The Will of the Whip

Then there was a soft spitting noise, like a match flaring to light. Evelos glanced between his fingers, and there was Keelath, the wuyon’mar’s angular face twisted in rage, holding his sword in one hand and a ball of furious Light magic in the other.

“Take your claws off my son,” his father growled.

“That can’t possibly be real!” Medi exclaimed as the story drew to a close.

“Why couldn’t it be real?” Mirium asked in her gentle voice.

“A festival for stoking love? That sounds either really silly or really… well, you know. Not something to brings kids to!”

“I remember it happening,” Mirium said quietly.

“And you expect me to believe you took a nap upstairs during the most exciting part?”


 “The story’s as real as I’m standing here, Medi,” broke in Evelos.

“But you’re sitting!” exclaimed Medi.

Evelos shrugged with a little smile.

“So you mean to tell me that Keelath really did go… Bwssssh! Zam! Zip! Brrrrrrt! … with the Light? Okay, but that sounds… really cool actually.”

“Excuse me, but I do not go… Bwsssh. Zam. Zip. … with the Light,” said Keelath testily as he walked into the tavern.

“Exactly! See?” said Medi, then in two more seconds realized who had spoken and immediately rounded on him. “Hey! You made it! But you also missed it. Evelos was telling this really cool story—”

“About the time when we moved to Thalas’Talah?” asked Keelath.

“Heeeey, how did you guess?” said Medi, poking out a lip.

Keelath sat next to Mirium, throwing an arm about her as she leaned up against him. “Just a hunch.”

“It really did happen, Dad, didn’t it?” said Evelos.

“What did? The dark spirit? Oh, yes.”

Lana made calls for another singer or storyteller, though the takers were again few. As a Little Folk took the stage with a set of goat-pipes, Medi wriggled up closer to Keelath, staring up at him.

“What?” asked Keelath in some annoyance.

“So you can’t give it just a little… bzzzt… now?”


“Medi!” said Mirium with a laugh. “Leave Keelath alone.”

“Awww,” said Medi, slinking back.

“Maybe again someday, though,” Keelath murmured, stroking Mirium’s hair. “Still. Who needs the Light when you have love?”

Mirium simply smiled up at him.

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