Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5.15

Posted by harmony0stars on December 11, 2009

Robert was already up and eating cereal when she came downstairs with his shoes. He accepted them eagerly, staring at the lines of runes following and crisscrossing the seams. “Wow! They look so cool!” From a distance no one would be able to see most of the runes. They looked like nothing more than red accents. The laces were now a strange muted red, almost mauve, making the shoe and laces look as if they had been designed as a unified whole. Robert sniffed and made a funny face, sniffing again as if he wasn’t sure if he liked the smell or not. To be fair, myrrh and cloves were a bit unusual. The bay might as well have been left out entirely so far as smell was concerned.

As Robert wasted no time in putting his ‘new’ shoes on, Glory made a mental note to buy another pair into which she could work some more general protections once this business with the draug was done. He gave her a sidelong glance as he resumed eating his cocoa puffs. “What?” she demanded after the second furtive look.

“Did you sleep in your clothes?” he asked slyly. “Or did you just not sleep? Because you were all over me about getting enough sleep last night…” he chided her.

“Hey, who’s the grownup here?” she asked, but stuck her tongue out so he‘d know she was teasing.

That won her a big grin. “Grownups? Where?” He half bent and hung from the table by one arm as he looked underneath it for any supposed grownups.

“Finish your breakfast,” she said with a smile. “I just need to take a shower and change.”

Sighing, Glory climbed the stairs. She’d have to watch herself better now that Robert was living with her, though he was a lot less obnoxious than she’d been led to believe a fourteen year old boy would be. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible for a teenager to keep a secret from his friends. At least, she hoped he had friends. She remembered how miserable and alone her own school years had been.

It was one thing for him to know that she practiced magic, but quite another that she didn’t eat or sleep. Thankfully it would be years before he realized she didn’t age. That was sure to raise more eyebrows than an eccentric millionaire who dabbled in magic. Add to that her sword, which he’d no doubt spoken of at length as he tried to get people to believe his story, and in due time, she’d have more than the Miskatonic scholars breathing down her neck. The last thing she needed was to give Lori a reason to renew her interest. She want to find her sister, not have her sister seek her out when she wasn’t expecting it. And there was Robert to think of. Lori wouldn’t shrink at hurting him to get to her.

“Robert? I wanted to ask… how is school for you?” she asked awkwardly once they were in the car. She’d never been very good at starting conversations. Traffic was light as she made her way towards the Hudson.

“Oh, you know… it’s school, right?” he responded enigmatically, looking out the window in an obvious attempt to end the conversation.

“Well, I mean… do you need any help with your school work? I always loved school… just not the other kids so much,” she pressed on, fishing for information.

“Yeah, school wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to deal with the other kids, I guess,” he admitted.

“But you must have some friends?” Glory asked, glancing at him from the corner of one eye.

He shrugged. “None of them believed me about my scar, so… I don’t hang with those guys any more.”

“I’m sorry no one believed you,” she said quietly, feeling guilty. Maybe she should have warned him when she left him that he should be careful who he spoke to and what he said.

“It’s no big deal.” He shrugged again nonchalantly. “Helped me figure out that the people I thought were my friends, weren’t really. It‘s better just to depend on yourself or at least stick up for the people that stick up for you.”

“That’s not really fair to them, Robert,“ Glory chided him gently. “If someone had told you what happened that night, would you have believed them?”

“Maybe not, but I wouldn’t have spread the story around school and made him… I mean me, a laughing stock either,” he sulked, crossing his arms over his chest.

“I didn’t have too good a time in school either. Same reason, I guess. I didn’t figure out who I shouldn’t tell things to until it was too late.” She felt guilty again not only for being relieved that no one had believed him about the scar, but also that he wouldn’t go spreading anything new that he discovered to now non-existent friends. She wanted him to have friends, but it would be easier if he didn’t. Still, she didn’t want him to end up like her either, alone and socially inept. “Would you like to change schools? Get a fresh start somewhere else? I could probably even get you into a private school…”

“No!” he yelped, suddenly close to tears. “I don’t want you to send me away! Everyone always wants to send me here or there, wherever! No one ever asks me what I want!”

“Well, I’m asking, Robert,” Glory reminded him kindly. “You don’t have to go to a private school. That was just an idea. But you could still change schools. There are lots of schools in Sybar City where you could maybe even make new friends.”

He didn’t say anything for a few minutes, staring moodily out the window. “It doesn’t matter,” he finally grumbled. “I might as well stay where I am. Least I know who the bullies are, and I like most of the teachers anyway. ‘Sides,” he said with a grin as he turned back to her, “I’ve been all over the city. Bet you couldn’t even find a school that I haven’t been to.” It pained her to watch him put a smile on a bad situation. How many foster homes had he been in? She wondered if it would be possible to get his file from his case worker whenever he or she showed up. Her lawyer had said he would see to all the legalities, but no doubt she’d receive a visit at some point simply to make sure she was a fit guardian.

to Book 5, page 16

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: