• Elle Rene

Scrapbook page (Amvaria)

A page from Des’ scrapbook, hidden in his shelf; second book to the left, third from the top.

He’s dead. By the moons — he’s dead.

I’ve seen death before. Killed with my own hands even, but never like this.

He was a child—stars, a boy. He might not have even known what he was doing. ‘Carry a letter’, that’s all the bastard might have said. And for all the good I’ve done. The blasted thing still sits at his side, soaking in the scent of his rotted flesh.

Oh stars, what have I done. The boy’s absence will be noticed, the bastard will know his message never reached. I loathe to return but the body must be moved, the letter once read— burnt.

As for Shoal...I fear to tell him. I know he will try to shoulder the blame himself, he won’t question my words or hesitate to take action. But action, in this moment, may not be the wisest. The Maister Veasier, he is the Chant’s spy. I know this, I’ve seen it. Though I wore my gloves and the touch lasted but a moment, a moment was more than enough. I saw his hate. I saw thoughts as his ink scrawled the page.

Shoal, when he learns will be furious. He will be hurt, but he will be alive. Eventually, he will understand why in this moment I turn to his brother and not to him. I simply hope that Ein will hear me. I only pray that a yellowing letter will be enough to sway his mind.

In the meantime, the boy must receive a proper burial. I will lay his body closer to home, where someone is sure to find him; take the letter, hide it between the pages of this very book until Ein returns.

Now I can’t help but wonder whether the maister’s in the east were aware of their actions when they drew Ein away. Now I curse myself for even mentioning my sister, that Shoal had to try to pry her from the Chant’s ever reaching hands. I feel fearful, but more than ever, weak. It might be time I stopped hiding my strength behind a wall of leather. It might be time to remove these gloves and let their voices, their emotions enter once more.

For his sake.

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