Candle in the Dark

by Robert Burson

Book of Darkness Page 7

The Malleus Ignis is the hammer against darkness but they wield a spear?

Book of Darkness Page 7

Chapter 1, page 7

They ate around the family table. Mother served the soup. Bowls of steaming carrots, onions and broth heaped with meatballs, ladled in sloppy splashes from the pot. The savory smell of the soup, lemon and meat, filled the small room. Charlie tried not to look at Cole, where he sat at the head of the table. Where he sat in father’s chair.

Mother had insisted. Pating the seat and cooing as they gathered to eat. They were almost the same age, Charlie just two winters shy. Cole’s family were not farmers. They had never worked the earth. Never raised crops; never raised food or fed others with the sweat of their brow. Never slaughtered a lamb, hung it in the larder, and minced it into meatballs for sour soup. Father had described the villagers of Ostium like insects feeding on the blood of the farmers.

Cole smiled at him and raised his brandy glass in a mock toast. Strawberry brandy brewed from the berries his grandfather had planted. The brandy his father bottled before he died. The same bushes that died out last winter.

“I need to get up early for the planting,” Charlie looked down at his untouched soup. “I think I’ll retire.”

“As you wish.” His mother poured more brandy for herself. “Not going to finish your supper?”

“I ate in the field.” His stomach growled and gave his words the lie, but he picked up his bowl and carried it into the kitchen for the dogs.

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