Halcyon Days: Chapter 2

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Sins of the Father

“He was in and out of the house most of the times,” the words came easily as if they had always been there. “Out on business trips, managing clan business. Mom… my mom… handled everything at home. When he was back home, we loved it. Both my sister and I.”

“You know, I have hazy memories of dad,” Filipe said, his voice softer than ever. “I remember him picking me up. I was only three. He gave me a toy car… a Ferrari. But I can’t remember him much. I only knew mom talking about him all the time. She missed him a lot.”

“There are things we didn’t know about him,” I said and remembered Clarity, the family sword.

Filipe rubbed his chin slowly. “The duende kingdom is a close-knit community – and they pretty much shielded me from what was going on. They wanted to protect Mom and me. Mom was a princess. Royalty, you know. They didn’t want her to be hurt. They wanted her to leave him, to save her sanity. She was already pregnant with me. She listened to the elders, really listened to them though. Once I was born, she withdrew deep into the forest and never wanted to come out again.”

“She talked a lot about him. She looked so sad most of the time. I didn’t know how to comfort her. I mean, she was talking about a man I hardly knew. I think at the end, I was more thankful she was of the white duende. She would have wreaked havoc if she was dark.”

The mention of white and dark sent a chill up my spine. Dark elves.  Why is he telling me this now?

“I don’t think the elders wanted to see a drake and duende mixed-blood child. They had problems with drakes before, in the old country. Some of them came over from Spain where they suffered years of drake predation.”

“They were afraid of the dragon side of you?”

“Drakes destroyed lands. They were also the landlords. The elders hated them.”

“I am… not surprised.”

“And you are dragon through and through. Drake and Lung.”

“No, I don’t have the urge to burn an entire village down.”

“Whoa, chill. Just asking how you cope being dragon.”

“Well, you weren’t specific with your statement.”

Filipe laughed and saluted jauntily.

“I envy you. At least you knew da-Father when he was still alive. I have always wondered what it was like to have a father.”

“Father was an absentee dad for a big part in my life. Mat was more like my dad. He looked after me and my sister.” And here I was, trying to brush it off like something nonchalant. He was talking about a major phase in his life, his childhood.

I realized I was a colossal privileged jerk.

I hate it. I hate myself.

My half-brother stared at me, shaking his head with a frown. He didn’t say anything.

We sat in an uncomfortable silence. I felt as if I had stepped on a minefield and opened wounds by sheer virtue of my arrogance. Damn it, Gabriel, so much for diplomacy and being a nice person… because you aren’t one.

“What the hell is that?” Filipe was saying.

A shadow darkened the sunlight with spikes and jagged lines. I looked up to see a pair of orange eyes and talons.

Filipe was shouting something. All I knew was that I was seeing a drake in broad daylight, right in front of the tourists and the locals out for a spin.

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