Blackberry Tart. 3

Assane stopped at Master Cronan’s door and softly knocked. “They bo’th must be tired due to this storm. Herne did say Artek wus a’sleepin’. Poor little child, having to hear the masters like that.” Assane sighed with the tray of their meals in her strong hands. Her long dark brown hair was tied back neatly in tight bun to reveal caring brown eyes. The door slowly opened to reveal Cronan, who apparently just woke up.

“Oh master Cronan, did I wake ye too early?” Assane asked a bit flustered. Conan shook his head and groaned. “Nay, I was just pokin’ the fire to keep it alive when you knocked. Artek is just now waking up.” He nodded at the little boy sitting atop on the bed, rubbing his eyes and clutching his blanket.

Assane smiled. “I brought your supper. I figured you would want to stay in here for…” She looked over at Artek slipping off the bed. Conan nodded and opened the door further for her to enter. She walked in and gently placed the tray on a coffee table close to the hearth. “Now it’s some turkey, spuds, green beans and some tarts for dessert.” Artel lit up at the mention of food and plopped down.

Cronan grinned slightly as Artek blessed the food and began to eat. “Must ‘ave been hungry after your nap.” Assange chuckled, but then gave Cronan a slight serious gaze. “Master Cronan, I’m only going to give my opinion. I don’t believe this home is safe for Artek now. I think you both should take shelter until the storm passes over the master and mistress of this house.”

Cronan looked at Assane with piercing cold eyes. It was rare for her to speak like this, much less to him. Assane did fear him a little, but not enough to never speak what she thought or even advise him at times. Conan stood silent for a moment, mulling over what she meant and what he could do.

“Have a good evening Master Cronan.” Assane crusted slightly and walked out of the room, closing the door with a soft click. Conan remained quiet before joining his brother in dining. Not a safe place for him anymore? Well, it’s not like Mum and dad are doing anything to help us. Cronan remained silent as he ate his food, his mind deep in thought.

“Hey Cronan, doesn’t the food remind you of Grandpop and Grandmum’s cooking? It delicious!” Cronan blinked and stared into the fire. Oh…Assane, you’re slyer then I suspected. Cronan chewed on his turkey before rubbing Artek’s smooth hair. “Say, would you like to visit Grandmum and Grandpop?” Artek smiled wide. “Yeah! A surprise visit! Like bears pouncing on them!”

Artek stood up and pretended he was a grizzly sneaking up on his prey while Cronan, secretly amused, watched with a cool stare. It was worth a chance. Cronan almost wanted to just stay here in the darkness with Artek close to him, but he knew that Artek and even he needed some elder to guide them. Grandpops always did have good talks with me without fearing me. It strange how they accept me nature and yet my out fella and mum don’t. He looked at Artek and stood up. “How about you go pack ye’r parcels. We’ll leave in the morn’.”

Artek blinked at Cronan’s subtly cold voice, but he nodded. “Ok! Grandmum and Pops will be so happy! Thank you Cronan!” He hugged his brother’s legs before running out to his room to prepare. Cronan watched him leave then walked out. Locking his door behind him, his turned his cold eyes towards the hurricane. He strode towards the eye, unafraid of what he was about to do.

The hallway seemed cold, lifeless as the lightning pierced the skies beyond with her crackling fingers. It’s short flash of white caused great, big shadows the line Cronan’s path as he made his way to the room. His parent’s room. He understood it was poor thinking to just up and leave without giving them some light as to why. He liked being sly, but he was not cruel in that manner.

Cronan could hear them before he round the corner to their doors. The black maple doors seemed to image the torrent just behind them. Cronan normally would have been VERY reluctant to do this, but he couldn’t stand it this time. I’m going to talk and they’ll listen this time ‘round. They will know what I see and what they are becoming. He knocked, heavy and hard on the doors.

The howling and wailing stopped short. Steps sounded, coming closer to the door. Cronan noted the door handle jiggle before swinging open. His pine green orbs met with his father’s steely gray-blue eyes. Past him near the fireplace, on the grandfather chair was his mother. Her eyes were downcast and he could see the tears streaks on her face.

“Cronan. What is it that you want?” Cronan merely gave his dad a dead look and brushed past him. He walked closer to his mum before leaning against the mantle just next to the cracking wood. “Cronan, you know I won’t ask twice.” His father’s voice was firm, but no anger was clothed in it. Cronan sighed and spoke. “I’m taking Artek away.”

His mum looked up, alarmed. “What?!? Why?” Cronan clenched his fist and snapped back. “Because you two keep acting the maggot and don’t seem to mind your own kids!” CRACK! The air was stilled as his parents watched their older son stare them down.

His mum, bless her trembling heart, was frightened. Her oldest, Cronan, was never the type to sugar coat anything. His dark tone and deep eyes were mysteries neither she nor her husband could even uncover. This was what drove their fear of him along with he could be unpredictable.

Right now, she and her husband kept their shocked silence before Cronan’s father spoke. “Cronan, Artek doesn’t understand what is happening unlike you. He must st-” BOOM! THUD! They jumped at the thunder and Cronan’s fist driving into the wood. “No! he sees you and he hears ye fightin’. True he doesn’t understand why ye fight, but he sees your monsters.”

Cronan would not budge. He would MAKE them see what they both saw. A fractured picture of what they used to be. “If you don’t see why Artek run in fear to me when you wish to run to you, it’s because he fears ye’r monsters more then me strange darkness.” He stood up straight and started towards the door.

“We won’t be gone for’ever. Only until I hear that you’ve both made amends and this home is whole again. God bless you both, Mother, Father.” Cronan nodded at them both, his eyes showing a kindle of a loving light. It pleaded for them to listen to his words and see their actions through the eyes of an innocent chiseler.


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