Tuesday, January 31, 2012

621 - Into the Onslaught

Muunas, High God, make those shenning girls stop!   

“Kyriala!”  I was almost wheezing.  I wasn’t drunk at all any more, chasing those... those... I had a choice.  I could get angry or just give up and laugh.  The dawn was just over the Rim and the light had gone from dim to the absolute crystal clear of what people call a ‘throne morning’.  Thank you Ten.  Jitzmitthra seldom had rain but it could have been miserable.

I was gaining on them fast, leaving a trail of my friends behind.  Where they holding back?  Good of them if they were.  It was about time.  A joke was a joke but it could be taken too far!

The women were giggling I could hear that.  All of them.  Even my mother was in the whole swirling group of girls hiding Kyriala from me.  The whole lot of white-clad girls hopped the very same wash I’d fled Sereniteers and I didn’t pause going over after them.  Someone whistled as I did the same hand-flip at speed to land in the middle of them.

“Ky?  Ky?” Farasha was there too.  And... Gan?  Now I’d caught up to them and there she was only one... “Forzak it!” Our friends were all around us... the men and the women... all of them getting in the shennen way!

“Minis!  Over here!  I’m here!”  That was her.  The whole lot of them were working to keep us two or three people apart.  I grabbed onto Resh and stretched between him and Fish and she reached toward me from between Borasa and Amitza.

“Ky!  I’m coming, these... these... people are getting in my way!  We need to get married!”

“Minis!  I’m here!  We need to get married!  Oh, look out for the—“ I saw the black-strap missile flinger and the children who have mounted this on their fence manage to hit Gan with a bag full of pudding, spattering me and Cream and Jorasa?  Yes, Jorasa.

I wipe the pudding off my neck and jump over the spatter.  “Hey!  Hey, it’s the backwards Imperator!” The children squealed and aim another of their food missiles even as Ky and I were wheeled away from the incoming leaking bolus.

“Save it for the Regent!” I yelled back over my shoulder.  "He’ll be out soon!  I bellowed.  It was true.  I caught Ky’s eye over Aisha’s shoulder she smiled and I tipped my head behind us and she nodded.

“You... you shen eaters!” I yelled, but braked and she did too, sliding out of the girl’s grip and I left my vest in Gan’s hands. We reached and caught hands, turned on our common point and wheeled away from the whole raucous pack.

We held our stretched out grip around the broken splashes of pudding on the pavement,  the children struggling to re-load and we fled together toward Ten Angels, before the whole street began flinging more food.

“Tanifas said he’d be there with everyone else!” Ky shouted, even as I bellowed “I missed you!”

“I missed you too and they’re gaining!”

“Salver’s Alley?”  I nodded and we slid sideways into the narrow slot between Rose and Laurel’s and Conflagration Peak Goldsmiths over to Fortunate Milliner’s Row, bursting out between the empty hat-racks.  Not done, to display fine things when food would be flung randomly.

“We’re getting married!”  We said simultaneously, to each other, laughing.   

She had a purplish stain on her one shoulder and crumbs in her hair. A thrown cream-cake caught me on the chin and I had to trust Ky to guide me for a moment while I clawed cream off my face.

“I love you, you madwoman!  I love you, do you know that?”  I could say it out loud and very loud in Jitz.

“Oh good.  Then I can say I love you wildly, crazily, breathle--- duck!”

We managed to avoid more than a shower of what turned out to be vegetable broth so we were both dripping when we skidded around the corner to Presentation Square... and saw our wedding party waiting for us.Everyone held fruit or cakes and huge grins on their faces.

We clasped both of our hands and pulled us closer together, put our heads down and skated into the onslaught.

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