Archive | June 26, 2012

Change of Power, a story of Reiassan for the June Giraffe Call @Rix_Scaedu

To [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s prompt. Set two three rulers before the Rin & Girey stories.

The preparations for coronation were excessive, intensive, exhaustive, and boring. Ankahbena nursed her youngest child while, around her, half of the palace fluttered around like goat kids out to pasture for the first time. Three tailors worked on the Imperial robes, around her, around Iladeta, fitting over her bare breast.

Ankahbena had been a mother for far longer than she’d been an Empress. Her grandfather had fought his battles young and then enjoyed a very long life; four heirs had died before her, while she had served in his Army and taught at his University, married and given birth to children and seen them off to the Army as well.

“Mother.” Her oldest son bowed deeply in front of her.

“Aby.” She shifted Ila, brushing away a maid with her free hand. She could still do this for herself, if nothing else.

“I asked Ukyenna if she would accept a marriage contract, if you and Father, and her parents, are amenable.”

“Ukya…?” She had seven sons, three daughters, and, to date, four grandchildren. She had a long piece of paper with all of their important information written down. She could not remember Ukyenna anywhere on the list.

“She’s a distant cousin, descended from a younger sister of Empress Ellanasia. She’s very pretty.” He sounded a bit defensive, there. “And very smart. And… she understands the palace.”

“Ah.” She studied her most ambitious child for a moment. “You think she will make a good mother to the next Emperor.”

“I do.” He tilted his head in submission. “But the choice is yours, Mother.”

She snapped her hand, trying not to hit the tailor who was still trying to fit the inner sleeve properly. The choices were all hers, now. And if her sons followed tradition and cloistered their wives, in a decade she would be the only woman in the nation with any choice. “Let me meet this girl.” Maybe she could talk some sense into Aby.

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Rub a Coin, a story of Reiassan for @anke, for the mini-giraffe Call

For [personal profile] anke‘s prompt. A tien and a vieg are two units of currency, roughly a penny and a dollar (A vieg is worth a loaf of bread).

“Rub a coin.” Gettar passed over a tien coin to Polla. “Rub a coin, and toss it in the holy fountain.”

His little sister rubbed the coin between two fingers until the metal and the inlain stone were warm to the touch, despite the cooling days. “Why?”

“If you rub it while thinking of something good, the stone holds the thought, and takes it to the gods.” He rubbed his, his lips moving in the way they did. Cantya. Polla knew he was thinking of Cantya, the tanner’s daughter with the eyes like coal. She was all he ever thought about, lately.

Talgya. She mouthed the word as she rubbed the coin warm, and again as she tossed the coin into the fountain. Talgya. It might work.

~

The kids were throwing tien coins and pieces of bone into the fountain, their faces twisted in concentration.

“Rub a coin.” Polla passed the vieg to Talgya. “Something my brother taught me, when I was under-goat tall. “Think of your wish, and the sira in the coin will send it to the gods.”

“Does it work?” The veteran took the vieg, pinching it between two fingers of the hand she had left. Polla knew what she was thinking, like she’d always know who was on Gettar’s mind. It was easy. Gettar. Bring him back to us.

She pinched her own vieg. Getta. Senan. Attorora. Bring them back to us. Bring them home.

She tossed the coin into the fountain, high over the heads of the children. “It brought you home, every time.”

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A bit of Porter, for @kissofJudas

Addergoole Year 8, after Behind Door Number Three

Porter was being hunted. By a mouse.

He had discounted it at first. The pretty girl just happened to be around a lot. The school only had a hundred or so students. He was bound to run into everyone eventually.

And he could tell by the looks that he wasn’t her first target. The Sixth Cohort Sylvanus gave her a wide berth, and watched her with haunted eyes. He wasn’t the only one, either; there was a Seventh Cohort who followed her around, pretending he wasn’t.

Porter didn’t want to be on a string of guys. He really didn’t want to be on a string of guys to a mouse, no matter how cute she was (and he had to admit, she was sort of cute). But she kept following him. And she had a way of doing it where he wouldn’t notice she was there until they were alone. He’d walk through the halls, thinking he was fine, and then, poof, there was a girl three years ahead of him who looked like prey, smelled like prey…

…and his stupid tiger-brain wanted to pounce. Down, boy he told himself, smiled, tipped his hat, said “ma’am,” and found another way to the suite.

Every day. Every. Damn. Day. And she wasn’t saying anything, even. Just smiling at him. But it was such a knowing smile, such a painfully pushy smile, that he wanted to run and hide.

From a mouse. It was more than he could bear. Or, for that matter, more than he could tiger.

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