I’d been looking at lots and lots of weird animals and I hadn’t found the right one yet. I mean... a two-headed snake, or one of those weird things from the Dragon city up north that they said were dragons... really from the desert south of Sria. It wasn’t truly a dragon, but a big constrictor snake with tiny stumps of wings that didn’t do anything and stubby front legs. It moved fast as a crocodile and smelled like a drain. It was way stupider than Nuninibas’s Flapper even.
I liked the bright blue spider that stood up and shot tiny sparks between its front feet, but not for Minis’a birthday present. I sent it to Grandfather. The blobfish was funny, in its tank, it had a goopy, frowny face that looked like a grumpy old man. It went to a pedestal in the city’s old menagerie.
I had the Ri skin with the fancy mane and tail still attached hung on the wall in the Hexaginarian public gallery. I wanted to keep the big armoured rolly bug for myself. It was a big red and gray, long centipede like thing but rolled up in a ball that came up to my knees, but Jia didn’t like it, and the Ocean’s Anus was just gross... and it blew up into weird goo anyway.
People were already sending wedding presents, if they weren’t bringing them themselves, but I was still looking for the best birthday present for Minis’s third threshold. It was important. I mean I’d give him a theatre or a library or something for his wedding but that was kind of not personal.
I had a lot of presents to buy for the wedding anyway. Not just for Minis but for Kyriala. And Gan and Farasha. I knew they weren’t really my uncle and aunt but they sort of would be. Or a little like parents, after Minis and Ky got married. I wasn’t sure exactly how that worked but it would. Ailadas had harrumphed and not explained, saying I was too young to understand, but I’m old enough to know that it’s not about the sex things but the promises you make.
The promises you make, to who, and how you keep them. Like the Fenjitzas and I talked about when we talked ethics. A marriage was kind of like being an Imperator or an Imperatrix. You swore oaths. Then you worked to keep them, every day, for as long as you lived. Then you’d get to explain to the Ten how you did and how hard you tried. Even if Ten are ‘omniscient’people will still have that last test. It’s the hardest thing after you die; facing the Gods.
I cuddled Jia and he wrapped all eight of his arms around my arm, and I could feel his beak against me, touching me gently even as he hugged hard. I was so glad he chose me on Haiu Menshir. He’s my best not-human friend.
Fiscally Irresponsible and Morally Rotten
By Filotas Hinheras, True News of Arko
- The Spark of the Sun’s Ray Elect is showing his upbringing with these fiscally irresponsible wedding preparations. The invitations to lesser countries all around Arko as if the people of Arko had nothing better than to host the scions of other Kings, public feasting money vanishing into celebrations that will officially not happen?
Jitzmitthra celebrations are inherently shocking, appalling and outrageous! This waste of taxpayer’s hard-earned chains, show that the scion of the Aan line is a perfect reflection of his failed father! Not only are these ‘hidden from the Gods and the world’ celebrations economically heinous but their timing makes them suspect and corrupt!
How can these revels... this unrestrained carousing... in the most morally bankrupt time of year have any kind of ethical restraint whatsoever? How can anyone see these bogus, illegitimate and spurious entertainments as any kind of official ascension or official assumption of an office of the sacred and sacrosanct position of Imperator as anything but a farce? It is a bastardization of our holy customs and eternal traditions. The pure and incorruptible ballot box should be brought to bear on this vile young man who exhibits his moral turpitude every time he dons his faibalitz skates.
Arko has found the power of the voice of the people and that power is perfectly poised to remove this perverted and spendthrift young man from the Crystal Throne before he taints the revered and untouchable power of the office of Imperator! Stop him before the everlasting and pure Imperatorship becomes as tainted, polluted and infected as his failed father.