25. Containers for His Grief

As summer gives way to fall, Inglorion comes to think that his father left no record of his crime and its consequence. He might not have thought of it at all. Inglorion accepts that he won’t learn what he thought he wanted to know. It wouldn’t be the first time the gods answered a different […]

24. Inglorion Claims His Inheritance

Inglorion moves into his father’s house, and takes over the garden, bees and chickens. In theory, there’s a satisfying symmetry to this. Certainly Lucius seems unsurprised, and quietly agrees it’s for the best. In reality, Inglorion’s confronted with an immediate, practical task. The walls, ceiling and floor are all spattered and stained to various degrees. When […]

23. The Castaway

After days of blank mourning, a purpose comes to Inglorion in the night. He will visit a nearby shrine, El Tiradito. The name means “The Castaway,” and the memorial is dedicated to sinners and outcasts, souls too degraded and impure to be buried in hallowed ground. Tereus was a non-believer, criminal and occasional drunk; Inglorion […]

22. The Oldest Scars

Inglorion sits there, watching his son’s face. He feels weak from hunger, but choked with nausea. He’s sticky with sweat and dirt, but too tired to walk back and take a shower. His eyes burn with tears, but he cannot cry. Lucius’s face is sweet in repose. If they were gray elves, no one would […]

21. The Gods Can Show You Whatever They Want

Lucius hears about a rash of attacks near the railroad crossings, and he cannot stop talking about them. It bothers him when Inglorion insists that Brutus is an adult, an army veteran, and probably more prepared to defend himself and his property than they are. Clearly he expects Inglorion to check on Brutus, and won’t […]

20. I Don’t Think Anything at All

The summer muddles along, alternating between enervating heat and violent storms. It’s understood that Inglorion will spend much of his time with Tereus, observing and helping with the house and crops. If Inglorion’s absent for more than a day or two, Tereus tries to lure him over with food or drink. This makes sense to […]

19. Surrounded by the Dead

Tereus hates to think of the water slipping away, so they  work side-by-side to repair the basins, dredging out silt, digging them deeper, lining them with flat stones. It’s taxing and absorbing work. After an hour, the sun emerges. The heat rises quickly, and clouds billow over the mountains. As they dig and shape a […]

17. Isolation Suits Me

Inglorion watches as Tereus mixes the second batch of sangria with the deft touch and manifest enjoyment of a musician improvising. He whisks in the honey, tastes it, cocking his head thoughtfully, then gives a brisk nod. He pours in the final half-bottle of seltzer water. Just as he’s about to refill their glasses, he […]

16. A Bit Well to Live

They both take a sip. Inglorion doesn’t know what to expect, so he’s surprised at the subtle layering of flavor: Salted lemon, tart mango, the wild honey and its comb, piercingly sweet. Then there’s the wine itself, which is dark, smoky, redolent of licorice and cherries. “That’s very good,” he says cautiously. They sit there […]