The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Aresan Clan pt 114

Arann looked around him on the floor, and noticing all the drawings, he started labeling them with words. He wrote “mountain” on top of the drawing of mountains, “tree,” on top of a tree, “person,” over a stick figure that Samuel had drawn, and so on, crawling on his hands and knees as he moved from picture to picture. The boy followed crawling behind him, and inspecting each word.

After this, Arann helped Samuel draw the words themselves. He put the charcoal in Samuel’s hand and he guided it, helping him mirror the word “mountain” below the one Arann’s hand had written. He did this for all the words he’d written.

After completing this, Arann let go of Samuel’s hand and gestured towards the floor, trying to suggest to the boy that he try to write the words on his own. Samuel understood and he responded by beginning to copy Arann’s letters for “mountain.” He focused his attention hard, working carefully and slowly, his tongue sticking out a little as he concentrated. After this slow and deliberate effort, there it was: the word mountain, written in Samuel’s childish scrawl. Samuel turned his eyes towards Arann for assurance, and Arann replied with a smile and a beaming compliment: “Good. Very good.”

For some time, the lesson continued as such, while Eldeba waited in the background. He had been anxious the whole time about discovery and remained there in a state of dogged tension. He finally had to bring the lesson to a stop, telling Arann, “I think this is enough for today.”

Arann consented, standing up from the floor, spots of charcoal dust on his clothes and on his hands. “It’s been great Samuel,” Arann said to the boy, “We’ll continue this soon.”

Samuel was confused and disappointed as he looked up at Arann, who pleasantly waved goodbye. Though he was as cooperative as ever, he was preeminently displeased when the blindfold was put over his eyes and he had to be left alone.

As Eldeba led Arann towards the exit, Eldeba told the tutor, “That was good. That was very good.” But they both ran into Anders in the hall, who was on his way to the Public House.

“Good day Arann,” Anders said, “What are you still doing here?”

“I was spending some time with your young guest,” Arann said, “Tutoring him.”

“With the boy? I don’t think that’s a good idea, tutoring him,” Anders replied, “I can forgive you this once, since you certainly can’t know all there is to know about the nature of this boy, but what you are doing is careless. The boy is dangerous. And I can’t imagine that, whatever you’re tutoring him upon can do anything but empower him. The story of the Farmer and the Sable Tongue always comes to mind when I think of that boy. That sable tongue took over a whole city with the power of his speaking. Samuel here could do the same. He took over a small village, and he was only a child. As he grows, he will grow stronger. You empower him, you give him knowledge, and he is going to start enveloping people in his influence. That is dangerous. I cannot permit it. As I said, no need to apologize for this once, since you didn’t know. But from hereon, you aren’t to do it anymore. Are we understood?”

Arann nodded soberly as he heard these words, “Of course, sir.”

“And Eldeba, I want you to prepare the boy to be ready to march with the soldiers in two days. Have the palanquin ready and clothes for him and such.”

“Yes sir,” Eldeba replied.

Anders left the two men with an abrupt “goodbye,” and was gone.

Eldeba looked sheepishly at Arann. He was about to expresses his deepest apologies, when Arann raised his hand to stop him. “No need to apologize,” Arann said, “You were doing what you thought best for the boy.” Arann took a deep breath and added, “And you were totally right about it: the boy does need to learn how to write. He’s not going to learn to speak if he can’t hear. And I don’t wan to stop teaching him.”

Arann looked around to make sure that no one would overhear them and said, “If you’ll help me, I’ll come back again. Soon. I’ll tutor him as often as is possible. If you’ll help me.”

Eldeba looked around to see that they were alone as well and replied, “Of course, sir.”

<-- Go to Part 113         Go to Part 115 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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