Wednesday, October 6, 2010

355 - Recovery and Prayers

Chevenga clapped me on the shoulder.  “Good.  I’m assuming you were spoken to.”

I managed a nod but that was all.  “I guess he isn’t forzak, like he thinks,” Gan said.  I so desperately wanted it all to go away but I didn’t pass out.

“I think the God might have told him something like that.  Minis, you need a glass of water, a glass of wine and a meal,” Chevenga said.  “In that order.  I need to go speak to Kallijas about this.”

“I’ll see to it, Ch’venga,” Gan said and I just lay and clung to him.

“Good.  Come on, let us get you down this staircase and then I’ll leave you in Gannara’s hands.

And I stubbornly stayed awake to think about what had just happened.  “Ch… Imperator…”  It seemed so wrong to not address him by his honourific.”

“Minis, you know it’s Chevenga.  That’s my name.”

“I can stand.  I can walk.” The world didn’t seem quite as solid as I’d thought, my feet felt like they were insubstantial.  The steps as well.  Even though they were stone and my feet flesh and bone, they felt equally delicate as if the stone could forget that it was solid, or that my feet could.  The marble all around me almost shimmered as if it could suddenly decide to be transparent.

“It will take a while for things to settle down,” Chevenga said.

“I… the thing… the thing Muunas reacted to… was love, Ch’venga.  I don’t understand.  Love.  I think I’ve been learning how.  But what if I don’t know how to love Arko enough?  How do I learn to love enough?”

“You know how to love, Minis,” Gan said from behind me.

"Love is not something you learn to do.  Love is something you allow yourself to do.  It is in you, as it is in all people; you need only let it out.  Even your father... he must have been loving to you at least once."

I thought of the times I had yearned were more, with my father.  Those times I would have killed for, at one time.  Loving. 

“Listen to him, bonehead,” Gannara said.

That echoed what the God had said.  I nodded and signed chalk.  “Here we are." Chevenga's voice was quiet.  "I will see you both later.  I have more work to do.”  And he left us standing in the Imperial chambers hallway.  I realized what was wrong.  I had seen him on faib skates almost all the time here.  He was using them to move fast enough.  This time he hadn’t been wearing them.  Had he foreseen they would have been in the way this evening?

“I think you need more than just a drink of water.  I think you need a swim, too,” Gan said, taking my elbow again.  I looked back at the closed plain gold door and signed chalk.

“Whatever you say, Gan.”

It took most of the rest of the evening for me to settle down again.  Gannara was right.  I drank three glasses of water and he even persuaded one of the servants to bring some food to the Lesser Baths.  I floated in the hot pool until I was wrinkled and settled back into my skin and when I got out there was a tray of food, along with a glass of wine waiting.  Gan was diving into the deep end of the cold pool, from a medium ledge that obviously had been built for such things, but I had never seen it used for that.

I wrapped myself in the enormous towels, curled into a deep chair and sent a prayer... to Muunas.  Thank You God.  Thank you. You sent me Irenas, first and foremost, and Disarsha.  Thank you for teachers like Chevenga, for brothers like Ilesias and Gan.  For Kyriala...for those in Selestialis who saved me over and over again... Binshala...

My gratitude.  For Ailadas and Kaita, for all the servants who helped raise me...

God, I wish I could be just and only grateful, but I have a request for someone still in earthly danger.  I do not know my mother.  But she is still in the hands... the wife of 2nd Amitzas.  I pray for her whom I do not know.  I pray for myself. Let me learn to love my mother... and for my grandfather...  Thank you, God that I have family left at all. I hope to cultivate a grateful heart.


Second Amitzas cut the classified advertisement out of the Pages, deliberately careful, smoothing the scrap of paper onto the table before him with deliberate, satisfied fingers.

He was certain that he had not made any kind of acknowledging noise but the rest of the Mahid stilled and turned toward him from their places at the table.  Possibly because cutting a piece out of the Pages was unusual.

He waited until the apprentice removed the empty cup before him. He was aware of the women’s attention from where they sat across the room.  They were in another secret, buried hall, unfortunately thrusting them cheek-by-jowl in the confined space.

“Our missing Spark has finally discovered that life outside is not to his taste.  We have until the thirteenth of this month to remove to Jintila.  There we shall recover him.”

No one smiled, of course.  There were twenty men around table the remnants of the original fifty who had escorted the Spark and the Coronet Regal. At the woman’s table a cup clicked upon it.  Set down a fraction too hard.  2nd Amitzas looked over to see Inensa rise.  “I shall see the women are prepared to travel within the bead, husband.”



Inensa closed the rustic door of the garderobe.  The small wooden house was not inside the complex, but outside.  She had a few moments in the private place.  The only privacy allowed.  She had a breath or two to gather her strength. She sank down on the closed seat and leaned forward, placing her forehead against the inside of the door her arms wrapped around her centre.

Spark of the Sun’s Ray... why?  You were away.  You were free. For the first time she allowed herself to unbend slightly.  She had years of practice enduring.  The weight of the killing needle in her left glove was like a stone hidden in the glove.

Selinae, Mother.  Give me strength. Give the boy strength to not submit to my husband once more.  If my life would save him, take it, Selestial Sera, Mother. Save the child of my body I dare not think of as mine.

The moment of weakness was all she would allow herself.  She straightened and rubbed her forehead though she hadn’t leaned hard enough to leave a mark.  She fluffed her skirts and smoothed them and her face and lifted the latch to step out onto the path.  They would be near Jintila, once more in tents no doubt, in a few days.