“Do you think he’ll live, Brennen?” Her light auburn curls accentuated the childish roundness of her face.
“Brennen! I said: ‘do you think he’ll live, Brennen’?”
“Sometimes, Selene, silence is a virtue.” Brennen pushed forward his small chest, boy hands upon his boy body. His black hair seemed to have been cut shorter on one side, giving his face a disorganized look as the hair fell.
“Brennen? He looks really hurt,” she whimpered.
“After giving him what Father gave us, he’ll only have emotional pain. Like Father says, Selene.” The boy reached into his leather pouch across his hip, drawing out a small, clear vial. As he drew near the crumpled, purpled figure on the ground, his steps turned into semi-shuffles, and slowed.
“Oh, um…” He turned his head to see Selene’s bright blue eyes wide and nodding. His own eyes grimaced and turned back to the boy on the ground.
“B-boy? B-boy! I have…um…something to help you.” The figure moaned slightly and breathed airily.
“Here, I have this for you. Just drink, if you can…there. It will help. Father told me.” Crouching over the purpled boy, Brennen got the full view he’d been afraid to see before. The boy’s nose was long – far too long to be human. Same with his fingers and toes. The purpling wasn’t from bruising. It couldn’t be. Not unless an entire body could be bruised its length over?
“Brennen, Father said that the purple would leave a bruise. Did you give him water to save the Draught of Life for yourself? Be honest.” She had pulled up her light-blue hood over her curls and put matching blue mittens over her hands. It did seem to be cooling off as the evening arrived.
“No Selene, honest-’’ The body shook as if in a seizure. Selene squeaked, mittens covering her mouth and the bottom part of her eyes. Brennen was still with his lips parted slightly, only a stillness of shallow breath escaping. He couldn’t seem to shift his eyes so he tested moving his hand, bringing the fingers around his dirk in case he needed (not paralyzed, good!), like Father had taught him. But the shaking stopped suddenly in the purpled boy. And just like Father had said when one drinks of the Draught of Life, the purpling left the boy’s body.
“See, Selene! I was honest!” He turned back to the crumbled figure. “B-boy? We are the children of the forest. I mean, um, there are more than just us two. Orphans of the war. And…we found you! So now you can be part of us! You’ll love Father.”
“Brennen! Give him some water and food.” Selene had rushed over during the boy’s de-purpling. “He’s clearly hungry and thirsty, you see, Brennen. Oh, and boy, what do you go by? I’m Selene.” She placed a furry mitten on the stout boy’s shoulder. “And this is Brennen.”
It took a moment for the boy’s eyes to show recognition of the questions directed toward him. He had shockingly black hair and fair skin, blue eyes not unlike Selene’s. He was older than the both of them, and human, though not yet of teenage years. “Selene and Brennen…”
“Yes, yes. And like Brennen said there are many children here like you that you’ll love.” She began to giggle, her mittens again covering her plump face.
“B-but we must know your name, boy. To tell the other children that Father has saved another orphan.”
“Yes, another orphan.”
Brennen’s eyebrows met briefly with a look of childish grief. “I…I didn’t mean that like that. It’s just what we call the children here. And…” He looked to the girl with widened eyes and lined brow. She nodded.
“He means that your parents might still be alive.” She ended with a plump smile, face flushed.
“You’re wise for a child, elf.”
The mittens remained, outlining her face, but the glee had left her eyes. Selene began to shuffle back, her small boots scraping stones along the dirt path.
The boy found his feet and stood above Brennen. “It’s fine for you to ask my name. Many have before you.” Brennen seemed stuck with his eyes again. And stuck with his body as well as he gazed far up towards the boy. “They’ve called me Remnant. Itoch. Yzarc…And now, Vesth. And I will meet this ‘Father’ of yours. He has betrayed me for the last time, young elves.”