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The Eyes of a Child



by Allan Maki
Turbine Entertainment Software


Summer had melted into autumn, leaving the days shorter. The boy didn't care, he just wanted to chase the butterflies. Six years old and full of life. Seven years had passed since the Olthoi queen was killed, since Elysa had lost Thorsten, since Borelean had lost his unknown father.

They had come outside after dinner to sit, as they often did, and watch the sun fall over the distant coast of Dereth. Borelean loved the colors, especially the purples. There was no care, no worry, no strife, no question, just he, his mother and his Uncle Ash.

Elysa watched her son framed by the orange haze of the parting day, just out of reach; the first tear fell. Seven years was not that long after all, and this time of year always came too quickly and too quietly.

"You're thinking of him again," Asheron paused, placing a neatly folded kerchief on the table beside her. She left it there untouched and choked the tears back, regaining her composure quickly. "You needn't hide it, Elly."

"I'm not hiding it. . ." she protested, her voice already calm, controlled and devoid of the boiling grief within her. "It's hard to look at him, and see Thorsten's eyes."

A moment passed. Borelean giggled as a butterfly turned the chase back upon him, landing on his shoulder. Gently, he placed his finger beneath the insect and hoisted it to look at it in the light of the sun. Asheron shook beside her as he watched Borelean.

"When I knew. . . that I was carrying him, I should have told Thorsten. He should have known that he would have this child. . . but--"

"He wouldn't have let you go into the hive. . ." Asheron finished. She nodded.

"For all he said, and all he loved, and all that we had been through, he never would have let me in there. . . and then. . ." she trailed off. Asheron took up his glass and sipped the wine she'd made. She watched his mouth pucker. He had never acquired a taste for bitter spirits. She shook her head.

"I have done much in my life that I regret, Elly, but none so much as the pain that I have caused you. I have taken your life, your love, and left your son without a father. But my greatest regret is that there will come a time when you need me most, and I will be powerless to aid you. . ." He placed his arm upon her shoulder and turned her to face him. "They are filled with love and nothing more."

Borelean laughed and scampered toward them wearing a smile as wide as his face. Elysa turned from Asheron and stood to meet her child. She smiled, opening her arms wide, hugging him as she lifted.

"I love you, Mommy." He pecked her cheek and looked into her eyes. She smiled.

__________

Notes

  • The earliest capture of this article on archive.org dates to February 6th, 2002. The archived page itself has a copyright date of 2001.
  • According to Maggie's site, this was published during the December 2001 event The First Strike.
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