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Conversations, Part 2.



"Well, it is about time you come explain what in the world you've been doing, Phae."

"I've been busy, Tess," the huntress explained, sitting down next to the physician on her front porch.

"You don't say. You did not get to explain much, what with the food poisoning. Athlenah, was it? Yes, that was it... Athlenah did explain some of it, but now I'm curious about what you will tell me."

"Well, I've more news to add to tha'. So aye, started with tha' squirrel, as she said. I caught it tha' morn', was goin' t'skin it, when Big Bear walks out of the barracks all pissed, yellin' at me t'get inside, though I'd been mindin' me own business. I did, though I brought in the squirrel 'gainst his will. He cam in later, went to 'is study, so I put the squirrel in the stairs and carved doodles in the kitchen table while waitin'. He got pissed, threw the squirrel in the fire and kicked me out of the barracks."

"Wow. Impressive. You really do a number on some people, Phae."

"Thanks, I try."

"Now go on."

"Well, tha's when I had me bad food, 'n' ran t'you."

"Of course, you snuck out of my office and went to Bree, sick."

"Well, yeah. I hate bein' stuck somewhere."

"I think I've noticed over the years."

"Aye. Any'ow, went to the Pony, saw Ath-lassie with some others. We talked a bit, I walked her back, wha' with her injury."

"And you holding back your meagre meal. Go on."

"Well, came back 'ere, as ye' know. Felt better the day after, though me belly's been sensitive. Went t'see Ath-lassie. We went t'er home, Aeiri-lass joined us. We 'ad a chat 'bout Big Bear, why we were pissin' him off, both o' us, but why he was pissin' so easily too."

"The both of you seem like two stubborn mules trying to pull the other in their direction, honestly."

"Tha's... Interestin'... I dun' see it, but I believe ye'."

"The day you see it, you'll laugh. But continue, Phae."

"Sure... So I spent the night, I think. Me' memory's gettin' fuzzy."

"Did... something happen?"

"Twice. Once after I got meself thrown out, and 'nother earlier, 'fore I came to this neighbour'ood."

"Phae..."

"I know, Tess. I'm bein' careful. No need t'make tha' speech 'gain."

After a pointed look from the physician, Phaewyn resumed her story.

"Spent the night at Ath-lassie and came t'find ye'. You know tha' part, havin' tea and whatnot. We went t'Bree after, an' Big Bear was in the pony 'gain. Said h'llo, tried t'be nice, but he yelled at me t'shut up."

"Rude. Are you sure  you should be in that group?"

"Sure. I'll make it better, tha's me goal. And t'do somethin' with me life."

"Alright, if you say so."

"So he went t'drink, and I chatted a bit, but it was gettin' crowdy in there. I left. 'hunted a bit, and t'day, I decided t'walk 'round the barracks, admire the lake an' all. Aeiri-lass came t'see me, told me I was welcome back niside, though if I made trouble, I was out fo' good. I followed 'er in, told Big Bear I shan't sleep in the Barracks to avoid makin' trouble. 'course, he orders me t'sleep there. I hate roofs. I ain't sleepin' there."

"And here you are."

"An' 'ere I am. I'd like t'sleep in the back t'night. Not indoors, jus' in the grass where I can see the stars."

"Of course, Phae. You do not need to ask. I have gotten quite used to finding you asleep in my yard."

"T'is a nice yard. Cosy."

"Thank you."

"How 'ave ye' been, Tess? I know ye've been a'drinkin' 'gain. I smell it."

"I am fine, Phae. Now  go to sleep, will you?"

"Hmph, fine. But dun' be too harsh an ye'self, Tess."

"Goodnight, Phae."

"'night Tess."