A short story of Brothers Apart
(It’s been a long time since the last BA update, and we miss them as much as you do! So enjoy this short update from the series from when Jacob discovered exactly what, and who, he missed during the events of A Lich of Sense!)
Jacob Andris sat in what the wood sprites of Wellwood had dubbed “his” clearing. He’d been back to visit as many times as he could manage since he first wandered deep into the forest with his friends and discovered that an entire village of tiny little winged beings lived out there. They remained so isolated from the world that they barely knew humans existed before Jacob and his friends, Bobby and Chase, showed up.
Now, in an autumn a little over a year after he first met Bowman Leafwing, Jacob was back again, watching his small friend wheel about in the air. Bowman’s vibrant green wings contrasted with the trees around them, which were showing their reds and oranges with the turning of the seasons. Soon they would drop to the ground, and winter would be upon the woods.
Bowman was agitated over a long story he’d spent the last several minutes recounting. Jacob knew better than to interrupt even the more outrageous claims from the sprite, so he simply watched, nodding when appropriate. Some parts had the sprite so riled that he nearly derailed his train of thought to grouse about them.
More than once, Jacob had to wonder if there was some kind of special mushroom out in the woods here that might have inspired Bowman’s imaginative tale.
At the same time, a lot of it seemed so plausible. Especially the part about a human catching Bowman and taking him out of the forest. Jacob had to prompt Bowman to move on from describing the many corners found in a human dwelling as the sprite was driven to distraction by the foreign thought.
Bowman’s story also included zombies, of all things. Zombie wolves, raised by a zombie magic user of some kind, that was there to claim sprites for some purpose of which the mere memory made Bowman shudder. If it all really happened, Jacob was loathe to think about the fact that he hadn’t been around to help. His best friend might have faced something straight out of an intense nightmare and he was alone for it.
“So,” Jacob finally interjected when Bowman’s story was winding down, “this Dean guy. After he brought you back to the woods and fought the … life-sick things, he’s an ally now? Him and his sprite-sized brother Sam?” It was one of the more intriguing parts of the story, the possibility of a human who stood the same height as Bowman paired up with a man who fought zombie wolves without flinching.
Bowman flew in a tight spiral, diving downwards so he could stop to hover at Jacob’s eye level. “Yes. He started out blasted rude, grabbing me and keeping me in a pocket. Which, by the way, if you ever try that, I will kick you in the face.”
Jacob held up his hands in surrender. “Wouldn’t dream of it,” he assured the sprite.
Bowman nodded in approval, but he still seemed cynical of something. “You don’t believe me, do you?” he said, narrowing his eyes at Jacob’s face.
Jacob offered him a sheepish grin. “I … well, it’s just pretty out there, is all,” he admitted.
Bowman rolled his eyes. “You always said no one knows the sprites exist, but here I am. Existing.”
“Okay, yeah, but zombies, Bowman?” Jacob shot back, trying to hold back a smirk. At this point, Bowman would be riled up either way. He might as well get some entertainment out of it.
Bowman pointed at him. “They called them that, too,” he insisted. “Zom-bees.” Jacob gave him a skeptical look, and Bowman scowled. “Whatever!” He flew in a wide circle around Jacob’s head, wings rustling. “Do you believe me or not?!” he asked.
“Okay, okay, say I believe something happened,” Jacob conceded. “Did those guys say they’d come back?”
Bowman stopped with a faint rustle of his wings as they shifted to hover. “No, they had to go fight more monsters,” he answered. To Jacob’s continued disbelieving look, Bowman frowned and added hastily “But they left a piece of paper with numbers on it and said I could use it to contact them if we needed help ever again!”
With that announcement, Bowman darted out of the clearing, determination carrying him off like a shot. Jacob flinched from the sudden exit, and then relaxed again. He was intrigued by the promise of solid proof, so he waited.