Gwyn turned her pockets out, searching in vain for a handkerchief. When none seemed forthcoming, Robin sacrificed one end of his scarf with all the air and dignity of a martyr. She buried her face in the soft red wool, mindful not to tug too hard, as her cousin was still wearing the rest of it. It smelled of the wild with a hint of blackberry, and made her stomach fizzle as though she was the one accustomed to swooping through the air and gusting with the wind.
“Really, it’s for the best,” Robin said, patting her awkwardly on the shoulder and looking everywhere but at her.
“I-I don’t s-see how,” she whimpered. Now that she’d started crying, she was having a difficult time stopping. It was as though each tear was determined to draw out all the sadness and frustration she’d ever felt, and no fewer than tens of thousands of them would be up to the task.
He gestured to the room. To the murky walls with anonymous stains that were streaked with grease. To the rafters stuffed with cobwebs and lost dreams. To the the filthy floor gritty with bracken and debris that must have blown in when she’d been locked up.
“You’re in a cage, Gwyn, and the sooner you accept that, the better.”