Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kaymele (part 9)

    It's been two weeks since Bly, Adonis, and Xander left.  The days have been long, hard, and strange.  Nairi is not allowed to walk around much after she fell out of bed defending herself.  I've been dreaming lately of the past, of Eleniel, of Rinion.  Especially Rinion,  I have many good memories of him, like all the nights we used to walk through the woods under the light of the moon and the ever constant stars, but also memories of terrible things like the day he died.
    The knock on my door causes me to jump and stop writing.  I put the parchment away and place the feather back in the ink well.  Taking a quick survey of the room making sure nothing is out of place, I answer the door.  It's Anakis with a fresh round of ointment to put on Nairi's arm.  She figured out a paste that calms the bumps and slows the goop.
    'I'm just here to apply the next round of Choh,' she says, 'I won't be but a moment.'
    'Ok, she seems to have calmed down since you started using that,' I say.
    She proceeds to apply the white paste onto the wound.  I watch as it dissolves into her skin and the bumps fade, they no sooner leave than reappear gushing with fresh goop.  The cheery spirit and smile on Anakis's face vanishes and her eyebrows knit into a furrow.
    'I just don't understand, it worked last time,' she says frustrated.
    'Do you think it could have formed an immunity to it so quickly?' I ask.
    'Possibly, but I highly doubt it.  She's so small, if the medicine doesn't get here soon it may be too late for her,' she says frowning.
    I sigh and brush the hair off Nairi's brow.  'So young, and yet so brave,' I think, 'what did she do to deserve this?'
    'Don't worry Nairi, the medicine is on it's way,' I say.
    'I'll let you get back to your work while I go see what to do about a new remedy,' she mutters walking towards the door, 'oh, by the way, Nithron wants you to meet him after lunch at the well.'
    I stand motionless as she quietly slips out the door.  It's really odd how Anakis is so quiet around others and is quiet open around myself, Bly, Prid, and Natia.  Then the last message she said replays in my mind "meet Nithron at the well".  I've avoided the well ever since I was pushed in and sealed off.  The very thought makes me shutter.
    I wish Nairi would wake up so I'ld have someone to talk to.  Ever since she fought those men who tried to take her away she's mostly been sleeping, only waking to eat, drink, or relieve herself.  I wish the medicine would hurry and get back here, but of course it'll take at least three more days before they even reach the Elves.  All I can do is pray, be hopeful, and keep her comfortable.
    Returning to my desk I get out my parchment and pulling the feather out of the ink well I prepare to write.  As I read over what I had written the memories return fresh in my mind and I start writing them down.
    'Rinion, when are you going to stop fooling around? I asked giggling, 'we're going to be late.'
    Swinging in the tree top faster than the squirrels, that live along the river, is Rinion, his hands and feet found all the invisible footholds, and grabbing limbs that so many others could never find even if they searched the trees for months.
    'In a minute love, I've almost got your hat,' He said and climbed higher.
    'Forget the hat, we've got to go.  I don't want to be late!' I shouted up to him.
    He descends the tree, but not before he snatched my hat off the top branch and triumphantly brought it down the tree.  He bowed and placed the hat gently atop my head.
    'I crown you Queen Kaymele Ireth Greystone the first, and Lady of the Moon,' he said, 'am I allowed to escort your highness to your palace?'
    I laughed as I took his arm and waved to the invisible audience walking to the horses along the forest road.  Though we were engaged for nearly fifty years, it seemed as if a few months had passed since he preposed.  The wedding itself wasn't for another forty years but we were still very happy in that time.  Walking in the forest and swimming in the river were the things we loved to do together.  
    But then we were very late for dinner with my family.  All day we had been at the port helping the fishermen and the villagers with their daily doings.  Being royal doesn't mean that we couldn't help those who are middle and lower class.  After we untied, and mounted our horses, we rode on.  I know Florentide and her new hatchling Camellia have been missing us since we left, and Eleniel.  Oh, how I missed her dearly while we were gone.
    'Hurry Rinion, we are late and I'm longing to see my family again,' I said galloping ahead.
    'Ok, I'm hurrying,' he said, though I saw him slow down several times and look behind us, as if someone or something were following us.
    Finally we reached the palace, the squires took our horses to the stables and we walked to the dining room.  All the family was there.  Uncle Arthion and Aunt Anira were the first to meet us and took us to our seats.  Uncle Rimedur and Aunt Vanya were seated across from us, and Aunt Santiel sat between them.  My mother, Fauna, and my father, Gremm sat just opposite of her.  Ada and Naneth sat at either end of the table.  Eleniel and Locien were seated beside us.
    A knock on the door forces me to stop writing again, but before I could answer Nithron rushes into the room.  His shirt is torn, food and blood paint his entire body, he has the finest black eye you could imagine, and a gaping cut above his eyebrow.
    'Kaymele I...' he starts.
    'What happened to you?' I interrupt sitting him down.
    'While I was passing by the kitchens I noticed a fight starting, an unstoppable fight.  The cook claims that there's nothing wrong with the meals but the helpers have all seen him put any number of foul and rotting things into the soups and stews.  The argument got heated and the cook being the best knife thrower in our army started throwing them left and right, and Beleg is nowhere to be found.  So I stepped in to try and stop the fight and got a fist in my eye and chest.  Then it all started back up again food and cutlery flying everywhere.  There's really nothing that can be done to calm them,' he says wincing as I sew the cut above his eyebrow closed.
    'Well as soon as you're cleaned up we are going back to the kitchen to sort this matter out,' I say taking his shirt.
    'Alright, but I'm bringing my sword,' he says.
    After he left, I filled Nairi's water cup and put another blanket at the foot of the bed.  I grabbed my shawl and hurried out the door.  The air is getting cooler and more fires are being lit all around camp, but the nearer we come to the kitchens the more we smell burning food, hear all twelve different curses of the dwarfs, the sound of dishes being broken, and the thump of knives sticking into the wooden walls.  We carefully poke our heads around the corner, and I couldn't believe my eyes.  The entire room, floor to ceiling, was covered with rotten vegetables, and knives.
    'There's nothin' wrong with my food!' says the cook.
    He swears as we enter the room.  Armed with four knives, and a pot on his head he looked quite comical if it weren't for the crazed look in his eyes.
    'W-we said we wouldn't tell, honest, but he just won't listen to anything any of us say,' says the assistant cook, 'we just wanted him to stop putting bad meat in at the very least.'
    'I understand,' I say ducking under the overturned table, 'it seems to me that the cook is being unreasonable.  I'll try reasoning with him,' I poke my head up over the table and calmly talk to the cook, 'Cook?  Now calm down, I know you're angry but it's not going to be any better for you if someone gets hurt.'
    The cook grunts and swaggers all around his half of the kitchen.  
    'You tryin' to trick me?' he walks forward, nearly falling into the floor, 'cause if you are, you'll be in trubibble.  Oh, away we go whayyy out yonder.' 
    I could smell the liquor on his breath, he must have been drinking with the Stable Master again.  Nithron places a firm hand on my shoulder and steps up beside me.  His hand resting on the hilt of his sword.
    'This is no trick. You simply have been questioned, and you certainly wouldn't throw another knife knowing there's a lady present.  That's just not the man you are,' he says as calmly as possible.
    'Tell them to take back what they said!' shouts the cook.
    'What on earth did you say to him?!' I ask the assistant cook.
    'I watched him throw a rotten piece of meat into the stew.  It must have been nearly four weeks old.  I asked him to remove it at once before we added any more ingredients.  Why, he flew into a rage, lunged at me and would have choked me to death, if your friend Nithron here hadn't pulled him off me.  That's when we first realized that the cook was drunk.  And the next moment he's grabbed himself a handful of knives and started throwing like a madman,' says the assistant cook.
    'Where's Beleg?' I ask.
    'He went past the well into the forest, but nobody has seen him since,' says Nithron.
    'I think I know where he is.  Don't worry I'll be back with him before you know it.  Just keep the cook busy and don't let him go anywhere,' I say hurrying to the door.
    As soon as I left the room there was the thud of a knife hitting the wall beside the door.  I try not to think of where it might have hit, I needed to focus on finding Beleg so he can put a stop to the cook.  Past the camps, the stables, and the ruins I finally reach the well.  I stop, mesmerized by the gaping hole.  I start thinking about Rinion again and what happened that evening.

    'Naneth that has to be the best brunkle pie I've tasted,' I said trying not to indulge myself anymore.
    'I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.  Fauna, could you please pass the edanomel,' said Naneth pouring until her goblet was full.
    Dinner was nearly over, the servants had cleared away nearly all the dishes.  Rinion hadn't let go of my hand since we had arrived.  I wanted so badly to go see Florentide, but I needed his permission before I could leave.
    'Rinion, I would like to go see Florentide and Camellia.  I know they've been missing me and I them,' I said laying my head on his shoulder.
    'Oh, Kaymele of course you can, just let me escort you out,' he said.
    I wondered why he had wanted to escort me.  He knew very well I wasn't going to run off, but I didn't want to seem uncompliant.
    We excused ourselves and went out to find Florentide and Camellia.  Almost as soon as I came out Florentide found me and called Camellia.  Her white body flew swiftly above our heads, the trees swayed under the rushing wind under her wings.  Camellia wasn't far behind as her white and red streaked body flew through the air and landed.  I rushed forward and hugged Florentide her smooth white scales shimmered in the fading light making her twice as radient.  Rinion went back into the house after saying a friendly hello.
    'My, my look at you.  And Camellia you're simply dazzling,' I said to them sitting on my swing.
    'You don't look worse for wear yourself.  You're quite lucky to have such a wonderful mate as Rinion you know,' said Florentide, 'but enough about that, there's a matter I wanted to inform you of before we speak much more.'
    'Yes, we both saw large men, about a hundred or so, tailing you here.  They looked like trouble and were carrying dangerous weapons,' said Camellia.
    'I wonder if they are the same men from the fisherman's village.  I thought Rinion had taken care of those ruffians, they must be after him for closing their port.  They weren't just trading fish and fishing supplies.  They were trading weapons and such to Cave Trolls, and Mountain Goblins,' I said to them.
    I had no sooner said this than crashing and banging started inside the house.  The clanging of swords, and the sounds of my family's powers coming together as one.  Ice, water, and boiling hot water were heard flying everywhere.  People started running outside as I started running inside.  The enemy followed.  The battle continued as I climbed atop Florentide, Rinion climbed aboard Camellia.  We swooped and dove fighting for our lives and our family's lives.  The guards were still coming through the door.
    Until the leader of the pack came and stood out on the terris.  His one eye was a patched, and his beard, which was quite short, was blood splattered.  He jumped down and rushed forward slashing at whatever his sword could hit.  But before anyone could stop him, his sword had gone straight through Aunt Santiel.  I was paralyzed, flying above the sight I saw my mother, far away from her, was also in a state of shock.  Santiel's body fell to the ground with what seemed to be a thunderous crash.  
    Rinion, who had awakened from his shock, half mad, flew Camellia down at the leader so fast and angrily that he didn't see the sword of which the leader had killed Santiel with was raised high.  
    Because Camilla hadn't grown her tough outer scales it sliced right through to her heart, and she fell from the sky and smashed into the trees.  Rinion was pinned under her when they crashed, his back was almost completely torn off.  Florentide and I landed beside them.  
    The last of the savages were either dead or running for their lives.  The leader was lying dead with my Father's sword sticking out of his back.  Florentide tried to move Camilla's body, but for just one dragon she was too heavy.  I held Rinion's head close, his body was now surrounded by a pool of blood.  Everyone was over with Santiel, but at the moment none of that mattered.  
    'Kaymele,' he coughs, 'do you remember what I told you when we were first engaged?'
    'Of course I do, you said there's nothing that could separate us.  And you promised that you would always love me no matter the trile or tribulation,'
    'Yes,' he winces, 'and I don't think I can keep that promise much longer.'
    'Don't talk like that.  Here now you're... you're going to be fine,' I said as my voice choked.
    His breathing became more shallow with every breath.  He lifted his hand and touched my face holding it for as long as he could.  
    'I love you Kaymele,' he said.
    'And I love you,  I will always love you,' I said.
    I bent down and kissed his lips ever so softly, and when I came up again he was dead.  Florentide was over all of us, her daughter died only moments before.  Her head was bowed deeply, but not for long.  She raised up her voice and roared, while I screamed out in anger.  At the leader, at the world, at everything.  
    Still standing at the well I forgot what I had ventured out there for.  Then Beleg comes walking out of the forest.  Suddenly remembering what I needed him for I raced over to him.
    'Beleg!' I shout, he stops and waits for me, 'the cook, he's drunk and furious.  Everyone's hungry and terrified of him.  We need you to stop him, he's throwing knifes everywhere!' 
    'Alright, quickly take me to him,' he says.
    We sprint back to the kitchen, just in time to see the cook throw his last knife into the assistant cook's shoulder.  He cried out in pain, and fell on his knees.  Beleg rushed forward at the cook and pinned him to the floor.  
    'Cook, I'm taking you to the prison cells until we can give you proper punishment,' he says.
    'No, you can't take me!' shouts the cook as he's dragged out.
    'Come, Nithron help me get the assistant to Anakis,' I say grabbing one arm, 'by the way what did you want me at the well for?'
    'Oh, never mind that now I'll talk to you later about it,' he says, 'lets just get this man to Anakis.'

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