Sinister bacon, motherly guilt, and the plate that glowed the truth. What a chapter!
The next morning found Angel and Joesy at the dining room table. Gladys, the healer, had said that they were strong enough to come downstairs to eat.
Bright and spacious, the dining room offered the view of a huge green valley below via a floor to ceiling window that took up one wall of the room. Carved into the chocolate brown wood of the other walls were fantastic scenes of unknown events. The large rounded table, made of the same dark wood as the walls, showed an ornate tree with many names inscribed on the leaves of its sweeping branches. Overall it was a very pleasing room to be in.
Joining them for breakfast was Gladys and her grown son Theodor. His tall dark haired person was nothing like the short stockiness of his wrinkled mother. The only things that they shared were their pale green eyes and a slight wariness toward Angel and Joesy.
For a while they ate their breakfast in thick silence. Theodor, who had been inconspicuously drawing on his plate, was the first person to break the silence. “My mother never told me your names…” Joesy noticed a faint white glow coming from Theodor’s plate.
Gladys interrupted him with a retort. “Don’t go pinning anything on me now boy. You know I never ask.” She let out a theatrical sniff. “You should be ashamed of yourself for putting such an accusation on innocent old me.” Theodor’s plate glowed gray. Gladys attempt at looking innocent was so ridiculous that everyone cracked a smile. Instantaneously the thick blanket of awkwardness fell off the room as her attempt at humor had the desired effect.
Theodor rolled his eyes “Fine. I was wondering who you are.” He looked at his mother with obvious sarcasm “Better?” She gave him a toothy grin.
When the plate glowed white yet again Angel glanced down at his plate and hesitated. Before she could stop him Joesy answered for her.
“She’s Tris, but I call her Angel and I’m Joesy, because my eyes are the color of a purple Joesy and we don’t know what my real name is.” He told them. Another tell tale white glow said truth.
“Great, there goes my cover.” Angel muttered with a pronounced scowl.
Theodore’s eyes got really big. “You really are Trisanna…the Great Mage Trisanna from Winding Circle.” he looked at his mother. “I thought you were joking!”
“It’s rude to use truth spells without alerting somebody first.” Tris snapped resentfully. A pink hue touched Theodor’s cheeks as he half heartedly denied it. The black glow emanating from his plate this time made his bacon look very sinister.
Tris tried to stand in an attempt to storm off only to find herself weaker than she had anticipated. Luckily Joesy caught her in time and set her back down in her chair.
Glancing at Joesy’s perplexed face (This was all very confusing to him) Gladys found she couldn’t hold it in any longer and burst out cackling like a madwoman. “Wow Theo, you really did yourself in this time.” She managed to choke out.
When she finally quieted down she apologized to Tris. “I’m sorry honey, I didn’t realize you really were that Great mage or I would have kept my mouth shut. People like you usually prefer to fly under the radar. Don’t worry; we will keep our claptraps shut about all this.” She glared at Theodor, daring him to disagree. Nobody could doubt her, glowing plate or not.
Later when Joesy came to find Angel he found her sitting on the slanted roof with her back to a massive stone chimney. He sat next to her and watched a friendly breeze play with her cascade of hair. It gleamed a copper red in the bright sunlight.
“I’m sorry.” He said timidly.
Angel scowled at him. “For what?”
Joesy shrunk wishing he could disappear out from under her hawk eyes. “For telling them your name, I didn’t know that you wanted to tell them yourself.”
Angel looked into his guilty childlike eyes and realized for the first time that he was an innocent little child hidden under a grown up disguise. She thought how confusing it would be not having any memories to draw from to make sense of a complicated world.
Thinking about how much he didn’t know about the cruel world out there, she envied him. She envied for his innocence and couldn’t help but to soften her harsh gaze. “How can I cause him such guilt for something that wasn’t his fault” she asked herself. She found she couldn’t.
Except there was something else… something she had not felt in so long that at first she didn’t recognize it for what it was. She thought about all those people she had made enemies of just because she didn’t feel like being nice. She thought of all the innocent slaves she had killed on the many ships she had sunk when a fleet of pirates had attacked her first real home of Winding Circle. In that eternal moment Angel thought of every wrong she had committed in the eighteen years of time that was her life. Of all the wrongs she had committed it took Joesy’s profound childlike innocence to make her feel this. This was guilt. The wind galed all around them and the ground shivered, strongly affected by Tris’s newfound guilt.
Angel looked in those beautiful violet eyes and wept. “It’s not your fault” she told him fervently. “I’m not mad at you for telling them.” She choked.
“Please don’t cry.” Joesy implored, uselessly brushing away her tears. It had begun to rain.
Gently she explained. “I’m mad because I didn’t recognize a truth spell before they found out who I was.”
Suddenly Joesy’s face blazed with a smile like the sun at midday. “Oh. You were mad at Theodor for making his plate glow the truth.”
That sun like smile came between the storm clouds of Angels mind to shine joy there. Rain ceased to fall and the ground stopped its grumbling as she laughed at his uncomplicated yet surprisingly accurate understanding of what had happened. “Silly, isn’t it?” Then something dawned on her “Wait…you saw the plate glow?”
“Why wouldn’t I?” Joesy asked, slightly puzzled. “It was kind of obvious.”
Angel removed her spectacles and looked at him closely, sharpening her vision. “Most people can’t see magic.” When she looked really closely at Joesy, she could see a faint flicker of magic in him that she hadn’t noticed before.
“That was magic?” Angel nodded. “Cool!”
“What’s cool?” she asked confused by the context he used it in.
Joesy really had to think to figure out what she meant. “Uh… I meant awesome. It just came out as cool. Maybe that’s what it means to whoever I was before I forgot.” He commented sadly.
Tris didn’t like his sad look. “I’ll do everything I can to help you find out who you are.” She lifted his chin so that he was looking into her eyes. “I promise.”
Bright and grateful that beautiful smile made her day all over again. “Let’s head back inside before Gladys finds out we were on her roof.”
“To late for that, she was the one who told me you were up here.” Joesy smiled. Angel wanted to see that smile on his face every day for the rest of her life.