Monday, December 31, 2012

Re-Read: Chapter Thirty Five- Tried

"I think Ian likes you too much."

Wanda wakes in a strange room feeling slightly nauseated. When she asks Ian where she is, he is reluctant to say she is in the O'Shea's old room. The two also exchange words concerning the upcoming tribunal for Kyle and while Ian does not understand why Wanda wants to lie for Kyle, he agrees to take her when it is time. Wanda does not go back to sleep when Ian goes to get them food, but stares at the slices of visible sky, hoping her stomach would be settled enough to eat. 

Ian asks after her when he returns and she tells him she is feeling a little better. He wonders if it is her reacting to the morphine or Melanie's body. Wanda tells him it is Melanie, who reacts badly to most painkillers. It is odd for Ian, dealing with two people at once and Wanda is inclined to agree. Ian hands her a bread roll and she takes a small bite to see how her stomach will react. In between bites, Ian offers her something more appealing. Wanda hears the crackle and rip of the bag before the very distinct smell hits her nose. 
"Cheetos! Really? For me?"
As soon as Ian hands over the bag, Wanda tears into its contents and chases it with the rest of her roll and a bottle of water. 
"Thank you. For more than the Cheetos, you know. For so much."
"You're more than welcome, Wanda."

Wanda stares at Ian, trying to pull every meaning from his words. He asks her again if she has to go to the tribunal and Wanda tells him, if he does not take her, she will go on her own. Helping Wanda to her feet, Ian places his arm around her waist and places her arm around his neck. Melanie makes herself knowing, commenting that she believes Ian likes Wanda too much, though Wanda is not savvy to Melanie's meaning. The pair hobble to the game room where the rest of the community has gathered. Kyle is seated in the brightest spot with Jared and Doc beside him, acting as guards. Next to Jared is Jeb, who is also keeping hold of Jamie and Sharon and Maggie have their places beside Doc. 

Ian settles them on the floor near Trudy, who asks after Wanda's condition. Geoffrey, Health, Wes, and Lily join their small group. Brandt, Heidi, Andy, Paige, and Aaron arrive last, with Lucina and her children not in attendance. After a moment of silence, Jeb steps forward and lays down the rules.
"Here's how it's going to work. Straight-up majority vote. As usual, I'll make my own decision if I have a problem with the majority, 'cause this -"
"Is my house," several voices interjected in chorus.
Jeb begins by asking who will speak against Kyle and despite Wanda's best efforts, Ian stands up to testify against his brother. Ian states that Kyle knew the rules and decided to stay. Though Kyle did not succeed in killing Wanda, Ian tells him that he "can't live here anymore. Not if you're a murderer at heart." Voices begin to overlap until someone says "She's not one of us." Ian attempts to stand again in protest, but Jared beats him to it. Shouting at the others, Jared comes to Wanda's defense saying she is not the one on trial and in fact, she tried to save Kyle's life moments after he tried to end hers. Jared then asks Wanda if she will speak against Kyle. It takes her a moment to find her voice, but when she does, she continues to push the lie of the floor caving in and nothing more. Maggie steps forward this time, asking how they can know that Wanda is not telling the truth about the events in the bathing room. Maggie, Jeb, and Trudy exchange words as Ian wraps his arm around Wanda's shoulder, offering what comfort he can. Sharon breaks through the arguing, calling for a vote. Those in favor of Kyle staying with no penalty are asked to raise their hands first and when Jeb counts, there is a clear majority. 

Jamie squeezes through the crowd and comes to Wanda's side.
"Maybe your souls were right about us," he said, loud enough for most to hear his high, hard voice. "The majority are no better than-"
Wanda silences him before he can continue. In spite of Jared and Ian's protests, Jeb is inclined to go with the majority in this instance, though he has strong words in regards to Wanda's place in the community. 
"My house, my rules," Jeb reminded them. "Never forget that. So you listen to me Kyle. And you'd better listen, too, I think, Magnolia. Anyone who tries to hurt Wanda again will not get a tribunal, they will get a burial."
Wanda finches at his words, while his sister glares hatefully at him, and Kyle nods in acceptance. When  no one else has anything more to add, Jeb dismisses the group.
"Tribunal's over. Who's up for a game?" 

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