He told her once that her dog only liked her for the taste of salt on her skin. She licked her wrist and made a face, asserting that skin salt was overrated and it had to be her charming personality. Or the food. Most creatures will love anyone that feeds them.
Luisant is obsessed with food. Each day begins with the scent of butter sizzling in crepe pans and ends with tables laden with cheese rinds and empty pots stained by mulled wine. When the cold comes we spend long hours scouring the forest so the community can warm their bellies slurping down shared soup. No one goes hungry in our little town.
But they did. Even if men didn’t come spreading tales of abandonment and starvation, we would know from the malefic. The haunted, hungry remains of achingly familiar ghosts. It makes sense that even the spirits of of the forest tempt you toward gluttony with their strange teas and berries.
The Benalians would urge you to love your brother for his merit, not his salt. To find strength in unity, chastity, and continence. Yet they would burn the half of god that doesn’t behave.
That other half sees the dog for the beast it is and meets it on its terms. Boldly willing to trade blood for flowers and thank honey for the sting. Fighting to preserve the sacred balance of things, so the monsters can grow in peace.
And yet, in this precious valley they come together over bread. The salty kind.