Bar Fights, Festivals, and Cake (Excerpt)

Recently, my laptop stopped working. I’m not sure what happened to it exactly. When the on button was pressed, it would light up for a second, and then switch off just as quickly. It’s been sent back to the company for repairs and hopefully it can be fixed, but I have no access to my docs. I might not be able to get access to them again. Aside from the obvious that I should have uploaded my stuff somewhere else, it means that I can’t easily copy and paste any writing I had there into any posts.

Which in turn means that this new excerpt I have for that “Aylwin and Silas” story won’t come along as fast as the last one.

Luckily, I never usually type my first drafts, so I do have all of it in writing. The following section takes place a month after the last one, and it begins in a pub. Everything only continues to go downhill from there.

When it came to nights at the pub, no one knew the concept of quiet. For example, Aylwin had found himself sitting at the counter, his back to the noise of shouting, fighting, and a tad of drunken singing. He took a sip of his beer just as someone threw someone else against a table. What a nice, relaxing night out.

“Are you going to do something about this?” Aylwin asked the bartender. A tinkling of broken glass and the sound of applause.

The bartender peered over Aylwin’s shoulder, then shrugged and continued to wipe a mug. “Nah, a good brawl never hurt anyone. It builds character.”

Aylwin frowned, looking away. “Uh, right.”

He had never been from a particularly violent nature. As a kid, he would even try and intervene in any fights that came up – which he soon learned would earn him a punch in the face. Since then, he steered clear from brawls such as the one taking place behind him at the pub and tried his best to ignore them.

Chanting rose from the group of men. They pounded their fists on any tables available to them, cheering on whoever had become the center of the ring. From the pack of voices came one high and crisp that taunted its opponent. Another glass or window shattered.

The one voice sounded eerily familiar to Aylwin. He stared at the counter and spun his glass around while he tried to place it, but his memories were not giving him any aid.

Once the curiosity finally got the better of him, Aylwin turned around to see the owner of the voice, and felt his jaw drop.

“Oh, yes, that was a good one!” Silas Bowman said, and he clapped his hands. “You must have been, what, a foot away? That’s progress.”

His opponent spat on the ground and got up to charge him again. Silas moved out of the way as masterfully as a dancer. Another round of jeers went up as he slinked around the circle, always one step ahead of the other man. It was more Silas mocking him than any sort of brawl.

Aylwin had no idea how Silas was there. It must have been a month since he was locked up, and there was no way the captain would let him out that early, if at all. Perhaps he was simply a hallucination brought on by too many days of hard labour, chopping up wood and building houses. That’s all it was. Aylwin turned back to the counter.

Unless, of course, Silas had escaped. How it was possible no one could know except Silas himself. On the other hand, the smart thing to do, the easier thing to do, would have been for him to immediately leave town the second he got out of prison. There was no good reason for him to be fighting in a pub.

His musings were interrupted when Silas let out a cry of pain. Aylwin whipped his head around to see Silas being held up by the collar of his shirt, although he was making the effort to kick at his captor. The man pulled back his arm, and got his chance to punch Silas in his smug little face. Aylwin actually worried that Silas’ neck had snapped with the way his head was thrown back.

“C’mon, fellas,” the triumphant opponent said to the group of men. “Let’s go show this guy just how much progress we have made.” The people who had been fighting followed him out of the pub once united against a common enemy.

Aylwin looked doubtfully at the bartender.

“He’ll get over it. Wounds do heal, you know.” He turned his latest mug from side to side. “Well, eventually.”

The pub was peaceful for a while after that. The men did come back, but Silas wasn’t with them. Aylwin finished off his beer before they could choose another target, and walked out into the cool night air.

He didn’t have to go far before he came across Silas’ injured, and unconscious, body. He had been left sprawled out on the road, with his back planted firmly in the mud. Aylwin stopped by his side and crossed his arms, while his face was taken over by a thoughtful expression.

He supposed he should take Silas to the watch. They wouldn’t be happy to have had him escape, and besides, it was Aylwin’s duty to report to the law. Then again, it was unlikely the law would care all that much about Silas being beaten up and would have no qualms with him bleeding to death. The captain and Lady Moira would be all the more glad for it.

Aylwin let his moral compass duel it out like he had the last time he had been in Silas’ presence. It lead him to sighing, and gingerly scooping Silas into his arms.

“I must be going mad,” he muttered. With that, he carried Silas on home.

Aylwin came down the stairs that morning the way he always did: bleary eyed and ready to snap at the first thing that moved. He grabbed an orange and a piece of bread, provided by the market. He nearly dropped both when he walked into the next room.

He had left his guest on a cot when he’d brought him in, but Silas appeared to be fully functional. In fact, he had made himself right at home. Leaning back in a chair, feet up on the table, and chewing on his own piece of bread.

“Mornin’,” Silas said, and waved a bandaged hand. “Aylwin, wasn’t it? You’ve got a nice place here.”

“Good morning,” Aylwin replied cautiously. “How long have you been up?”

“Eh, an hour or so. I’ve been wandering about.”

Aylwin took a deep breath. Then he walked around so that he was standing inches away from Silas, and held out his hand. The other man cocked an eyebrow before reaching out to shake it.

“Give it back,” Aylwin said, pulling away a bit. Silas didn’t react.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Whatever you bloody stole. Give it back.”

Silas stared at him for a solid ten seconds. Without a word, he pulled a pouch of coins from his coat pocket and dropped it into Aylwin’s possession.

“Is that all?” he asked, and Silas nodded. Aylwin narrowed his eyes, but backed off, choosing a seat across from him. “You seem to be in the habit of getting yourself hurt every time I see you.”

“Yes, well, the first time was your fault.” Silas shoved the rest of the bread into his mouth as if afraid Aylwin would make him hand that over as well. Aylwin scoffed.

“My fault?”

“Yeah? Which one of us was blocking the alleyway?”

Considering Silas had been trying to get away with theft at the time, Aylwin was fairly sure his point didn’t hold up. He sighed, and massaged his face. Maybe taking him to the watch would have been a better idea.

“Whatever. I don’t know what you said to that guy to make him so angry at you.”

“I called him a pig, a failure of a human being, offenses against his mother, among other things.” Silas met Aylwin’s disapproving stare, and shrugged. “He got off easy. I have a much worse arsenal of insults reserved for the truly idiotic.”

Aylwin shook his head. Silas was the scrawniest person he’d ever seen. He shouldn’t have been going around picking fights – that was, if he had a sliver of self preservation in his bones. However, Aylwin moved on to other things.

“I doubt the captain let you off your sentence,” he said.

“Perhaps I was let out for good behaviour,” Silas countered with a cheeky grin.

“How did you escape? How did you steal from the Lady Moira? How did you pull the captain’s pants down when everybody was watching you, for crying out loud?”

“Sorry, that’s top secret. But maybe someday I’ll teach you my tricks.”

He sputtered, and gathered the whole sum of his dignity to deliver his next statement. “I don’t want to learn any of your tricks! You’re a criminal, you stoop to the lowest level, and I honestly think you deserved to be locked up.”

“And yet,” Silas said, pointing a slender finger to him, “you found me out there, all bloody and bruised, and what did you do? Took me in and bandaged me up. That says something, mate.”

“It doesn’t mean I’m not taking you back to the watch straight away.” Aylwin adopted a stoic stature as he peeled the orange in silence. Silas, on his part, did not seem too concerned by this. He settled down further in the chair and watched Aylwin pick apart the fruit, piece by piece.

When he had finished his breakfast, he went upstairs to get changed. It took quite some time for him to decided what to do with Silas but he finally opted for bringing him into his bedroom where he could keep an eye on him and placing him in a corner. Silas clasped his hands behind his back and hummed a little tune while Aylwin switched into day clothes.

On the bedside table were some dirty clothes, a wood carving, and a piece of bare cloth. When it caught Aylwin’s eye he stared at it for a few seconds, feeling his temper begin to mount.

Silas must have heard Aylwin’s footsteps because he turned around just as he reached him and grabbed a hold of his collar. His hands scrambled over Aylwin’s in an attempt to release his grip, but he held firm. No way was he letting him get away with what he had done.

“Give me the necklace, Silas,” Aylwin ordered. His voice sounded calm, which was the exact opposite of his mood. Silas looked up at him and stopped trying to pry his fingers away.

“I don’t have a necklace.”

“Don’t play dumb with me. I know you took it.” Aylwin tightened his hold slightly.

“You won’t hurt me,” said Silas, and it was fact, they both knew it.

Neither of them moved. Then, finally, Silas reached into one of his coat pockets again and retrieved a long loop of twine with a single sparkling gem thread through it. Aylwin snatched it, and at the same time let Silas go.

The thief rubbed at his neck. “Why do you even have jewelry up here?”

“None of your business,” Aylwin said. “We’re leaving.”

Once the necklace was placed safely back on its cloth, or as safe as Aylwin could believe it would be after having it stolen while he slept, they went downstairs and out into town.

Brightly coloured lanterns, not yet lit so early in the day, hung from the houses while the people in the streets were converging and chatting merrily. There was a certain excitement in the air, one that was rare for their calm little town. Aylwin paused in the doorway. He had completely forgotten about the Summer Festival.

Oh, well. They would just have to weave their way through. Aylwin linked his arm tightly through Silas’ and kept moving.

They cut a line through the sectors, slowly growing closer to the town square and the watch building nearby. Unfortunately, the streets got more congested as they went, to the point where Aylwin was walking sideways to form openings with his shoulder. A few rings away from the jail, he stopped and scanned his surroundings in dismay.

“Aylwin, can we talk about this?” said Silas.

“We cannot,” Aylwin said, and after a moment added, “And that is Fletcher to you.”

He spotted an exit and took a step forward, only to be stopped again by a man waving a basket of pastries under his nose. “Young Mister Fletcher! Care for some festive treats?”

“Um, no thank you, Mister Dale.” Aylwin couldn’t help but feel his stomach sink. Dale was not an easy baker to shake off.

“Oh, come now, come now, it’ll only cost you five shrivnels!” He flourished one hand above the basket. “I have bougasta, galaktoboureko, halva…”

“Really, it’s all right,”Aylwin told him earnestly. “I don’t have any money on me, anyway.”

Dale did nothing to hide his disappointment. “Ah. Of course. Well, if you change your mind, you know where to find me.”

Aylwin had been edging his way around him, and at that, he nodded sharply and made to hasten their retreat. Silas, however, had other plans. He tapped his free hand against Aylwin’s shoulder.

“Hold up, mate. I could personally die for a piece of portokalopita right now,” he said, and Aylwin was just about ready to be swallowed by a hole in the ground. Dale, on the other hand, was absolutely delighted.

“A man of taste, I see.” He took a knife from his pocket and maneuvered the basket so that he could cut into the sweet. “Five shrivnels, please.”

Silas made a bit of a show out of trying to reach into his coat pocket while being restrained so thoroughly by Aylwin. Finally, he sighed, and gave Aylwin a look that a parent might give their child that has latched onto their leg.

“Fletcher, bud, you’re going to have to let go.”

Aylwin glared at him pointedly. “Mister Dale, he is not my friend. This man is an escaped criminal that I’m returning to the watch.”

“Oh?” Dale looked between the two, puzzled. “Is that so?”

There was a mixture of nodding and shaking heads from Aylwin and Silas respectively. Dale grew even more confused, so Silas shrugged, and began to laugh. He laughed so hard that he doubled over and brought Aylwin down with him.

“He’s the one that almost got away with stealing Lady Moira’s earrings a month back,” Aylwin told him. He hefted Silas, still grinning to himself, up.

“Ah. Well, I’ll have to let your father know you’ve taken a sudden interest in law enforcement, eh? I was under the impression you told Cadby you didn’t want to join the watch.”

A strange new panic surged up from Aylwin’s gut and into his throat. He started to tell Dale that no, he had no interest in joining the watch, that he was simply being a good citizen, and came to a quick stop. It really was true that Dale was difficult to shake off. Once his mind was set on something, little to nothing could deter him. He would go to Cadby whether Aylwin liked it or not.

What seemed like an eternity of debating passed within a moment of reality. Aylwin relented and let go of Silas, allowing him freedom to reach into his coat pocket.

“I’m sorry for troubling you, Mister Dale,” Silas said, pulling out the shrivnels. It was impossible to tell if he’d taken them from Aylwin’s home or some unsuspecting stranger. “Aylwin here is such a joker. ‘Taking him to the watch’ – heh, comedic genius.”

“Err, right,” Dale muttered as he handed him the piece of portokalopita, obviously still in a state of confusion. Aylwin was watching Silas like a hawk. “Enjoy the festival, boys!”

The baker finally moved away, but a group of dancers cut a path between Aylwin and Silas before he could grab a hold of him again. He cursed, tried to get across, and failed. Silas took a deep bite of his orange cake as if to taunt him. Then he saluted to Aylwin, and disappeared into the crowd.

Aylwin made his attempts to recapture the thief, searching the route he thought he took and then searching each sector. Nothing. By the time the sun was going down, Aylwin found himself sitting just on the outskirts of town, staring out to the forest where he was sure Silas had fled.

I was considering putting this one into two parts due to not being sure whether it was too lengthy, but I’ve opted not to. It would have technically been the same length either way, right? Plus some extra bits of my own commentary in the second part.

Here you can more clearly see what I was talking about in the character dynamics post, where I discussed the type of conflict I usually like to write between my characters. Aylwin and Silas have a bit of tension going on between them which makes the relationship more interesting.

The desserts that Dale so insistingly wants Aylwin to buy all look very delicious, if that’s something you would like to check out. And as for why Silas thought it was a good idea to insert himself in a bar fight after only just escaping jail: Aylwin is right in that he doesn’t possess the best sense of self preservation.

Story Excerpt in These Trying Times

Length is something that can be a little hard to estimate while writing. Something you expected to be short and sweet will come out longer, or something that you had originally thought would be extremely large ends up only taking up a couple of pages. Between my own experience and other writers that I’ve spoken with, short stories or responses to writing prompts are some of the most notorious for this, because if you get too engaged it can become much more than a short story or a response to a writing prompt.

The best example I have for this is the excerpt I will be sharing in this post. Originally it was more of a writing exercise than anything, and my goal was to write a short story based around a song. The specific song that inspired this was Archers by The Ballroom Thieves, and given that it is a little over two minutes and I expected the story to be divided into ten short sections, it was easy to believe this was a project that would be over fairly soon.

I started this in April, and I am still writing for it. That is probably enough incentive for you to know that something went awry during the process.

It turned out that what I had in mind was actually much longer than I had originally thought, and around the point I’m at now, the story is starting to move away from the original path I had set out for it (which also means in later parts it doesn’t fit the song as well). Which is fine, stories are bound to evolve into something different than what you set out to do.

This “short story” is structured a little strangely, since it is divided by song lyrics instead of chapters. I will be including two sections from it, because section two ends on slightly less of a cliff hanger than section one.

As for the story itself: it is about a thief, an exhausted protagonist, traveling through forests and earrings, but I’ll let the writing explain for itself.

The first time Aylwin met Silas was more of a fluke than anything.

Town square was quiet that day, as it had been every day for the past ninety-three years, and as it would be for years to come. A few merchants were still packing up everything that had not been sold. Children chased each other around the execution block, giggling and jumping merrily.

Aylwin bypassed the small crowd to get to the nearest well. He was dying to bathe, even just a little bit. It was common knowledge that if you slipped between the Turner and Baker houses, you would have a shortcut to the west well that suited Aylwin more than taking the main route through the sectors.

It was not, apparently, common knowledge that running full speed through the shortcut while another person was going the opposite way would get you both knocked over.

The stranger and Aylwin went tumbling along the path, and ended up sprawled in a tangle no where near the well. Aylwin scowled and reached for his pail while the other man struggled to push himself upright.

“What were you thinking, blazing along like that?” he demanded. The man focused wild eyes on Aylwin, and he paused. “Hey, are … are you okay?”

The man blinked. It seemed to take him a moment to register what had happened and what Aylwin was asking. When he did, he relaxed his expression into a grin. “Oh yeah, I’m fine, mate.”

“Really?” Aylwin took in the messy hair, ragged clothes, and dirty skin. “You look like you recently rolled out of a pig pen.”

“A pig pen would be an improvement to my current situation.” The man threw a glance over his shoulder, stood up, and made to maneuver himself around Aylwin. He didn’t get one step before he let out a hiss and collapsed back to the ground.

Aylwin let the pail dangle from his elbow as he slipped the opposite arm around the man. He protested at first, but eventually allowed Aylwin to lead him to a bench in the square. The straggling merchants eyed them curiously.

“I truly am fine,” he said impatiently.

“And I am truly sure you sprained something,” Aylwin replied. He rolled up the man’s pant leg, pressing his thumb along the skin until he saw him wince. “It’s in the calf, then?”

“I’m fine.”

Aylwin rolled his eyes and pulled the pant leg down again. “Well, take it easy for a couple of hours. Seriously, why were you running through Turner-Baker?”

The man didn’t respond. Aylwin looked up and caught his gaze darting to all the square’s entrances, his muscles tense. Soon enough he noticed Aylwin watching him and shrugged. “I find it’s a faster mode of traveling. You should try it sometime.”

He took that comment as his cue to leave. Aylwin stood and turned to do just that, but something was still nagging at him.

“I’ve never seen you around here before,” he said, to which the man flashed a brilliant smile. It was a smile that shook your hand and said “you can trust me” while stealing all your money and possibly your first born child.

“Of course not. I’m from out of town.”


“Ouch. A farmer.”

“Longhill or Stag clan?”

“Neither. I didn’t say I was a well known farmer.”

Aylwin leaned in with narrowed eyes. “What’s your name?”

“James Curlston,” the man said without missing a beat. He leaned in as well, and raised an eyebrow. “Is the interrogation done yet, mister?”

He wanted to say no. Something about “James” was really setting him off. But, in the end, he wasn’t Aylwin’s problem. He told the man to stay off that leg and continued his journey to fetch some water.

Then their simple, quiet town square was filled with yelling. Men dressed in leather armour poured in with weapons raised, causing the children to scream and flee from the area. Aylwin held up his arms and backed away. He spotted James, who’s face was streaked with horror.

“That’s him, there’s the man!” shouted a woman’s voice.

James struggled to get away with his hindering calf. All at once, the men came upon him and dragged him to the center of the square. He was pushed down to his knees.

From above, the shadow of the execution block loomed over him.

Lady Moira swept across the cobblestones that weren’t fit for feet as fine as hers. The watch parted for her all except for the two men holding James down and the captain. He knelt beside James and cupped his jaw, then jerked it up so Lady Moira could inspect him.

“There’s no mistaking it,” she said, confirming her previous statement. “It’s him. I caught him climbing out the window.”

The captain let go and moved back with a nod. The two guards began to pat James down, to his apparent outrage. “Where’s your proof, huh? Do you have any other eye witnesses? You can’t just arrest me like this!”

“My proof is somewhere on your person. A pair of diamond earrings,” Lady Moira replied. She watched him with a look of disgust.

“What’s your name?” the captain asked, and when James didn’t respond, “What’s your name!”

“I am James Curlston from the southern district,” James snarled. “I’m a man of Agreisha. And unlike this accuser, who has never gotten her hands dirty in her life, I’m a farmer that always makes honest work and I-!”

He was cut off short as one of the guards pulled something from his inner coat pocket. Lady Moira’s earrings gleamed in his palm. Aylwin stared from his spot at the edge of the square, everything finally beginning to click into place.

“Well,” the man who was probably not named James Curlston said, and slumped from his position of righteous indignation. “You can’t blame a guy for trying.”

“Real name,” the captain demanded.

Not-James jutted out his chin. “Silas Bowman.”

“You admit that you broke into Lady Moira’s home, stole some of her most prized jewelry, and ran from the law?”

“Get your men to back off, and I’ll think about it.”

The captain struck Silas across the face. He turned to Lady Moira and asked what punishment she saw as acceptable for the criminal. Then Silas began to laugh; slow and throaty at first, until it grew high and loud and grated on everyone’s nerves. The captain went to slap him again, but Silas held up a hand.

“No, no, ignore me.” He snickered. “I simply can’t get over the fact that the local watch takes orders from a man who can’t even tie his belt right.”

Silas continued to laugh. The captain, on the other hand, looked down and went bright red. The other guards pretended not to notice while he drew his pants up and tugged his belt tight. Aylwin was sure he heard a merchant near him snort.

“It wasn’t like that before,” said the captain. He pointed at his men. “You all saw me! It wasn’t like that before.” Finally, he let his finger fall in Silas’ direction. “How did you manage it, you bugger?”

Silas smiled. “I didn’t. There’s no possible way I could, with all these people watching.”

“That was a low blow.”

“Quite literally, I might add.”

This time it was Aylwin who snorted, against his better judgment. Silas heard it and cast his smile to him momentarily.

“He shall hang,” Lady Moira said, her voice as cool as ice. “Tomorrow at noon, if you will allow it, Captain.”

“Oh, I’ll allow it, all right,” the captain muttered. Silas’ cheery mood dropped and he thrashed against the guards that held him, but there was nothing he could do. Nowhere he could run.

Aylwin fought vigorously against the sympathy that tried to develop at the sight. Silas was a liar and a petty thief, and by all means didn’t deserve his pity. Aylwin was going on his way to the well when the merchant from earlier stepped forward and cleared his throat.

“Sir? Madam? If I may weigh in a tad,” he said, and Aylwin found himself stopping in his tracks.

The captain frowned at him. “Whatever makes you think that-?”

“Now, now, Captain, I see no harm in it. Go ahead,” Lady Moira told the merchant, giving him a nod.

“I don’t think that one theft deserves a death penalty, madam.”

“No? That’s what most are treated to. It’s the way things are.”

“It is cruel and unjust.” The merchant crossed his arms. His determination was like a tidal wave. But Lady Moira, Aylwin thought, was like sheer rock. “Mister Bowman could be a poor street urchin simply trying to survive. What are a couple of diamond earrings lost to your abundant riches, my lady?”

Lady Moira pressed her lips into a thin line.

“Not one of our street urchins. Have any of you seen this man before?” The captain addressed his question to the square at large, and the watch and other merchants shook their heads. The one who seemed to have taken a liking to Silas searched them until he spotted Aylwin, who he wasted no time in pointing out.

“He knows him. I saw the two come out of Turner-Baker, speaking with one another. He was aiding him in walking.”

Within seconds, another pair of guards had grabbed Aylwin and pulled him to the group. He, too, was thrown to his knees. If only he’d left to fetch pails of water sooner. If only Silas had run through another route. He glared at the man beside him, but all of Silas’ attention was on Lady Moira, the captain, and the merchant.


“Aylwin Fletcher, sir.”

“And how long have you known Mister Bowman?”

He tried to sit up to look the captain in the eyes, and was rewarded a push by one of the guards. So Aylwin stared at the ground instead, his sense of honour compromised and his body really needing that bath he’d planned to take.

“Perhaps ten minutes or so, sir,” Aylwin said through gritted teeth. “He ran into me when I was on my way to collect water from the west well. He sprained a muscle and I helped him sit down.”

“It’s true, much to my annoyance. I may have gotten away if it weren’t for good old Aylwin here,” Silas added.

Aylwin bumped his shoulder against Silas’ and hissed, “You shut up.”

Silas retaliated. “I’m helping you!”

This led to Aylwin ranting on how he supposedly should be so gracious that Silas was trying to help him out of what he got him into. Silas snarked that, hey, Aylwin had been so insistent on checking Silas’ injury and he hadn’t been the one to draw attention to him. The captain massaged his temples, looking as if to be under great strain, and silenced them both with a yell.

“I haven’t done anything, sir, I swear. I didn’t help him steal the earrings,” Aylwin pressed. He hadn’t known the earrings themselves necessarily existed before that day.

“But do you believe this man deserves to die for them?” the merchant asked. All eyes focused on him completely. Aylwin glanced from the captain to Silas then back, and swallowed.

Should he help or condemn him?

Should he affiliate himself further with the criminal, or have a guilty conscience?

Yes or no. Yes or no. Yes or-

“No,” Aylwin said, lowering his head. “I don’t think so.”

He was aware, then, of Silas observing him with his head tilted. He simply refused to acknowledge him. The captain muttered something about everyone going soft these days as the merchant debated with him further, and finally he relented to making Silas serve time in jail instead. Lady Moira wasn’t happy, but she covered it up with a blank face and stalked away from the scene.

Silas was taken to the prison. The captain declared Aylwin innocent, mostly because he had better things to do than interrogate him further. The watch dispersed, and the merchants packed up, and everyone left so that Aylwin crouched in the dirt all alone.

Maybe he was going soft, he thought to himself while he tread back to the shortcut. After all, thieves never won sympathy from most in that town.

It has occurred to me that, perhaps, this is a bit too long of an excerpt, but it is going to stay like that. I spent too much time copying and pasting each individual paragraph from my Word document so that it didn’t break the format that it doesn’t matter.

“Archers”, as I’ve been calling it, is a piece I’ve enjoyed writing very much. Aylwin and Silas’ characters, along with their dynamic and how it develops over the course of the story, have been really fun to play around with. As I said before, at this point it has moved past the original plan, but it seems to be worth it.

As for whether it will be wrapped up by the time a year has passed? Only time will tell.