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Happy Fie Eoin Friday, Aledans! I promised in yesterday’s post that we’d see some Gar and Pike today, and since there’s no “flute nonsense” (as Kindra would say) in the re-write, I have this little cut scene for you. You’ve seen Gar before, and heard of Pike. The twins aren’t in this one, but I hope you enjoy it despite that 🙂
Gar whittled absentmindedly on his way home and dropped onto his bowed cot without much grace. No one else was home and the practice flute was done, he was just etching small patterns in it now, trying to decide which to use for the real flute. If Kaye were around he would ask her, but he wasn’t going to ask the High Priestess for Trina-symbols. Maybe his mother would know.
It was in the middle of carving the three-leaf clover that symbolized the three Gods that Pike came in, smiling to himself in a way that couldn’t mean anything good. He was sweating despite the cold air outside, muddy from the waist down, and there was a scratch on his face that was bleeding.
“Did you take on one of the senior warriors?” Gar asked, although the scratch looked more like that from an animal than from a sword or spear. “I told you not to do that. You aren’t ready for them.”
Pike glared at him without responding.
“You have to learn to think before you act. And don’t attack with such vigor – you wear yourself out. A few well-thought out advances will win over sheer force every time.”
“Thank you, oh holy one of warriors,” Pike said and ripped his shirt off, dabbing at the cut on his face.
Gar shrugged and went back to the clover.
“Is that a flute?” The disgust in Pike’s voice was clear.
“Just practice. I wouldn’t give anyone a flute that looks like this.”
Pike snorted. “Not unless it was someone ugly. Like Kindra, or that Margaret girl from Fie Wain.”
Gar stopped carving and looked at his brother. “Why don’t you like her?”
“Margaret? She’s ugly as a dog that’s lost too many fights.”
“Not Margaret, Kindra.”
Pike paused in his first aid and gave Gar a long, bland look. “Aside from the fact that she also looks like a dog, she has overstepped her boundaries. She thinks she can be a warrior. As if any woman is good enough to be a warrior.”
“As if a boy is good enough to be a warrior,” Gar shot back.
Pike smirked. “Better two summers early than two summers late.”
Gar backed down at that. It was true he and his friends were held back two summers for disregarding their senior warriors. They deserved it. But it only made him work harder, fight smarter, and stop his childish ways. Pike had not yet learned that lesson.
“This is not about me,” Gar said, with only a hint of hurt at his brother’s words. “This is about you and Kindra.”
“No.” Pike dropped his shirt to the ground and crossed his arms. “This is about you and Kindra. You will shame our family if you wed her.”
“There is no shame in marriage. She’s from the most-loved family in Fie Eoin. She’s well on her way to becoming as good a warrior as her father. She just needs somebody to give her a chance.”
Pike smirked. “If she fights like Fennec then you’re the last thing she needs.”
Gar was up and at his throat before Pike could even yelp in surprise. The new warrior was on his toes, gasping for air and clawing at his brother’s arm.
“If you ever,” Gar hissed in his face, “breathe a word of her father and me, I will crush your throat so you cannot speak again. Do you understand?”
He dropped Pike on the ground and stood over his brother as he gasped for air. As Pike’s breathing slowed his eyes hardened in rage and he watched without speaking as Gar moved back to the cot and began carving angrily into the flute. Pike grabbed his shirt and put it on before standing up.
When he reached the door he turned and spoke as if he was scared to do so before he had his hand on the flap for a hasty exit.
”You would never have looked at her if she hadn’t joined the warriors. Don’t pretend you want her for any reason other than she is Fennec’s daughter.”