(This letter is under a read more because it’s full of profanity — Kim has very colorful language when truly angry.)
Things are coming along really good. Healer even said that I might get the brace off my wrist a few days early! Stuck with the damned sling for a while yet, though. Never break your collarbone, it’s the worst. My hip is healing too, but now it’s in that really nasty stage. I’ll…spare you the details. It itches so much.
Mum and I went over to the jail yesterday to talk with them about what they got out of him. So this guy doesn’t even know who I am or nothing, he just got paid to do it. Who the hell would pay someone money to attack me? I’m not that annoying, am I?
They’re gonna hold him until he starts talking, but seems like he’s keeping his mouth shut for now. Doesn’t want to break his word, a really weird thing for a guy willing to beat someone up for pay. But I came up with a really good idea, though. I think it’s a good idea, anyway. Mum isn’t so sure yet, but I’m right confident about it.
Don’t get mad. I’m gonna go offer to pay this guy’s fine if he gives us the name and leaves Bree-land. He won’t get out until we can confirm that the guy who hired him is actually the one who did it, but I’ll let him go if we can get that figured out. I’ve got a good reason for it: even if that first guy sits there and wastes away in jail, what’s to stop this other guy from hiring someone else?
Not a big fan of rewarding some jackass with the nerve to attack a woman for some coin, but I really don’t like the idea of someone out there just…waiting to find the right person to beat me up again. Get to the root of the problem, then rip it out of the ground and throw that fucker in jail.
So that’s my plan tomorrow. Hopefully it works. Speaking of work (writing of work, whatever), Mum agreed to let me start heading back to the market after my wrist brace is off. She’s gonna come with me, won’t let me say anything otherwise, but it’s something. I need to get out, see people, feel the sun again. Being stuck in here is horrible after a few days. This is like the time I got diphtheria. Ugh.
I miss you. You better be doing okay. Remember to watch out for those bears. You know, I realized that you’re going to be away on your birthday…you did that on purpose. I’ve got your real present here, but you’re just going to have to come back home to get it! Not that easy. To tide you over, I wrote the first chapter of that book and it’s in this package. It’s absolutely terrible and you better enjoy it. Let me know if you can figure out what the repetitive word is. I’ll save the rest for when you get back here.
I can’t wait until you’re back. Nights are steadily getting cooler around here and you’re a lot warmer than the pillows. I keep dreaming about throwing snowballs at you, then going inside and drinking spiced wine. I love you, Frank. So much. Be safe.
It’s been three weeks already and I only got one of your letters. It’s been real frustrating not knowing what’s going on, and now I’m pissed because I have to write you a real bad letter right off the bat. I’m sorry. I hope this actually reaches you. I’m just sending it to the city with your name on it, like you said.
First off: I’ll be fine, I’m healing, don’t worry. But it’s been a real shit week for me, having to deal with the Watch and pain and stuff.
So I was walking home after family dinner when some asshole ambushed me and shoved me between some buildings, trying to attack me. Well, I mean, he did attack me. Smashed my face and neck up good. Looks like I spilled purple dye all over my face. I managed to fight back after a bit, punched his head into the wall, but I hurt my hand doing it. Ran off to find someone from the Watch, but sliced myself bad on the way out. Found Sam patrolling, he managed to grab the fucker. So he got caught at least.
The healer said I broke m he broke my collarbone, my wrist is sprained real bad, and I’m going to have a nasty scar on my hip. But my face should heal up fine.
Mum and Nellie are going crazy over me, it’s only been a day and I’m already over it. They won’t let me get out of bed and keep offering to keep me company. Sure, my arm’s in a sling but I didn’t break my leg — I can walk around! It’s real sweet of them and all, but I just want to be left alone. Can’t believe I let some bastard get the drop on me, especially when he couldn’t even take a punch. I’m so pissed off. I miss you. I want to hug you. I don’t even care about the sex right now, I just want to hold your hand with my good one. That’s not true, I always care about the sex. But you know what I mean. Please don’t show that part to Os.
I really hope things are going better for you down there. The stuff you talked about before leaving was awful and dangerous and you better be careful, Burns, or I’ll hobble my way down there and set you straight. Remember, you promised.
Oh, if you tell Os, could you keep an eye on him? I don’t know if him finding out is a good idea, but if you really need to talk about it, just try not to worry him too much. I don’t want him thinking he’s got to come running back home. I’m fine. I’m healing. It’s just bullshit and it sucks. Guess I got a lot of time on my hand, now. Get it? One hand. At least it’s my writing hand. You know what? I might actually write you that stupid book. I’ve got the time now. Hell, I’ll even name the characters Fronk and Kimmers.
I can’t wait until you’re back, Frank. It’s getting colder here and I think I saw some leaves changing color the other day. This is supposed to be your season. We’re supposed to throw leaves at each other and you’re supposed to mull more of that mead with your cousins and we should be hiding to make out in the pumpkin patches until they find us and––
Cor, the pain medicine is kicking in. I’d scratch out that last part, but I’m sure you’ll love it. I miss you. I love you so much, Frank. Don’t get hurt, and come back home when you can.
Your woad sprite (yes I love it, shut up),
“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…?”
“…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…”
“Ya know how a magnetic piece ‘a metal flies and sticks t’ another piece…?”
“Was like that. I can’t put it any other way and I ain’t gonna bother tryin’, either.”
“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.”
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.
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.
As soon as the door to their apartment slid closed with a click, Kimberly was comforted to hear her mother’s deep, happy voice ring through the main area.
“Hey, Kimmy! Took ya long enough. How’d it go?”
Kimberly smiled widely, slightly out of breath from the three flights of stairs she just ran up. She quickly half-skipped across the room to place her bounty on the dining table next to her mother’s tailoring. “Big ol’ basket of purples and yellows! Five silver.”
“Ha! Good job, sweetie. We’ll get to dryin’ them after dinner.” Natalie Brook rested her current sewing job in her lap and smiled as Kimberly walked into the kitchen.
Glass, glass, glass… Several cabinet doors squeaked while Kimberly searched for a glass. Just as she finally found one and finished pouring herself a reward of orange juice, her mother shifted in her chair and asked a question.
“It don’t matter none for dryin’ them, but why’re they kinda crushed? I told ya to take yer long walks before buyin’ the materials.”
As the reason some of those flowers were flattened immediately flashed through her mind, Kimberly couldn’t help but feel some blood rush to her face.
“Oy, there, look — ah, Kim! …Miss Brook! Sorry about that! I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
Shaking her head, Kimberly walked back out into the main room and took a sip of orange juice before waving the glass in her mother’s direction. “I didn’t! I… ran into Frank. Like actually ran into him. Smushed a couple of flowers. Nothin’ more.”
“Ah, cor. Please tell me you two didn’t make a scene in th’ middle of th’ market.” Her mother’s hand lifted to rub a temple.
The hairs on the back of her neck rose as Kimberly indignantly exclaimed, “Mum!” She was better than that.
Her mother groaned, her other hand rising to slowly circle around the other temple. “…Listen, I know yer an adult but sometimes I just get worried. You two’ve never gotten on.”
That…was true. Was. Rather than even attempt to explain it, Kimberly just quietly sighed and acquiesced. “Yeah… I know. It was…fine.”
It was fine. It was…more than fine. Why? Her attention started to drift as both the heat of the sun on the roof and the whirlwind of the past few days spirited her off to a tawdry daydream.
“–That poor boy. He’s been a good friend to yer brother, through thick ‘n thin.”
The swirling clusterfuck of hormones in her stomach that had yet to settle suddenly screeched to a halt when her mother’s well-meant scolding cut through fantasy.
He’s been a good friend to yer brother.
“…Os.” It was all she could do to hide the horror in her voice as her brother’s name escaped her lips in a whisper.
“Yeah, that’s yer brother. Whaddabout ‘em?” Her mother – their mother – looked in her direction with a confused twist of the brow.
Kimberly quickly averted her gaze and swallowed hard. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Her feet began to immediately carry her toward her room’s door. “I’m…gonna go take a nap.”
Her mother’s voice immediately changed from confused to concerned. “Kimmy, it’s broad daylight out!”
“Yeah, yeah.” She waved her hand and just kept going on through the doorway, mumbling.
“If yer comin’ down with somethin’, you best tell me so I can get some extra water!”