This is my rough draft completely unedited. For a full explanation go to Part I.
“What happened.” Kael was still trying to assimilate the memories he had that seemed a little fuzzy.
“Well, we got in a little tussle and luckily between the two of us we got out of there, but I doubt that people let things like that go without a little bit of questions. So I figure we lay low until it blows over then we can make our way to Goya. No worries.” Bannon was uncharacteristally chipper as he spoke to Kael.
The memory of the fight came back to Kael and he realized how much Bannon was stretching the truth to say that the two of them took down those moving mountains.
“How did we get away?” Was the only question Kael could formulate.
“While you were distracting the one fellow there I managed to not trip over the second man was able to knock out the third. Then I came and made sure you were still alive.” Bannon was being deferent and his eyes were shifty. Kael never knew Bannon to not take credit for something he had done.
“You took all three of those guys out by yourself.” Kael was incredulous. He remembered how the first guy had crumpled to the street from just one blow from Bannon.
“Nah you were helping to, don’t you remember. You got the second guy for me.”
“No I remember quite clearly get knocked out by the second, everything after that does get a bit fuzzy maybe you can clear it up for me.” Kael was getting frustrated with the answers that Bannon was giving and his tone got more and more harsh with all the avoidance
“Not much to tell.” Again Bannon surprised Kael by not piping up and fighting back with words. Anytime Kael had got mouthy with Bannon, Bannon was quick to fire back nasty remarks. This time Bannon just seemed to want Kael to stop.
Kael softened his voice and took breath, “What are you.” That question seemed to hurt Bannon, more than any other. He was looking to the ground and his shoulders cringed up to his head at the question.
“I’m me what do you mean.” Bannon glanced up at Kael quickly and gave an uneasy grin.
“You’re something more than that, stop playing around with me. How long have we been friends? You think maybe I could get a straight answer from you. How did you fight off three grown men. I know you lived a hard life before you got to our island but you were only eight. Have you and your mom been boxing in the basement of the seamstress.”
“No,” Bannon kept his eyes averted. “My mom told me not to tell anyone even you, but I guess you got a right and you’ll probably figure it out sooner or later. I’m not a good fighter. I hardly fought anyone except the few times me and you fought. I just strong.”
“Yeah I saw that,” Once more the image of the man crumpling to the ground ran through Kael’s mind.
“Just keep quiet for a sec would you. I’m trying to tell you something.” There was the Bannon Kael knew.
“Sorry, I see this is a little difficult for you, go on.” Kael went from indignant to understanding in an instant. That was always the case with Kael, when he felt he had gone too far he was always quick to pull back and swing to the other side of the spectrum. He was sure his seemingly instant mood changes alarmed some folks. The truth was he was just always concious of how other felt around him. Even if he chose to ignore it sometimes. It usually whiplashed back on him and he would feel sour. Just as was the case now and when he had blown off Jillian.
“I’m not like you, Kael.” Bannon’s words were sincere. Kael remained silent giving time for Bannon to collect himself. “Me dad was a Nartel.” Bannon said quietly.
Kael held in a gasp, but just barely. “Those are just from fairy tales aren’t they.”
“Maybe we’re in a fairy tale now then huh.” Bannon’s words were sharp and his eyes fierce when he whip his head up to meet Kael’s gaze.
“No, no I just, I didn’t think they actually existed.”
“Well they do and me mom she fell for one. It was short lived. He was everything you heard about Nartels. Mean, strong, uncaring.”
“Did your mom know?”
“Not at the time but it didn’t take her long to figure it out. He would do things that just weren’t possible. He could lift more, run faster, jump higher than anyone she had ever seen. He tried to hide it but his pride kept him from keeping the secret.”
“Well by the time she realized what he was she was already blessed with me.” The sarcasm in Bannon’s voice was obvious. He never thought himself to be a blessing.
“The rest of the town was getting ready to run him off anyways. He had gotten drunk at a bar and began to get in a fight. He was way outnumbered. But he grabbed a full keg. The big ones. Usually took two or three men to even roll the thing. Well he threw it half across the bar. The men they lived, but the tavern was destroyed on one end. All who had seen began to whisper, you know how small towns are.”
“So they saved you and your mom from him then?” Kael was utterly shocked at what he was hearing but also intrigued. His friend was half Nartel. They were basically portrayed as demons in any book he read with them. They were strong yes, but they also had a rage that couldn’t be tamed. The more mad they got the stronger they became. Turning more beast than man.
“Huh you think the nice townsmen and women cared about me poor old pregnant mom. Nah they thought we were just as bad as him just by association. To think she had been raised there her whole life. They knew her but not that she had been seeing this thing for a short time she was no better than him.
“The ran the whole bunch of us off. Well from there we became as transient as my father. He could never stay in one place to long. His secret couldn’t be kept, his lips were always wet with whiskey and his temper could hardly be tamed.
Me mom and I we did what we could but she was too afraid to leave him. She had never left her home island. Not even once. She didn’t have a trade and she didn’t know where to go. We lived like this until we came to your island.”
“How did you get away?” Kael was enthralled an horrified by the story. He had always assumed a dark past for Bannon, but never did he expect this.
“We didn’t, he left us. We never knew exactly what made him go but one day we woke up and he was not longer. My mom waited around a bit for him. After he had left thought she questioned why she was waiting for him in the first place. IT was as if his spell was broken. She had already made a bad name for herself by coming into town with the man not a couple weeks ago. Instead of trying to rebuild what people thought of them, We finally decided to just pick somewhere with a good fresh start. We also wanted to not be found by our old man. Just in case he began to wonder where we went. That’s how we finally ended up at your island, or our island actually.”
Kael was dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. This was a whole different life than what Kael had ever expected from his friend. He had always assumed and abusive husband and father, that they were running away from. He supposed that that was pretty close to the truth.
“So you’re half Nartel?” Was alll Kael could think to ask.