Root Position - “The Brohstra Brothers” [Living Empires]

scene 2 by Layman Kingsford

Trenton was trying to memorize lines  when he heard Feryys. Without getting up from his stool he glanced out the open front of the tent he shared with the triplets and caught sight of swirling black robes and shining onyx hair all a-flutter in the sunny afternoon breeze.

“The day has arrived, my fellow performers,” the elf was announcing grandly with random gesticulations. No one on the grassy avenue between residency tents paid Feryys any attention of which the elf was perfectly unaware. “The Brohstras embark on their debut solo tour! We shall make all the world our fans as we give them entertainment never before seen, heard or felt. Tears shall fill to overflowing the dried river bed of Tunaska. Tumultuous cheers shall cause the volcano of Aridor to erupt. Every new mother will clamor to name her baby  after us! Such will be our fame and impact!”

Sometimes Trenton wondered if the triplets were truly so ignorant of everything around them or if it was all part of some elaborate life-long performance scheme. Maybe it was a mental side effect caused by none of them having been born with a sign.

As Feryys drew near, Trenton noticed that the circus’ strong man was stumping along a short distance behind the elf. “Hey, Feryys,” Trenton called out to his friend. “What’s up with Molg? Is he following you?”

Feryys spun about and grandly gestured at the hulking ogre. “My dear Molg is simply falling into orbit around my greatness. I suspect he wants to apply to be the first of our new shrieking fans.”

Trenton chuckled. The thought of big old, taciturn, monosyllabic Molg shrieking at anything was comical.

“Summon my brethren, my good friend,” Ferrys ordered as he swirled back to face their tent with such verve that he nearly fell off his high-heeled boots.  “I must tell them the news.”

“They should be back any moment,” Trenton said as he looked back to his script. “They went to find old lady Matricia and that was about an hour ago. I think Patryk was feeling randy and Qwentyn was going to help him pick flowers to gift to her.”

As if on cue, the back flaps on the tent brushed open admitting two more lithe elf men. “Romantic success, yet again,” the bare-chested red-head proclaimed joyously as he grandiosely rolled a ridiculously large-brimmed hat down his arm and into his hand. He then pirouetted gracefully and took a flourishing bow.

Trenton smiled. “So Matricia liked the flowers and finally agreed to court you?”  

“Quite so,” confirmed Patryk as he placed his hat back on top of his head.

“But only after I gave her my famous Side Eye of Love glance from her tent entrance,” said the other elf, Qwentyn.

“That is quite right,” agreed Patryk who heartily patted his brother on the back. One of Qwentyn’s drooping, green, false eyebrows came partially unglued at the impact and dangled over his eye like a noosed tree caterpillar. He absently patted it back into place.

Feryys took a large step further into the front of the tent, flapping his arms to free them from the heavy folds of his sleeves. “Brothers, I have fabulous news.”

“Tell us,” Qwentyn said.

“Yes,please, illuminate us as to the impending good fortune, Brohstra,” said Patryk.

Feryys cleared his throat. “We are taking our act solo and should commence our venture post haste.”

Qwentyn squealed and clapped his hands together like a little girl receiving a new plush bear. Patryk danced a jig and tossed his hat as if it would fly high in the air. The large and floppy headpiece hit the ceiling of the tent a mere hands-width above his head with a soft thump and dropped to the ground.

Trenton was taken aback. “So you’re leaving the circus?”

“Quite right,” crowed Feryys. “Bossman Blaspheme...”

“Bosttwik,” Trenton corrected.

“....yes, the very same...has asked us to embark upon a well-deserved performance endeavor featuring the Brothers Brohstra as the headlining act entitled ‘The Crazy Elves From Earlier’!”

Trenton’s heart began to pound and he felt his forehead warm to the point of perspiration. The triplets were his only friends in the circus and the only other members who were not tree signed. The thought of being left on his own in this troupe was unexpectedly devastating.

“Would I be able to come with you?” Trenton asked hesitantly. “I’ve been part of your act for a long time now and wouldn’t know what to do if I were alone here.”

As one, all three brothers turned to face him and said in unison, “But of course!”

“You are an honorary Brohstra,” Feryys stated as if it were universally understood.

“Despite your verdant complexion,” said Qwentyn.

“And your overly-large ears,” added Patryk.

“Though at least they’re pointed,” noted Feryys, academically.

“But I must say, if elves had your digitigrade goblin legs I would be the best leaper ever to have danced upon the stage,” Patryk sighed.

Trenton felt like gasping. “So I can come?”

“Assuredly,” Feryys confirmed. “We would have it no other way.”

The delight and excitement coming from the triplets was palpable in the close quarters of the residence tent. The brothers put their foreheads together, draped their arms about each others’ shoulders and began to rotate circularly to the left with synchronized crab steps. They raised their voices in three-part harmony to a familiar party tune though the lyrics sounded like gibberish. Trenton never ceased to be amazed at how the three elves worked in concert, even making up their own words on the fly. If telepathy were a real thing, the Brohstra Brothers would have it.

Trenton wanted to join them but knew from long experience that when they got like this there was no interrupting them with anything short of violence.

“Elves get going, now!” came a rumbling bark from the tent entrance.

Trenton turned to see Molg in a low crouch at the front of the tent. His gargantuan double-bladed axe was resting, head down, on the grass at his feet.

The ogre’s command was apparently disruptive enough that the triplets broke off their song and turned to look about their home.

“Right, right!” said Feryys officiously. “We must start packing right away. Our fans await!” At that the elves started bustling about pulling out travel bags, trunks and packs and started organizing their belongings.

Trenton let out a contented sigh. Despite the sudden decision to leave the only home he’d known, he was excited at the prospect of doing something adventurous, visiting unseen places and meeting new people. 

Perhaps he could talk them into making their way toward the capitol city of Milnor. If they did, maybe he could meet Scion Cynzari! Wouldn’t that be something? She’s the only other person in the world who might be able to understand him, or at least could answer his questions.

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