Aftermath of Bad Decisions

The stonewalls were damp and cold to the touch, which only added to the cramped discomfort of Torince Hold’s only holding cell. A musty smell hung heavily in the air, more evidence that the room was rarely used and only cleaned when necessary. It’s to this depressing hole in the wall that they brought him, all but tossing him in without a second thought. A Healer had already seen to his wounds, all of them minor and he had dealt with the scornful and disappointed looks all in stride. But now he was left alone, sitting on the edge of the old, creaky bed with it’s stale bedding and had nothing but his throbbing head and ribs and his thoughts to keep him company for the night; that and the mug of fellis laced wine which he has yet to acknowledge or touch.

What have I done? Kelthero’s mind seems to repeat that phrase. What had he done? What he always did. He lost control again, only this time it seems to have cost him. At the time, in the height of his temper, he had felt like he was in the right. The guy deserved what was coming to him! Did he? Was it truly an insult that that random stranger had directed at him and his sister or had it been a joke? Kelthero groans, rubbing at his temples. His head hurt. It hurt to remember, to think. Shells, what’d he do for some strong drink right now, something other then the drugged wine. Kelthero runs his tongue across his teeth, grimacing at the taste of blood that continues to linger there. Eventually, he leans back, carefully resting the back of his head against the cool stone, arms draped loosely in his lap. His eyes drift close and he wills his jumbled thoughts to slow, so that he can piece together what had happened.

Father was taking us all on a trip. The trip. That’s how it started. Ilentho decided to take the entire family on a rare trip outside of the cothold. There was a small gather, some trifle of a celebration. Kelthero frowns, struggling to remember the actual occasion, but the memory eludes him. Mother and Kaliena seemed excited. That much he does remember. Kaliena. All this boiled down to his younger sister and Kelthero’s frown deepens. His older brother had disappeared shortly on the arrival, his mother and father wanting to go discuss business or trade. Kelthero had planned to meet up with some of the local boys, but instead had been left with the care of his sister. She was too young to be left alone, but that isn’t what bothered him. He was fond of his sister.

It was that stranger’s comments. What did he say? Something about her being dim? No, that didn’t seem right. Or was it? No, there was more. Kelthero had been starting up some small talk with a group of people. One was being rude though, picking on him. Picking on Kaliena. Something about being common fishing folk. But why? Shells, why couldn’t he remember? Frustration grips Kelthero and his hands clench into fists, his jaw clenching despite his head throbbing harder in protest. Something had been said, that much he can remember. It had been dinnertime, the common hall crowded, hot and loud. Kelthero’s mood had begun to sour. Then someone had made some remark. Was the guy drunk? That remark led to an argument, Kaliena had begun to cry, asking him to stop and that lead to…

I fought him. I fought him; hurt him and I can’t even remember why. Kelthero sighs as realization strikes him. Is this what he has become? Was it worth it? He asks himself bitterly. How will Ilentho react to this? News must have reached him by now. Ilentho. Anger surgers anew and suddenly Kelthero lurches up and swiftly lays a punch to the wall which serves no purpose other then to scrape the skin on his knuckles and add more pain to his already battered body. Cursing, he sucks at the new wounds, carefully stretching out on the bed. As he nurses his hand, Kelthero begins to mull over his father’s reaction. He won’t take this lightly. I’ve shamed him. His pride will be hit. That seems to amuse the young man and he chuckles to himself. Let him be humiliated for once! See how it feels. Kelthero privately muses, now nursing his bitterness and anger a long with his wounds. But what about me?

Just like that, his mood plummets again. He hadn’t thought of that, how his reputation would be affected. He’s old enough to know better, to behave better. Most boys his age pull pranks; get into harmless trouble, all that normal young behavior. Not him though. Not him. He lets the anger take control of him. It’s easier to fight then to think. Kelthero closes his eyes, grimacing. He could be so much more then just a fisherman and yet he’s now developing a bad reputation beyond his home. Now his stomach rolls uneasily, anxiety setting in as the adrenaline of the fight wears off. The bed remains hard and uncomfortable on his aching body and after a moment of hesitation, Kelthero finally reaches for the fellis laced wine, gulping it down and grimacing as he tries not to gag on the aftertaste. Setting the empty glass aside, he settles back on the bed with a muffled curse and tries to will himself to sleep.

As the silence in his cell and the lower tunnels ticks on, Kelthero suddenly sighs, hands coming up to scrub at his face as anger and bitterness are replaced with regret. He shifts uncomfortably on the bed, causing it to groan and creak in protest to his movements. What’s done is done. There is no going back now and Kelthero knows it. The most he can do is try to sleep off the worst of the pain and most of the night and face whatever punishment awaits him. I’ll probably just have some heavy labor to do. Or Ilentho will pay damages. Kelthero snorts, smirking at the last thought. Highly unlikely, yet still a possibility. Apologies will definitely be needed, though at the current moment he doesn’t feel at all apologetic, even if Kelthero can’t bring himself to admit who was or was not in the right.

He shifts again the bed, hissing a few choice curses as his throbbing head is jarred painfully. Sleep will not come easy to him tonight, and not just because of his wounds. Cradling his head carefully, he closes his eyes again and wills himself to relax enough for sleep to come. Eventually, exhaustion overtakes him and the fellis begins to work as well and sleep does come. But not before his thoughts play out again in fits and starts. Some make him cringe. Just before he sinks into oblivion, he asks himself again:

What have I done?

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