The Bright Children, Chapter 3-5 “Meat and Bone”

“May I… is it alright if I pick it up?” Aphella said.

“Of course. It is yours, after all,” Frey said.

“What I mean is,” Aphella said. “Is it safe for me to handle it? Will I break it?”

“I think you shall find it just as useful as it was two cycles ago.” Frey stepped away and picked up a metal cup, then took a long drink.

Aphella, hesitantly at first, placed her hands on the spear. It felt cool to the touch, not at all like it had been filled with power or light. She picked it up, then ran her hands along the haft, which was glassy smooth, up to the spearhead. She ran her thumb along the edge to find it as sharp as it had ever been. Perhaps more so. It certainly didn’t feel anywhere like it had impaled a dreadtusk, nor that the weight of such a beast in its dying throws had caused it to splinter and fail.

Softly, Aphella incanted an old prayer for light, and with sudden fervor the spear leapt to a glowing life. She pointed the tip at one of Frey’s hanging lanterns, and filled with a new, soft-green light that made the face of the dim-man beside it looked cold and stone-like. Aphella smiled, and Graft grunted in approval.

“Most interesting, Master Frey,” Shaenyll said. She had a raised eyebrow as she looked over the spear.

“I am master of nobody,” Frey said. He raised his cup as Shaenyll gazed at him.

“Your skills must be highly sought after in your city… Illuminare?”

“Such as it is. To those there I am merely a trader, nothing more,” Frey said. “Though I do appreciate a compliment.”

Shaenyll looked hard at Aphella. “Don’t forget that you have a lesson at the fourth bell. We’ll see if that focus holds up.” She stomped off, the hem of her dress catching flickers of light and spreading glowing fog on the ground as she muttered to herself.

“What a woman,” Frey said, watching after her. He turned to look at Aphella. “She likes it here?”

“I don’t know,” Aphella said. “She’s sour like that most of the time.”

Frey chuckled. “Just how I like it.”

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