It’s been a busy day in my head, making up for writing that just wouldn’t flow all weekend. Most of it has been work on existing characters, but I just couldn’t seem to get to sleep for the night without giving voice to this one:
“But why?” Verdant knew her mother was getting tired of this conversation, but it was the most she’d gotten her to speak in… well,ever. Up here, above the Rookery, with the sunset just kissing the distant hills, Verdant knew this could be her one chance. “Why don’t we ever go out there?”
Her mother sighed, but pulled Vere closer, brushing a kiss across the top of her wild hair. Soon, she would have to take care to wash and brush, comb and plait it carefully, but for now, she was still a hatchling. For now, she could get away with such outrageous questions. Andromedie simply wished her daughter would let them go, would turn her attention to the dangerous world inside the Citadels, instead of casting her gleaming eyes longingly to the dangerous one beyond them.
“My child. My dear, dear child.” She stroked Verdant’s hair, smoothing the wild blonde mane into something more manageable. She didn’t truly give a damn in and of herself what her daughter chose to look like—they were proud peregrines, high ranking Clansmen of the Twin Peaks keep, and someday, Verdant would be powerful enough to do as she damned well pleased, with no one to say boo about it.
But, if what she pleased was to leave…
More to the point, if she didn’t grow up, and play the shining game by the cloak and dagger rules, and she were forced to leave…
Andromedie took her daughter’s face in her hands, drew those pale shining eyes away from the distant horizon, and fixed them with own, equally silver gaze.
“Verdant,” she said softly, but firmly, “There is world enough to be worried about in here. Please, turn your thoughts to the world that is yours. Let the Outlanders worry about their own.” Her daughter’s gaze was just as hard as her own, and Andromedie sighed again. “The Harvest is coming. Bend yourself to your studies, your manners, and if you have shown yourself ready by then, you can ask the Outland children about their world all you like.”
She should have taken it back. She should have squelched that fire even as it sparked. She should have marched her daughter right back down the Rookery stairs and left her in the care of the Skill Masters, and never shown any hint of softness or kindness.
If she had loved her daughter enough to let her go then, she might not have left for good.