When Trkasu slept at night, he dreamt of people he knew. Sometimes he saw his brother waving him out the door, like an errant kitten. And others his father loomed over him, holding a book he’d ripped. But the dreams had been changing, evolving. Colors had crept that he hadn’t noticed, hadn’t remembered. Sometimes they smiled at him. His father would touch his shoulder. Even his brothers would pause in their ignorance, asking what the birds were saying.
And sometimes Roderick was watching from the balcony, sometimes from the hall. Those were the times Trkasu slept without crying, woke with panic. Sitting, reading, knowing he was safe, even if only in those dreams. Even Alidon would be there, offering him a paintbrush with an unnerving smile. Those were the dreams that didn’t last long, waking him with confusion.
The best were when he dreamt of sitting in the forest with the birds and the squirrels. He was almost always alone then. But Roderick’s voice would wake him, a question he never quite caught. That was when he would wake with something approaching a smile and sitting up slowly. Those were calm morning, with scorpions curled in his hair and his foot outside the brace.