After much thought and help from my wife I’ve settled on the name Lind for the character originally named Tolomy. There’s still a few locations that need new names, but with Lind’s final christening every character in The God of Anthem officially has a name.
I’ve been experimenting with watercolor pencils this last week and I did a quick sketch last night of the square next to Canon’s apartment building in Simmering (originally the District for anyone who read the first draft). I was going to add it to the post “Canon Meets Tolomy” that I posted last year, but at the last minute I remembered that I’d polished this conversation between Canon and Tolomy and it takes place on the bench as well.
“What are you looking at?”
Lind had been absently staring at the crumbling stone wall on the far side of the courtyard, opposite the bench they were sitting on. He turned slowly, but his gaze remained fixed on the wall, as if acknowledging the fact that he’d been spoken to while simultaneously giving himself as much time as possible to pull his thoughts into some semblance of order. Finally his eyes flicked over to Canon.
“You seem distracted when we talk,” said Canon. “Are you looking for something in this courtyard? Is that why you sit here every day?”
Lind laughed. “No… I just sit here because it’s as good a place as any for sitting. It’s fairly in the middle of everything without being too busy and there aren’t many distractions besides you.”
“What am I distracting you from?” asked Canon.
“I’m not sure…” said Lind gazing back over the courtyard.
“What do you mean?”
“The man who raised me called it ‘the thorn’ which I understood because I had it too. I’m not terribly good at explaining it though. It’s like…” Lind frowned and brushed his hair out of his eyes, squinting as he tried to think of the right words. “You know when you’re alone in your room at night and suddenly you start to feel frightened? Actually not even frightened really, but jumpy maybe? Or… uneasy, unsettled. There’s no reason for it, but you’re glad when it’s light again or a friend shows up? The thorn is like that, but so much more intense. It’s a feeling that something bad is going to happen. Which it is.”
Canon shook his head, not understanding. “Something bad? Like what?”
“Something magical. Something that’s going to harm a member of Kensington’s family. Unless I stop it. Which I usually do.”
“How do you stop it?”
“By killing it.” Lind rested his elbows on his knees and stretched his fingers. After a moment when Canon didn’t say anything Lind glanced at him and said, “That’s the real reason this courtyard is usually empty. People tend avoid me.”
“Can you sense anything now?” Canon was curious.
“Right now everything’s pretty quiet, but the Thorn is always there, pulling me towards danger, letting me know there’s bad things coming. It’s worse if the danger is close though. If it’s big enough I might sense it a week or two in advance.”
Lind let out a short laugh, shaking his head. “It’s not. Not amazing.” He sighed and rested his chin in his hand. “It’s useful though. The man who raised me passed the ability on to me, as did the man who raised him. There’s been someone with this curse serving Kensington’s family as far back as anyone can remember.”
“It’s a curse?” Canon asked in surprise.
Lind nodded slowly. “Oh yes… Yes, it’s a curse.” He glanced up at Canon, “You want to know something?”
“The moment I saw you I felt the thorn. It’s very far off yet, but the fact that I felt anything at all means it’s big.” He brushed the hair out of his eyes again and scratched his forehead. “Just thought I’d give you a little heads up.”
“What does that mean? What is it?” asked Canon, suddenly uncomfortably aware of the evening shadows that were creeping across the courtyard.
“I don’t know.” Lind sat up and stretched, arching his back. “I never know. The interesting thing is you’re not family, so there’s no reason I should be getting a feeling off you at all.”
“It’s one of the reasons I wanted to be your friend,” said Lind with a wide grin. “I’m interested to see what it is.”