The prompt for this little piece was, It’s Not Fair.
At the time she got this prompt, Orion was writing exclusively in her WIP (Work In Progress), the Farseeker Chronicles. She heard this line delivered by the character of Xander, a boy that Brigid Farseeker met when she joined a space-going circus many years after the events of last week’s story, Vitandus. This is the story that Xander and Brigid told Orion.
By the way, Xander’s real name is Alexander Maximilian Caesar. He was meant for greater things than just helping with the circus animals. Stay tuned for more stories of Xander and the Farseeker universe.
Photo by Mysticsartdesign
THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER GOES TO THE CIRCUS
A Tale from the Farseeker Chronicles
“It’s not fair,” Xander muttered, grabbing a second piece of apple pie as the plate was handed to him. Around them, the sounds of cutlery and muted conversation filled the great dining hall on the Circus Ship Roustabout.
“What’s not fair?” asked his auntie, Brigid Farseeker, glancing up at him while she neatly laid out her throwing knives in precise rows. As Cougar’s Daughter, Mistress of the Knives, she was the star of every show.
“That isn’t.” He gestured down the long trestle table to where Marcos the Magician and little Greta the Flying Girl sat, heads bent over a checkered game board. An ebony tower-shaped piece rose, moved slightly, then settled gently upon a black square, all in silence and without any movement by Marcos. As her crowned alabaster piece levitated and took a position on a white square, Greta crowed, “Checkmate!”
Marcos groaned. “You win again, my lovely.” Taking her small, callused hand, he kissed her fingertips, then solemnly withdrew.
As the man walked away, Greta returned her attention to the game board. The game pieces scurried, hopped, and rolled across the board, reminding Xander of Luigi’s small trained dogs. She brought a box up to the table just in time for the pieces to march up to the edge and tumble in.
Brigid arched a rusty red eyebrow at Xander. “How is that not fair?”
“They’re the only two who can move things with their minds. Why can’t the rest of us do that? Why can’t I?” The youngster scowled, crossing his arms.
Suppressing a laugh, Brigid reached one arm around the boy’s narrow shoulders. “Well, it’s likely you could do something like that, given training. All of us are born with psi abilities that we never explore. Marcos and Greta come from families of psi-users, so they learned to do that early on.”
Xander mulled that over as he inhaled the last bite of his pie. With one finger, he wiped the last of the sticky syrup from his plate and sucked it clean. “Psi talents aren’t rare?”
“Most people have some talent that way. Some are afraid of it. Some dismiss it as a fluke.” She shrugged, picking up another small blade to polish. “Some never even notice their gifts.” Her cleaning cloth gave off a faint odor of metal polish and lemon.
Xander tilted his head, looking up at Brigid through vagrant strands of hair. “So, what’s yours?”
Brigid got that faraway look in her eyes he was so familiar with. Like someone searching for something fluttering just out of their reach. Then she snapped back. “I could mind-speak with my twin brother, Bright. We read each other’s thoughts even from a distance. During the war, we sent intel from scouting missions back to whichever of us got left behind to receive it.”
Xander went googly-eyed, thrumming with excitement, barely able to stay on their shared bench. “You could? How’d you learn to do that?”
“Don’t know,” she said honestly, sitting up. “Growing up, we just did it. We could locate each other anywhere and know what the other was thinking. Our Pa didn’t like it. ‘Against God’s Law,’ he said. Wasn’t till I was shunned for dancing and we left our home that we felt free to use our talent.”
“What happened to Bright? After the war?” the boy asked, propping his head on an arm.
She sighed, crossing her arms and putting her head down on the table. “Lost track of him, somehow. I was in a healing coma for weeks after the last battle. When I came out of it, he was just…gone.” She shook her head slightly. Light from the overheads danced across her freckled face. “I can’t figure out whether he died or maybe got too far away for me to sense. I still search for him. Every single day. Never found even a trace of his mind.”
The boy patted her hand awkwardly. “Bet you find him someday.”
She sighed. “I hope so, Xander, I really do. It’s so lonely inside, without Bright.” Then she flashed him a smile. “And maybe, someday, you’ll find your own psi skill.”
He nodded, a doleful expression on his open face. “It’d be nice to be special.”
She sat up, engulfing the boy in her strong arms. This time she did laugh. “Oh, Xander, you’re already special!”
His eyebrows rose. “I am?”
“You are, for a fact!”