Being a good man

This is a little scene inspired by a word prompt (the phrase I used as the title) from the WriYe DreamWidth.

**

Jakob couldn’t help but smile as he watched Gregory playing with Trudy.  He was kneeling in the grass, with his hands over his eyes and counting softly and slowly.  The little girl – his little girl – was trying to find a place to hide, giggling the whole time.

After he’d reached ten, Gregory uncovered his eyes.  He flashed a smile at Jakob and then moved to his feet.  “Hmm,” he said, his eyes twinkling with mirth.  “I wonder where Trudy is.”  His words were answered by a giggle from the child that told them exactly where she’d hidden.  Gregory pretended not to hear, though.

Instead, he began searching everywhere he possibly could – even places that the little girl couldn’t possibly be.  Staring into the branches of a tall oak, Gregory said, “I guess I can’t find her.”

“Here, Daddy,” Trudy said, peering out from behind Jakob, where she’d been the entire time.

As Jakob chuckled, Gregory smiled.  Meeting Jakob’s eyes, he said, “The one place I didn’t think to look, of course.”

“Of course,” Jakob said.  He smiled warmly as Trudy ran to her father’s arms and he lifted her into an embrace.  Against all odds and in spite of what everyone thought, Gregory was a very good father – a very good man.

Boys will be boys

This little scene was inspired by a phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth.  It’s set when Jakob is still just eight years old.  Nelly is his twin sister.  Gregory is their adopted brother. Elijah is the younger brother.

**

Nelly frowned at Gregory, Elijah and Jakob.  They were running around crazily.  She wanted for Jakob and Gregory to come and play dolls with her, but both of them refused.  They preferred, instead, to play tag with their younger brother, Elijah.

“Why aren’t you playing, Nelly?” Mother asked, leaning close to look into her eyes.  “Don’t you like to play tag?”

“I want to play dolls,” Nelly pouted, hugging Patrice close.  Patrice was her favorite doll, since it had been the last thing her father had given her.  “Gregory and Jakob won’t play with me.”

“Perhaps,” Mother said, “if you play tag with them, they’ll play dolls with you later.”

“I ain’t playing dolls,” Gregory called, skidding to a stop.  He sighed when Jakob tagged him and ran away with a laugh.  Gregory sighed when Mother gave him a significant look.  “Why can’t she play dolls with Adeline?”

“Addie’s four is why,” Nelly said, stamping her foot.  “I’m eight already.  I can’t play with a four year old!”

Jakob heaved a sigh and then nodded.  “All right,” he said.  “After we have lunch, we’ll play dolls with you, Nelly.  For now, though, you can play tag with us.”

Mother nodded when Nelly smiled.  As soon as Mother had headed back inside, Gregory added, “Newcomers are cucumbers, though.  So… you’re it!”  Then he spun and ran away from her.

Nelly’s face flushed a brilliant scarlet.  She set Patrice gently on the bottom step and took off after Gregory.  “You – you boy!” she shouted, trying to the think of the worst possible thing to call him.

A Shattered Soul

“It’s grateful I am that ya said you’d help me out with this, Erik,” Gregory said.

Alaric shook his head. He watched as the workmen moved the large mirror towards the cart. It was beautiful, a piece of art on its own. “I just don’t understand why you’d want to be rid of it,” he said, glancing over at Gregory.

Shaking his head, Gregory shrugged. “I don’t care for it,” he said, his voice soft. “There’s naught more to it than that, I can assure ya.”

Nodding, Alaric looked back towards the workmen, just as one of them misstepped. What happened next was, while predictable, completely unavoidable. The man overbalanced, nearly falling. In order to catch himself, he let go of his end of the mirror. The end he’d been holding crashed into the ground. Alaric winced at the sound of shattering glass.

“Well,” he said, “I guess that takes care of that.” Smiling wanly, he turned back to Gregory. Chagrine turned to shock when he saw that the man was collapsed on the ground.

“Gregory,” he said, dropping to his knees. He touched Gregory’s neck. The pulse was still there, but it was weak. What had happened? The mirror broke… Alaric felt the color drain from his face.

Standing, he called, “Gather up all the pieces you can find. Pack it all up together and bring it to the National Museum.”

The workmen looked confused at the order, but they didn’t argue. Instead, they did exactly as he directed them. After all, it was very few people indeed who would argue with one of the nobles.

The Faerie Ring

One of my favorite characters to torment…

Gregory yawned deeply and stretched. For a moment, he lay in bed and enjoyed the peaceful quiet of the early morning. The birds were singing in the trees outside his window. Trudy was murmuring softly in her sleep. He was nearly back to sleep when he heard the child begin crying.

Sitting up, Gregory rubbed the last bits of sleep from his eyes and padded over to the little girl’s bed. She was sitting up, frowning at him. “What’s that look for?” he asked, smiling. When he reached out to pick her up, Trudy shrieked and then bit him.

For a moment, Gregory was stunned. Then, he looked down at the mark. The little girl had broken his skin with her teeth. However, what struck Gregory most was that the mark wasn’t one that he’d normally expect from the teeth of a two year old girl. It looked more like an animal bite, one made from sharp teeth.

“Trudy?” he said, his voice faint.

The little girl hissed at him. Then, she was on her feet and careening into the next room. Gregory blinked and then followed her. He peered into the room and saw that she was hiding under the kitchen table. A low growl reached his ears.

Shaking his head, Gregory sighed. The child looked like Trudy, but there was no way this was his sweet little girl. Even in her foulest mood, Trudy didn’t hiss and growl. Even if she might be prone to do so or was feeling out of sorts enough that she might, his baby girl didn’t have a mouth full of pointed teeth or slanted catlike eyes.

Waiting In Darkness, Part 5

When they arrived on the scene, they could see that a group of monsters that numbered somewhere near a couple dozen had Chris and Jewel surrounded. Chris was holding them at bay with a shield, but Connor knew there was only so long he could keep that up.

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Waiting In Darkness, Part 4

“Each team has a mage of some sort,” Gregory said, his voice soft. He glanced back at Connor and frowned. “Our team has two. Would that just be chance?”

“Not likely,” Connor said, shaking his head. He sighed and leaned back against the wall of the alley they were hiding in at the moment. Giving Gregory a smirk, he said, “Chris is rather protective of me. He worked with my brother a couple years ago and, being twins, expects that we’re rather alike.”

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Waiting In Darkness, Part 3

Connor breathed a sigh of relief when he pulled into the garage underneath the Agency tower. He parked his car in its usual space and got out. He locked the vehicle up, all while chewing on his lip nervously. What was going on? Some sort of spell, Chris had said, and he’d mentioned attacks.

Suppressing a shiver, Connor head towards the elevator that would bring him up to the floor where he worked. Hopefully, Chris could explain it to him when he got there. He walked briskly, with his head down, focusing on the task of getting to the elevator.

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Waiting In Darkness, Part 2

When Connor stepped outside, the city was as dark as night. His brows furrowed and he looked at his watch. It was only twenty minutes to eleven. “Why is it so dark?” he murmured.

Shaking his head, Connor started down the street towards the lot where he’d parked earlier that morning. His frown deepened when he noticed that the attendant wasn’t in the booth. He knew the lot wasn’t attended at night, but it was the middle of the day – in spite of how dark it was.

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Open-mouthed

Connor leapt into action. He threw several glyphs towards the monsters. Each one exploded on impact. The few that were left standing, turned away from their would-be victims. He smiled faintly and fell back several feet.

As soon as they were in position, Gregory activated his spell. The monsters seized as the lightning swept through their bodies. Then, they dropped to the ground. “Nice,” Gregory said, smirking.

Connor nodded and looked over at Chris and Jewel. “Y’all all right?” he asked, blinking.

Chris stared at him for a moment. Jewel chuckled and reached over to touch his chin. As he shut his mouth, she grinned. “Thanks for the rescue, Connie.”

I am seeing ghosts in everything I do.

Gregory stood on the high stone wall. The skirt of the frilly white gown that Ackerley had forced him to wear swirled around his ankles. He knew what he must look like: white hair, white dress, blood red eyes. From the way Oliver was staring at him, it was like he was looking at a ghost.

He’d come there with one goal in mind. Ackerley’s orders were clear: get the folia of dark spells that Oliver was transporting from the east warehouse and come back. Torsten’s orders were clearer: don’t let anything stand in the way of your success in this mission.

Sighing, Gregory awakened his staff. Then, he slowly drew the blade. “Hand it over, Ashley,” he growled, intentionally using Oliver’s surname. “Don’t make me kill ya and don’t think I won’t if you stand in my way.”

“I can’t just let you have this folio,” Oliver said, awakening his own staff. A soft rattling could be heard from it as it awakened.

Scowling, Gregory leapt at his former comrade. It reminded him of a battle against Starke and Glenmoore, where he’d done the same thing. Except, then, he’d been leaping off a wall to come to Oliver’s defense. The change haunted Gregory, causing him to falter at the last moment.

It was a costly error. Oliver swung his staff upward. As he did so, the rattling intensified, filling Gregory with fear. Even as he shrank back, he knew it was a spell. He gasped when someone caught him from behind. His staff clattered to the ground; then an arm was around his throat.

Gregory had enough time to realize that it was Peter who was choking him. Then, he blacked out and the ghosts of his past vanished.

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