Daisy Considers

Daisy pulled Kaelyn's comforter closer around her shoulders and leaned back against the wall. Brant had slept for a while, but was awake and raving again. She tried hard to keep herself from thinking of it as the “Brant Rant”. It wasn't even a good joke.

Instead she thought about Kaelyn's question. Why wasn't she scared? By rights she should utterly terrified, she was in a cave with a man who has repeatedly expressed the desire to kill her and has built an an altar expressly for that purpose. This wasn't a good time for calm. So why was she calm?

One possibility of course was that she was going crazy. There was plenty of evidence to support that theory. She was calm, and she she had slept on a pillow given to her in a dream by her friend, but her friend was the one dreaming. Under any normal circumstances, she would call that crazy.

Except...she didn't feel crazy. She realized she probably wouldn't, but this was still lucid thought, as near as she could tell. She simply felt that there would be help coming, and that Kaelyn was going to save her.

The Brant Rant was going on. Possibly forever. She had learned a few key features of the rant:

  1. The world has been bad to Brant because he's not beautiful.
  2. Brant is a clearly superior person with great depth of feeling and unsurpassed wisdom.
  3. Daisy is a representative of all that has gone wrong in Brant's life up to this point, and will therefore be the target of his wrath, and this is, in Brant's mind, entirely fair.
  4. The Rant is not to be interrupted for questions or helpful comments, those will not be well received.

It was interesting how important certain features of the rant were, but after hearing the entire thing over and over Daisy's mind began to wander.

Iron bars are, well, ironic. On average there is mostly open air in front of her. If you just grouped it more sensibly she could just walk right past the bars. Put them all one one side, walk out the other. Briefly she considered just ignoring the unfortunate configuration of the bars; why should that stop her? If she can feel the warmth of a comforter that isn't there why should she be caged by bars that are?

She was becoming more aware of her senses. This was not, in fact, the best time for such an awakening. Mostly what it told her is that Brant was in serious need of a bath, and if it came to that, Daisy could use a bit of a soak with some soap as well.

But her hearing was sharper as well, or she was paying it more attention. She could hear the whispers of a third voice in the cave, and when that voice spoke, Brant listened. Diasy tried to listen but it was quiet, and not at all pleasant.

Brant was talking about Chaos again. She could hear the capital “C” when he talked about it. Chaos was very important to Brant. It seemed to represent a freedom from the sort of people who held him down—again, represented by Daisy—because they would not be able to comprehend or withstand the Chaos.

Daisy had given all of this some consideration. Chaos had its place, of course. If everyone was just an automaton, only doing what they had set out to do, what would be the point? What would be the fun in the world? So you needed some unpredictability, and if is built into the universe that makes it easier.

But the opposite had its charms. Knowing when and where the sun was going to come up was a good thing. If you put bread dough in the oven and open it to find the bread dough is now a baked squirrel you're not going to to be happy, so chaos seems like it's really only okay in moderation.

Daisy thought about poor Kaelyn and almost laughed when she caught herself thinking that way. After all, she, Daisy, was the one in this cell, Kaelyn was out there trying to figure out how to make things better. Which really was Kaelyn's bread and butter, and not, this is important, baked squirrel and butter.

Okay, Maybe she was going a little weird in the head.

But there was more, more than just trying to do the right thing, there was a time for lots and lots of trying and there was a time to just do things. Daisy looked at the bars again. They really shouldn't be a problem. She thought about going to sleep so she could tell Kaelyn about the bars not being a problem but she wasn't sure if it worked that way. Then she wondered if maybe it could work that way if she wanted it to.

Daisy was aware that her thoughts were drifting and yet building up to a bigger thought, but the structure was still as fragile as spun glass. She looked at her hand and thought “Why doesn't my hand sparkle?” And for a moment it did; small streams of light followed her veins, coursing with her blood, and disappeared.

Well that was interesting. She wanted to take notes on this, but requests for a notebook had been poorly received, as Brant pointed out that if all went according to plan she'd be dead before she could make any real lasting discoveries. She couldn't fault his thrift.

But this wasn't “Chaos” in the sense that she understood Brant to be using the word. She had wanted something, and it was so, albeit temporarily. This also wasn't the way Master Colm taught. The sparkle trick had not apparently cost her anything nor did it really accomplish anything. So it was something else, or she was out of it enough not to notice the cost.

Daisy stretched, yawned, and stood up, leaving the comforter on her bed, and paced the length and width of her cell again, then started doing some stretching exercises she had learned before she became a healer. She pretended not to notice how Brant watched her stretch. She was mostly safe from her emotions in this highly abstracted state of mind she was occupying, but revulsion still came through.

Once her muscles felt warm and loose, no longer stiff from sitting against the wall, she picked up the imaginary blanket, spread it over her self, enjoying the agitation this clearly caused Brant, and went to sleep.


© 2020-2021 Nathanial Dickson. Written during #NaNoWriMo 2020 Contact me on Mastodon