ScumMature

Simon hung on doggedly.  Until, that is, Dr. MacQuarrie rammed him into the wall and the back of his skull connected with the unforgiving sandstone.  His clutching fingers released the larger man’s tunic in the same moment that he lost consciousness.

                He wasn’t out for long—at least, he didn’t think he had been—but he awoke to the face of his twin brother, who was cradling his head.  There was no sign of Dr. MacInnes.

                “He got away,” Henry replied to his silent question.  “I threw a few curses at him, and he ran.  Are you alright?  I stopped the bleeding, but I couldn’t find any other damage.”

                “I’m fine,” Simon managed, a bit too hoarsely to be convincing.  “I think Seymour’s injured worse than I—have you tried healing him?”

                Henry swallowed and paled visibly.  “I-I can’t do that, Simon.”

                “Of course you can.  You healed me, didn’t you?”

                “That’s different.” Henry’s features had hardened.  “You’re my brother.  I’m not wasting my magic on scum like him!  He isn’t even human!”

                “Henry,” Simon said sternly.  “He saved my life.  Have you forgotten that?  I wouldn’t have lasted much longer there.   If not for him, I may very well have been dead by now, in a filthy cell.  Dead, Henry.  If not by disease or by beating, then by my own hand.  Do you understand, little brother?”

                “Yes,” he whimpered, on the verge of tears.

                “Go, then,” Simon ordered.  “Heal him.  If you can’t do it out of the goodness of your own heart, at least do it for me.”

                Henry lowered Simon’s head gently to the floor before standing, wiping his eyes vigorously.  Then with a resigned sigh that sounded somewhat like, “Very well,” he made his way down the corridor to the injured Aechyed, touching the heads of the extinguished torches as he passed.  They flickered back to life behind him.

                “Good boy,” Simon whispered, too softly for Henry to hear. 

                Six shall go, three men, three not,

                All in masks of falsehood wrought.

                He smiled wryly.  Two accounted for, four more to go.

The End

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