NaNoWriMo 2009: Shades of Gray [Excerpt 04]

2009 November 4 § Leave a comment

“Have you been a thief all your life?”

A brief pause; then the pen resumed its path on the parchment, breaking a path that filled with a swirling river of black ink. Gleaming wetly in the sunlight, the ink clung to the grain of the paper, liquid for a long, lingering moment before it melted into the paper, its trail a series of strokes that were individually nothing, but collectively a study in pictures and images turned to symbols. Lhurriel watched him write for a time, wondering if he planned to answer  her question, or even acknowledge that she had spoken. Several times, she opened her mouth as if to speak – but compelled to wait by some angel of patience at her shoulder, she would only tug a grape free from the bunch on her lunch tray and pop it into her mouth, chewing loudly into the silence.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunchcrunchcrunchchewswallow.

Lhurriel was reaching for her thirty-seventh grape when Amery cleared his throat and put his stack of papers aside and rested his hands on his knees. “I wasn’t born a thief, no. Circumstances late in my childhood made learning how to steal and escape after stealing a necessity.”

She stared at him, slightly perturbed.

Unable to fathom why she continued to frown at him, Amery raised an eyebrow. “Yes?”

Grumbling incomprehensibly about men and their rather distorted view of what constituted a proper answer to a question, Lhurriel scowled and folded her own arms, mimicking Amery’s position. “I know it’s not my business to ask, but you really think I’ll be satisfied with such a boring answer?”

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