The Trouble With Rumours



Date: 2010.07.26
Location: Beast manager's office
Synopsis: Rumours pertaining to Ahnika are flying about and Max finally gets to hear what they are.
Rating: PG13
Logger: Max

He’d caught the looks from the peripherals of his vision as he walked the aisles, heard the ill concealed snickering from his ‘hands as he handed out the duties for the day. Eventually Max had had enough and collared Leron as he carried in fresh straw for the runners.

“What I do now?” the teenager yelped in surprise when he found himself taken up by the scruff of his neck, the straw spilling from his arms.

“You’re going to start talking, and talking fast,” the beast manager growled as he yanked the lad along to his office and plonked him down in a chair. “What the shards is going on around here?”

“N-n-nothing, Max,” Leron stuttered, his hand lifting to rub at the back of his neck.

“Right, nothing,” Max’s tone flat, “Nothing be why every bloody time I turn around someone’s fixing me with an odd look, or why –you- lot,” a finger stabbing at the shaggy haired teen, “stand there snickering like you’ve just seen a girl with her skirts over her head.”

Leron’s mouth twitched at his boss’ last as he tried to contain just one of those snickers he’d been accused of, from rising up. Not trusting himself, the lad sat in silence, eyes dropping to where his fingers picked at a loose thread on his trousers.

“Start talking, kid,” the beast manager’s tone dropping to dangerous level despite the few turns that separated him and the younger Leron.

Reluctance to give voice to the rumours had the ‘hand sitting on in sullen silence until with a long suffering sigh he relented. “It’s about that candidate that’s been comin’ round here. She’s in the infirmary, knocked up an’ they’re sayin’ it’s your fault,” a small accusatory –look- being sent the ‘guilty’ party’s way.

It took a few moments for Leron’s words to sink and when they did instead of having the explosive reaction the teen might have expected, Max sighed heavily his hands scrubbing over his face in irritated gesture. “First of all, if you don’t know for sure that something is true, then leave off spreading it about. Secondly, you’re going to go out there and tell the rest of them,” those working under him, “that the next person I hear snickering or talking shit, is going to not only have my boot up his ass, but will be stuck with carcass duty for the next month.”

Leron set a wary look onto his employer and scuttled out the stall, throwing a glance over his shoulder at the beast manager slumped down in his seating, a dark and heavy frown clouding his features.

Anger broiled up inside his chest and prowled about like a wounded animal spitting at the damage that loose tongues and empty gossip could cause Ahnika and then baring it’s fangs at him in accusatory manner for somehow having put her in that position. Wishful floated soft and ethereal about Anger, constricting Max’s breathing with whisperings of how it would be if this were only all true. The appearance of the conflicting thoughts short lived when, with a low groan, he pictured his mother hearing such rumours.

A darker emotion stirred in his belly and reared its head.

“What if the rumour is true and she’s carrying the child of another,” Jealousy struck the blow hard enough to tear the breath from his lungs, a sickened feeling rising up in response.

Reasoning tried tying Jealousy down as it took its turn at the witness stand, “She wouldn’t do that to him.”

“Do what?” Uncertainty sing-songed in shrill soprano.

“Take her affections elsewhere,” Mockery smirked gleefully.

“Why not?” Guilt, slithered the words out, “He sent her away and told her he couldn’t give her what she wanted from him.”

Anger, Jealousy, and Guilt started to get into it, talking over each other in loud obnoxious voices, drowning the whispery Wishful and stoic Reasoning out in the process, leaving them to watch on helplessly.

“Order!! Order!!” Truth bellowed, banging his gavel down as he tried to get the gathering under control.

Shrouded in the mask of an executioner, Self-loathing cackled and danced about maniacally, urging his fellow patrons of the dark onto greater heights of rebellion.

Unable to take the internal chaos a moment longer Max sprang to his feet, “Enough!!” he bellowed, hands slammed down hard on the desk top in utter frustration for everything he wanted but didn’t know how to reach for.

Those working in the caverns shot startled looks the way of the beast manager’s office and then turned wary looks over to each other. The man was truly starting to lose his mind. Next stop – Mindhealer.

Shinedown - If You Only Knew

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