Thursday, June 21st, 2012
Della opens the doorway to the trophy room, nodding to the two bloodkin standing guard. They regard her disinterestedly; along with the stables and the dojo, the trophy room has become part of her nightly routine.
She walks through the windowless tangle of climate-controlled halls, housing all manner of trinkets that look like they belong in a museum. Here is a painting, here a sword; there a book, there a pendant; a scroll under glass, made delicate by age; a device of unknown purpose, corroded almost to dust. Unlike a museum, there are no explanatory placards declaring the name and origin of each item to all passersby – Della can only guess at what was acquired when, to say nothing of the how of the matter. That would have to wait for another conversation with Thomas, some other night.
Her first time in the trophy room, just a few nights ago, Thomas had walked her through to the central chamber without a word. Her senses had sharpened – yes, sharpened was the word, as though ground against a whetstone until keen and raw. Her reflexes had quickened, not smoothly and all at once, but in fits and starts, a macabre echo of puberty. One night in the dojo, it came to a head: Della was restless, anxious, itching for some action as she had been just a few nights earlier, but not even an “advanced” lesson from Jamie could calm her down. Jamie saw it, then, in Della’s eyes – Della had been feeling it all night, but Jamie already had a name for it:
“Ahh,” she’d said, “You need to hunt.”