Tag Archive: si fi


Once again Haddie had been sulking in her rooms, but not Dronocum, no, he was busy doing something he would not talk about, yet.  However, late in the morning Drono had sent her something that had made the not knowing much more bearable.  He had sent her favorite seamstress to her rooms with the only limitation that what ever she had made must be formal.  Though the dress was only partly an apology she took full advantage of his giving mood.

The woman may have ten of the nimblest fingers in town, but she was rather set in past fashions.  It was not, however, long before Haddie had her in complete agreement to what ever she wanted.  After two hours of decisions the cut, color and decoration were finalized for the sultry midnight and sapphire blue ball gown complete with crystal beading.  The woman had hurried away opened mouthed at the deadline, only four days away, and that was if you counted the rest of today.

Smiling to herself Haddie allowed her mind to travel to the surprise gathering that was four nights way as a woman sat twisting her white locks into a coif that when done, and stuck with jeweled sticks would resemble the crown she wanted so badly.  She knew why he said she could not be his Queen, he had already lost too much to the title, but she always suspected that it was something else.  However, she had accomplished quiet a bit even without the official title including her ladies in wait, who were more than wiling to help her in every way.  Haddie stopped her silent musing with a tea cake halfway between the plate and her mouth as the door to her garden opened wide.  A young page entered and bowed with bright eyes which absorbed everything.

“Lady-Consort Haddilyn a message from the King.”

She replaced the cake and put on her mask which showed her to be both unconcerned and bored.  “Continue.”

“His Highness sends his word to his lady that he will hold dinner in the private hall at dusk, and asks if she would give him the pleasure of her company.”

“You may tell him that I shall see him soon.”  Haddie raised her hand in dismissal.  She rose her refreshments forgotten and collected her women from their various tasks with one statement.  “We have three hours before dinner.”  While the women surrounded Haddie in a cloud of perfume, make-up, and cloth the majority of her mind was on the girl.  It was ten to one that she would be there as well and she would not be missing that conversation for anything.

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Much to talk about…

In the time it had taken to call three separate maids, to tend to the stale bedding, bring the noon meal, and plate her hair, Auria had still not puzzled out what had taken place in her own suite.  Not much had actually changed.  She still knew next to nothing about the girl, her sister, and her father still had not answered her questions.  Although he had left her father had promised to talk to her unlike the angry redhead in the bathing room.

Quietly she watched as the girl finished her hair which seemed to remain a source of hostility for her.  The girl’s unresolved emotions hung on her sleeve as she walked head held high but with eyes unsure from the room where she had hidden for the past two hours.  Auria looked up and met those eyes, they were indeed her fathers’.  Before this moment he was only one she had even seen with eyes like that though Fierya’s eyes seemed brighter if possible even fierce, her sister it appeared held many secrets.  Sister, huh, it was amazing how little the thought soothed her rather more like salt in a wound Aria thought.  “So you’re the bastard they’ve all been talking about,” she tried to remain neutral or at least non confrontational but her anger kept seeping out.  “I thought you would be a male, come to take my place,” she wasn’t calm but she held herself together.  “I took the liberty to have the noon meal brought up,” she stood facing the girl motioning for her to take the seat opposite her, “there is much to talk about.”

Fierya watched as the other girl sat down looking up expectantly.  “I am a child of the Umbel and no one’s bastard.  I was happy where I was, and did not ask to change my lot in this life.  How could you possibly think that I would want to take this from you?  Perhaps you do not fully understand what has happened.”  She hoped the words rang with the truth and pain she felt when she said them.

“How can I?  No one feels the need to tell me what is going on, why should I have to be calm and sensible,why can’t I scream at you till I’m content that you are what you say you are?  Answer me girl or I swear that is exactly what I will do, there is no reason to wait till supper with you here in front of me.  Help me to understand what has happened,” she paused chest heaving in the attempt to rein in her anger, “I’m not accustom to being made to wait Fierya.”  In the distance she heard a rolling clap of thunder to her it seemed as if she could see the tension in the air as the storm gathered.

“Answers you seek sister those I have, I need only see your…” she was upon her before Auria had time to react her center finger resting gently on her temple looking deep into her smoke gray eyes till they filled with light.  Smiling Fierya stepped back, “Yes, no, and caution even when things appear to go according to your plan you should remember that it is not to your plan that things truly go.”

“What in the name of all did you do?”  Without meaning to she had dropped her head, but feeling that it made her look weak fought to meet the girls stare again.  The light that still shone from Auria’s eyes surprised Fierya and did much to improve her opinion of the girl she did not know, nodding she walked toward the offered seat.  “Where is Dronocum,” Fierya asked not fully trusting the quiet intense girl.

“My father is not in the habit of taking lunch in my rooms,” Auria let contempt color her words without really thinking about it, “Why, is that what you did to him?”

“What I did to him, I did nothing to him or to you for that matter.”

“My father does not cry…”

“Auria he forced that on me I did nothing,” Fierya stopped momentarily wondering how he would have learned to do that not many knew and even fewer cared to make a practice of it we usually just met walls when we interacted with those who knew what we could do.  Warily, Fierya sat suddenly exhausted, “What do you want to ask me Auria?”

It was hard to reconcile the image of this girl with that of the imagined rival she had worried over for the past two weeks.  However, if Auria let herself she could imagine being friends with this wild girl, who was obviously not going away as she had first hoped.  Perhaps things would come to that point, but not till she figured the girl out.  “You don’t add up.”

“Which part,” Fierya answered eying Auria suspiciously.

“Any part.  You say you’re just a girl, but you brought my father to his knees.  No ordinary girl could do that, and what was that hokum you did to me I don’t care what you say you did something.  What are you!”

“I’m not ordinary in the way most people mean it,” Fierya began, “I am a child of the Umbel here against my desire and better judgment,” Though they were only there for a second Fierya had glimpsed the questions in Auria’s eyes.  “How is it that you know noting of the Umbel when there is a Keep within the walls of Demesne Vesper?  Did you never wonder where the other girl-children were taught, or did you assume they all went unearned into their marriage beds?”

Auria suffered the hurt in the other girl’s voice before she responded, “Then what learning does the Umbel give to the girls?”

“Depends,” Fierya felt much safer talking about what she knew than mulling over what she did not.  “Girl-children are brought to the Umbel for three main reasons; to receive names and therefore be blessed by the Mother, to gain cunning craft that will pass on through home and family, or to stay the eight years allotted learning all that can be.”

“Did you say eight years?  What takes eight years to learn?”

“How to hold your own destiny, or to become as strong as and more agile than any man, or to see.  To see what others either cannot or will not see for their selves, but never to have power over another.”

“Then the Umbel does not deal in power?”

Fierya’s voice broke and a tears slid down her face, “It is for this reason that I was not allowed to stay.  I have been gifted.”  The last word hung on the air as if her hatred for it had given it substance.  It seemed as if time had stood still while she let her words sink in before she next spoke, “And what, Auria, are you?”

She sat her tea-cup down and looked straight ahead.  “I am Highness Auria Shasta-Nocum of Vesper. I am daughter, of my mother, heir of Dronocum King and Ruler, and princess unbound.”

The other girl’s eyes were opened quiet wide.  “So many names how does anyone remember what they are going to say to you if they must repeat that string of titles first?  I know it is more than I could remember all at once.”

Auria laughed out loud at the girl’s statement, “I suppose that is true, you may use my given name, Fierya.”

“Please my name is Magalis or Maja, not Fierya.”

“Not here, here you are Fierya and you must learn to come to terms with that.” Auria could see the tension returning to the girl’s frame and decided to take a different approach.  “What do you mean come for a name, I mean I get wanting your child to be blessed but,”

“That comes from a very old belief that naming a child at birth can be a kind of curse as no baby shows personality and even kids do not show their true selves till they have matured a little.  So it became the custom among the non-nobility to name their boys when they entered their apprenticeship and girls when they came to the Umbel.”  An unsure quality crept into Fierya’s voice as she continued, “I came un-named to the Umbel without knowing any true family.”

Auria glanced sideways, “He’s all I know of my true family, my mother died shortly after I was born.”

The silence between them seemed a live a growing thing as each girl sat transfixed by her own memories.  Finally Auria spoke, “A gift do you mean a power?  Is that what you did to my father?”

“No, I only saw what he could not put into words,” Fierya shivered at the thought of what had happened to her body.  “I have been gifted as they say in flame.”

“You mean that fire is your element.  Mine’s air.”  Auria stayed very matter of fact while she tried to calm Fierya’s unnecessary fears.  “Fire is a rare gift to have, but it is not unheard of.  The Phlox will know what to do with you and your power.  If you are to truly be a daughter of the King you will surely see the Phlox.  I must go to her for three turns of the seasons, to learn what I will need to help the people and the land when it is mine to rule.”  Auria thought it was good for her to remember that while father may accept her as his daughter she would not be Queen.

“You’re a fire,” Auria could not reason out why it was important but she kept going.  “How is it that you become Fierya?”  Fierya dropped her head so quickly that the answer no longer seemed worth the asking.

She replied softly, “Much like the phoenix I suppose, Fierya rose out of the ashes of Maja.”

Auria knew that those words held answers “stop talking in riddles Fierya no one likes for their questions to be answered with only more questions.”  Fierya walked over to her trunk and rifled through it gently extracting a small oval, which she handed over with a grimace.  Auria looked down in her hand at a small photograph of a woman embracing a girl with pride etched in her features.  The girl was holding a thin curved knife and had smiling eyes that were green ringed in brown, her head shot up so fast she felt dizzy.  It could not be possible, if this was Maja then…her thought splintered as a maid entered in a swirl of curtesies and “begging you pardon highness.”  Auria shook her head to alleviate the maid’s worries and to clear her mind of the now useless thought pattern.  “Not at all, continue.”

The maid sifted her pose and recited the words she had been given.  “If it would please both the young miss and her highness dinner shall be at dusk in the private dinning hall.  Also the King sends his regards and asks if both would be inclined to accept his invitation.”  Once she was done the maid looked expectantly at the two girls.

“Of course, what silliness, besides if I may say so it is he not I that should mind the dinner time,” Auria paused to smile at the maid who nodded in understanding before turning her attention on the other girl. “And you?”

Fierya had not stood expectantly at the maid’s words like Auria had and felt no need to do so now.  “If it is so desired,” was her only response.
The maid looked unsure but took the sarcastic response and left as Auria went to the mirror where she finally caught the other girl’s attention, “I really must get ready.”

Opening words

“Goodness its dark in here.”

“Not to me, not anymore.”

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