Between a Granite and a Hard Place
Saturday, November 5th, 6:30pm at the Elium (Feels WAAAAAY later)
Obviously right when we don’t want do anything but lie down and sleep for like, a million years, Linnfard is waiting outside the door of his room to talk to us. I give him my “you better shut up” look, which he doesn’t understand, but we didn’t have to talk to him for long because Edmund told him about the sword and armor present we brought back for him and he just freaked out. When he ran away, we took the rare time that he wasn’t around to bug us, and teleported back to Willard’s. More SPECIFICALLY we teleported into Edmund’s room. Now let me talk about some things that I was very detail-oriented about in Edmund’s room:
- Pictures of ladies with no clothes on.
- These ladies were curled around each other like snakes around tree branches… or sometimes like a snake about to strangle a mouse to death. Except the snakes were two lady thighs instead.
- One bookshelf.
- Lots of colourful “potions” by the bed.
- A bed with sheets that are shiny, and the colour of dried blood.
- Edmund likes girly stuff.
Because Abby and I fought probably the hardest, we are just soaked with blood and guts and decide to go wash. Also because we don’t want Mabel to kill us after all that trouble we went through not to let the giant bug do us in. Edmund wants to go scribble some more about the Broodkeeper in Willard’s book. Whatever.
Before we separate, Jon asks a question about how much lead is needed to protect from magic. Ed says something like you wouldn’t want to make armor out of it, but that a few inches is enough (or something). Jon also asks to talk to Abby alone after our bath. This makes me mad. Just because I’m smaller than them doesn’t mean I can’t know what’s happening! Didn’t I protect them from the little chicken leather things!? I’m old enough to hear everything adults talk about. Plus, we’re family, and families talk to each other about everything.
So this is why I don’t tell them about my best friend, Biter. If they don’t tell me things, I get to have some secrets too. I have sometimes been talking to Biter, who is living in my shirt now. I mostly don’t talk out loud, but I think I do sometimes. By accident. I’m learning, though, to talk right in my head with him. I’m getting good at it really fast.
The rest of the night is pretty quiet. We have a huge dinner, as usual. Mabel pops in to tell us that Willard still isn’t home and that Vinnik has been around and is getting to be a fatty. Stupid Edmund doesn’t even know how to take care of an owl… maybe that’s what those potions by his bed are for? Maybe I’ll sneak one for Vinnik and Biter later. I ask Jon and Abby what they talked about alone, and Jon says I’m not allowed to know. This makes me very angry inside. Just proving the point of how I always have to watch out for my new family, I point out that tomorrow is Sunday, which is the day John is supposed to meet his secret girlfriend. I bet he’s nervous, so I don’t tease him too much more about it. But it’s a pretty good thing I remembered, or who knows if anyone else would have even said anything! You’re memory really starts to go when you get old. Really tired, we all go to bed as soon as we’re done eating. Biter and I fall asleep all cuddled up in my soft bed. We’re best friends.
SUNDAY, November 6, 10am-Delicious Breakfast at Home (Willard’s)
So we’re just having a regular breakfast and basically I’m talking to Biter a little bit and Jon notices – I must have messed up and talked out loud or something. Stupid stupid stupid! Biter pokes his head out of my sleeve (he’s so cute!) and Mabel just LOSES her MIND. She runs away from my little green best friend! After that is just one long and really dumb conversation about trust and everyone being afraid that Biter is going to poison them and “why didn’t I tell them” and blah blah BLAH.
Biter is getting all nervous because of course he wants to bite anyone that’s mean to me and everyone does sound a little angry. I am very stern with Biter on the matter of him sinking his teeny fangs into any of my family, a thing that he is not allowed to do. I manage to convince Biter not to poison anyone, and listen to his very good advice to just let him crawl on everyone so that they see he’s not going to hurt them. He makes best friends with Edmund, but Abby won’t touch him. Jon is the worst; all scared and he wants to stab my Biter if he crawls on him. I tell Biter to make a little bracelet on Jon to make him feel better. Being a bracelet is my favourite thing that Biter can do, because he is a very pretty green colour, and it’s like the only way that Biter can give me a hug. It’s a very charming thing for a snake to do. But before Biter can do it, Jon has him pinned under his dagger. This is terrible. Jon makes Biter promise not to bite any of us before he releases him. Here is a list of things that my friends don’t understand about how good Biter is.
- He can protect us because he’s good at sneaking AND poisoning.
- Biter can “see” in the dark. We go in dark dungeons a lot. Do you get the conclusion here? My friends don’t!
- Biter is hilarious. Jon needs to learn a sense of humor from Biter.
- Biter can be a great spy on humans.
- Biter can talk to other snakes and tell me what they say.
I say that I won’t let Biter out in “inappropriate situations” again, and that he won’t bite people, and that is that. We go out into the courtyard to practice fighting and so that Biter can hunt. He has been telling me how hungry he is all morning.
11:00am – Out in the Courtyard
Little Biter is slithering around the yard while I practice with my sword. Jon and Ed go into the barn to do “adult stuff”, which annoys me almost more than listening to Linnfard does. Clever, beautiful Biter asks if he should spy on them, which is a very smart idea. I should add that to my list.
- Biter has fantastic ideas
I keep practicing with my sword until all of a sudden I feel worse than I have ever felt in a long time. Puke and puke and tears and snot just come out of my face like a river of sadness and misery and I feel like I’m drowning in feeling so so so so sad that I’ll never feel better. Breathing is really hard. The only way I know I can feel worse is because of what happened to me in Copper and the caves. But this is pretty bad. MY BITER IS DEAD!! MY BEST FRIEND! THE ONLY ONE THAT UNDERSTANDS ME!
Shadowy bodies are all around me and I think I hear Abby’s voice through the sadness that’s got its foggy hand wrapped around my neck and mouth and eyes and ears, asking “what’s wrong?” . All I can see is the monster, Jon, standing in front of my with my bright emerald friend flopped over the tip of his dagger. I scream at Jon. I hate him and no one understands. But I am more sad than mad so I just hug my beautiful friend and cry and whisper to him. I’m so sorry, Biter.
Eventually I realize that jon isn’t around anymore. The reason I am not capitalizing his name is that I learned only important names get big letters. Abby and Ed talk to me about trustworthiness. I kind of understand, but I’m still sad and mad. Ed gives these reports, which I don’t really care about, but which Willard will want me to write about.
12:00pm – Waitress has met jon, said she has information about his parents.
12:45pm – Whoever planned on meeting jon never showed up, unless it was the waitress. The waitress tells jon that a few months ago, she would have brought him a different beer. This means that she would have poisoned him. I wish she would anyways.
12:50pm – jon left the pub and spotted someone staring at him that said “Safin”. He thinks it might be his dad. Ed says we should be ready in case we need to fight. I will NOT fight to save jon, only make sure the other two don’t get hurt trying to help him out.
12:52pm – Jon is more and more convinced that this dude is his dad because of all the freaky things the man knows about him. jon’s gonna bring the strange man back to Willard’s… and I’M the irresponsible, untrustworthy one?
- (to the man) You probably recognize these two faces.
- (to Ed) Can I have that ring back?
“I’m Pete”, says Pete, who explains he is from Granite and is jon’s dad. Since we have all learned not to believe anyone, no one really believes him. Ed asks if he can do his truth-saying spell on Pete and Pete says yes. Here are the questions and answers of Pete, but not word for word because it was hard to pay attention from being so sad.
Q: Who were you hiding from for the last 20 years. (The word “whom” was actually used in this question, but I don’t really believe in it since who(m) cares if there’s an “M” on the end of who or not? Doesn’t it mean the same thing?)
A: Sofia and I lived here together for a long time (then he got interrupted by… )
Q: How did you find me? (jon)
A: People have been looking for you. I found you because I saw all the posters. I heard you had murdered some people.
Q: Did you write the note?
A: Yes, that’s my note. I asked around and found out where you hung out, and had the note delivered to you.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I’m in commerce, an investor.
Q: Why would you come fine me (jon) now?
A: I have a new identity, I haven’t been me for 20 years. Things were safe, and finding you seemed worth the risk.
Q: Why were you in hiding? —this question got asked A LOT, it was kind of funny —
A: We’re hiding from the guild. We’re hiding because we weren’t supposed to have you (jon). After we had you, people from the guild came to our house and said that we were part of a conspiracy and that they were going to kill us. You started crying and we begged for our lives. We said we had no idea what conspiracy they were talking about.
At this point, jon interrupts, which is a very rude thing to do. Especially to your father that you haven’t seen for almost double the time that I’ve been alive. Jon says that the story Thalen told him (who the hell is he?), his parents died. Thalen told jon that his parents died because normally, members of the middle caste had to ask to have a kid, and they must have forgotten to.
Q: What happened then?
A: Thalen said that we had to forget about you, and leave and never come back, or the guild would kill the baby and us. Then he raised you himself. We still don’t know what the conspiracy was that we were accused of being a part of.
Then, jon has to tell a short version about what we got on the wanted posters for. I’m not going to write it here because I think if I have to tell it or heard it told again, my ears are going to start bleeding from being so BORED. Everyone thinks it’s a good idea to go meet jon’s mom, Sofia. Abby and Ed go behind the barn for like 10 minutes, and jon goes to investigate at some point, which is a dumb thing to do because obviously Ed is doing magic, duh. I stroke Biter’s scales, which feel like the sheets on Ed’s bed (I snuck a touch with my finger last time we were there).
When Ed and Abby come out from behind the barn, they tell us they have been to Granite, which really confuses poor Pete. MacEachern lives in Drummond’s point, which, detail, has 3000 people living in it. Drummond’s Point is 400m across the narrowest part of a bay from Granite, which also has 3000 people in it. We’re going to go visit jon’s mom! Pete goes to get his suitcase at his hotel. I spend the time he’s gone having a funeral for Biter, and I bury him in my favourite part of the yard.
Why does everything that I love get killed? Everyone dies and leaves me hear to miss them and miss them.
3pm- Leaving home again
Hours later, Pete shows up with a suitcase and a short sword. He is having lots of trouble understanding how it took him weeks to get here on a horse, and how we’re going to get to Granite in an instant. We teleport to a field on the point of a bay. Seagulls are squawking all over the place, which makes me laugh a bit. Ed makes everyone but me and Pete invisible and we walk into town and to a beautiful house on the water. The house is on a hill and has a dock and a white picket fence with a gate. It has a garden like my mother used to grow and there is a boat with one sail tied to the dock. And there are some rowboats too. The house looks happy, it is such a nice home. We go inside where a dark haired, fattish woman comes up the stairs and bursts into tears when she sees jon’s stupid face as everyone else becomes visible again. Her name is Sofia, and she is jon’s mom. I have to admit one thing. I am very jealous of jon right now, and he barely seems that happy. Sofia drags us all downstairs and we sit on couches while jon tells the story of our life AGAIN. We learn that the kind of investing Pete does is in building ships, and Sofia is like my mom was – a housewife. Being a housewife is very busy.
We chat and chat and I’m kind of quiet because I’m thinking about my family and Biter. I kind of want to pinch jon’s ungrateful face, but I don’t because I’m very polite. Ed wants to know more about Granite, and Pete tells him about a new pub in town that his business partner opened. The pub is called “Granite’s Hope”, which is a stupid name. The business partner is named Marcel Green, which is also a stupid name. I don’t say that, though. Marcel has lots of money, which is lucky for him because it means people won’t make fun of his stupid name. He’s short and new in town and lives a few doors down from Pete and Sofia with a maid and a young lady who does his bookkeeping. The young lady is named Laura Forrester. Everyone that he employed to work at the pub is new in town too. Everyone decides that it would be a good idea for us to go upstairs and let jon catch up with his parents. We do this and after awhile, we get called back down to dinner.
8pm – Fish Dish for Dinner Downstairs (kind of a poem!)
Dinner, as usual, is a time for more talking. Point form time again! My hand is getting all cramped from all this writing and I want to be able to use my bow if I need to save anyone or help fight. These are some important things from the conversation:
- Sofia recognizes Willard’s name. This is because he is a very powerful wizard.
- Business is good for Pete and Marcel Green right now. It’s going to have someone with money as a business partner.
- After jon was stolen, Sofia and Pete decided not to have any more kids.
- Sofia used to be called Baroness Sofia Takhsin. Their new last name is Safin which is hilarious because…
- SAFIN IS JON’S REAL NAME!
I call Safin by his real name a lot. It does not make him happy. Since we are meddlesome, we debate (a word for calm fighting) about what we’re going to do. Some ideas are going to the pub, and going to check out Green. Going to the pub is dumb because we don’t want to be recognized by MacEachern who has been recently spotted in Drummond’s Point. I realize that at some point, someone has pulled the curtains on all the downstairs windows. This makes me a bit nervous, just because I don’t want most of my new family or Sofia or Pete to get hurt. Just more people for me to protect, I guess. While I was daydreaming (nightdreaming? It’s dark out), Ed went invisible and left. When he gets back he says he saw short, skinny Marcel Green through Marcel’s window. He also saw the beautiful young lady, who was helping Marcel read through books and write things down. Ed says he saw a ring against mind control on Marcel’s finger, and that he could feel a magic dagger and more rings. This made everyone more nervous because apparently stuff as magic as what Marcel has is very rare. Also, some of Marcel’s house is lead. Marcel is hiding something. Since us being here is a secret, we tell Pete not to act any different around his sneaky business partner. After Ed takes his truth-telling spell off Pete, Pete and Sofia decided to take a walk in the lovely night air. Probably they’re going to see a lot of bats on their walk. Lucky.
Like always when we have some spare time, we decide to talk about what we should do, and decide we should just leave Granite before we cause any trouble. Then the doorbell rings and we hear a voice saying “Pete, Pete are you home?”. For some reason, everyone goes still, like a deer right before you’re going to shoot it and it just notices you. Ed goes invisibly and silently upstairs to check, while everyone breathes really shallow. He comes back down and says it was Marcel. But here’s the scary part: the voice of Marcel is the voice of MacEachern, which means that Marcel IS MacEachern in disguise! Of course, this means we have to talk MORE about what to do. There is no way this is a coincidence that he’s here with Jon’s parents. Here are our options.
- Turn MacEachern in to The Guild. This would be hard without getting us back on the “to kill” list again because we’re not supposed to meddle.
- Write an anonymous (secret) note to The Guild.
- Deal with him ourselves and just hope that no one finds out.
During our debate, Sofia and Pete come back and we ask Pete for more information about… Marcel. Pete tels us that sometimes Marcel asks about town council things, and that he has no idea where Marcel came from. After this quick talk, we say our goodbyes and teleport back to Edmund’s room in Bastion. I don’t get why Safin isn’t more sad to leave his parents! If I were him I would want them around all the time, just to make sure that nothing ever happened to them now that he has finally found them. I make the conclusion that Safin has no heart.
Good grief, we have another debate about what to do. I sit on the floor and trace the designs on the carpet. Safin says some horrible things about not wanting to get attached to his parents. What an idiot. That’s what parents are FOR; even animals know you’re supposed to get attached to your parents. Because Abby is normal, she wants to go visit her parents and talk to them about what to do. This sounds like a great idea because Sofia and Pete are very nice, but they didn’t give us dessert. All I want is a big slice of chocolate cake, which is what Biter would have wanted me to have to make me feel better, I think. We teleport into Herb’s study.
There’s the smell of spicy smoke in the air, and Herb is sitting in a chair with a golden drink in one hand and a cigar in the other hand. You can do whatever bad things to yourself that you want when you’re old. I think about asking him for a taste of the cigar, but then Geraldine comes into the room with a huge chocolate cake. She’s the second best mom in the world! While I eat my cake, we talk about the events of the day. Herb wants to kill MacEachern, and thinks that Laura is a magic user or that some magic user must be responsible for transforming MacEachern into Marcel. After talking for a bit more, it seems like we’re going to decide to get involved in guild business again…well I guess it was good not to get hunted all the time for awhile. To bad Biter isn’t around anymore, because he would be perfect for a spy mission like this. Instead, Safin and Ed are going to go back to Granite and bring Green back into the basement here. Herb shows Safin and Ed the room to bring Green back to, and they teleport away. I have never seen Herb look so scary – I think he feels the same way about MacEachern that I feel about orcs.
Once the two goofs are gone, Herb leads us down to the cellar. We sit for 10 minutes just sitting there and finally not talking. BOOM Safin and Ed are back with Pete and Sofia, who look like spooked horses, and Marcel Green, who doesn’t look confused, but definitely looks scared. More like a rabbit stuck in a trapping line. Safin and Ed teleport away almost instantly and Geraldine does something to make Sofia fall asleep on the ground, and after Pete kinda pathetically waves his sword at us, she puts him to sleep too. She puts them in a crumpled pile in the corner of the room. They look like snoring laundry. Meanwhile, Herb is tying Green to a chair kind of roughly while Abby searches him for rings and weapons. The one ring that Ed said protected against mind control won’t come off, and I can just tell that Herb is not going to be patient for Abby to worm it off with her spit or something. Right there Herb just chops off Green’s finger, ring and all. He looks happy to do it. It’s scary because Herb is as gentle as an old sheep dog, but I try to think about what I would do to those orcs and it’s easier to understand. He wraps an old rag around Green’s bloody hand.
Then Safin and Ed are back with Laura and the fat maid. The ladies look freaked out and are bawling like babies. Edmund commands them to do what he says, and the first thing he tells them to do is stop crying. Even though things are serious right now, I laugh a bit because the tears stop like they’ve been slapped off their faces.
- Amelie says that she met Green in Granite and that all she does is clean and cook.
- Laura says that she’s doing research for Green, looking for a relic. He wants to go back in time. Laura used to be a librarian in Finnsbury. She said the artifact was an altar, part of an abandoned city that a dragon (Dragon!?) took over, destroyed, and now sits on top of. Green wants the altar for revenge. Probably against us. YIKES.
What is everyone’s obsession with relics and artifacts and bones and shit like that. Shit shit shit. I can write whatever I want in here, and Safin and Abby won’t say “LANGUAGE AMY!”. Anyways, Geraldine puts the ladies to sleep in the same pile as Pete and Sofia after Ed tells them to sit down in that corner. Then Ed has some bad news – the houses between Green’s house and Pete’s house heard Laura screaming. Looks like we’re getting dragged back into the guild mess.
Herb throws a bucket of water on Green, who is all dazed in his ropes. Green says “who are you?” and Ed dominates him. The first question I want to ask is why the hell he chose the name Marcel out of all the names in the world. But here are basically the questions and answers that actually happened. Just to let you know I don’t really understand all the words that were used, but I’m writing down all the right words specifically.
Q: Why are you near my parents? (Safin)
A: I thought it would be poetic. I did extensive research to locate them.
Q: What’s the artifact?
A: I heard that it can be used to turn back time. I have a lot of people I want to seek revenge on. People in my father’s time and all of you, included. I would still like to unite all of Atlin, with me as the ruler.
Q: Who else was in on the plan for domination?
A: Olin Meyers, Augustus Ogilvie. Howard Brady and Davis Boyd in Bastion, Jeremiah Linford in The Twins. I got the message from Samuel Dix in Bastion that everyone was being killed off. In the guild, Isos Warod is involved, though I never met him personally. I was the leader and bound others to my cause with promises of riches and power, so I required the assistance of the guild to make good on these promises, and their considerable influence to put my plan into action. We were all going to stay quiet about the whole affair, so when it started unraveling, I assume that Isos was the one who ordered the assassins to start killing people.
Q: Do you know Salithius?
Q: Vi Grunigan?
A: Yes, but he wasn’t involved in the scheme.
Q: What were you going to do once you regained power?
A: Kill you.
After this, I don’t know anything else because the adults sent me upstairs. Herb’s eyes looked like stone. I know what I would have done to the orcs right now, so I’m ok with going to the kitchen for another piece of cake.