Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 2, Part 2.5

Posted by harmony0stars on October 12, 2008

When the boy finally finished eating, and this took a while as the Moukoulises continued to fill his plate and glass whenever he paused in his feeding frenzy, he looked…. much better. He looked so good in fact, compared to his starved appearance when he first came in, that she hoped no one noticed how good he looked. It made sense that if he could transform from human to wolf, that he might have some kind of super metabolism, but… damn! She supposed she was lucky to still have all her fingers after dropping all her meat onto his plate.

Far from being the skittish, stupefied and starved boy who had followed her into the diner, he now sat calmly at the counter, his posture alert but calm. He looked around the restaurant as if he were seeing it for the first time and hadn’t just spent an hour stuffing his face. He still looked tired of course, but he was no longer ill at ease and he seemed to have put on at least enough weight to cushion his bones from a stiff wind. He looked everywhere in the restaurant before finally, shyly glancing at Glory out of the corner of his eye.

She let him think she didn’t notice as the Moukoulises returned with a rather large bag of food. She took it without argument, thanking them profusely as they entreated her to return whenever she was hungry or if she ever needed a place to stay. It was useless to explain, and how could she? They believed she was simply too proud to accept their charity, but it was more that she didn’t need food or shelter and accepting either was not only ever so slightly dishonest, it would also put them in danger. They’d already nearly lost their little girl to one eldritch horror. She wasn’t about to put them all in danger from one of her own creation.

She was squished between them as they both hugged her at once. Then Mr Moukoulis was needed at the register to get change for a large bill just as something large and obviously fragile crashed to the floor in the kitchen. While both of the Moukoulises were occupied, Glory nudged the boy towards the door and quickly made her escape.

Once they were on the street, she handed him the bag of food. He might have eaten his fill in the diner, or he might have just eaten enough to make him more coherent. Either way, he needed it more than she did. He’d eaten everything they put on his plate, as well as most of what was put on hers. She’d eaten enough to be polite and always put a bite in her mouth when the Moukoulises were looking, but most of her food had made its way into the wolf boy’s belly, and he was still bonier than a birch sapling.

Without any clear destination, she started walking back to the park. The boy would either follow her, or not, but at least he was fed. If he chose not to follow her, well it was probably better for him if he didn’t. Whatever trouble he was in with the mystery commandos, it couldn’t compare to the trouble she could bring down on him if her sister… or an angry toad with a growth hormone problem… decided to catch up on old times.

“They’re very nice people… How did you save their daughter?”

She stopped dead in her tracks and turned to stare at him. He was rooting in the bag, already chewing on a piece of bacon. She’d gotten so used to his silence in the short time she’d known him, if known was the right word, that she was momentarily befuddled. “There was, ah well… a sort of… toad monster in Graymalkin park that tried to eat her and a bunch of other kids. They don’t know the details… and probably wouldn’t believe it if they did, but like you said, they’re… very nice people. They don’t believe in repaying a perceived debt with indifference.”

He made a little grunting noise of acceptance as he continued to root through the bag. “You talk like a poet.” He announced, falling into step behind her as she turned and began walking briskly towards the park. This conversation was becoming surreal quickly. “Why perceived?”

“…what?”

“You said, perceived debt, why?” He crunched down on something loudly. Cripes, was that a whole egg, still in the shell? Probably hard boiled, but still! Maybe he needed the calcium…

“They don’t owe me a thing. Someone had to help, and I was there, so I did. Saving their daughter wasn’t a burden; it was duty, so they don’t owe me anything. No one owes me anything.” She replied, stressing the last part in the hope that he would not feel compelled to follow her around now, trying to ‘help‘ her in some way like the Moukoulises. What she wanted to do was bolt and let him make his own way to where ever it was he was going. Would she? No, because helping someone in need was a duty she felt compelled to fulfill. There were too many people in the world who simply didn’t care about the people around them. Users and abusers, the indifferent and the self-indulgent, she wasn’t like that, could never be self-serving like… her sister. She hunched her shoulders at the thought of Lori and walked just a little bit faster.

“Would you help me… if I asked?”

She stopped, her body gave a little involuntary twitch before she replied. Without looking at him, she answered, “You don’t have to ask. I’ll help if you need help.”

to Book 2, part 2, page 6

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3 Responses to “Tattoo Book 2, Part 2.5”

  1. Alderin said

    Very nice chapter. I’m happy the boy has more to him than fear. Poor Glory seems to have lost all sense of self-worth, but that might be a normal reaction to all the crap she’s been through, plus the flatlining of senses that came with the sword.

    Still sad.

    *HUGS*

  2. Darkthorn said

    Hi,

    I’ve just added your novel to our database at Muse’s Success. It would be greatly appreciated if you could drop me an email with a synopsis, and update the details of your novel if any are incorrect.
    http://muses-success.sorrowfulunfounded.com

    Regards,
    Darkthorn (admin Muse’s Success)

    P.S. I love the novel so far, I’ll be checking back for new chapters as often as I can. Please keep up the great work 🙂

  3. Miladysa said

    Another question answered 😀

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