Tuesday, October 6, 2009

129 - In the Mirror

Please note; In response to the request for more Kyrus I've done two posts tonight. This one is EC, the other is below...

Ilesias was paddling along the length of the stairs in the cool pool all on his own without fear now and he kept bobbing down the stairs so that whichever of my companions was taking turns watching him had to keep catching him and dragging him back, giggling.

Swimming student had become the teacher and I relied heavily on every word Chevenga had said... I insisted that everyone’s hair be tied tight so no one got tangled and panicked the way I had. Ilesias had only lion’stoothflower fluff on his head so I didn’t have to worry about him yet.

I got everyone to start from the stairs and put my hand behind their heads, trying to get them to let their limbs float, relaxed. Then it kind of turned into splash fights when Ilesias wasn’t in the water, a slave holding him back safe from the edge of the water.

From splash fights we went on to dunking, and trying to sit on the bottom holding our breath and finding out how hard it was to sink. Everyone tried the paddling at first... and Ord was the first to try the strokes that I used now... remembering what I could from Chevenga. Sil was the best at jumping into the deep parts now... he could make the biggest splashes.

Father never thought to ask about my bathing habits and if there was a lot of noise coming out of the lesser baths I supposed people thought I was having screaming tantrums like Father in the Greater Baths. I certainly ordered everyone out when I was supposed to be in the baths now.

When I didn’t have my companions and Ilesias with me, I no longer let anyone else in. Since the security scare I was behaving much more autocratically about my privacy... what little I had. I didn’t want anyone else to see my changing body.

I sometimes stood in front of the mirror and stared at the ugliness I saw, the weedy arms and legs of a boy and the heaviness all around my middle where Binshala kept trying to feed me up. Pimples had started a while ago and they marched like a red-armoured rejin across my chin and forehead.

I loosened my towel slowly and let it trail to the floor in one hand. Exposing all of me. The hair just kept getting thicker and more and more like Father’s, leaving that organ in a nest of filthy gold wires, the shrivelled flesh shrinking under my loathing gaze.

My clothing always felt clammy now because I was sweating fountains and suddenly stank like a grown man. I was awkward in my skin and clumsy and stumbling over my own big feet and my hands seemed bigger than my wrists. I couldn’t even control my voice. I bunched up the towel and hurled it at my own image. Vile. Forzak body. It betrayed me with my friend. It betrayed me every day, every time I turned around now.

My emotions were all over the place... I had to keep it all inside because showing the emotions randomly would draw my enemies in court like flies to blood. Those families I knew were trying to get between Father and I.

The Kallen family because they hadn’t managed to ingratiate themselves with me and so thought to get closer to Father. The Temonens had been circling Ilesias’s nurse but Kaita seemed to be immune to their gifts and blandishments. She had, in fact, told me when they had gifted her. The Faizkapan and the Mekan were riding the coat-tails of whoever they perceived as being in the strongest position.

Binshala tried to reassure me that my body and all its discomforts would all settle down and it would be all right. That every man went through this, I needn’t worry. I wasn’t sure I trusted her but I tried. I dragged myself out to my companions and they tussled my clothing over damp limbs.


  1. Poor Minis. I sympathize. But that body-hatred is not going to make for a comfortable life.

  2. He's going to be fighting that for a while, hate to say.