Tuesday, June 16, 2015

146 - Mammoka Can't Vomit

“It’s true! The Spark of the Sun’s Ray is hauling bricks like the rest of them. I seen it with m’own eyes! See that's HIM, right there!”

“Shhh, them new Mahid don’ like guarding in this crowd…”

“Pish, some o’ them that’s haulin’ are new Mahid in disguise.”

Ili could hear the murmurs out of the crowd and the red of his cheeks had nothing to do with sunburn. He didn’t have to haul brick in the height of the day, nor all day, that would just have been dumb because he would have been burnt bright red and his hands would have been ruined. The hod dug into his shoulder, even empty.

It was still winter so it wasn’t as brutal as it could have been but sweat still poured down his face and stained his tunic between his shoulder blades. I had no idea it was this hard.

“Aan!” the okas foreman relished being able to yell at him like he was low caste. We played at being fessas for a long time. You think that embarrasses me?

“Yes?” But I’m going to answer him politely and in my own accent. “Does that one wish my attention?”

“Yer tah trot along to the Itzan manor. They need help with that monster of theirs.  Take these two wit yah!” He pointed out Didi and Nuni.  Nuni looked like he was about to either burst into tears or start a tantrum.  He’d never been made to do low caste work and he still thought that his sister the Imperatrix was being unjust by making him keep company with Ili in punishment as well as in party.

“I shall obey!” It’s so weird, saying that in our accent. It sounds like a command instead of an acknowledgement.

Didi grinned at him as she set down her hod, in its slot on the Master Bricklayer’s cart. “Come on, Nuni, it’ll be better at Itzan’s.  There’ll be shade and I bet Mil will send out the butler with cool drinks for us.”

Nuni just grunted and the three of them jogged up the Avenue.  Three of the new Mahid came with them.

The mammoka garden was full of stink, the grass trampled into pinkish mud. People milled around her head and she had chains on both front feet and there were empty barrels scattered around. Fluffy stood, splayed in misery, trumpeting and whimpering while the mahu and Tirchaer and a handful of servants hoisted up another barrel of milk and tried to get it into the corner of her mouth. Of course, you can’t drench a mammoka like you drench a horse.

Everyone was covered with pink-tinted milky, stinky mammoka shit and even as the butler showed Ili in, and fled, Fluffy raised her trunk, letting them pour half the barrel into her mouth, sputtered, drooled milk all down her soaked front fur, wailed and raised her tail.  The forceful jet of diarrhea hit the mound of straw behind her, splashed and she swayed, hosing the whole courtyard, adding to the general stench.

Two great strings of greenish red drool hung on either side of her mouth, tangled with her chest fur and spat out milk. Her whole hind end was muck soaked and two servants stood by with hoses of cool water, trying to start cleaning her up. She didn’t want that and backed up toward them, slowly, until they dropped their hoses and ran.

Fluffy’s fur all over was soaked with pink diarrhea and stained red in two trails down from her mouth. Her trunk was stained red and looked raw. Her ears flapped in agitation and she swayed from foot to foot in hung-over misery.

Tirchaer saw them and stamped over to Ili, grabbed him by the front of his tunic and snarled “See what you did! You poisoned her with alcohol once and nearly killed her with the pepper oil!”

Ili gagged and tried to pull away from Tirchaer and her current smell. “I didn’t mean to!”

“So you’re going to start helping!” She let him go, spun on her heel, and went back to put remedies in the next bucket of pure water they were offering Fluffy.

“It’ll be better, you said,” Nuni snorted. “Cool drinks, you said.” Then he started laughing and went over to one of the hoses and began coaxing Fluffy to let him start rinsing her belly fur. Didi shrugged, nodded at Ili, and joined him.

Ili stood, the only unsmeared, unbesmirched person in the whole courtyard. He set his shoulders and his stubborn lip came out. “Heya, Fluffy!  Drink the water now!”  He joined the barrel crew and Fluffy did drink the bucket but when she put her trunk in the milk she just pulled it out and soaked them all with it, whining as she did it.

The mahu was beginning to clip her hair short since the oil wasn’t coming out of the fibre any longer and servants were beginning to haul it away like oddly coloured, vilely smelling balks of hay.

Fluffy moaned and smacked the empty barrel of milk away from them all and it rolled over and crushed the last flowerbed. She slapped Ili, and pinched him, but then began slowly drinking the bucket he offered her.

“Come on, Fluffers,” he said softly, ignoring the milk dripping off his nose and the ends of his hair.  “You’ll feel better soon.  Let us make it up to you, sweetie, dearheart, honey, baby…” he crooned to her and got his hand onto her cheek and she didn’t jerk her head up.  Tirchaer, on the other side, held a pulse-point in the pit of her leg, also ignoring the hair falling down around her as the mahu clipped.

“She should be all right.  Her pulses are settling.”

Fluffy wailed and sent another jet of dung into the straw. My nose will get used to this. I hope. One of the servants vomited which added its own note of bile to the general stench.

“Mammoka can’t vomit up what hurts them,” Tirchaer said, primly.  “They have to pass it.”

“I’m sorry, honey bunches,” Ili urged her to drink another bucket of water.  “I’m so sorry.  My fault I was so wild. My fault, sweetness.  When you’re all better I’ll get you something that tastes really good, hmmm?”


I will rather die than be a slave. Those Fehinnans don’t have a clue what they’re dealing with, with us.

They had us putting in that trap at the port and that Gilly striped me with his whip because we were all working as slowly as we could.  I went over the sea-wall and under water as long as I could hold my breath.

I can swim in armour so these chains are hard but I can keep my head up.  They might think me drowned but I’m not dead yet. Only a few years ago I would just have let Him take me and gone on to another life, when they took my wings away. Lord Friend is that you in the water? That white and grey and black shape?

Ama Kalandris help me. I should try and live long enough to find Alliance forces… Huh, who would have thought that I’d be straining my eyes to see red sails?  Wanting to find Arkans. Huh.

The rain is only the beginning.  The wind will whip the Sea into foam and kill me, I won’t be able to breathe in this wild, wild sea.  Well.  Aba Tyriah, Ama Kalandris, be with me. Lord Friend look away.

I will try to make shore… I’ve swum out so far I don’t know my ass from my ears.  Dayanal… oh, Ama… help is here. Thank you, smiling friend. I wish I could tell you what I need.  Not just shore… ships.  I need red-sails ships, my friend.

Your fin tugs and you press up against my guts. I vomit a little saltwater that I swallowed. I was near done. My eyes are a little swollen and I can't see well.  I'm so hungry I'm not hungry anymore. I had fresh water before they chivied us out onto the seawall. How long ago was that? It's dark because of the storm rolling in.

Red sails… or am I dreaming? I want red sails so badly.

No comments:

Post a Comment