If anyone had asked Igrath what he thought about Braille and what it was like trying to learn it, he had only three words to sum it all up.
It sucked ASS.
Back when Igrath could still see, it was a no brainer how hard of a time he had trying to write by hand. Especially more so when instead of hands, the Spirits had thought it'd be funny to craft him a pair of monstrous, shaggy, tipped with three inch-long, thick claws that could easily snap a pencil without even trying hard. He could easily recall the piles of broken wood and lead that he had left in his wake back when he had started his first actual week of Police work alone.
Once he had gotten the hang of it, and had even thicker pencils custom-made for him much to everyone's bemusement, he had thought that would be one of the hardest things he had ever done.
Then he went and got himself blinded. Suddenly his issues with writing became a whole other FallGuard stadium of problems.
For one thing, there was no sense in trying to use his customized pencils anymore since he clearly wouldn't be able to see whether he was writing on paper or the tabletop anymore. And that was when he wasn't trying to find the actual table itself. And Spirits forbid, he ever tried using ink or any other kind of permanent writing tools like markers or pens. He still could hear Nainso screeching in his ears about knocking over his ink well on his newly refurbished carpet.
That aside, for a while Igrath was content to allow others to write important things down for him or have such things be read out to him; Indi and Digo all too happy to oblige, although had to remind them every now and again to please stop arguing and speak one at a time since they knew he couldn't understand them both when they talked that fast.
It went on like that for a while, until they both thought the best way to teach him how to write was through oral therapy. Bur some of their "methods" were a little more oral heavy in places that even he was ninety-eight percent sure that writing wasn't even integral at all.
His saving grace and final damnation at the same time was when Nainso, taking silent note of his frustrations, had brought up the thought of learning Braille and offering to teach him. After much stewing, and more swallowing of pride than Igrath would care to admit, he agreed.
The lessons that had went on from there were long, tiring, frustrating and everything else in between. Countless nights did he stay up, learning each every individual bump and phrase in whatever Nainso could teach him. Each lapse in training new Troika recruits or going over new plans to execute for the coming battles for their city, Igrath had to endure being beak-deep in heavy, near incomprehensible tomes that would've made even his book-crazy late wife and eldest niece snap in half from stress.
Who's idea it was to decide that the best way to create a blind-oriented language along the lines of interlining pages of pages of connect-the-dots games and writing said language on some odd kind of thick paper, he'd never know.
Which was too bad because Igrath felt a small compulsion to slap him if he got to meet him face to face.
It had taken years to study Braille, finally completely it by the time he passed forty. He was more than happy to toss the long-studied books, tomes and pamphlets on the brain-melting subject and throw them in a random box to be tucked away and forgotten in his house.
That was the compromise he made with Nainso when he had very nearly given them to Karo and Vi for target practice with Scinter's new line of weapons.
Needless to say, even though he was damn grateful to Nainso for every tantrum, groans and some cases, outright threats of just giving up on the lessons altogether and just sticking with his hearing, Igrath Winters was happy it was over.
He could definitely say with a clear conscience that if, and it was a big IF, if he would ever have to learn something as damningly hard as Braille ever again, he would gladly let Scinter shoot his foot.
So, when Namah came right up to him and asked him outright if he could teach her a little Braille, it was understandable that he was more than a little surprised.
Thinking she must've been crazy for wanting to learn a whole other language when there was still so much life left in her, he told her as much outright.
Which obviously ended up leading to an argument that lead to more yelling that it should have, practically to the point where he was sure every DreamKeeper in Talocan could hear it. After delivering a few choice insults that even he would never dare to say aloud, Namah abruptly huffed and stormed off, her sleek tail cracking like a whip behind her.
He would've gone after her had it not been for the fact she been getting better at honing in her aim with her Ether Tendrils. He reluctantly decided some space was best.
With not much to do in the week that followed, Igrath could only wonder about his youngest niece and her sudden thirst for knowledge.
After all, this was Namah, the bane of his brother-in-law's existence, and the self-proclaimed "Terror of the Towers", one of the most hot-tempered, impatient, bull-headed young girl he had ever met. And that included Vi and Fae, back when he done right enough in pissing her off.
Of all the things, of all languages to learn, why Braille? Surely if she suddenly wanted to become bilingual, he was sure he could ask the Indigos to teach her a thing or two. That is, without having to obliged to offer a sure-to-be sexual favor in return . . .
Out of ideas, he figured just to be straight-forward and ask Lilith. Amazingly, Lilith was very tight-lipped about Namah's newest endevour. When asked why, all she said was, "You'll see in due time."
He didn't even need to see to know that she was smiling mischievously when she said that.
And that Igrath with nothing to do but wonder. And listen in whenever he could get close enough to hear without raising an alarm, easily picking up her noises and mutters of exasperation as she studied the bump-bred language with a fervor that amazed.
Obviously, he knew that Namah wouldn't be going through such trouble if not for a good reason.
Maybe to help him find more movies with Braille on the cover? No, that's just ridiculous. He, thankfully, did well enough on his own on that. One of the only things that he could do well enough on his own, but still.
Try as he might, Igrath just couldn't make sense of it.
At least, until one night.
Everyone had just settled into bed after a long day of training. Lilith herself getting herself and Vincent all ready for bed when she politely asked Igrath to check on Namah before going to sleep himself. He could feel the sneaky smile as she kissed him good night.
Regardless, he obliged. He quickly found her passed out on one of the bunks in the med bay, snoring lightly as he carefully came in, ducking down beneath the low-as-hell doorway and slowly pushing the curtains aside. He could only frown as he just barely missed grazing the door-hedge with his forehead. He really needed to talk with Scinter about putting in higher doors . . .
It was when he had put down a paw to lean on when he felt the piece of thick paper. And the bumps messily made on it's surface. Most likely it had slipped onto the floor from Namah's grip when she had fallen sleep, him beginning to neatly smooth it out without thinking -
- Only to falter when he instantly felt out what exactly Namah had written on it.
It wasn't perfect. It was obviously on the first many attempts that she had tried before tackling the actual thing she wanted to say, the bumps too close together in some places and somewhat disorderly and illegible.
But even with the pure sloppiness of the writing, the phrase came out clear as day to him. Oh, Namah, you clever child.
The poorly-attempted phrase rang in his head, making the giant Griffin want to just pick his niece up and wrap her in the biggest bear hug he could give her.
He settled for tediously picking her up in his arms, her snuggling into his furry chest obliviously and making him smile softly but brightly, and carrying her to the bunks.
As he quietly tucked her in with her sister, a whole new burst of pride, love and amazement Igrath could barely ever recall feeling bloomed in his chest as he "looked" down at his youngest.
What he had read in Spirits-Be-Damned Braille he was sure as hell gonna tease her about in the coming future, if he was given the chance to live that long, but he would never ever forget it.
hABy FaD HrS daYE, I-g-R-a-Th
ME: Yeah, I think it's safe to say that I don't know anything about Braille.
Originally I meant to have this put up yesterday, but I thought I did until I realized after MIDNIGHT when I checked my account that I DIDN'T. Dammit.
That aside, Dads can be frustrating and infuriating and hard-headed as hell, if my dad's anything to go by, but they're always the ones there for you when you need them the most.
To all you Dads out there, whether you're by blood or not, you're the best. I love you all.
Happy Father's day 2019! I own nothing.