Friday Five Hundred: Birth-Day

6 02 2009

Yeah, I know I promised some getting-to-know you stuff.  But this bit sort of wrote itself, for the Friday Five Hundred over at Too Many Annas.  You wanna check out the awesomeness that is Too Many Annas, there’s a link over there just to the right.  Anyway, here’s the challenge:

Write an event, a situation, or a scene that involves your character as a child/teenager and has some impact on your character later in life.

This ficlet comes from Keilos up there.  He’s a very broken kid, really.  This piece takes place when his older brother is the elven equivalent of fourteen, and he’s about seven.

Keilos Dawnstar peered through the bushes at the riot of banners and color on the far side of the garden. Something special was going on, the young blood elf knew that…but what? A circus, perhaps, with bears and tigers and acrobats from far-off lands, where the humans lived? Probably not, he thought. Circus only comes in highsummer, Meith says…and it’s not May Day yet.

He’d overheard the servants talking, something about his older brother and a “birth-day.” Kei wasn’t really sure what a birth-day was. He knew it was something Meithrin had and he didn’t, so maybe a “birth-day” was something to do with how long your hair was or something like that.

Maybe a birth-day is like “friends”…that’s something else Meith has and I don’t. I wonder if you have to get sick a lot to get friends…Meith was sick all the time a couple years ago, and he has lots of friends.

As he watched the group of young Sin’dorei gathering in the garden, Keilos wondered if friends and chicken pox were the same thing…if so, well, he’d had those, so maybe he could catch friends, too. He spotted his brother Meithrin, who was obviously the focus of the group. When their eyes met, the other boy frowned as though he’d just thought of something. He turned back towards his nurse to speak to her. Remembering the scoldings he’d gotten for spying on people, Kei took that moment to retreat through the bushes towards the house.

Kei? You awake?” Keilos opened his eyes to find his brother standing in a patch of moonlight, staring at him.

Yeah. Whattaya want?”

Meithrin frowned at his younger sibling and padded further into the room on bare feet. “I asked Nurse why you weren’t at my party today. She said it wasn’t permitted.” The older boy ran a hand through his hair, his frown growing deeper. “That’s what they say all the time. I don’t understand.”

Uneasily, Keilos shrugged as he dropped down from his bed to face his brother. “Doesn’t matter, I guess.”

I guess.” As Meith stood in the moonlight, watching him, Kei took a long moment to look at his brother. He was older than Kei by several years, and this spring, had started growing in fits and starts. He was taller now, and leaner, not a man for sure, but changing, not quite a kid like Kei himself anymore. As the silence stretched, Meithrin brightened. He held out the plate in his other hand. “I brought you some cake.”

The younger blood elf nodded thoughtfully, taking the cake without saying anything. After another long silence, Meithrin nodded. “G’night, Kei.”

Keilos waited till his brother had left, the padding of his feet fading to silence on the stone floors, before he curled up in the moonlight to devour the cake, making sure he got every crumb from the plate and licking the stolen sweetness of the frosting from his fingers.

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