The Other

A story of green and red making black, and broken glass.

By: Kitty Ryan

Rating: PG for themes

For Jen, Quatre-Sama and Chrissy-- because they ran out of adjectives.

The bottle was dark green.

Its lines were smooth and continuos, its weight welcome and solid in his hands, and the man knew that the bottle was the only beautiful, perfect thing his room, and his world. Over and over, he turned it: holding it up to the light of a candle, which added hints of gold to the dark, steady colour of the glass it was made of. A deep, rich green--stained almost black from neck to base, because of the liquid it held. Red liquid protected by green glass, making black, and release, and sleep.

The man brought the wonderful thing even closer to the light, his movements slow and child-like. He was enchanted, enthralled…

…And the glass, thick and stained as it was, showed his face.

The magic was gone. Now, as he always did, the man had a choice of one thing, or the other.

The servants had long shut their ears to the crying of a broken man.

They were not, however, numb to the sound of glass splintering against a wall.

He's gone mad, at last, they thought. What they didn't know was that the man, weeping and surrounded by bottle-green glass, with wine dripping down the plaster, had done one of the sanest things of his life.

Raoul of Goldenlake had done something that deserved one hell of a celebration.

He had chosen the other.

Disclaimer: Raoul and his world belong to Tamora Pierce. Many people being to alcoholism. May they too, one day, have something to celebrate.