Bones, Chapter 3 – Reminders

Cocking his head to the side, Necronim frowned at the carved piece of wood in his hands before making another ever so delicate cut. As he made another then lifted the piece to blow away any strays bits, he glanced off to his right where a tiny centaur girl – barely two years old yet tall enough to reach his waist already – danced back and forth on delicate hooves.

Despite the glare he could feel on his back from the girl’s father, working with his hands had always been soothing. It had been only a minor thing when he’d been small but as he’d gotten older, certain events in his life had him turning more and more to it. Of course, working with his hands hadn’t always been as innocent a thing as carving.

Shaking off those thoughts before they ventured too far into certain territory, Necronim instead held up the wooden figure for inspection. “What do you think, little one?” he asked softly.

With a happy squeal the girl reached out for the rough carving of a wolf and exclaimed, “T’ank you!” before she darted away. As he looked after her in amusement, her father huffed from behind him.

“Must you?”

“Must I what, Tolan?” asked Necronim as he turned on the stump he’d taken residence on, absently cleaning his knife before sheathing it in his boot. Looking up at the bi-colored centaur, he cocked his head curiously to the side. “I’ve made carvings for the little ones for as long as I’ve been with the clan and you’ve never seemed to mind them. In fact, I remember a young centaur who approached me late one night to ask for one because his peers would have called him silly otherwise.”

Narrowing his eyes, he tacked on pointedly, “And I’ve seen little Attia playing with that wolf I made for you. It was why she asked for another, so it could have a friend.”

Tolan grimaced then ducked his head, black hair falling across the white and brown fur that bisected his face. “It’s different.”

Arching an eyebrow, Necronim asked, “And how exactly is it different?”

“Because she’s my daughter and I…” The centaur suddenly trailed off, shifting uncomfortably, and he instantly knew what was going on. It practically kicked the legs out from under his good mood and left him back to wallowing in the desolate state he’d woken up in.

He’d been trying to distract himself for the day.

“You don’t want her associating with a monster like me,” he supplied, unable to keep his tone from turning harsh and bitter.

“I’m sorry.

Necronim lifted a hand sharply, his jaw tightening against the sudden flow of angry words that wanted to spill from his mouth. Normally he wouldn’t have been so bothered but today…oh, but today of all days. “Don’t,” he managed to growl after a moment.

Tolan just stared for a moment then, blessedly, made a hasty bow and moved away. As he watched the centaur walk off, Necronim bowed his head before angrily slapping one hand down onto the stump. Splinters of wood dug into his flesh, what few still working nerves he possessed sending shocks of pain through him, but he ignored it.

Of all the days to be well and truly reminded of what he was, it would be the day he’d died.

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