~ The Pass ~ pg 7

“Well, Borris said you grew the whistling tree for…” she stopped abruptly hoping her near mention of Chink’s sister would not sour his mood. The man had the grace to ignore the slip and instead focused his gaze on Borris. “’E showed you the whistlin’ tree?!” his voice was full of indignation though it wasn’t angry. “When was this?” 

Borris put his hands up defensively. “She just wandered into the forest and found it fer herself!” he tried to shift the blame. 

“Because you were making music with it!” Fiora countered, smiling at the banter. 

Chink huffed behind her. “Can’t believe you showed ‘er without me.”

Fiora had to smile at the big man’s pouting. “But what is it like?” she redirected. “Those with the element of earth are so rare. I don’t remember any sisters in waiting being stone growers, and the man who taught earth abundance was not a stone grower himself.”

“Well,” he started thoughtfully, “I ne’er really thought of myself as a stone grower to start with. I always ‘ad an affinity for the plants, not the actual ground.” Chink paused for a moment to look at Borris, thoughts turning in his head. When he spoke again Fiora sensed a shift in his tone. “Before my parents died, I remember my ma always sayin’ that I could coax an oak tree out of an acorn just by winkin’ at it.” Fiora held her breath at this glimpse of his personal past. She saw it for the gift it was and felt honored he was willing to share. “It’s a lot ‘arder than that, though,” he continued. “You ‘ave to concentrate really ‘ard for a really long time to grow a tree from seed.“

“Yeah,” Borris added after he’d blinked away his own surprise at Chink’s topic, “but you can do in one day what it takes nature years to accomplish, eh? That ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at.”

“Wow,” Fiora gushed in her awe. “That sounds like an amazing ability! Why don’t you use it more often?”

The End

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