff, including self-reflection and restless nights. Osbeorne sighed and turned his attention to the forge sitting in his yard; the call of smoke and heat and creating sang through his mind. Not even bothering to pull his outer coat off, the blacksmith began loading up the forge with more fuel. He didn’t know what he wanted to make yet, but the muscles in his fingers hummed with anticipation of the chisel’s strike.

When heat filled the smithy once more, Osbeorne shed his usual coat and scarf, shoving the hat into his coat pockets. He turned to face the one least complicated thing in his life — his craft — and couldn’t help but smile. What could he make…? His most recent success in jewelry-making was a pendant, and that could be fun; perhaps the platinum alloy he had bought the other day would allow him to add more fine details than usual.

After retrieving the platinum, he set it in his best-quality crucible and worked on ensuring the fires burned as hot as possible. His foot accidentally kicked the bellows and he laughed quietly to himself, remembering when Jaemy knew what it did before Kieran. It was nice, having the kids in the forge earlier; hopefully, they’d stop by again.

Hmmm.

Blue eyes swiveled to watch the doorframe, lost in thought for a moment, imagining a tiny girl, cowering at literal shadows. Osbeorne couldn’t help a frustrated sigh; it made him so mad when he thought about why she acted the way she did. She deserved better. He grunted and looked back to the forge, white-hot flames mirroring his own mood on that particular topic.

Anger quickly fizzled out as he pondered what to make. What came to his mind immediately was, of course, completely out of the question. Embarrassing and childish. Just as he was about to give up and just make another plain band ring, a drawing caught his eye: a sketch he had drawn a few weeks ago, planning to turn it into a painting for his mother. Where he was from, they called those flowers “bog-stars.”

Something about the shape of it, the soft yet defined lines, was comforting to him. He couldn’t help but grin when inspiration hit him over the head like a sack of bricks; he knew exactly what to make, and for whom.

Osbeorne yanked on his heaviest pair of gloves and found his nicest tongs; this would be his greatest challenge yet. He lowered the crucible into his forge with a satisfied smile.