Previously: The Legend of Leonard Letterman, Pt 23
“Antidote?” Wilhelmina’s voice was soft, but it filled the room. “…are you saying that someone tried to-to poison me? Me? When I was ten?” Wilhelmina’s eyes swelled in size from genuine surprise, a note of indignation mixed in with her bewilderment. It was evident that it had never occurred to her that the delirium inducing sickness she recalled was not a run-of-the-mill, if dangerous, illness, but something far more sinister.
Leonard snapped his mouth closed, realizing it had fallen open, as if to better swallow the shocking news.
“So it certainly seemed,” Osric replied with a worn expression. Silence attempted to spread out between them and lengthen time as moments passed, but Wilhelmina was having none of it.
“’So it certainly seemed,’ that’s all you have to say?” Wilhelmina’s hands went to her hips, elbows pointed out dangerous as her eyes clouded over with something darker than rage; something from a place of deep hurt and confusion.
Osric eyes had a glassy sheen to them as he met his sister’s gaze. The towering man seemed to shrink beneath the weight of what he carried. He licked his lips as he spared a momentary glance for Leonard before focusing again on Wilhelmina. He looked pained as he spoke.
“You were incredibly ill. I was told everything was tried, everything possible. When no one, no healer or physician, no medicine or elixir offered, was of any help in Palloria, your guardians, the ones appointed by mother and father specifically, turned to me,” Osric began, turning away from them as he raked a hand through his hair.
“It was in secret,” Leonard heard Osric murmur over his shoulder to them. Osric did not turn back around before continuing, making his voice more muffled, and causing Leonard to tilt forward to be sure he caught every word.
“Your symptoms were described to me, and I was asked for anything that might be of help…I recognized what it was almost at once, though I hesitated in believing it to be possible. After all, it was a poison derived from one of the most venomous and dangerous creatures that roams free only on Krosis.”
Osric turned to look at Wilhelmina again, his voice heavy with emotion as he said, “I brought the antidote and insisted on administering it myself.”
Something passed between the siblings, a shift in the energy between them, an added glisten to their locked gaze that made Leonard feel like an intruder.
“I knew within moments of giving it to you that I knew I had been right, and that it was working, that you would recover. With any luck, it would be fully. It seems luck indeed smiled on you,” Osric said, a tilt to his lips as he looked hungrily at his sister, waiting.
When Wilhelmina remained resolute in her silence, Osric cleared his throat and continued. “We were all sworn to secrecy, your guardians and I, we all swore to each other to keep the truth quiet. They agreed to let everyone think that it was one of the other medicines given to you that made you better. This was after I explained that the poison could only have come from Krosis…” he let his voice trail away, letting the implications hang in the air with his words.
“Why did you want to give me the antidote personally?” Wilhelmina’s expression matched her shrewd question. It was asked kindly, with only the barest drop of accusation to tint its edges.
Click here for Part 25!