“No.” But the tears were already falling. Her grip on his shirt tightened as her head fell on his chest. “Father.” She whispered.
                Eli sighed as he placed a hand on her hair, making sure to keep one hand on the wall. They stood there for some time.
                “I’m sure we’ll get through.” He said, his own grief in his throat, but he had already cried enough, in the first month when the King’s Messenger handed him the letter with the royal seal. He could still remember breaking it off, his numb fingers fumbling awkwardly so that he gave himself a papercut he couldn’t really feel. Then the words just seemed to slip through his mind. “At least, we will if I can find a way off this wall.”
                He was happy to hear her chortle her crying.
                She lifted her head, her dark eyes red and puffy. Her voice came out strained. “How about a race to the top?” She suggested. A hint of her usual fire smouldered.
                “So  you can gloat over me when you undoubtedly win?” Eli shook his head “why not.”
                Anny began instantly, scrambling up the stonework with a practiced precision. Eli was much more careful, testing for loose stoned and the like. Sure enough, it didn’t take Anny long to reach the top, staring down from the battlements as he gradually came closer and closer to the top. He had to stop himself from looking down.
                Eli’s hands taked over the top and he hoisted up and over.
                “I hope you’re a better Lord than you are a climber.” She tutted, her arms folded across her middle. All memory of her sobbing seemed forgotten. Should I be worried or not?
                “In my experience, the two skills are mutually exclusive.” He grumbled, catching his breath.
                From here, he could see Walrus Bay, a long stretch of beach at the bottom of the sheer cliffs, lit only by the clear moon. In the very distance, a mere pin of light, was his sister home, Walrus Watch, at the other side of the bay. The land around his town, Anteram, was farmland and beyond that, hilly woods of mostly wet firs.
                “Two things.” Eli muttered. “You said there were two things.” He looked at his sister’s stony face.  Her grip on herself tightened.
                “I told you I wont talk about it.” Her voice was just as tight. Two parts grief, one part anger.
                “Anny, if there’s something wrong, you need to tell me, it’s my job to make you feel better.” He jested, poking her in the stomach.
                She jerked away. “No it’s not.” She said, in a level tone.
                “It is, I have to help you if I know something’s wrong.
                “No, you do not!” She snapped. “There are no magical fixes, no words that can change a damn thing. There’s nothing you can do so leave it alone.” With that, she strode off along the walkway.
                Eli had to run to keep up.

The End

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