"You have a darkness in you."
"Yes, we all do, along with God's light. It's what makes us the same. What makes us different is what we choose to follow." -- Anon Guest
"What?" said the Kobold who, at this point in her journey, didn't think herself worthy of a name. She would, in time, become known as Lady Anthe, but that time is not now. She is learning, and these are earlier, more painful days.
Wraithvine took a calming breath. They did that a lot in these beginning weeks. "We each have two sides to ourselves. Call it whatever you like. Two wolves, a demon and an angel, two voices... one is hopelessness, despair, and self-hate. The other is love, joy, and promise. The one that wins is the one you nourish, or encourage. Do you understand?"
The Kobold currently known as Thief flinched inwards on herself and raised an arm against an incoming blow that would never come. She whimpered a little under the Elf Wizard's gentle touch.
"Of course, circumstance can encourage one side more than another. The important bit is what you choose to do after such circumstance. You could choose to spread the pain to others or... choose to be sure it doesn't happen to anyone if you can help it."
Thief eased slowly out of her flinch. "I choose... to survive."
"Always a good first step, but I have to wonder... you also chose to rescue me from those brigands. That put your survival at risk. Why did you make that choice?"
Thief said, "I know what it's like. It's not worth the living if it costs the same pain in others."
Wraithvine smiled and nodded. "Just so. An excellent choice. May you make many more like it."
She would, in the fullness of time. In the fullness of time, she would rise to behold the world and where it needed repairs. Alas, for now, her view was not much further than the upper limits of the gutter.
"I chose to pick that nasty guard's pocket," confessed Thief. "He was a bully, so I cut his purse when he wasn't looking." The purse was heavy and large in her hands.
Wraithvine raised an eyebrow and inspected the pouch. "That's far more gold than an ordinary guard should have," muttered the Wizard. "What good do you think should be done with this?"
"The good stew," said Thief. "We'll have some... and think."
Sometimes, the better path is made of many, tiny steps.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / frenta]
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