Analith, stop it. Analith, come back. ANALITH. AAGHHH!”

Leafsong let out a howl, diving face-first onto the sodden wooden floor, bony fingers outstretched, to the side of the copper bathtub. Analith, sopping wet and naked, squirmed out of her grasp and shot off behind the counter; sending a pile of Aphel’s recruitment pamplets (designated for Lakeshire) flying.

Leafsong moaned, then sneezed as soap went up her long nose. After a few moments of breathing heavily, she opened her eyes and scrambled to her feet, slightly damper than before. Analith was peering out from around the side of the counter, his navy hair sticking out at all angles from his chubby baby’s face, round eyes glinting maliciously. Leafsong stretched a hand out to her son appealingly, while simultaneously scooping up the soggy pamphlets and blowing sweaty hair from her nose.

Analith. Annie. Be a good boy for your min’da. Please. Pleeease.”

He pouted at her, his little lip sticking out churlishly. Her voice sunk to wheedling tones.

Archdruid Malfurion always obeys his mummy at bathtime.”

This had no effect on the quietly cackling little boy. Leafsong planted her hands on her hips, aware of Mirae and the twins sprawled on the sofa, observing this display of insubordination.

Analith” she whispered, lowering her voice. “It’s your second birthday in a few day’s time, ain’t it?”

Analith’s small, pointed ears pricked up as he recognised the word birthday, his little fingers curling into fists.

Annie birfday,” he repeated, shooting a quick glance over at Mirae.

Leafsong nodded slowly, gathering up the last of the Cadre recruitment pamphlets and dropping them on the sofa beside Loredar (who gazed at them in fascination, reaching out a wavering, tiny fist).

Yes, Analith. Your birthday. When you’d usually be getting presents” she hissed, her voice gradually ascending to a bellow.UNLESS YOU ARE A BAD BOY. BECAUSE BAD BOYS GET NO PRESENTS.”

Analith gazed at her, his jaw dropping a fraction. She nodded, gaining confidence in her tactics as she saw him falter. Aphel came clumping downstairs, pulling his cloak over his shoulder, a scowl darkening his features. Pausing on the stairwell, he watched the little drama unfold. Analith’s lower lip began to wobble.

No pessant?”

NO. NO PRESENT FOR NAUGHTY ANNIE!” boomed Leafsong, enjoying her new role as commander-in-chief. Analith burst into tears as he toddled towards his mother, Mirae looked as if she were about to join him, the twins stared at their mother in horror. Leafsong’s face fell and she lunged for her baby, scooping him up and clutching him tightly to her chest.

I were just jokin’, I were just jokin’” she gasped breathlessly, her eyes as round as pennies as she rubbed her hand up and down the small boy’s back. Aphel, on the stairs, muttered and raised his eyes to the heavens.

You’ve got to be firmer with the boy,” he said, coming down to the ground floor and going over to the sofa to placate the rest of his alarmed children. “Otherwise he’ll grow up to be a little rebel.”

Leafsong squatted back on her heels, still hugging the now-beaming Analith, looking somewhat bashful. “I know. I know. But I can’t stand it when his little face goes like that!”


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Aphel said,

    He’ll get a present from Aphel all right. A TWO STOREY DROP OUT OF THE WINDOW!

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