"You might want to hide them there wings boy. You never know what kinda trouble you could be stirring for yourself with 'em stretched out like thet." He said as he closed the door behind him. The Old Man's voice held only concern as he offhandedly threw his catch of the day towards the lone shelf, "Been out gettin' some vittals. These here'll need cleaned up a bit, but they'll be fit for eatin' here soon."
Caarin bit his tongue. It would do him no good to point out that he already knew full well the consequencers of having his wings out. It was why he had learned long ago that the sky would never be his to claim as so many of the other fairy races were free to do. He stared a moment as his Grandfather prepared to clean the two Harmots that would become part of the morning meal and then he put on his coat and headed out the door to the shed. At least he could relieve himself and gather his thoughts more calmly as breakfast was being prepared.
He let his thoughts wander a bit as he headed towards the rickety shed. Grandfather wasn't getting around quite a well as he used to, that he could tell from the slight shift in his weight as he walked. He was trying to hide a limp. Caarin decided he would bear some further watching to determine what health he was in. "Funny," he thought," We always know the fate of others, but we can never seem to discern the fate of our own kind." He was referring to the gift that those of his race of fairies had. They knew instinctively the mortality of others. It was, at one time, a time honored gift meant for them to help ease the passing of others. But now, as far as Caarin knew, he and his Grandfather were the last of their kind. A lust for power had bred fear into the hearts of the other creatures. This enabled the one seeking power to eliminate those of their people without anyone so much as raising an eyebrow. "Better the ones who brought death to be gone than us." was the train of thought that everyone choose to ride on. All because they didn't understand how the gift truly worked. Ignorance bred in the masses, he thought. Of course, Caarin himself still didn't have the gift all figured out either. He finished his task and headed back for the door of the little shack, knowing that he would soon somehow regret acknowledging his Grandfather's request to come.
"How far have you traveled boy?" Grandfather looked over at Caarin as he finished his end of the day meal. It was getting late and they really hadn't spent any time talking about what brought him here in the first place. Caarin was getting agitated.
"I wouldn't think you'd need to ask that question... Look, I came to at least check on you, the day is nearly gone and you've still not told me why I needed to be here in the first place."
Grandfather eyed him from his chair across the room. "Careful boy, I can't have you let your anger loose and let it get in the way of your thinkin'" He knew Caarin would lose his patience soon. He couldn't be put off much longer and the boy deserved the truth about things. Maybe more so than anybody in the land. His eyes misted a bit, this conversation wasn't going to go as he had hoped or planned. It made him realize his own difficulties in bringing up a painful, but neccessary subject. There was no time like the present to come clean about things he mused to himself, and with that he began to speak again, "I was kinda hopin' in all your travels, you'd notice the changes goin on around ya boy. It ain't like it used to be and it don't look to be gettin' any better anytime soon now either. If you're paying attention like I taught you, you wouldn't be a needin' the why's and how's. You'd already know a fair share of things most don't." Grandfather shifted a bit in his chair. He was getting Caarin irritated. but he also saw the change in his face. He could see that Caarin knew exactly what kind of changes were taking place. He decided to let the boy think a bit longer before saying anything more.
While the current events worried him, Caarin choose not to care or have anything to do with anybody. It was a fight better left alone and one he did his best to keep his own emotions out of. He feared that if he dwelled too much on the current hand of things, he'd be forced to face the past that was so ugly and so hard to bear. It was touching on a memory better left forgotten, as though it never existed. He looked over at his Grandfather. The bitterness between them he realized suddenly, had waned over the years. Had he been wrong to be so full of anger towards the old man he now wondered? He didn't know the answer, but knew that he wasn't ready to acknowledge that he might have been wrong all these years. Reconciling the past would have to wait, right now Caarin needed to know what was of so much importance that Grandfather would risk another rift in their relationship. As he looked back at his Grandfather, the old man started to speak once again.
"I don't like revisiting the past much son, a trait you seem to have as well. Ah.....well There are some things I shoulda told you a long time ago. Meybe then it woulda saved us a lot of heartache, meybe a few more years spent together." Grandfather paused. He seemed to stare off into some unknown memory that was out of reach for Caarin. "I reckon there are a few things in my life that I wish I'd have done differently boy. I was once foolish enough to think that what I did, didn't affect no one but myself. I've since learned a mighty hard lesson that taught me I was dead wrong on thet. It was that sorta thinkin' that lost us your Mom and Dad. And for that, I'm truly sorry." He let the sentence hang in the air awhile, noting the muscles on Caarin's body tensing in reaction to his words..he would have to tred this one carefully. He continued on, "Its been some years since I thought on those days when I pulled you up from the wreckage of flames that the Queen herself saw fit to set fire too." And with that, Grandfather divulged his inner most secrets, terrifying thoughts of memories gone by, and the lessons of hard bearing experiences that trial and error bring. The night wore on and for the first time since he had been given a task, Grandfather let out what he could no longer hold in.
As the twilight neared and Caarin had had some time to absorb the secrets of the past, Grandfather spoke again, "You'll be needin' to find a pair of twins in the Meshaw Village, Caarin. I'm no longer able to carry out my calling. This will be the last time you see me boy. I've had quite a lot of help gettin this far in life, don't expect I'll be gettin any more. I'm not asking for your forgiveness, just asking that you help try and save a little of what's been lost."
"This isn't my fight! Not my call! and NOT going to be a part of my life!" seethed Caarin as he looked back at the elder man.
"It's your fight more than you know boy...but you'll find thet out soon enough. Go to the village or not, it's your choice, but mark my words- if you do, you'll find the answers I don't have all the pieces for." Grandfather's voice sounded ragged with that last line. It was hard worn with age and edged with a weariness that couldn't be shaken off. He spoke again with a bit of a plea and urgency in his tone, "You need to help them set things right again. Our land's people, all of them, will need you."
The Old Man stood up from his chair then and walked towards the door. He opened it slightly and said, "It ain't easy what I'm asking of ya boy. But I'm hoping you respect a dying man's wish to see his grandson fullfill his destiny and change the world. Maybe make things a helluva lot better than I did. Hope you understand thet." and with that, he walked out into the night and Caarin knew he'd never see the Old Man again.