applespice: it is a sparkly fairy ([reading] old books)
How About Them Apples? ([personal profile] applespice) wrote2012-01-16 06:10 pm
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LJ Idol - Week 10 - Sticks and Stones

Clay, twigs, and a drop of blood. Ancient, eldritch words. Spells pressed into the loam, each fingerprinted whorl transformed into a vein of power. A buzz in the air, a tingle along the boy's down-soft cheek. An awakening.

"Hello," said the golem, sitting up on the desk.

"Hello," said Kyle, his fingers shaking. It had worked.

The golem blinked. In the imprints Kyle had made for its eyes, tiny blue fires seemed to glow. "Where are we?"

"My room."

The golem nodded. "Naturally. And what is your name, Master?"

Kyle was afraid, there was no doubt of it, but a hot thrill went through him to hear the golem call him that. "Kyle."

"And what is mine?"

"You don't have one already?"

The golem was up and walking, exploring Kyle's notebooks and pencils. It sat down on a worn-shapeless pink eraser and regarded Kyle with the blue flames that were its eyes. "I suppose I've had several, but I don't remember them. Each new Master must name me in his or her turn. For each new shape, a new name."

Kyle wondered who the golem served before, and when. A boy like him? Driven by desperation and fear and perhaps under those things, loneliness and longing? The man who had spoken to him as he wept behind the library, the man who had given him the book?

"Hero," he said. The golem nodded again.

"It will do. And why have you summoned me, Master?"

Kyle did not know how to tell about the boys and the bruises. The shouted slaps and the whispered cuts that were even worse. The fights his parents didn't think he heard, the way the girls at school laughed when he passed by. He didn't know how to explain about sixth grade or disappointed teachers or eating lunch behind the dumpsters because there was no one to sit with.

He thought for a long time but Hero said nothing, only watched. He sat so still that he might be only clay and dirt, pebbles and sticks again.

"To protect me," he whispered, and felt the shame of tears behind his eyes. He wondered if Hero knew tears, understood them. "To be my friend."

"Friendship is protection," Hero said.

"I've never had a friend, not a real one."

"I am as real as sticks and stones," said Hero, standing. "And now you have me."

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