Author : Kyle DeBruhl

“That boy’s a hatchet.” She spoke with absolute resolve, setting her half finished mug on the counter as she did so. Her lips carefully sounding the words out and letting each one linger for a moment before dissipating in the air. Dennard nodded vigorously. He knew exactly which one she meant, often wondering whether or not the boy would live long enough to regret.

“Can we-“ suddenly the wooden moon gate across the way shrugged open and a small frail-featured boy appeared, escorted on either side by the colossal guards of the compound.

Din was small. To say small is to misjudge him, he was tiny. He stood at least a foot under the other boys his age. His thin arms hung limp at his side and his chest showed bone and the movement of the organs underneath. His matted hair belied the insight that lay beneath it. To say he was small was to misjudge him, but to say he was intelligent couldn’t do him justice. His gaunt cheeks hemmed a diminutive face; however entrenched in that face sat two focused eyes: the eyes of a owl. They glanced and rechecked everything as if always attempting. The muscles of his jaw clenched and relaxed rhythmically with the heaving of his chest. The closed mouth, always upturned in a sort of scowl-smirk, whispered at its loudest and more often then not said nothing at all.

Din saw the faces of the two elders. He saw the mug and her long, unpleasant looking tendril. He saw the vast garden which had stood for centuries, a testament to the complex society from which it came. He saw everything and took in more. He saw the nervous hand of Dennard, the beady eyes of the head mistress, the cavernous stare of the behemoth at his side. He saw more than anything the feelings. They echoed out of each individual in the garden, emanating and reverberating. He saw them in words and sounds, colors and numbers, and he understood. Din knew what was coming before she ever opened her grey lips.

“Dennard and I were just discussing your place in this academy.” When he was not there, she didn’t miss him. She hated him. Hate was such a strong word, but she despised his kind, they always refused to go along with anything. However when she was in his presence, she felt a sort of glow. A feeling that made her refuse to give up on this diminutive little one.

Din at once saw the faces change. He knew his control. His smirked as always and began his game. He spoke without opening his mouth. He released his own colors and numbers and he saw theirs change. He bled empathy and they swallowed it up.

When Din left the garden he knew his place was safe for a bit longer. He chuckled, not out loud of course, and smirked in his all knowing manner. Too easy.

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