Rite of Naming – Part 17

Blue-Flame and Silver-Singer

"Black-Wind was willing to spend time with me at a time when a lot of the other ætt members were keeping their distance."

For board games, it was pretty well packed. Just about everyone in the ætt was there, including Moon-Singer. Black-Wind waved to me and pointed to an empty chair beside him. Sitting diagonally across from him was a guy in his twenties, maybe; he was Asian, with short, gelled hair covered in bright blue streaks.

“Hey, Silver-Singer,” Black-Wind said with a grin. “This is my friend, Blue-Flame.”

“Your… friend?” I said with a little uncertainty. With their hair…. “friend” was not really the first idea that jumped into my mind.

“Is there something wrong with that?” Blue-Flame said with a sneer.

“No,” I said hastily. “I just didn’t… I was expecting Black-Wind to say something else, that’s all.”

“Like what?” Blue-Flame pressed.

“Best friend,” I said, sitting down. “That’s what he said earlier today. What are we playing?”

“Oware Mancala,” Black-Wind said, motioning to a board filled with twelve depressions.

“I’ve heard of Mancala,” I said. “That african game. Is it a special version?”

“It’s more complicated,” Black-Wind told me before explaining the rules. Black-Wind set me up against Blue-Flame, while Black-Wind started up a game with Healing-Tears.

“Winners go onto to a final showdown,” Black-Wind said dramatically. I smirked and began to play.

“So,” I said, beginning the game with Blue-Flame, “Why did you and Black-Wind decide to dye your hair?”

“Me and Black-Wind are like brothers,” Blue-Flame replied. “It was a way to show our kinship to one another–our loyalty.”

“How did you become so close–if you don’t mind my asking,” I was quick to add.

“It’s fine,” he said somewhat distantly. “Black-Wind was willing to spend time with me at a time when a lot of the other ætt members were keeping their distance.”

I paused for a moment, focusing on my next move. “It bothers me,” I said at length. “In some ways, the ætt acts all accepting, like a big family. But sometimes it seems like we’re accepting the unacceptable.”

“Things aren’t always that simple,” Healing-Tears interjected. “Is it righteous to shun those who disagree with us?”

“It is when they’re doing something you know is wrong,” I replied. “Something that it’s obvious is wrong.”

“Iron-Will believes that it is obvious that accepting Vandals into the ætt is wrong. Should we follow her lead in refusing to accept the unacceptable?” Healing-Tears replied.

“Dammit, Healing-Tears,” Blue-Flame said, annoyed. “What she believes–that’s different.”

“Blue-Flame is right,” Black-Wind agreed. “What she believes is all about excluding people–about being distrustful. Pretty nasty philosophy.”

“But surely you can agree that it’s not always wise to trust everyone,” Healing-Tears replied.

“It’s also cold-hearted not to trust anyone,” I countered.

“Is it, now?” Healing-Tears said, glancing toward Blue-Flame. He scowled and seemed to contemplate a retort, but turned toward me instead.

“I heard they found out your dad wasn’t killed by the fae,” Blue-Flame said, changing the subject.

“Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that,” I said. “At the very least, he wasn’t killed by who they thought he was. I want to look into it with Moon-Singer–we have a lead on a fairy named Ghost–but I can’t go with him unless I find someone to, well… Moon-Singer called it ‘babysitting.’”

“You should go,” Black-Wind said to Blue-Flame. “This could be Silver-Singer’s chance to learn what it’s really all about.”

Somehow, everything I had experienced of being a werewolf so far didn’t make me eager to find to find out what ‘it’s really all about.’ “I guess,” I said unenthusiastically.

“The lead-up investigation on Ghost will take awhile,” Healing-Tears replied. “You’ll have plenty of time to practice, and probably at least a few more novice missions to get some experience. Otherwise, Moon-Singer never would have considered letting you go at all.”

“To be honest,” I replied. “I don’t feel like I’ll ever be ready.”

“You’ve just got to work harder to catch up, that’s all,” Blue-Flame replied. What he said reminded me of Iron-Will, but I was damned if I was going to tell him that. It sounded like a good way to get punched in the face.

“So,” Blue-Flame said, capturing more of my pieces, “You think I should go help find Silver-Dancer’s killer. I don’t really see how it affects me…”

“I think Silver-Singer could learn a lot from you,” Black-Wind replied.

“But would I learn anything from Silver-Singer?” Blue-Flame asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Probably not,” Black-Wind admitted. “Unless you’re interested in learning the bagpipes.” Blue-Flame rolled his eyes and Black-Wind leaned toward him. “But if you don’t go, Iron-Will probably will. And I can’t bring myself to stand by and let that happen to poor Silver-Singer.”

Blue-Flame chuckled. “You make a compelling argument.”

“And maybe I can come along too,” Black-Wind added.

“I see what this is really about,” Blue-Flame replied. “Getting some glory for yourself.”

“Mostly curiosity,” Black-Wind replied. “It’s a mystery. You know how I love mysteries.”

“Well,” Blue-Flame said, capturing the last of my pieces, “I don’t want to be responsible for depriving you of a mystery. I suppose I can keep an eye on you two.”

“Thanks,” I said with a grin. Definitely better than Iron-Will. “I really appreciate it.”

“Don’t worry,” he replied. “I’ll make sure you repay the favor someday.”

Silver-Singer and Blue-Flame

"Black-Wind was willing to spend time with me at a time when a lot of the other ætt members were keeping their distance."

About Kate

I'm a 25 year old woman with a passion for writing, fantasy, and, uh.... Sailor Moon.
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2 Responses to Rite of Naming – Part 17

  1. EB says:

    I played Mancala quite a bit as a teen…

    • Kate says:

      To be honest, I’m not that familiar with it. But I figure if they play board games every week, they probably vary it a bit from just old standbys like Chess and such, and Mancala is supposed to be a pretty strategy-intense game once you actually get into it. I didn’t really want a luck based game since I figured they would get bored with that pretty quickly.

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