Leafsong woke with a start in the middle of the night. Reflexively she glanced around the small roomed cottage, performing the usual checks.

Door shut? It was.

Windows? The same.

Crib? Intact and with four softly snoring lumps.


He was not present at her side, leaving a cold patch of bed in his wake.

Across the room, she spotted his silhouette hunched at the writing desk. Two candles guttered in metal holders, surrounded by piles of parchment and scattered texts. She propped herself up on her elbows, squinting across the gloom.

“Come back to bed,” she whispered plaintively, sliding a foot gingerly across the freezing half of the bed. “It’s bloody freezing.”

He started and looked over his shoulder at her, round spectacles perched on his nose. He only wore those spectacles when he was poring over the most cryptic and indecipherable of his considerable library of archaic texts.

“I’ll be one minute,” he murmured, turning back to the desk.

Ten minutes later, Leafsong (now fed up) clutched the sheet around her bare shoulders and climbed out of bed. Tugging the trailing blanket away from the dying embers in the grate, she padded across the floorboards. Pushing aside strands of his greying hair, she rested her chin on his shoulder.

“What are you looking at?” she asked, curiously, squinting through the gloom. It appeared to be a religious tome, hand-inked, with the text oddly running from top to bottom. There was a millennia-old depiction of Elune in the centre of the page, surrounded by etchings that looked more suited to a satyr monument than a holy Elunite text. There was a shadow across the goddess’ face, making her appear almost bestial.

He pulled her onto his lap, simultaneously closing the book.

“Nothing, darling.”


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Aphel said,

    That’s exactly how I would picture some shadow text from the faith to look.

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