Roots [29]

I don’t think you understand how this works.

How does it work?

Well, when the Beast’s wind blows, it says things to me.

Both of you? At the same time?

Well, if we are in the same place, yes. But otherwise no. It tells Tom different things.

So it speaks differently to you than it does Tom?

Yes! Yes, Mary, exactly.

And do you know why it only speaks to you two?

It doesn’t only speak to us. It spoke to you once, remember? It speaks to Aunt Martha.

Yes, but only that once.

Maybe, my dearest, sweetest girl, maybe some people are more in need of it than others.

Why does Tom need it?

I don’t know, darling. If I knew, I would.. well.

You still wouldn’t say yes to the poor fellow, would you.

Stop it, Mary. Don’t talk to me of such things.

Well. I think you’re stubborn and silly. And I think you have trained your ears to only listen to the silly things that old Beast tells you. Who knows how old those words are, and from which ancient tree they came. Who knows how long they have lived in these lands, and what hold they have on them. And you let them into your mind, and you let them make decisions for you. I think it’s all silly. I think you’re growing older, Laura, and you are putting roots where there is no soil.

Don’t you tell me where I ought to put my roots, Mary.

Well, I shall. I shall tell you. I think you’re wasting your time.

I am not!

You don’t laugh anymore.

I can’t.

The Beast has taken your joy away!

That’s absurd. If that was the case, my joy would have vanished ten years ago.

Something is not right, Laura.

I tell you, you don’t understand how this works!! Now stop it. Let us walk the rest of the way home in silence. The moon is large tonight. I want to feast my eyes on the world bathing in its silver light.

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