Phillip threw his hands above his head, thrashing the air. Before he could think of stopping it, Phillip’s anger played leader. Rion dared throw their ordered society to the dogs for a companion! Unimaginable and unacceptable. Phillip almost hiccupped. No, attack was key. His breathing sneaked up, cutting its way through his throat in jagged pieces.

Voice heavy, Phillip cried, “Could you not think of the implications, Rion? The implications!”

“Since when have I cared to follow implication? Don’t be an idiot.”

Rion stretched onto his tiptoes and, once down on his soles, strode towards Phillip. Phillip he knew. Two steps took him in front of the door, face to ready face with Rion’s exit.

“We need to talk,” hissed Phillip through the clenched teeth. Anger forced tight rings through every part of his body.

“No, we do not,” whispered Rion. He twisted his body and walked away, the tapestry his opposition. But Rion’s face creased, and he leant towards the mesh of colours. Had he, too, heard the quiet hiss that Phillip had?

He parted the space, clearly dissatisfied. Footsteps thumped away, stopping in the distance, his original point by the window.

Phillip sighed – he extended one towards Rion, in what he hoped formed a gesture of gentleness. After a moment, he lowered his hand and latched it to the back of a chair instead. If Rion didn’t play fair, what stopped Phillip’s moves being vicious, too?

“I don’t know what to think. Not that it is my place, in any case, but there might be worth in talking to Father. I could.” He uttered the pitiful sigh.

A sharp movement from Rion’s place by the window caught Phillip. Rion had whirled around, savagery for a face. “You want to take this up with him yourself?”

Phillip froze. Deep breaths forced themselves into his lungs. “I merely want what is best for you, Rion.”

“Yes; and destroying my life is arguably the best way,” Rion snapped.

Phillip swallowed. “You know I won’t do that!”

“Let us further hope so, Brother.” He had crept forward, and now he pushed past Phillip and stormed out of the room. His footsteps sounded across the wood until they reached a fade.

Phillip rustled about in the new silence. He fumed. He launched himself into the chair belonging to the writing desk in the corner of the room. He snatched the ink and quill in both hands. The scratch of the quill’s wet nib became something of a comfort to the bewildered boy.

Dr. Costello,

I bring to you some rather unsettling news. I was wary to talk of this in person, as I believe that it comes with rather a lot of shame to your third eldest. Yes, it is with an uneasy mind that I talk of Rion –

But nothing stuck. Could he really uproot Rion? Phillip may have strived for justice, but that did not encompass destroying his brother.

One more way was worth trying.

“Rion!” he called, sprinting from the room.

Huffily, the man turned. “What now?”

“Call the arrangement off, and I shall not tell Father. You know what is best for your health.”

Rion’s eyes flashed, and he turned silently back down the corridor, vanishing as he hit the second flight of stairs. But Phillip knew his point had reached him.


The End

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