He capered across the wall, and those rising to start their tasks looked away from him. He cracked a grin at the back of their heads. It always pleased Omri immensely to watch his little magicks work on them. Dressed in a bright yellow coat that caught the sun and made it jealous, in blue and purple pants, in boots almost too white to exist, they were still compelled not to notice. It was freedom in every magnitude, and Omri loved it.
He landed on the ground with a thud that should have halted their work, and they ignored him. He sauntered across the manor’s overgrown lawn, pants and long grass hissing and hushing. He whistled a little. No one cared, but when he passed just behind a boy bent double to rip weeds from the edge of the path, there was a small shudder in the boy’s spine.
“I don’t get it,” Galen said. He smiled as he spoke and shook his head, sitting on the deck. He had one knee bent, his arm propped against it, his head leaned forward a little to catch the warm sun on his neck and shoulders. Relaxed.
Zain was staring at him. His mouth hung open, breath caught somewhere in the back of his throat as he tried to come up with another way to explain. He sat cross-legged, leaned forward over his knees earnestly. “Definitions… can never exactly be the object that they’re attempting to define.”
“But that’s what a definition is,” Galen said.
Zain stared at him harder. Then he glanced to the side for help. It was impossible to say whether he looked to Terius or Jaera, as close as they sat, with Terius sat on a low crate with his arms wrapped around Jaera while she leaned her back against it. Both of them shrugged, almost at the same moment, then broke into smiles of their own. Jaera met Galen’s eye and shook her head too.
“But a definition is not the thing!” Zain said.
“No,” Galen repeated, but he sounded like a school boy, repeating the answer he thought the teacher wanted, complete with the snickering undertone of pity for the teacher’s ignorance.