Wednesday, March 18, 2015

88 - Two Old Farts

“So have you decided which two of our crazy new Mahid you’re going to drag off to Yeola-e first?” Amitzas sighed as he settled into the hottest part of the Winter Palace pools, let his head ease back against the edge rest.

Sukala, floating naked in the same pool raised her head to let the water run out of her ears. “What was that, old man?”

“I asked you which two you were going to take first.” He didn’t open his eyes but he only sounded a little miffed. She rolled over and then swam to sit next to him, his bathing costume beating softly against her naked, wrinkly thigh. “I think I will start with your new numbered names.  Why are they numbered?”

“It’s a Mahid thing,” he said, grumpily. “We just decided to number the top ten finishers, male and female.”

“So... they can pass the number on to their children even if the new Bodyguard aren’t hereditary?”

“No. I don’t think we’re going to do that anymore.  Are you going to mix the sexes or take same sex at the same time?”

She took his hand, floating, and gently began rubbing all around his swollen wrist.  “Probably mix it up. It’s easier to keep them off balance.”

“Shameless, shameless woman.”

“You should retire and come up to live in my old cave.”

He popped open an eyelid and stared at her. Then both eyes. “Good kaina mar--- I mean Ten Gods, woman, you’re not propositioning me?”

She started laughing.  “Any more than I have these past few days?  If you mean ‘Am I proposing marriage to you, like all shameless Yeoli women’ no.  I’m not.  I’m too old a fart to be doing anything formal. Sex between friends is fine.  But the mountain air and fresh, simple food will do you an Earthsphere of good!”

“Shameless woman.” He leaned his head back again, settling back down.  “For visits, I shall certainly consider it.  But I cannot retire until I have a properly trained replacement.”

“Isn’t that your Inensa?” She threaded her arm through his and lay back as well, her grey, curly hair draped over her shoulders like coils of seaweed. His drifted long and languid in front of them both, a different species of grey.

“I... suppose.” He cleared his throat and put his other hand over hers where it was tucked into his elbow. “Women. Women taking over.  I should not be surprised if my first great-grandchild turns out to be female.”

“First?  Surely you had others...?”

“Dead in the War.  Or unacknowledged in the Mahid way.”

“Or both.  I understand.  But I think your daughter does know enough to take over more of your ‘Pharmacist’ things.”

“I said I would consider it.”  He turned his head. “So how cold is this cave of yours and how badly will I ache visiting you?”

“Come in the summer and bake your bones on the mountainside in the sun, you old fart.”

“Shameless old fart, true. Shame is for the young.  A faint twitch of a smile on his wrinkled old face, that looked much more open and vulnerable without his spectacles.  “I should like to see you and that decrepit Warmaster... Azailas? Spar.”


“Or you could come down here in the winter.”

“My cave will be up to my ears in snow right now.” She stretched.  “I do like it warm. So we might trade back and forth until we die.”

“That sounds like a plan.”

“Yes. Yes it does.”


  1. awwww so adorable!!!! I melt in puddles

  2. This is idyllic, in a silly sort of way. It brought a smile.

    know enough to take over more of you ‘Pharmacist’ things
    you -> your

    1. Thanks for catching that! I fixed it. Sukala grins at you and Amitzas stares at you over his spectacles.