How could I resist such a challenge? Although, in all honesty, I don’t know how likely this scenario is for these characters with all the bad blood between them. But one can never tell just what might happen. 😉 So, without any further ado, here is my prodigal return story!
Lord Deama walked with downcast gaze. His long, cat-like ears lay flat against his head.
I know the air here. I remember its scent.
The way it feels.
The way it always tastes like home.
But will they really welcome me back? After everything that has been said? After everything that I have done?
Asree was right. This is a foolish errand. It’s suicidal.
They will have me killed on sight.
They will not welcome me home. Why would they? I wouldn’t welcome them back if we switched places.
His ears lay completely flat against the shape of his head.
I just want to be home. I want to be with my brothers. I want us to be the way we always were: three against the world.
I don’t know if that’s possible anymore.
Deama stopped at the end of the path and raised his head. As always, his feet had known the way home.
He looked upon a large, rambling castle and he knew it. Every little bit of it.
Every slatted brick.
Every small feature.
He knew the layout of every room.
The odd way sound echoed in the halls.
He remembered running the halls with his two brothers, shouting and laughing at the echoes.
Can we ever return to that time? Can we be that close again? I don’t know. So much has changed.
I have changed.
He shook his head. “No. They won’t want me back.” He exhaled through his nostrils. “I will not have them tell me to leave. I can leave just fine on my own.” He turned to return to the Hishal Ghen fiefdom.
His brothers, Lord Glorna and Lord Eina, stood on the other side of the open gate.
All three stood in a tableau: the two brothers on the outside of the gate, Deama in the inside. They stood there, all three stunned and speechless. None of them certain enough to make the first move.
Deama exhaled through his nostrils again. “Glorna. Eina.”
“Deama.” Glorna’s ears rotated uneasily. “Why are you here?”
I knew it! They don’t want me to—
Eina stepped forward. “Are you here to stay?”
Deama and Glorna gave each other assessing looks. Deama swallowed. “If you want me to stay.”
Glorna positioned himself in front of his youngest brother. “Can we trust you? Last time, you tried to—-”
“I know what I tried to do, Glorna. I was angry. I was hurt. I was not in a rational mind set.” He held out his hands palm-side up in a peace gesture. “But I have changed, Glor. I have changed for the better. Will you let me come home?”
“How do I know this isn’t a trick? How can I trust you?”
Deama contemplated the different ways to answer that question. He chose the most direct one. He knelt before him and spread his hands on the dirt path. He bowed his head. “I submit myself to your command.”
Glorna hesitated before approaching him. “Deama.” He went down on his knees and stroked his oldest brother’s head. “My brother, you are home.”
Deama raised his head. “Do you mean it?”
“I do.” He hugged him. “I’ve missed you.”
Eina came over and joined in the hugging. “I’ve missed you too.”