Halcyon Days: Chapter 3

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Strange Winds

I made Filipe work.

After the coffee and French toast, I felt moderately human again. Then I set Filipe to scour through Father's records and create a spreadsheet. Fortunately, Filipe was cheerful when I informed him about his task and the last I saw him, he was happily digging through box number one. There were a few more boxes, all stacked and sealed up with duct tape.

I attended a meeting at the office, listing down the things everybody had to complete before the weekend. I ignored Gluttony and Famine, knowing that they glared at me from their favourite spots at the meeting table. Father's meeting table, now mine. When I finally got back, Filipe was already halfway through box number two. The spreadsheet was growing. Kudos to Filipe, every item - date, subject, time and place of origin - was carefully listed. He even created a column for additional comments.

There were gaps... a lot of them. Missing dates and places of origin. And I knew Father was a very conscientious drake. Why would he omit things out?

Like Filipe, I told myself, scrolling down the various columns. Famine loved data. He was the one who taught me how to use this spreadsheet programme. There were equations and formulas.

A large chunk - ten years' worth of records - was just not there. The 1960s were scanty: only logistical matters like the buying of stationery and books. There were many records from the 19th century. Did Father live that long? Whatever happened in the 1980s? Then a steady growth of records onwards. It puzzled me.

There was also a large stack of physical records, all wrinkly yellow at the edges and smelling of musty paper, from Scotland.

"This is the interesting bit," Filipe tapped a finger on the computer screen. He took one moment to take a sip from the beer bottle before grinning at me. There were bags under his eyes. It was tiring. "The records speak of alliances with the drake clans in Scotland. Pacts, if you want to be formal about it. They united to fight against something."

"Evil? Another non-human group?" I grabbed my own beer, suddenly anxious.

"The records didn't say," Filipe shook his head. I had to glance away. He looked good, damn it. And he's your half-brother, you fool, an angry voice reminded me. It sounded like Father. "But a lot of the quotes are in... Icelandic. I had to use Google Translate for some of the phrases."

"What's this phrase?" I traced the phrase with my thumb. "Stjörnurnar rísa, myrkri kemur úr felum sínum."

"The stars rise, the dark emerges from their hiding," Filipe translated it for me. "It's cryptic. There were many references to the dark, the light and the stars."

I rubbed my jaw. "How much do you know about Iceland?" My head felt light. I remembered echoes of a dream. An old woman. Filipe changing into a drake.

Fuck. I gulped down more beer and immediately regretted it. I wanted to vomit. Filipe reached over to help me. I waved him away.

"Iceland?" Filipe frowned. He actually looked worried. "Freezing cold. Blood pudding. Breathtaking scenery."

"How much do you know about  Dökkálfar?" I finished the beer and tossed it into the bin. Filipe at least had the grace to look confused.

"Dork what?" He asked, opening the cooler for more beers. He was more at ease now. But I did not know a lot about my half-brother.

"Dark elves," I explained. "The Ljósálfar are their light elves or something like that. You have something similar in the duende as well."

"So... they are evil?" Filipe's eyes widened.

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