Unexpected Inspiration Series: The Dorks

Blythe’s head snapped up at an unfamiliar sound that wasn’t Adair’s pathetic– and kind of adorable– attempt at a roar. It took her a moment to place that it came from Dray. They were laughing. She had never heard her sibling do more than chuckle or snicker and this was a full-out, uncontrollable belly laugh.

“Dray’s... laughing.” Even as she said it, she couldn’t believe it.

“Strange as it sounds, I believe that is because they are happy. That is normally why people laugh, yes?”

Blythe nudged Etri in the ribs. It appeared that he’d picked up Dray’s sarcasm, too. “Why now? Addy and Sol are always this ridiculous. Dray usually rolls their eyes and walks away.”

“Perhaps Dray wished to be ridiculous as well.” When she stared at Etri, unable to even comprehend Dray intentionally being silly, he waved his arm in the direction of the three in the water. “Dray has people they can trust and I think they realize this. They no longer require a guard around themself when they are with us alone. If you notice, Atty is not hiding his discoloration. It is the same with him, yes?”

Blythe got the gist even though Etri’s accented words were a bit confusing. When Adair was around people he didn’t know well, he kept his sleeves long so that no one would comment on the tattoo-like discoloration he’d acquired from once channeling Etri’s weaving. Blythe was so used to seeing this that it hadn’t registered that his shirt was off while he swam.

Her eyes darted to Etri’s arms. For the first time in a public space, if this beach could be called public, Etri had his sleeves pushed up to the elbows and his boots off. When he saw her attention, he self-consciously buried his bare feet in the sand. Raised with a different culture’s customs, Etri never used to show more skin than hands and face and even that had taken him a period of adjustment. This was a stark contrast to how he used to be.

Blythe should go bang her head against the nearest tree for being so dense. Now she got it. In trying to avoid a family-centric holiday, they’d all gone on a holiday with their family. That was why Sol had been in such a good mood this morning. He understood. He was with everyone he cared about, so why shouldn’t he be happy during a week devoted to family?

-Excerpt from a short story/novella I might finish someday

Clockwise from top:
| Blythe | Adair (and Willow) | Sol | Dray | Etri |



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