Today, as promised, we return to Mejaran.
For those of you just joining in, click that link and have a read through what has already happened in that little village (it's rather an impressive amount so far, really). Then you can jump in with something (and possibly someone) new, or simply add on to who and what's been created in the first four installments in the series.
Weather update: still way too hot. Like normal highs of 19 degrees for this time of year and it hit 32 today way too hot.
"Where have you been?"
Yarel flinched as though he had been struck, but recovered quickly to thrust his chest and chin forward. Proud and defiant as the wildest of horses, he was. Slightly less so, however, when a few moments later he remembered that in the dark of his home's midnight kitchen his mother could not see this display.
"I expected you to be sleeping," he said, still trying to determine where, precisely, his mother was lurking.
"I could say the same about you," Jocelle said softly, appearing at her son's side without warning. Yarel flinched again as his bladder relaxed long enough to wet his trousers (but only a little). "Last I saw your troublemaking face, I could have sworn you were ten dreams into a fifty dream sleep."
"I... may have been playing a bit of pretend." Yarel shrugged and took a seat at the kitchen table, pulling his knife out of its sheath as he did so. Without appearing to realize what he was doing, he began to whet it as he added, "Good to know I'm a good enough actor to fool your sharp eyes. Perhaps I should audition for -"
"Where. Have. You. Been."
"Practicing with the boys."
"Practicing?" Jocelle shook her head in disbelief, then produced a match from somewhere on her person and used it to ignite the lamp on the table. "Practicing what, and with which boys?"
"Swordsmanship." Yarel tried to say it nonchalantly but his throat seemed to get entangled with all those letters. "And I can't remember everyone who was there. Liefert, Azmar..."
"What have you gotten yourself into, child?" Jocelle's tone caught her son off guard. It was so much softer than he'd been expecting, filled with genuine concern. The moment ended quickly, however, as she happened to glance down at her son's arm. "You're bleeding!"