Thursday, February 19, 2015

71 (732) - Help, Help, I Can't Reach My Kaf

Kyriala looked sideways under her lashes at Minis as he got down to welcome his mother as they set the palanquin down in the port cochet at the Palace.  Tesha came rolling out of the palanquin and latched onto his leg, while Joras hugged the other.

“Mother, I’d welcome you properly,” he grinned. “But I’m somewhat restrained!”

He still had hold of his horse so he only had the one hand free.  The horse boys weren’t running to take his horse, since it was rustic and rural and far less constrained out here.  Here he could wrestle with his own horse if he wished.

That was the moment that a horse in the Mahid string clearly decided it had had enough of good behavior.  Nasty slipped his halter and trotted around the coaches and up to where his person stood and put his head over his shoulder between the fancy silver dapple as if to say ‘My boy.’ ‘Mine.’

“Wonderful! Hello, you Nasty horse,” Minis said, starting to laugh. He bent over laughing as Solsol made an affronted whinny and Nasty snapped at him with the ‘snake-head’ big white teeth clomping on air. “Hey, hey, stop.  You are my darling horse, Nasty, you don’t need to show off your ability at being rude!”

“Big bruzzer can I ride? I wanna ride!” Tesha let go his leg and reached up to where he hooked his arm under hers and swung her around up onto Nasty’s bare back.  “Here you go. You too, Joras!” He said and boosted him up behind Tesha as Inensa helped her father out of the depths of the palanquin. “Nasty, you be good for the children now!” he said warningly as Nasty dropped his head and lipped the air as if he were an elderly pony.  “I’ve missed everyone, even if its only been a few days!” The Mahid girls zoomed in amongst the people and animals, greeting friends.

That was when Minis called the horse boy over to give him Solsol, to be led away. Not fast enough for Nasty’s taste. Clouds that had been holding off all day grew darker and the light under the roof dimmed with threatened rain.  Ili launched himself out of a coach, blasted by, yelling “Hi, Minis, I have to go inside right now!”

“Son.” Inensa said.

“Thank you, Grandson.” First Amitzas straightened slowly, turning to the nearest coach. “I should introduce you to an old friend who’s come back to us---“

“Misahis!” Minis threw propriety to the wind and flung his arms around the Haian. “How are you? You’re back as a healer?  In Arko? How on the Earthsphere can you stand it? Thank you! Thank you!”

The Haian smiled and hugged him back, gently.  “Minis.  I’ve brought my wife and husband and their daughter with!  This is Tirchaer, my step-daughter.”

Minis nodded at her. “Serina Tirchaer,” then he switched to Haian. “Be welcome in my home. Be safe.” Then he grinned.  “That’s most of the Haian that I know except for the healing words.”

She clutched her notebook to her chest and bobbed a nervous bow.  “Hello, Imperator.”

“Minis, please!  Your step-papa helped me feel better too many times for us to be formal.”

“Son, we will be inside,” Inensa said.  “Father needs to recover from the trip.”

“Hello, boy!” Sukala said.  “I’ll be in helping Inensa and Amitza.” She bounced up to Amitzas’s other side, patting Kyriala’s Smooth on the way by.  The wind came up as Kyriala dismounted carefully onto the mounting block, whipping her braids and her sleeves around her as she stepped down to make room for Farasha.  It was crowded with people as servants unloaded coaches and led horses away to stables and the pastures of the Winter Palace.

“Sukala! Welcome!  I’ll just be a moment!” Minis lifted Tesha and Joras off Nasty and frowned at him when he balked at taking the halter again, until he let himself be harnessed and led away; offered Kyriala his arm and they went in, surrounded by the laughing, talking throng, as the next of the rains blew in with a patter.

“Darling wife, I have more family than I know what to do with! And this is just family and friends, nowhere near the whole court! I could almost understand my sire’s need to be alone…”

“Asha mama! Asha Papa! You’re back from your trip, wonderful!!” Behind them, Gan greeted his own family, who had just alighted.

She threaded her arm through his, perfectly acceptable out here, away from the formal court.  “You’re nothing like him, but I understand. You’re doing fine, love. Just let them all come to you for now.”


My Dear Journal,

I can see I’m going to be hiding from all this chaos by writing in you a lot.  This Winter Palace is mostly wood and big beams and rugs and stone stoves.  I’m with the Arkans wanting it warm.  This is winter rains a lot colder than I’m used to!

It’s like the Marble Palace with ten tall thin towers, each with a sun crystal on top, but the building is low and looks like part of the hill its on, with these enormous feather pines around it.  I’m in the first reception hall where everyone has come, all at once.  Very Haian!  And most people are gathered around the big, big stone fireplace in the middle.  There’s big overstuffed chairs all around, and couches too, though Arkans like to sit in separate chairs a lot.

The Dowager Imperatrix is sitting on a straight chair next to her father who is reclining, with his feet toward the fire. The Yeoli sage woman, Sukala is walking around the edges of the room, looking at the trophy heads on the walls that have gruesome glass eyes.  Why do Arkans put animal corpses on the walls over their heads?  Do they LIKE having death hanging over their heads?

The children are all in a napping pile on a big pad of furs and blankets in front of the fire and a servant just brought me a tray with a pitcher of hot milk and a whole array of spices and sweeteners if I want.

I poured a little cup for Sophi, but she’s slithered off. Probably to play hide and seek with Jia.  It will be better for her cool, anyway.

The hall is filled with Solstice decorations, mostly gilded paper suns hanging from the ceiling and crystal glass stars too, but the big lamp in the middle of the ceiling isn't lit so they are just faint glitters twinkling over our heads.  There's a big 'Knowledge tree' decorated with tiny books in one corner, for Didi and Farasha and their families.

There's even a decorated sea tank with a Year Chime over it, for Step-papin and I and a decorated Yeoli Solstice log, waiting by the fire. I like seeing the decorations for Solstice from all these nations. Spirit of Life it's beautiful to see all together.

I think the Imperator is very nice.  His horses listen to him, even if they’re jealous.  And he has a big dog lying on his feet right now and there’s a white cat lying on the kids.  His cat.  And it’s so silly  He’s got an enormous red macaw lying in his arms like a baby and he’s scratching its tummy and neck, laughing with his husband that he’s beset by children and animals and help help he can’t reach his kaf to drink it… and his husband holds the cup for him and everyone is laughing about it when his wife fills his mouth with a pastry so he can't talk.

 He’s quieter than that Ili boy and I like anybody that animals love so whole heartedly!

Step-papin was right.  Not all Arkans are scary.  I can do this.

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