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Viewing Single Post From: Carry the Fire
The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"That's fine. If anyone asks I'll cover for you."

Vernon Kanuho's voice was akin to the first rumblings of an approaching thunderstorm. It came as a bass growl bordering on a roar straight from his diaphragm and was the voice that promised annihilation if opposing counsel didn't get out of his way but with the right injection of just a little warmth, such as now when Vernon ever so briefly took his eyes off the prayer leaders to regard his old classmate with just the faintest upward turn of his lips, also promised comfort and protection to those who needed it. He spoke as someone who would go to war for clients or colleagues and had done. Through his suit his muscles twitched when a ringtone yelped through the crowd and caused a ripple of irritation that made the three preachers trail off for a moment and soft, fleshy yet steel-nerved Parker direct a glare into the audience, but the ceremony went on and Vernon didn't outwardly respond. He had defended men accused of murder and worse, a phone couldn't rattle him. The smile remained calm and vaguely paternal on his face, and he gave Ethan a nod then a little pat on the shoulder.

"Let us know if we can do anything. For what it's worth, I hope he's okay."

He turned back to the podium like the shifting of tectonic plates, allowing Ethan to do what he must. Prayers in English, Hebrew and Arabic washed over him and he let out a long breath and wondered at how he would react if it were his own son missing. It took every ounce of his mighty discipline not to turn to Roderick and hold him and refuse to let go.

Roderick opened his eyes and returned to reality when trembling fingers trailed down his bicep. Mrs. Parker. He knew Min-Jae of course, knew his folks, knew his mother's condition. He'd been raised to be courteous, protective, supportive, and Mrs. Parker wasn't his family or even someone he knew well enough to feel comfortable using her first name even though he knew what it was, but she was still someone suffering. He looked to her and Mr. Parker as they edged away, to his parents, back to the Parkers.

Wordlessly, he slipped away and tagged along if only to make sure Mrs. Parker got out of there okay. He spoke only if spoken to, stood ready to lend support if needed. If asked he couldn't really tell anyone why he felt compelled to serve as silent escort. It just felt like the right thing to do. All he could do in this situation, and that simple fact bit deeply into him. This wouldn't be fixed no matter how hard he worked, no matter what he tried to do, no matter how much weight he could lift or who he could beat on the mat. That more than any amount of in-born stoicism might have been part of the reason for his stony visage tonight as the realisation twisted and churned in his guts.

When Mr. and Mrs. Parker were seen off, he returned to his parents' sides and remained there with his candle. The Kanuhos would be among the last to leave that night.

Gregory Luz knew about fear and suffering. Being in his ninth decade he had seen so much of both that they might as well have been the tide coming in and out. He knew them well enough he'd spent much of his existence building the Luzes into a clan that would never have to know either. Fate had denied him the chance to fight Franco, Hitler, Mussolini or Hirohito and so he had made that his service. His family had been strong and happy and the road his life had taken seemed worth it.

The ache where flesh met prosthetic, as familiar as those few of his oldest friends that still lived, trailed up his leg and aimed a mocking stab all the way up to his heart like the Nationalists marching on Madrid. Fate laughed at the world he had built just like it laughed at his patriotism all those years ago. Not satisfied with his leg it now took so many of his grandchildren, arbitrarily plucking them from their family and their future like apples from the tree. The candlelight around him and the stars above shone as if laughing about it. When he heard about the disappearances his ancient heart had nearly stopped forever right then and there.

It took more than that to kill a Luz. He buried the horror, the shake in his hands, gripped his cane - bloodwood with a head of gold, a rare concession to the damage done by passing years - tightly enough he might have broken it had he the strength of his youth, soldiered on. The clan needed its patriarch. A misunderstanding, he told them all, a couple buses just lost for a bit and back in no time. No blood relative of his was enough of a fool to believe that.

Young Crisanto was the first Luz to drift away. Crushed under the weight of candlelight and reality and how much more clearly he could put a face to all 107 names than his grandfather could, he mumbled an apology and slinked back to his car as if drunk. Some of the others stayed, others went. Gregory intended to be the last.

It was the least he could do for all those young futures, as bright as the flame of his candle and snuffed out just as easily.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Oct 24 2016, 08:11 AM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.

18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!

16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene

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