Do as I say... (April writing prompt for [community profile] nexus_crossings)

Apr. 29th, 2016 10:51 pm
conjuredskies: (...Wait)
[personal profile] conjuredskies
Terentius was stoking the fire when Felix caught him, hunched over the uncovered pit so that it cast enormous shadows across the room. He’d known the hall was too bright.

“Uncle?” He rubbed his eyes, trotting closer to the warmth even while he scolded, “It’s nearly… um, last watch! You’re not supposed to build the fire for hours!”

His uncle smiled a little as he settled back on his chair. “I couldn’t sleep tonight, Felix. Needed something to warm my tired old bones.”

“Stratos says to count snowflakes* until you fall asleep. That’s what I do. You’re not supposed to get up. It’s breaking the rules.”

“That’s… uh, more of a rule for little boys than grown-ups, Felix.”

Tired or not, he was affronted by this new and reserved privilege. “No it’s not!”

“I’m saying it is,” his uncle said mildly. “And I’m the one in charge here.”

He shuffled in place, trying to figure out a way through this ironclad logic. “Well… can I stay up with you?”


“But why?”

His uncle sighed, seemed to need a minute to come up with what to say. “Because when you reach my age you’ll have reasons enough to have trouble sleeping. Better you get all the rest you can now. Go on, get back to bed and ask Mara for good dreams.”

There was no arguing, but Felix thought back to that conversation many times afterward.

If only for an excuse to stay in bed when they called him.

*”Just count sheep, Felix.”

“But we don’t have any sheep. It’s too cold for them to-”

“No, I- okay, count snowflakes, then. I don’t like sheep anyway.
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Felix Caelus

September 2017

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