‘Even this painting is a bit misleading, if you ask me,’ said Wendy. ‘The Twins could have avoided this. They had ample warning that the enemy was coming to their doorstep, but their pride wouldn’t let them retreat like they should have. They could have lived to fight another day, but this painting implies otherwise by glorifying their deaths.’
“It doesn’t glorify anything,” said Octavia, furrowing her brow. “You know that’s not why I had it painted.”
Wendy just ruffled his feathers at her.
“It’s a reminder that theirs was a cautionary tale,” said Octavia. “It’s so we don’t forget the consequences of our actions. My family has always been too reckless for my liking.”
‘I don’t know how much good it’s done,’ said Wendy.
For a moment, Octavia just glared at him. Then she wiped her face clean and looked at Marcos again. “Anyway. What do you think? Are you disappointed to hear that they weren’t quite the heroes that everyone claims they were?”
Marcos blinked. “Disappointed? Not really. Even if it’s not as nice or... as comforting, I’d still rather know the real story. Otherwise, it just feels like I’m being lied to.”
She broke into a wide grin and laughed faintly. “I don’t know if your father ever told you this, but when he was younger, he and his sister lived here at Red Lake for a few years.”
He thought back. “Oh... yeah, I think he mentioned that.”
“Did he? I’m surprised. Regardless, the point I was trying to make was that when he first came here, he and I had much the same conversation as this one. And he said almost exactly the same thing as you did just now.”
Wendy intervened with a nod. ‘I remember it perfectly. His exact words were, ‘I would rather find more pain in the truth than any solace in a lie.’’
Octavia chortled. “That’s right. He was pretty intense for a fifteen-year-old.”
‘Of course he was,’ said Wendy. ‘He’d just been through an ordeal of his own, remember?’
“I do,” she said, and her smile waned.
Marcos had an inkling of what they were talking about. “What ordeal?”