Secondary Characters Speak Out: Quartz and Gryluxx

Quartz sits in a clearing in the Forest of Tears where red flowers like fat teardrops hang low on many of trees. He can see many of them even if he’s perched on a stump. He can also see the crystal coffin not far away. It’s occupied but he refuses to look too closely at it.

Quartz: Not sure if it’s me or my Fairest in there. Not sure when I am or how I woke up. It was a cursed sleep after all. Doesn’t seem like it would be that easy to wake from. 

Gryluxx: Because it’s my will that you look me in the eye when you speak to me, dwarf. Not just lie there on your back. 

A flock of crows swoop down to snatch at Quartz’s dark green cap. 

Quartz: Oi! (He bats away at the birds, getting pecked in process.) Get away from me!

The crows swirl around in a whirring vortex of feathers only to disaappear into a feathered cloak. The cloak settles upon the shoulders of a robed man with a goatee, a sneer, and beady eyes. A single silver medallion rests against his breast. 

Gryluxx: How rude. (He strokes his medallion, rings flashing on every finger.) I happen to be your guest for this month’s blog. Even if I marvel at the conceit which allows you to dismiss me, me! as a secondary character. 

Quartz: Right. (He rocks forward on the stump to peer at his “guest”.) Just whom am I supposed to be impressed by? Meaning you. (He snorts a bit at his own words.)

Gryluxx: (sniffing) Mind your tone, dwarf, for I am Gryluxx. Master of mysteries. Snatcher of secrets. I am the eyes and ears of the Lord of Omphalos and all the lands that surround it. I am what was wasted in the cupbearer of the former Lord of the Heavens, Chosen Follower of Seraphix. I am…(He stops, stares hard at Quartz)…that is very shoddy work. 

Quartz: (starting to doze off during Gryluxx’s litany, startled awake by the comment) Eh? What of it?

Gryluxx: Your cap. (The robed man fixes his beady eyes upon the cap in question) The seams are coming undone. I can make you another one, far sturdier for a very reasonable price. 

Quartz: Erm, I don’t know. (He touches the cap on his head.) This belonged to my mum. It’s been with me under earth and rock, wood and air. 

Gryluxx: It looks it. (He lets out another sniff.) Just how often do you change your clothes? You smell terrible. 

Quartz: Now see here! (He leaps down from the stool to glare up at Gryluxx who isn’t that tall.) I’ve lying there in a cursed sleep for shards knows how long. You try doing that and see how you smell after!

Gryluxx: (wrinkling his nose) I think not. No mere curse is great enough to catch me. Plus I can stitch a cap that’ll make you the envy and terror of goblins everywhere. 

Quartz: Look, I’ve got no quarrel with goblins. Don’t believe all the stereotypes about dwarves. Especially the ones that make us all handsome, sweeping halflings off their feet and into danger. I keep to myself and don’t go looking for trouble. 

Gryluxx: You’re only living a half life if that’s true. Trouble is where life’s most delicious slices lie. I’m guessing the most interesting things about you are what you try to hide. 

Quartz: What of it? That’s my concern. Not yours. 

Gryluxx: Everyone’s trouble is my concern. Remember I’m the master of mysteries and the stealer of secrets. 

Quartz: And you also sew caps. 

Gryluxx: You would look far less withered and grumpy in red. A red cap would give you a little more life. 

Quartz: Who are you calling withered and grumpy? The last thing I want is a red cap. It would cause all sorts of misunderstandings, yes it would. (He pauses.) Why am I talking like Nimmie Not?!

Nimmie Not: (not appearing but Quartz can hear him in his ear) I’m under your skin. Soon you’ll be dressing like me in yellow stockings. 

Quartz: (shuddering) Gah!

Gryluxx: (taking a step closer, nose twitching) What was that?

Quartz: Nothing! (takes a step back) Look, I’ve got no wish to change my cap. 

Gryluxx: Change will come whether you wish it to or not. Change flies on wings of omen to envelop you whether you welcome it or fight. Better to be prepared and attired for it. Better to let me attire you for it. 

Quartz: Gah, you’re as pushy as Nimmie Not! What are you, a wandering tailor peddling your wares as well as a mage?

Gryluxx: (drawing himself up stiffly) I never said I was anything as crude as a mage. I leave such vulgar ripples of power to Ashleigh, her wife, and her sons. 

Quartz: Should I know these people? (He pauses, frowns.) Wait, yes, I should…Map. Ashleigh’s wife would happen to be short as well as short-tempered? Lives in a cottage, doesn’t like visitors, has three sons?

Gryluxx: That would be Ashleigh’s wife. Her sons are far more beautiful than she is, although Ashleigh has improved greatly since when I once knew her. By a different name. 

Quartz: What name would that be?

Gryluxx: Tut, tut! Are you saying you don’t know, dwarf? You’ve met her. You’ve had her as a guest. She’s spoken to you about me as well. 

Quartz: What are you talking about?

Gryluxx: If you don’t know, I’m not telling you. (He lets out a wet-sounding chuckle.) Oh, the things I know that you don’t, even about your own blog. 

Quartz: And what would that be? 

Gryluxx: I’m sure Christopher has slunk in here, pretending to be a secondary character, the sneaky little shadow. Hasn’t he?

Quartz: Nothing sneaky about it. Christopher just shows up. 

Gryluxx: He’s spoken of Ashleigh’s sons, hasn’t he? The twins. Pretty boys, look very like her in her latest incarnation. Golden-haired, huge violet-blue eyes, button noses. Dressed impeccably thanks to my efforts and my lord’s degree. 

Quartz: So you’re saying you dress Danyel and Tayel. 

Gryluxx: Ah, so you do know them!

Quartz: Not sure if I’ve met them in a cross-over blog. So many dreams, so many blogs. (He rubs his head.) I blame the scribbler for being muddled. I’m sure she’s the one that’s muddled. 

Gryluxx: I would think you’d remember them if you met them. They are pretty boys, if insolent, willful, and utterly ignorant of their place. 

Quartz: Right and where would that be?

Gryluxx: Under my…guidance. 

Quartz: Uh huh. Guidance. Right. 

Gryluxx: (scowls) Right? Christopher would have done so much better if he’d accepted my guidance. 

Quartz: You offered to guide him?

Gryluxx: Well, no. (He scowls.) There were complications. A boy. A man, really, we were both close to. I didn’t trust Christopher. He is a shadow after all. 

Quartz: Right. And you’re the stealer of secrets. Among other things. 

Gryluxx: (drawing himself up) Are you questioning me? My title or my truth?

Quartz: It’s what I do here. Secondary characters come to me, wanting to be questioned. Doubt they’d show up otherwise. 

Gryluxx: You dare to call me a secondary character? Again? 

Quartz: Look at it this way. Map, her wife, even Christopher all considered themselves to be secondary characters. They’ve all ended up here. 

Gryluxx: And what secrets did they whisper to you?

Quartz: You want to know? Ask them. Or go find the blogs and read them. 

Gryluxx: Just what does Christopher want with the twins? What is he hiding?

Quartz: Not sure if he’s hiding anything. He just wants to protect them, yet he’s worried if he can’t if he gets too close to them. 

Gryluxx: Oh ho! He does, does he? (He rubs his hands together.) How delicious! Does he speak of that often?

Quartz: (backing up another step) Why do you ask?

Gryluxx: Isn’t it obvious, fool? The twins are of interest to my masters. Danyel and Tayel are mysteries. Therefore they’re of interest to me. I would crack them open, have them serve me. 

Quartz: Right. Serve you as what? A tailor’s assistants?

Gryluxx: (flinching before drawing himself up huffily) They’ve got to start somewhere. 

Quartz: If they’ve got to start.

Gryluxx: Just what are you saying, dwarf?

Quartz: Not sure if they’ve got start anywhere or anything. Not if it leads to serving you. Or being cracked open. 

Gryluxx: (baring his teeth) We’ll see about that, dwarf.

He spreads his cloak with a melodramatic flourish and lets out an equally melodramatic cackle. The cackle becomes the cawing of crows as Gryluxx transforms into a flock of birds. They take fight, cawing all the way in derision. 

Quartz: (watching them leave with just as much derision) Show-off. 

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s