She tended to just tune them out when they started speaking in different languages. It wasn’t that the words weren’t beautiful – musical and magical in that way a native tongue never could be – just that it was tiring, listening to syllables that meant something to her only after they clumsily collided with their meanings in the shaded corners of her mind. She always felt far away, listening behind airy miles. It was only natural that she would listen to the sound of it after a while, and forget the words.
“Kadelyn?” Ineli asked, long after Kadelyn’s thoughts had drifted to other things. She looked up from the floor, skirts gathered in a pile that hid her legs and left her toes poking out behind her. “Tina gnomen echeis?”
Kadelyn blinked, listening before she understood, and already smiling at the brightness in her younger sister’s expression. What do you think? she’d asked. Straightening in her chair, Kadelyn set the words on her tongue carefully: “Gnomen echo nun ten glossan archeian tu legeis beltion emoi.” I think now you speak the old language better than I do.
Ineli beamed under the compliment, and laughed at it at the same time. “Ouk to ti eratesa.”
Kadleyn blinked, once, twice. That’s not what I asked, Ineli said.
Brance chuckled from the other side of the room. “I think we’re boring her,” he murmured. He leaned his jaw against his hand, elbow propped comfortably on the arm of the couch. It was hard to tell if that was just the easy position he’d fallen into, or if he was halfway to hiding his grin from her. Either way, it was a brilliant show of laziness, as it hid nothing and looked infinitely convenient.
Kadelyn just shook her head. There was no need for them to stop. The sound of their conversation was as sweet as it had ever been. Their happiness in it was the easiest thing to understand.
Ineli turned her head back to her brother, looking up slyly through her lashes. “Sun humon lalo-lalon?” The babble of that last word took Kadelyn a moment: With our nonsense?
Brance laughed. “Ohi,” he said, immediately disagreeing. “Sun humon glossalgia.”
Ineli laughed instantly, but it took Kadelyn even longer. With our endless talking.
“E sun humon glossalgos?” Ineli questioned. Or with our… and Kadleyn failed to understand anything more than that her little sister had just made a pun worthy of the dullest glare she’d ever seen Brance deliver.
And just like that, it seemed they had both sunk back into their rolling consonants and lilting syllables, wrapped up in words that could call out of order without losing meaning, stuck on the exotic way the sounds clicked off their teeth. And just like that, Brance rolled an easy sentence off his tongue, cheerful and messy, and beautiful as the moment before:
“What do you think we should do for festival this year? Are we too old to dress to match, or are we powerful enough do what we like?”
The words arrived, unexpectedly close, right beside her, and Kadelyn smiled.
I’m a thief! I stole the first line of this piece from my friend, Bek. Be sure to stop by her blog tomorrow to see the original piece of fiction that she wrote.