Out of Control

This scene was inspired by a word prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth: waterfall.


Sylvester glanced over at the boy.  He was one of the quieter students in his year.  He tended to spend a great deal of time with two boys that Clarus considered to be rowdy and mischievous.  Sylvester had to wonder about that.  Why would someone so quiet want to spend time with people who seemed to be his exact opposites?

“All right, Lyall?” he asked, sitting down beside the boy.  Pale green eyes met his for a moment before Lyall looked away with a quick nod.  “I ask because you seem troubled.”

“I just… it feels like… everyone else has these choices they can make,” Lyall said, his voice soft.  “Like, they’re on this forest path and they can decide to go left or right or straight.  With me… I feel like in a canoe being forced to go downstream and I know there’s a waterfall coming up, but what can I do?”

“Well,” Sylvester said, his voice soft, “when you’re being swept towards a waterfall, fighting the current doesn’t help.”  Lyall looked at him sharply and Sylvester smiled.  “Instead, you go with the flow and let it help you as you move toward the shore.”

Lyall blinked at him and then, he smiled.  “I think I know what you’re saying, Professor Sterling,” he said, his voice faint.  “Thank you, sir.”  He bounced to his feet and hurried away.

Sylvester heaved a sigh and grinned at Clarus.  “Good job he knew, because I wasn’t quite sure where that metaphor was leading,” he said.

“I think you just told him not to fight the tide so much,” Clarus said, smiling.  “Rather, he should work the system to get what he wants.”  He shrugged.  “Not bad advice, I suppose.  Though, the headmistress might object that it’s not especially honest.”

“Better than being swept over the falls and crushed to pulp on the rocks below,” Sylvester said.  Clarus shrugged and nodded at that.


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