Dichotomy: Seventh Installment "Stumped"
The sun was still high in the sky as Temon emerged from the hall. So there you are. I have made us a lunch. We can go What is wrong, Temon? Trancy asked, You look as if you swallowed a sour pickle and it got stuck halfway down. Temon just looked at her, unsure where to start.
He, I, and the rest of the F F Damn it! the rest of us got tri tri Oh, One World! They really did it to us, didnt they, Temon? said Nocs, eyeing the sacks that Trancy had, Hey, is there any food in there?
Who did it, whatever it was? She did it, didnt she. I knew I couldnt trust the likes of her. What has she done?! I will let her know that she just cant come walking in here and
Slow down a minute, Trancy. There has to be a way to tell you. Temon thought for a moment before continuing, I have had my suspicions confirmed, but in such a way as to not be able to tell you what occurred. There is more that even Nocs doesnt know. Hey, I might be able to tell you that. That wasnt in the room. But I am hungry, if we could get away from prying eyes and ears, I might be able to shed some light on this whole thing.
With that Temon led the others away from relative bustle of the street in front of the hall to the center of the public commons where there stood a massive stump, the remains of the great cedar that had stood for 1000 years until, in the nature of all things, it died. Being thrifty folk, upon recognition of the fact that the tree was no longer going to live and bless their commons with its greatness, the townspeople carefully cut it down. The amount of wood that they recovered from the tree was enough to build four houses and heat them for two winters. From the stump they fashioned a series of benches all around the base, and a higher platform that overhung the benches. It was to this platform where Temon lead them.
Here. This should be relatively safe. I hope that you prepared enough for Nocs also, Trance. May I have some please? I feel like I am wasting away.
So, Nocs said, having remained miraculously quite throughout the whole of the meal, What part wasnt I in on? I was there the whole time, and so where you. So how did you come to get any more out of it than me?
You only thought that I was there all of the time, Temon responded.
What do you mean? I was there in that same room with you. The only time you could have got to anywhere was when I turned my back, and that was for no moren a few heartbeats. I spose you went flyin away, had a fine time with Trancys bane, and got back to the hall, all in the blink of an eye?
Well. The specifics are not quite right, Temon replied, But the general thrust of your statement, otherwise, is.
What! both Trancy and Nocs said in unison. Disbelief showed on Nocs face while Trancy began to look like a thunderhead about to burst.
Wait. Wait. Wait. Just hold on a minute here. I am trying to explain something very important. I just have to think of how. Nocs, tell me what happened in there.
Nocs tried, Well we went in and Bial was there, and Marivon. Shes the one who was at the inn. And all of the parents. Then they Nocs started looking like a fish out of water. His lips were moving like he was trying to talk. He managed to get out a few syllables here and there, but as far as anything intelligible, he couldnt do it.
Stop, Nocs, before you hurt yourself. Temon said. Turning to Trancy, he spoke, carefully feeling his way around the words, Trance, we cant tell you what occurred, because of when and where it happened. We are oath bound, in more ways than one. After pausing for a second to consider his next words, he decided that one would do, Gaemel.
I knew she was a witch, Trancy hissed. Nocs just held up his arms in a gesture that implied ignorance. His face confirmed it.
Well. If she is a witch, then I am a witch too. As are you, and Nocs, probably your fa fath. From what she said, ev Damn. Here. Lets do the lightning dance.
Grabbing up Trancy, who thought it strange that Temon wanted to dance when they had barely finished eating, Temon positioned himself across the stump from her and started through the steps. The first time through, he did the dance in the way they had always done it, stepping just so and swinging through the center. As they came round again he called, Now watch this.
He started into the change of steps and then suddenly, as if he hadnt ever done the dance before, found himself pitching backward, the wood of the stump rapidly approaching the portion of his body usually reserved for sitting. Laughter erupted from Trancy and Nocs, and a gush of language most foul from Temon.
You think that it is funny do you, he directed at Nocs, so why dont you give it a try! Nocs considered for a moment before answering.
When was the last time that you fell while you were dancing? When? Five? Maybe six spans old? I think that I will save my falling down for after the dance.
There has got to be a way to tell Trancy. There just has to!
Tell me what? I dont see what the problem is. Boys! All you have to do is open your mouth, form your lips and tongue in the appropriate manner, and the words seem to come out fine. Now, barely half a day after her arrival, I find that neither of you can utter a complete sentence. I have never known Nocs to be stumble tongued. Granted, some of the things that he says are rude, and grammar has never seemed to bother him, but she shows up and you are both searching for your words as if to speak is foreign to you! What did she do to you!?
Has she addled your wits? Did she put a spell on you?
Yes! exclaimed Nocs just as Temon yelped, No!
She did nothing untoward. It was B B , Temon sputtered. Oh. Why dont you ask her? She is not bound. This whole mess, us not being able to talk and all, she had nothing to do with. Adults. It is the adults. Secrets! Trancy, I wish so much that I could tell you what transpired. But I cant. Ive tried saying it. The words werent there. Even when I knew the words I could not say them. Ive tried showing you, but the One World will not let me. Ask Marivon. She can tell you. I cannot.
Trancy had been listening to Temon and watching Nocs, and what she sensed was something approaching consensus. I will believe you, she said, turning close to Temon, Not because what you are saying makes any kind of sense, but because you have never lied to me before. I know your character, and your character is fine. Until the evening, then. Pulling Temons head down, she gave him a good long kiss, then scooped up her bundle and ran off to prepare for the Dance.
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