(( Following from this old 55 Words here as I try to get this story back on track ))
The letter was brief. Scant, formal phrases - printed neatly.
She didn’t understand why a crowd gathered at this one bakery. The cupcakes were good, but there were plenty of other bakeries in Silvermoon. Still, it was a treat she could afford and the most interesting people showed up and she could practice talking to them.
There were the two baker ladies,the troll and the elf; the nice man in the hat, Teithio, or something like that, who did something boring for the government. It was a pleasant conversation until Teitho mistook something she said.
“Oh, you’re a magister, then?” He asked politely, trying to interest the pretty blonde girl sitting nearby.
He knows, kill him.
“No, no. Nothing like that.” She fought to keep the panic out of her voice. “I’m a field researcher.”
Not here, not now.
He made another innocuous remark and she stumbled over her answer.
It was always a relief to close the door to his office. Most of the other clerks kept their doors open permanently - all the better to feel connected to the outside world. For Teithio it was the opposite. He never felt claustrophobic in his tiny cupboard of a room, but rather insulated and safe. All noise was muffled by the thick walls and all flashes of movement in the corridor safely screened by the solid wood of the door. It was like a cocoon.
All within was order. A place for everything and everything in its place.
(( A letter arrives for Tiphira. It has the neat handwriting of someone formally schooled. ))
The winter boughs are stark.
Burned by the frost to seem dead beneath the snow.
But life remains, however comatose in the cold.
With warmth comes the blossom - then the fruit itself.
Fragrant with hope and promise.
Sparking pleasure in the heart like the laugh of a child, or an unexpected gift from a friend.
White-knuckled he's gripped books.
In shops and in libraries, once in a friend's house. Furtive and ashamed.
He's read in guilty gulps, trying to assimilate the knowledge before he's noticed. Before anyone realizes. Before anyone sees who he really is.
Some days were better than others.
Other days seemed perfectly fine until the very moment they suddenly spiraled out of control. Like the morning he saw the woman in the Exchange…
Teithio Glimmerglade walked slowly home through Silvermoon, his gaze fixed mostly on the flagstones passing steadily beneath his boots. In his hand was an envelope, and in that envelope, neatly inked on good quality parchment, was his future. He was neither pleased nor morose, not excited nor apprehensive. He simply was. Living in the moment, he reflected briefly, had somehow become his norm.