“A lovely story.” Zizny watched me with one broad eye. “And your Sage seems like a very reasonable man, even when he was still a juvenile.”
“Very reasonable,” I agreed. “He’s a good man, my Sage.”
“But you have been avoiding telling me of your family woes. Perhaps a bargain?”
“A bargain?” I repeated dumbly. “What sort?” I’d been hoping to keep it entertained long enough to distract from the whole family issue at all.
“You clearly do not wish to discuss this, but I confess I am very curious. If you will tell me what it is that so bothers you about your family, I will tell you something, in return, that bothers me.” It paused. “About my kin-group as well, no less.”
That was, on the surface, fair. I nodded slowly. “I can do that.” Please don’t roast me. Zizny was my friend, my neighbor. It wouldn’t hold my ancestors against me, would it?
I took the longest, deepest breath I could, stalling, working up the nerve. “My father’s family are, for the most part, just poor, dirt-poor. Sometimes thieves, sometimes tricksters. There’s a thought there’s some elkin blood way back, and it would explain things, at least some things.”
“Mm. So it sounds as if they are not the ones who bother you?”
“Not really, no. As silly as that sounds.”
“It doesn’t sound silly at all. So your mother’s family? The grandmother who paid for your time at the Pumpkin?”
“Yes,” I sighed. “My mother’s family are what you’d call, or, at least, what people I know might call self-hating dwimors.” I watched Zizny’s expression, wondering if the term would be familiar… yes. Yes, that blink and all those very sharp teeth suggested that it had encountered the term before.
“Monster hunters, I believe they call themselves?”
“Yes,” I sighed. “Yes, yes they do.”
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/177754.html. You can comment here or there.