Previously: The Legend of Leonard Letterman, Pt 25
Wilhelmina’s arms unraveled and drifted towards the floor, her hands becoming weights holding her to the spot. Her eyes widened a fraction, but she gave no other sign of surprise, shock, or really any emotion.
“Etta?” Wilhelmina sounded like she was tasting the word, measuring its placement in the information she was being fed.
“Mina, I want to trust you, I want to tell you all the truth I know, I hope you can believe that….but I’m in the same situation you are, not knowing for sure what is going on, and who is responsible for it,” Osric practically pleaded to his sister. Leonard thought the man was about to actually throw himself on his knees before Wilhelmina, but Osric remained wrapped in the shadows, leaning against the bench.
“Stop calling me, ‘Mina’ if you would be so kind,” Wilhelmina replied, a small but cutting bite in her tone before pressing on. Osric’s face remained shrouded in poor light and Leonard was unable to read his reaction to Wilhelmina’s words.
“If things are as you say for you, as they are for me, then how do you recommend we proceed?” there was something like a challenge in Wilhelmina’s voice as she spoke, eyeing her brother in his dark corner as if she saw his every muscle twitch. Leonard was curious himself, but he remained silent, feeling more than ever like an extra.
“Blast it all if I know!” Osric said in a rush as his limbs came to attention and he resumed his uneasy pacing in a room too small for it. Leonard was strongly reminded of a caged lion, watching the large man ruffle his hair, practically growling in frustration.
“Then we have an even larger problem, because we need answers,” Wilhelmina indicated herself and Leonard, who flushed and stood a little straighter at being included, “and we don’t have time to play truth and information chess!” the pink tint to her cheeks further emphasized her exasperation.
Osric looked taken aback by her outburst, frozen mid-step in his pacing. He turned to Wilhelmina, his face darker now despite being in more light; it contorted in a way that put Leonard in mind of a snarl, and he was certain that nothing good would come from what Osric looked like he was about to say.
Leonard wasn’t sure what made him do it, and he had no conscious plan of what he was about to do, but without hesitation, he moved forward to stand between the sibling, on neither of their sides.
“Perhaps I have a suggestion….” Leonard offered gently, his arms raised in a placating gesture. The fuming brother and sister exchanged a heated before each nodded in turn, biting their tongues visibly. Leonard had to bite back an out of place chuckle at the thought of having caught a lion’s tongue as he watched Osric swallow his retorts.
“Do tell, Leonard,” Wilhelmina said with a note of impatience, but not unkindly. The blue of her eyes looked strangely illuminated in low lit room, it was almost hypnotic, and Leonard had to tear his gaze away from hers, smiling at what he took as her approval and desire for him to continue.
Leonard look from brother to sister again before saying, “What if I start asking and answer questions? I was pulled into this yesterday, um…by Palloria standards anyway. I’m pretty sure I’m the most in the dark person here, but at least one, if not both of you, needed my help,” again he looked from Wilhelmina’s feminine features, to Osric’s hard jaw and shaggy mess of hair; so alike, so different.
“Now, Wilhelmina has done a lot try and get me up to speed on things, but, there’s no way to do that effectively in one night; I take that as I have some of the bare-necessity information about why we’re here, and what we need from here…I also have my own inquiries, but I will do my best to keep to the most pertinent questions.
“If any of us want to get to the bottom of this, however many versions of ‘this’ there is to figure out, we have to start somewhere, and that includes everyone to be willing offer at least a little bit of trust…what do you say?” Leonard asked.
After a pause, Wilhelmina broke the silence, looking at Leonard meaningfully as she spoke, “I have one condition, and then I will agree.”
Click here for Part 27!