fredag 14 augusti 2015
To make friends
"As the sun slowly reached its way up over the orange trees just outside the mansion, Levithan and the four Iron Roses prepared for takeoff. Wolf and Lucien had already made themselves comfortable in the brown carriage and were talking, quietly, about something inaudible. Armeriá stood at the doorway to give Gertrude a proper farewell before leaving, whilst Levithan strapped the last of his luggage on the roof of the carriage. He waited while Armeriá gave Gertrude a cordial embrace and a kiss on each cheek. Then she moved her hand in a subtle wave, turned around and walked up to the carriage. Levithan showed her in and then jumped in after her. The charioteer closed the door behind Levithan after giving him a tired but genuine smile - it was very early, after all. Clumsily he scooted himself up in the driver's seat and urged the two black horses to short pace. When the carriage started to move, the four Iron Roses turned around to once again wave at Gertrude who stood at the gate with a linen cloth pressed against her cheek. When they passed the gigantic, wrought iron gates, they were finally on their way. Wolf's burly, muscular physique made the chariot so crowded it was nearly suffocating, but even if they all had to sit tightly crammed, it didn't bother anyone of them.
Levithan looked out the window. One could hardly distinguish the lush autumn trees in the dense morning fog, and the hazy view made him sleepy.
"How far is it to Sheerborough from here?" he asked.
Lucien and Armeriá both looked very pensive as they quietly tried to calculate the distance, but none of them answered. Instead they muttered silently as their eyelids grew heavier.
"From Thornhill it is about 43 miles, so at this rate we should be there in five or six hours." Wolf's voice was full of confidence.
Lucien had already dozed off and Armeriá was about to fall asleep any minute. The only one who was fully awake was Wolf who looked straight at Levithan and pointed at the almost healed wound on his neck.
"How did that happen?" Wolf asked. "From the look of it, it has been quite a nasty business."
Levithan swallowed. He looked down on his linked hands and began fumbling with his fingers.
"It's from the night I lost my father", he replied briefly, "when I ran through the forest like a terrified deer. Like a coward."
Wolf lowered his hand, but still looked intensely at him.
"You know what, Levithan... Deer are actually very unique creatures", he clarified and looked out the window. "I have always associated them with kindness, balance and love. Moreover, they possess an incredible alertness and ability to detect danger where others wouldn't. These are extremely good abilities."
Levithan didn't know what to say so he pretended to fix the collar of his coat, unwittingly placing his hand over the scar on his neck and followed its rough line with his fingertips. He carefully turned his gaze up at Wolf and discretely contemplated his heavily marked scar tissues. One of them, the most peculiar of them all, caught his attention. It reached from Wolf's left corner of the mouth, and ran up against his ear to branch out underneath it and up past the eyebrow. It was very deep and had disfigured Wolf's left facial half. Levithan studied the scar so intensely he hadn't noticed how Wolf's gaze had moved from the beautiful rapeseed fields outside, to Levithan's gray eyes.
"It was a wolf", he said to answer Levithan's unspoken question. "An alpha male, to be more precise. But it was my own fault, since it wasn't my turn to eat."
Levithan rolled his eyes in shock as he looked at Wolf, who grinned as he pulled down the fur collar and exposed another similar scar that ran from the neck and down across the collarbone.
"He almost overpowered me. If it wasn't for Ismael who arrived just in the right moment, I probably wouldn't be sitting here, in front of you. In fact that was how we met, Ismael and I. The wolf almost tore up my carotid arteries and I was in very bad shape. Ismael was nearby and witnessed the whole thing, so he scared the wolf off with his firearms. After that I don't remember much, except that I woke up in a hospital bed. I was twenty then, Ismael twenty-four. It's twelve years ago."
Levithan nodded, still focused on the scar.
"And since then you've been friends?" he asked.
"The best", replied Wolf with an amused expression on his face. "There is nothing that can come between us. We have always had a clear understanding of each other and I love him as one loves ones brother."
Levithan nodded again and looked, with weary eyes, out the window.
"You really should rest", said Wolf, "there's no point staying awake when you're this tired."
Levithan picked up his watch from the black coat pocket. Seventeen minutes past seven. Wolf was right, Levithan was terribly exhausted as he hadn't been able to sleep well for several nights. He let himself doze off to hopefully feel more energetic once they arrived at the harbor. The wind that danced over the flowing meadows outside, along with the movement of the chariot, gently rocked him to sleep."
(Excerpt from chapter IV, GW.)
- Tristan Tesch