So, this is a story I’ve been mulling over for quite a long time, but it’s taken until now for the right shape and form to appear. Those of you who’ve had the privilege (*snort*) of reading anything in the Mercury story world will recognise the main character, Deviran – only in this story he’s several (SEVERAL) years younger than you’ve seen him before. For those of you to whom that means nothing, all you need to know is that Deviran is a main character I hope to be able to introduce you to one day, and this story gives us a snippet of insight into Why He Is The Way He Is.
Yes. I wrote a background story for a novel. So sue me. O:) 😀
Read the story here, or continue for the first few paragraphs.
He sits in the shuddering darkness with his arms clasped around the neck and shoulders of his hound. The dog tolerates the confinement for just long enough to show he cares, then wriggles free and abuses his master’s tear-stained face with kisses.The boy laughs, then wraps one hand firmly over his own mouth, fingers sealing emotions in tight. His father cannot hear. He pushes the hound, still only a double handful of months old, away from his face and into the straw.The dog is good-natured about the rejection, upending himself to present his belly and waving his paws invitingly.The boy obliges with a belly rub.The magic comes questing, prickling like ice, smooth as seeping oil and just as falsely pretty: a slick of shimmer overcoating magic that’s meant to smother and choke and claim.The boy’s heart flutters like the pulse of a dying bird, and he snatches at the dog. He doesn’t let himself whisper no, because it’s possible his father hasn’t found him yet, is just checking in here to be thorough—but he isn’t hopeful. Dread weighs him down like a bad meal, a meal he has been ingesting every day of his life through all the pores of his skin. His body knows this feeling all too well, and leaps to familiar patterns: his mouth is dry, his fingers tremble, his throat too tight to swallow. The tremoring staccato of his heart marks a rhythm his nerves are all-too-keen to follow, and adrenalin and cortisol play two-part harmonies through his torso.