The grass on the northern side of the castle, where no tents stood and no warriors trained, grew thick and tall. Grit inhaled the sweet meadow air. The press of people in the dining hall had been stifling, but Grit hardly noticed Arrow’s closeness, so natural and undemanding was his manner. She did not mind at all when he began to talk.
“Did you find the southern tip of Chasmaria? And have you eaten your breakfast in peace?”
“I did, and I have. I’m surprised you remember that.”
Arrow’s voice was pleasant, like a familiar game with an old companion. “People remember the strangest things. A girl in my village once told me nothing smells sweeter than a newly blossomed lily. Seven years later, though she has never again spoken of lilies, I cannot see that flower without seeing her face. That is the power of the spoken word at its very best, and that is why I try to choose my words carefully. The tongue can heal, but more often, it wounds more deeply than a weapon.”
All her life, words had rolled off Grit’s tongue so freely. Too few of them had been kind, but to try to change the established course of her tongue would be as ridiculous as Dame Berth trying to teach Seal to speak.
“Sometimes words are just words. It is weak-minded to give them too much importance.”
“Perhaps you are right,” Arrow said. “But perhaps it is cruel to give them too little.”
As a child, Lisa Dunn fell asleep to her father’s fanciful bedtime tales and played with her own story ideas during the daylight hours. She now resides in a small southern town with her husband, four children, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Local librarians habitually thank her for their job security.