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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Case of the Missing Notebook

So recently on my facebook, I was complaining about missing one notebook which I need in order to finish typing up a story I'm in the middle of posting on my blog. I've caught up to what I had typed previously, so I am trying to get it done!

This is not the first time that I have complained about missing a notebook, but for the most part, I HAVE found them. I keep them all in 2 piles in my cube cubby thing that passes for a dresser. (I don't really like dressers and far prefer cube shelves :-) )

Anyway, I thought that since y'all hear from time to time that I am missing a notebook, I should probably give you a reason to be impressed with me, lol! Here's the thing, I am ONLY missing the one notebook! There may or may not be a second missing notebook, but the more I think about it, the more I think that that particular one was written in a dream. Weird huh?

SO - without further ado - here's why you should be impressed that I am only missing one of my notebooks, even though I am frustrated because the missing one is oh SO important right now!

I know that - even though the picture CAN be zoomed in on to read it, should you be so inclined - it's kind of hard to do so. SO, I broke it down into sections for you :-)
Starting from the left and going to the right:

Once upon a time ago, I was lugging, oh..... about 10-15 or so of these, and an ex boyfriend of both my mom and my sister saw me and exclaimed: "Damn!!! You have more notebooks than I've ever seen before!" To which I responded: "And this isn't even all of them!" LMAO!

My kids counted either 64 or 65 notebooks all together, SO rather than beat myself up about missing one all important notebook, I am going to celebrate the fact that I know where the rest of them are :-D

And hunt like hell to find that missing one because it is driving me CRAZY!!!!

An Old Story Idea - Mistress Apples

Once upon a time ago - back in december of 2003 to be exact, I read a book that I thought was pretty cool. I can't remember the name of the book or who wrote it, because the story itself - while interesting - is not why I thought it was cool. It - as a book - was written between 2 authors as a series of letters. They explained that it started as a writing exercise in which they came up with their characters and how they were friends. They also came up with a reason why the characters were separated and needed to write to each other. Other than that, they did not collaborate on the story line AT ALL! One would write a letter to the other and the second character would respond to the first and so on, back and forth until they neared the end. Then the two authors determined how many letters they needed to wrap up their sides of the story so that both stories concluded at the same time.

I LOVED that! I really really REALLY wished I had a friend who would write such a book with me - but obviously completely different than the one I had read, lol! So I asked a friend, and she said she would do it only if she could come up with her character first, and then my character wrote the first letter to her character setting up the storyline. I agreed, and once I had her info, I wrote the first letter. She never had a chance to devote any time to the story - her babies were little back then - and so the story got forgotten.

HOWEVER, since I was digging through my old notebooks and came across it, I decided to post it here as a treat to myself since I couldn't find the notebook I was looking for :-) Warning, there is one non essential part of the story that is missing, but it's probably better that way, lol!

December 22, 2003
Dear Mistress Apples,
Wow! I can't believe that I actually got up the courage to write you! I'm a huge fan. I mean it; you have no idea how much your music means to me. I wish your tour would include a stop here in Tinytown (population 21), but of course, even if you did, where would your Superstarness play? Our biggest place is a bar about 3 feet wide. (Actually, it's 12X12, but still!)
I wrote a song, but you'll probably think it's stupid. You see, with Christmas so near, those X-massy songs are everywhere, damn near driving me mad! So anyway, I found the song “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” stuck in my head and decided to improve on the lyrics a bit. Here it goes!
(NOTE: I apparently wrote the song on a different piece of paper and haven't found it yet. Pretend I have written a funny and probably a bit lame song here, lol!)
It made me laugh, but I'm sure it's nothing compared to what you can do. In any case, that's not why I am writing. I'm writing to tell you about a reading I did. It was meant to be for me, but it turned out to be for you.
Oops! Let me explain first. I read tarot cards, among other things, and I scare people around here a lot because they think I'm a witch. To tell the truth, sometimes I scare myself!
Anyhow, I did this reading and in it, I clearly saw you – represented by the Star crossed by the Queen of Wands – and you were enjoying wealth and fame right now, not to mention traveling all over the world. All of this I was able to confirm by reading about you in Rolling Stone Magazine, but in my reading, you had one, perhaps two shadows following you – represented by the Deceiver and the High Priestess.
I took these two cards together to mean (the Deceiver is a right imp and the High Priestess holds a secret) that you have a stalker or a secret admirer who does not have your best interests at heart. I hope it's not nearly as bad as it was with Selena. Wasn't that just scandalous!
Anyway, I suggest you watch your stylish back and keep an eye out for your shadow. Meanwhile, here in Tinytown, I'll keep reading my cards, and hopefully, I'll get another message for you, but I am not sure if I'll receive anything soon, on account of that poor little girl found three towns over. She was apparently torn up by a wild animal!
I've actually heard from her (well her spirit), and she said it was a big white wolf. She – the poor thing – is still so frightened by what happened that she haunts me nearly 24 hours a day! Unfortunately, this has the effect of blocking most of my intuition skills – although I have no idea why!
In any case, please take care and have a rockin' time on tour!

Love, your most loyal fan,
Amaryllis Moongarden

So you can see how this could have been one kick ass book, and probably my ONLY attempt ever at writing a mystery novel. So here's the funny thing, my friend has kept her character Mistress Apples for some of her own writing. In fact, she had created the character before I asked her to do this with me. She has a story on Literotica somewhere in which she is Mistress Apples on tour :-) Anyway, keeping her character in mind all this time, not too long ago, I needed to name a rock star character.
 Do you remember my story called Hero's Son? Well yep, Mistress Apples is in there. Now here's a tidbit - a spoiler if you will! I haven't yet written it, BUT I had plans to write a part where Rip gets a call from his good friend Mistress Apples because she needs a bodyguard she can trust while she has to deal with a super scary stalker!
When I reread this, I just about died laughing! I guess I wanted to write this story more than I'd ever known, lol! So now I am thinking that this letter from a fan will make a partial or maybe full appearance in the Hero's son when I get around to writing that part :-D
You know what? I LOVE being a writer!

Rohana - Part 2

Part 2

Rohana paced her room impatiently. They had been stuck here on this diplomatic mission for over a month now, and if they didn't hurry, they'd miss her wedding! She had gotten surprisingly used to wearing elaborate and beautiful dresses at all times, and even stopped flinching when servants served her. However, her heart ached to be back home on her farm watching the fruit on the trees grow ripe and the animals grow fat as they happily grazed.
I just want to get married! Is that too much to ask?!” She shouted to no one since she was alone in her room.
There was a soft knock on the door before Chyllen poked his head in. He was chuckling and his eyes twinkled with merriment. “Did I hear that right?”
Rohana giggled at her childish behavior, but didn't apologize for it. She lifted her chin almost defiantly. “I believe you did.”
Chyllen swung the door open all the way so that he could claim a kiss from his fiancée without anyone accusing them of doing anything inappropriate. The kiss was soft and tender and lingered a few moments longer than strictly allowed by propriety. He followed it up by stroking her long silky copper hair.
Cheer up, Lord Arturos says that we should be able to leave any day now,” Chyllen informed her.
Really?” Rohanna asked, her voice soft and hopeful.
Yes,” Chyllen confirmed. “The council is meeting to resolve the conflict at this very moment, and then we can be on our merry way.”
Rohana sighed in frustration. “This has nothing to do with us. Yes it's tragic that Uridian is on the brink of a civil war, but there is nothing that I can say to stop it! Prince Henry and Princess Eve have value because they come from a Kingdom that has been to war and knows how to prevent it. Not even Prince Orion has any idea what to say on the subject!”
Rohana pulled free from Chyllen's embrace so that she could resume her pacing. “The only thing I can do is talk about farming techniques and hold out the Chalice of Divine Abundance when someone asks for a blessing! I'm useless!”
You're not useless! The Gods sent you here for a reason. They want you to spread their joy to as many people as possible. Why do you think that the Chalice of Divine Abundance only fills when you are holding it?” Chyllen asked without expecting an answer. “It's because you are the chosen one!”
Rohana groaned. “I know... but why did I have to be the chosen one?”
Because you are the most wonderful... beautiful... kind...” Failing to come up with more adjectives that weren't repetitive or insulting in their over-exaggeration, Chyllen decided to simply finish his sentence. “Woman I have ever known. No one can compare to you. Of course you were chosen by the Gods!”
Rohana wanted to be pacified by his answer, but she honestly couldn't find a single thing that made her different from any other woman in the Valley Kingdom. Well, aside from the Queen and Princess, since they carried royal blood and she didn't. She twisted her lips to the side and crinkled her nose.
Prince Orion laughed unexpectedly, startling them. “You know what? You're ironically cute when you do that!”
Chyllen chuckled in agreement. “Yes she is!”
Rohana realized that this meant she had made the same expression enough times for them to notice it and form and opinion on it. She forced her face to become smooth as she suppressed a sigh of frustration.
I've come with good news,” Orion announced with a smile. “The council meeting is over and a decision has been reached. We've been asked to join the council as they announce their decision to the King and his court.”
And then we can go home?!” Rohana demanded excitedly.
And then we can go home,” Prince Orion confirmed with a smile.
Rohana squealed and threw her arms around Chyllen. He twirled her around and then set her back on her feet so that he could kiss her. In her exuberance, Rohana kissed Orion on the cheek before dancing around the room.
Prince Orion blushed, but then hastily plastered a sardonically amused expression on his face and gestured to the entrance to the large suite which they had been staying in. “The sooner we join them, the sooner this will all be over.”
You're right!” Rohana agreed, and then offered her hand to the Prince. This was solely because he was so used to escorting his sister and the other ladies of the Palace around that he felt uncomfortable walking next to her unless her hand was tucked in the crook of his arm. Of course, Rohana felt silly being escorted by someone younger than her, especially since she wasn't a lady by birthright or marriage, but she indulged him.
Throwing a look over her shoulder at her fiancé, she mentally giggled when he winked at her. She simply could not wait to get home, get married, and finally have her wedding night! The thought made her grin like an utter fool.
The delegation soon took their places at a table in the throne room. It was tilted at an angle that allowed them to see the throne and the table opposite them, as well as the courtiers who had anxiously gathered to hear the fate of their Kingdom. Would their country be forced into a civil war as those who thought Felix made a poor King tried replace him with someone more suitable, or would their Kingdom set aside its fears and focus on moving forward from here?
When everyone was assembled – Prince Henry and Princess Eve arriving last and therefore sitting next to Rohana (which made her nervous) at their table – the chief councilman stood to give his speech.
For many months, the heads of the most important noble families have been gravely concerned that King Felix – as admirable as he is – is not suited to governing our Kingdom. He has made several bad decisions and our country has deteriorated from its former glory in the two short years he has sat on the throne.”
A pause allowed him to take a small sip of water before continuing.
Nevertheless, he is our rightful King. With no other heirs, and the noble families all containing at least a drop of royal blood, the task of determining who should replace King Felix is insurmountable. Not only would our Kingdom be placed in a state of civil war, but we would also be vulnerable to other Kingdoms who might wish to take advantage of our... chaos...”
He sighed as if relieved to be finally getting to the point. “And so, we have decided that we shall not challenged Felix as our King, but only under one condition...”
Everyone held their breath as they waited for the next sentence. Even King Felix seemed to be frozen in anticipation. The chief councilman rather perversely held his pause until people had to either take a breath or pass out.
It is our decree that King Felix shall marry our Divine Guest, Rohana Mendara.”
He waited just one second for a collective gasp to ring out, and then continued on. “In just the short time that she has been here, she has proven herself to be wise and pure of heart. We fully understand why she was chosen by her Gods to be their living representation, and feel that with her to guide our King – under the tutelage of her King and Queen – our Kingdom will flourish once again.”
Rohana's first reaction was to look at Princess Eve, certain that it was the Princess that had been chosen as a bride. Then the words sunk fully into her brain and she gaped at the chief councilman in complete and utter shock. One hand pressed against her neck, which was now sore from moving so fast.
Wait! What?!” Rohana demanded, her heart thundering in her chest. She wanted nothing more than to run and keep on running until she was safely back in her parents arms. “But... I'm not of royal blood! I can't marry a King!”
The councilman shook his head. “That does not matter in this instance. A marriage to you would cement a bond between our Kingdoms.”
Rohana was baffled. “How?”
Lord Arturos stood. He gave Rohana a brief look of sympathy before addressing the assembly. “That is true. The Valley Kingdom values each and every one of its citizens. It would not matter which woman married your King, our Kingdom would honor the alliance and welcome your Kingdom as kin.”
But... but...” Rohana felt her heart breaking into tiny pieces.
Then what say you, Prince Orion? Do you – as the official representative of your Kingdom – agree to this proposed alliance that will save our Kingdom from a civil war?” The councilman asked formally.
Prince Orion could not look Rohana in the eyes and unconsciously took one step away from her. “Yes, I hereby dissolve any obligations that she may have had to anyone in our Kingdom and agree to a marriage alliance... Provided that she agrees.”
All eyes were on Rohana as she looked around the room, trying to find someone, anyone to help her out of this mess she'd been unceremoniously thrust into. In each eye, there was hope. It seemed like every single person in the room was begging her to save them. Her gaze finally found Chyllen where he stood along the wall behind her with the other Royal Guards. He looked ready to cry, but he closed his eyes and gave her a small nod.
No longer able to hold back her tears, she turned to face the chief councilman. Small streams silently ran down her face, but she ignored them. It took her a couple of tries, but she finally managed to speak.
Yes... if King Felix wishes it, I will marry him...”
She couldn't bring herself to look at the King because she didn't want him to see how desperately she was praying that he would object. Felix sighed with an emotion that she couldn't quite decipher.
I lay awake for many nights praying that there would be a peaceful solution to our problems, but never in my wildest dreams would I ever have guessed the solution would be so simple and... wonderful. It seems we have a doubly joyous reason to celebrate!” King Felix announced.
Long live the King and his future bride!” The council members all wished in unison.
Long live the King and his bride!” The courtiers chorused.
Rohana stood alone, stiff and numb in shock and disbelief. She felt like she didn't have anyone she could turn to. She felt like she had been utterly abandoned by everyone she'd trusted. As people cheered and loudly discussed their relief, she heard almost nothing.
Suddenly, King Felix took her hand in his and used his other hand to guide her face until she was looking up at him. In a very soft voice so that no one else could hear him, he tried to reassure her.
Hey... I know this seems like a tragedy now, but I promise that I will be the very best husband to you that I can be.” The emotion shining in his eyes wasn't just relief that such an easy solution to all his problems had presented itself, it was so much more than that. It was genuine hope that they would be good together, and... love...
Rohana's head was spinning again. She couldn't understand how someone she hadn't really gotten a chance to know could possibly love her. It had taken her years to truly understand how she felt about Chyllen! She wanted to reject him and his tentative emotions, but...
Her heart skipped a beat. Somewhere deep inside her, she had developed the beginnings of love for him too. She had been fighting it, trying hard to keep her eyes off him. She had reminded herself over and over that she loved Chyllen, and that this King was nothing more that a beautiful person to look at.
Even so, she had lain awake at night thinking about him. She prayed for him to be a good King. She prayed for him to lead his people back to prosperity. She prayed that there would be a way that she could truly help him. A way more useful than holding a sacred cup!
Maybe, just maybe, this was why the Gods had chosen her for this mission. A small sparkle returned to her eyes as she cautiously decided to make the best of the situation.
Thank you,” she murmured, grateful that he at least planned to attempt to be kind to her.
He gently wiped the mostly dried tears from her cheeks. “You inspire me to be a better King. I have watched you since you arrived and I truly believe that you have the wisdom I lack. I think we will be good rulers...”
What am I supposed to say to that???
Uh... thank you. I promise to try my best...” Rohana informed him sincerely.
He bestowed on her the most brilliant smile anyone had ever seen on his face. “Good! Now I'm sure that you probably want to confer with your delegation while I start on wedding preparations.”
She nodded and watched him walk away until a thought occurred to her. “Wait!” She blurted out across the throne room, causing him to stop in his tracks and look at her. “How long do I have? Before the wedding, I mean? Do I have time to return home and explain things to my parents?”
King Felix opened his mouth to answer, but nothing came out when he realized that he wanted to say: about five minutes.
The chief councilman naturally heard this as everyone had fallen silent at her outburst. He smiled at her warmly, a mischievous spark in his eye.
Three days,” he stated firmly.
Three!” Only three?!
He nodded succinctly. “Yes. We decided that three days was the longest we wanted to wait for peace to return to our Kingdom.”
I see...” Rohana murmured. Silently, she turned to leave the throne room. Once more, tears poured from her as she ignored them.


I'm sorry,” Prince Orion stated later on that night in the privacy of their suite. “I had no reason – as a member of Royalty in charge of diplomacy and peace – to say no to the proposed alliance. I tried to give you a loophole to get out of it, but...” He spread his hands helplessly and shrugged.
I know,” Rohana murmured with a feeling of depression. “I made the decision on my own... but what else was I supposed to do? You saw how they were all looking at me! They think I am some kind of savior when all I am is nobody!”
She finally allowed herself to feel the anger that was just simmering under the surface. With as much oomph as possible, she tore the delicately lacy veil from her hair and threw it across the room. Then she stamped her foot for emphasis.
I have no idea how to be a Queen! I am not of royal blood! I am not supposed to be a ruler of anyone or anything other than my orchard!”
Orion tried to be sympathetic. “You really think any of us know how to rule a Kingdom? Even raised as the future heir to the throne, I honestly have no idea what I'm supposed to do when it's my turn. It's something that can only be learned as you go...”
His statement didn't help as much as he thought it would. In fact, it rather upset her even more. She roared in frustration as she located a a vase full of flowers to throw in his general direction.
Rohana, stop!” Chyllen commanded as he held her wrist captive. “This solves nothing!”
Rohana looked into his eyes and found that he was just as hurt by the circumstances as she was. The other guards looked away uncomfortably as she threw her arms around him and held him tight. He shook as he tried to decide whether to hold her in return.
It's not fair!” She wailed in anguish. “We only had 2 weeks left! We waited and waited and now...!”
Chyllen finally gave into the urge to hold her too. He felt an insane desire to sweep her off her feet and run away with her until no one could find them ever again. However, he had paid close attention to the situation in Uridian and his heart ached for them. It would eat away at him until he died if he took away their one chance for a peaceful resolution.
I... I always knew that the Gods had plans for you,” Chyllen whispered, stroking her hair.
Rohana was crying by this point. “But what about my plans?!”
Chyllen stiffened in disapproval. “You can't go against the Gods, Rohana. To do so would only bring misery...”
Rohana pulled free from his arms. “I know...” She said this not because she believed that the Gods would punish her, but because she knew that going back on her word now would plunge an entire Kingdom into war, and possibly drag hers down into it as well. Sadly, she disappeared into her room to mourn the future she had been planning her entire life.


Rohana watched as a pair of maids fussed over her appearance. She was wearing an elaborate dress that a team of seamstresses had worked around the clock on to have ready in time for her wedding. In deference to the current lack of abundance in the Kingdom, the dress had been remade from the previous Queen's wardrobe and had been cut to flatter Rohana's figure and features.
Wow...” she murmured with reluctant appreciation. “I look really good.”
So far, she was doing a good job of not crying, but the sight of her in this exquisite wedding dress reminded her of the dress she was supposed to be wearing as she married the man she had dedicated her whole life to. She took a deep breath to combat the stinging in her eyes. Surprisingly, that worked.
All too soon, she was standing outside the throne room waiting for the doors to open and she was every bit as nervous as she had been the first time she stood outside these doors. Maybe more so! It was hard not to pull a strand of her coppery red hair from the elegant coif and twirl it around her finger.
Are you ready, my dear?” Lord Arturos asked, a look of sympathy on his face. He was the one about to escort her down the aisle and give her away. The only man that could do so, honestly, since the only other two who could were Prince Orion – who was too young – and Chyllen...
Thankfully, Lord Arturos understood that that would be far too painful to even contemplate. It was hard enough just knowing that Chyllen was going to be in the audience watching as she vowed to be a good wife to another man. Rohana briefly wondered who had the harder task; her getting married or him watching her.
Yes,” Rohana stated breathlessly. “I'm... as ready as I'll ever be.”
Lord Arturos nodded in acceptance. “Not long now.” He tucked her hand in the crook of his arms and then used his free hand to stroke her face. “I know that this is hard for you, but I have every belief that you will be happy. I am certain that the Gods chose you for this for a reason.”
Rohana gave him a weak smile. “Thank you.”
Her mind wandered to Felix once more. Ever since she'd first met him, she'd felt admiration and a strong desire to help him be a good King. She had also felt a tiny tug of attraction, but she had firmly pushed that aside. Even so, she couldn't help but notice how kind he was to her. He had treated her like someone special long before the council had even thought about getting together to discuss possible solutions to their unstable government.
Why do people have so much faith in me? What about me makes them think I'll be a good Queen! Why are they so sure that I will know how to guide their King and save them?
The answers were not forthcoming and she was just as baffled as ever. Suddenly, the doors to the throne room opened and the music that was playing changed to let everyone know that something important was about to happen. It was time...
She was determined not to trip during what was hands down the most important walk of her life. Back home, stumbling or even stepping on her dress and falling on her rear would not be such a big deal, merely something to laugh at. Here, however, she had never met the majority of the people in the audience, and she dreaded making their first impression of her unforgettable because of clumsiness.
To her great relief, she managed to reach the dais where Felix stood waiting for her without incident. Her face was smooth and hopefully serene, and she walked with grace despite her lack of confidence. Felix stared at her as she approached him with an expression of sheer joy. His obvious eagerness to see her cheered her up and she started to smile at him in return.
Felix held his hand out as the priest talked about joining them in blessed union. Lord Arturos waited for the right moment to place her hand in his, and then he bowed to them and left them alone. Rohana felt an unexpected sensation like a tiny sizzle race through her hand and throughout her body. She stared at their joined hands as if she had never seen hands before in her life. They felt foreign and strange to her... but right...
So very right.
Rohana looked up at Felix in surprise, not hearing a word the priest said. Felix leaned over to whisper in her ear. Which made the priest frown slightly as he ignored the unexpected and fairly rude behavior.
You look so beautiful,” Felix informed her softly. “I feel like the luckiest man alive today!”
Rohana trembled, his words making her want to cry from something very close to happiness. He could have merely tolerated her and married her out of duty. Instead, he planned to make their marriage a good one, which made her almost giddy with relief.
The priest asked them both questions about how willing they were to honor each other and their Gods. Felix was specifically asked to promise to rule wisely, and Rohana was specifically asked to worship Uridian Gods as well as her own. They answered all questions satisfactorily and were soon pronounced married.
Her lips tingled strangely as Felix kissed her. Rohana was tempted to kiss him back, but it ended before she could. She lowered her eyes to the floor as a blush stung her cheeks.
Next, the priest quickly chanted a short prayer asking for the Gods blessing as he crowned her Queen. The crown was dainty and light, but it felt impossibly heavy as it rested on her head. Rohana thought that she was going to fall from the weight of it, but then she exhaled and the excessive weight disappeared.
By the blessing of the Gods, I now introduce for the first time as a Royal couple, King Felix and Queen Rohana!” The priest announced.
Felix turned to the audience and guided Rohana so that they were both standing at the edge of the dais in front of everyone who was clapping to congratulate them. Rohana smiled lightly. It was a small smile but it was genuine. If all these people were praying for her happiness as much as she was praying for theirs, then the future was sure to be a good one!
Her eyes landed on Chyllen. He looked sad, yes, but also proud of her and even a tiny bit hopeful. She knew he wanted her to be happy, but she had hoped he would be throwing a jealous fit. A large part of her had hoped that he would grab her and run off with her.
His expression changed when he realized that she was looking at him. It darkened so that she could see how he really felt. The pleasantness was just a show; inside, he was a mess! She saw hurt and anger and resignation.
Felix held his hands out wide – still holding her hand in his – and announced that it was time for everyone to adjourn to the large dining hall for a feast to celebrate. Audience members stood to do as he told them to just as he tugged on her hand lightly to pull her towards his private entrance/exit.
Who is that man?” Felix asked her as they walked.
Rohana tried to match her stride to his – which was longer and more confident than hers. “Which one?”
The one who looks at you so passionately,” Felix clarified.
Chyllen...” Rohana replied honestly, her voice catching despite her best efforts to sound calm. “He's one of the guards...”
Felix decided to be pacified by this for the moment because they were already about to enter the dining hall. He paused in the open doorway to kiss her hand.
I warn you, I don't know how weddings are in the Valley Kingdom, but here we will be expected to kiss a lot. The guests will demand it; they want to see proof that our union will produce heirs one day.”
Rohana took a deep breath to calm her suddenly erratic heartbeat. “Yes... we have a similar custom in my Kingdom.”
Felix placed a hand on the back of her neck and held her still so that he could start the tradition of kissing before the guests demanded it. His kiss was possessive but relatively chaste. Even so, it was enough to make her toes curl!
That red hair of yours! It inflames my passion and makes it hard for me to stop kissing you!” Felix confessed in a low voice, just barely louder than a whisper.
Rohana blushed so hard she would swear she could feel it all the way down to her feet!
Most of the guests had found their seats and now clapped softly in encouragement. Rohana looked around with a mixture of embarrassment and guilt on her face, and it suddenly hit her that people would always be watching her every move from now on. Once more, her eyes landed on Chyllen, but this time, he looked ready to kill someone.
With a grim expression, he excused himself to Lord Arturos and left the room.
Rohana's heart ached to see him leave even as she sighed in relief.

Go To Part 3 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

In Brist's Time - Chapter 17

Chapter 17

The David shall carry Brist, Sarah, Angeline, and the twins to our port in England while the rest of our ships search for the Pirate's Rose,” Nicholas announced. “So, let’s get these sailors back onto their proper ships!” He referred to the fact that each Evans son belong to, or captained, a different ship in the fleet.
A few days later, in her cabin, which had been reserved for David and Regina on the rare occasions that they traveled with this ship, and which she now shared with Angeline, Brist contemplated Nicholas. He still didn’t know about the baby, and she was sure he’d never have let her on board for the voyage to England if he had known.
She’d known he’d planned to hunt down the pirates, but she had a strong feeling that it was she that was destined to find them. That’s why she’d brought her gun, and all the ammo she possessed, which was a few hundred bullets.
Might I know your thoughts?” Angeline inquired, looking very uncomfortable due to pregnancy and mild seasickness.
Brist sighed. “I haven't found a way to tell Nicholas that I’m pregnant.”
You are?” The twins asked.
How far?” Angeline added.
About three months,” Brist shrugged.
Oh dear,” Angeline didn’t know whether to be happy or sad for Brist. Brist nodded in understanding, a bit unsure herself.
The twins and Sarah all asked Brist to tell them about babies? Raven was dying to know how they got inside a woman in the first place. Brist took the time to explain everything in great detail, and thoroughly shocked Angeline with her candor. Secretly, Angeline was glad someone with Brist’s knowledge was around to answer her questions.
Where did you learn all of this?” Angeline asked.
It’s mandatory to learn it in health class. I paid close attention, and did additional online research so that my boyfriend and I wouldn’t have any accidents. It fascinated me, so I learned a lot,” Brist explained and then shrugged.
I have never heard of any school teaching such things,” Angeline commented.
Regan was eager to tell Angeline all that Brist had told her about school.
Sounds wonderful,” Angeline remarked.
Wonderful? Hell! It’s school!”
Brist doesn’t like school,” Raven volunteered.
Well… now that I’m here, I have at least learned to appreciate it.”
The talk returned to sex. “Does it hurt?” Raven asked.
Only the first time.”
Of course, a lady should be married first,” Angeline added.
Why?” Brist asked. “I wasn’t, you weren’t… I don’t see why two people who want to have sex shouldn’t.”
It’s not proper,” Angeline replied evasively.
Ha! Girls, I think of it this way. It’s a HUGE decision, but if a girl thinks she is ready, then I don’t think marriage is necessarily an issue.” Brist realized afterwards that she had made it sound as if they should just go out and do it, which wasn't her intent.
Angeline sighed. “I would be the worst sort of hypocrite if I told you to wait for marriage, but you have to be careful. You should not do that with just anyone.”
I agree,” Brist surprised Angeline. “I wasn’t trying to imply that they should become sluts.”
I just think that it is important that they know they should wait for marriage,” Angelina told Brist. “Otherwise they risk getting with child... and marrying a man who does not love them.”
Brist wrinkled her brow at the way Angeline said that. “You do know that Lucas loves you, right? He told me how much he loved you before he left to marry you. Actually… he’s rather afraid that you don’t love him.”
He is?” Angeline felt tears sting her eyes.
At that moment, there was a distant BOOM!
Oh!” Angelina exclaimed.
Brist was extremely glad she had secretly taught the twins to use a couple of small dueling pistols Nicholas owned. She asked the girls to go get them and come back. She readied her own gun.
Mummy Brist, was that from pirates?” Sarah asked sleepily.
I believe so. I very much want you and Angeline to hide quietly until I come to get you,” Brist said as she opened the hidden compartment. Nicholas had told her to hide them all in there if pirates attacked, but it simply wasn’t large enough. She exchanged a significant glance with Angelina, who knew to stay hidden as long as possible, and hope that the ship did not sink.
There was actually a trapdoor in the compartment that led to a hidden rowboat. If worse came to worse, the two could use it to escape, but that was really only a temporary solution as there was still a high chance that the pirates would find them or that they would die before they were rescued.
Our captain is a coward!” Regan announced. “He’s surrendering!”
That may actually be for the best,” Brist mused as they made their way on deck. She whispered, “Do not shoot unless you have to.”
You ladies should return to your cabins,” the first mate said. “This is no place for women.”
I’m not gonna hide!” Brist replied fervently. “That is the same ship that sunk The Regina!”
We know, and the captain has a plan. We would all feel better if the pirate didn’t know about you ladies.”
Too late,” Brist gestured over her shoulder. She assumed the handsome devil pointing her out was the pirate captain, since he was the one negotiating with their captain. Soon, the pirate captain was barking orders to his crew, and the Captain of The David joined them.
Fear not, my ladies. The pirate has promised not to hurt anyone since we surrendered without a fight… but only if Brist will dine with him as his men unload our cargo.”
Of course,” Brist agreed as the pirate captain joined them.
Captain,” he said. “I wish to thank you for showing proper fear and making our job easier.” The handsome pirate laughed wickedly. He took Brist’s hand and placed it on his arm. “Are you ready to dine with me?”
Brist decided to try to sound fearful, sensing that it was what he wanted. “Yes… of course.”
She must have reached the desired effect, for the pirate assured her, “You have nothing to fear, so long as you cooperate.”
Now, she tried to sound relieved, and sighed. “I understand.” He escorted her to the Captain’s cabin.
As soon as the pair was out of earshot, the Captain softly assured the twins. “Don’t worry, if he tries anything, she’ll surely scream, and we’ll rescue her.”
The twins exchanged a look. Brist? Scream?
In the cabin, the pirate’s ego was near to bursting. “I always knew there would come a day when my reputation would precede me.”
Aha! He wants flattery! “Well, if all the ships were run by women, your looks alone would make them surrender!”
Yes… I do have a way with women. Even my ship is named after a certain lady. She is almost as beautiful as you, miss…?”
Brist,” she smiled as she found her role easier to play now that they were alone.
You’re not eating much,” the pirate noted.
I’m not very hungry,” Brist feigned nervousness.
Then why don’t you come here and feed me?”
Brist complied, and he patted his lap to indicate where she should sit. She picked up his plate, and sat facing him, the plate between them. She fed him like a baby until he set the plate aside. He pulled her closer, and kissed her full on the lips.
Brist was surprised to find that it was actually a pleasant and enjoyable kiss. She allowed him to continue as she evaluated her feelings. Enjoyable? Yes. Nicholas? No. He may be able to make her body respond, but he didn’t have the power to truly awaken her passion as Nicholas did.
The realization was like a lightning bolt. It struck her hard enough wake her up. Until now, Brist had been operating under the delusion that this was all just one big dream. She felt that she would wake up one day, and find herself back at home. At this moment, she knew for certain that she was not dreaming, and that she was in love with her own ancestor. Hell! She was pregnant with his child!
By this time, the pirate had opened the front of her dress, and was suckling on her breast. She could feel him trying to poke her, and wondered when he’d freed his shaft.
Would you stop if I asked you to?” She asked calmly.
He scoffed. “No!” He laughed evilly, and she saw an insane gleam in his eye.
I didn’t think so,” Brist sighed. She managed to grab hold of her gun with out him noticing, and shot him just as he impaled her. He looked confused for a moment, but looked her in the eye as he realized what had happened. He knew he was dead.
Bitch,” he uttered, almost impressed. He slumped backwards, and she prevented him from falling by placing a hand on either side of the back of the chair. It was not a pleasant idea that there was a dead man inside her. It was even less pleasant that she had killed him… She needed a moment to deal with the shock.
The door burst open, and the Captain and first mate rushed inside. They held their swords at the ready, and looked confused to find her unharmed. “What happened?”
I shot him!” Brist was close to tears, and couldn’t figure out why she was so affected by this. She started to cry, and rested her forehead against his.
The cabin door was quickly shut, and the captain approached her cautiously. He could see the gun in her lap, and that her breasts were exposed. He figured that the pirate must have succeeded in hurting her before she shot him, and in a way, he had.
I don’t think his crew heard the shot. They stripped our ship bare a while ago, and are loudly celebrating on their ship. I think we can try to return him, and slip away before anyone realizes that he’s dead,” the Captain informed her.
Brist stared at the blood that had splattered on her; both during the shot, and then after when it had spurted out. Her breasts were speckled red, and her dress was not much better. Some blood oozed out of his heart, but thankfully most of it drained out his back.
Good idea…” Brist mused, still in shock. “We’ll need to wrap him up to hide the bleeding, and give him a new shirt.” Her skirt had covered his pants, so they were still clean. “We can carry him between us, like someone who is passed out drunk. I’ll even kiss him goodnight as we lay him to bed… Hopefully, they won’t discover that he’s dead until morning.”
The first mate cleared his throat, and held out his hand to help her stand. Brist took it, stood, and was horrified to discover that the pirate had cum inside her, probably as he died. She stripped off her blood-covered dress, and used part of it to wipe the mess from between her legs, not to mention the blood from her breasts.
The Captain offered her his knee length coat, and cleared his throat respectfully. “I think it would be best if you cleaned up a bit first, in your cabin.”
Brist nodded, and noticed that the pirate had a dagger poking out of his boot. She took it, and gave a short humorless laugh. “I think I’ll keep this to show Nicholas.”

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Don't step in that!” Rohana warned just in time.
Thanks! What would I ever do without you?” Chyllen (pronounced like chillin' lol!) asked as he successfully avoided the animal dropping.
Rohana snuggled up to her fiancé and rewarded him with a light kiss. “Let's hope you never have to find out.”
I can't believe that we only have two months left to wait until we are man and wife. I was beginning to feel like it would never happen!” Chyllen joked with a soft laugh.
Rohana purred happily. “I know what you mean. I feel like we should just start our honeymoon now and,” she looked around to make sure that no one was close enough to hear her before continuing. Even so, she lowered her voice to a whisper. “Become one tonight.”
Chyllen groaned softly in longing. “Don't say such things! It's already taking everything I have to wait for our wedding night!”
Rohana kissed him lightly once more, whispering in his ear. “But why wait? What difference are two months going to make?”
Because I believe that it's disrespectful to our Gods to share our bodies before they have blessed our union,” Chyllen reminded her.
Rohana sighed in defeat. “I know... but we've only been committed to marry each other since we about five years old. If the Gods had plans to go against our union, don't you think they would have made their intentions clear by now?”
Shh!” Chyllen hushed her insistently. “Don't say that! It's as if you are challenging the Gods to tear us apart!”
Rohana laughed. “Don't be silly! I wouldn't let them! And besides, why would they? We were made for each other.”
Chyllen chuckled softly and held her close for a moment. “That's true.”
Are you two walking or not?!” A man demanded snidely as he approached them. To be fair, they were completely blocking the path.
We're walking,” Rohana grumbled as she and Chyllen started moving again.
If you don't hurry, we're all going to be late for the announcement!” The man stated, implying that they were the reason he was running late, despite the fact that he had just now come rushing along the path.
With a nod of mutual agreement, Rohana and Chyllen joined hands and ran towards the Palace lawn. They entered via the foot path reserved for citizens who lived near enough to walk to the Palace that was set apart from the small city – both of which were surrounded by miles and miles of lush farm land. The path led from the gate to the large area reserved for citizens to gather for announcements – which was, of course, utterly crowded.
The whole Kingdom had come out to hear the announcement, which the King's crier's had insisted was very important and not to be missed. This sounded like a massive amount of people, but in reality was only about a thousand. The Kingdom had strict policies on procreation: Only married couples were allowed to have children, and they were limited to two so that the population would neither grow nor dwindle.
Stragglers continued to arrive for several minutes, but then the Palace bells began to chime harmoniously. The gathered crowd fell silent and waited with baited breath, impatiently hushing those with the audacity to talk. The only thing anyone really had to say anyway was: “What's going on?”
Finally, the King and Queen – a handsome couple in their 40s – emerged onto the balcony to make their important announcement. The balcony was only a few feet off the ground and was made out of marble. It had minimal railing and stairs that led to the ground so that the royal couple could walk among their people if they chose.
The Prince and Princess – who were 15 and 12, respectively – followed their parents at a proper distance. They too looked expectant, as if they had no idea what the announcement was about. They let their attention wander only briefly as they looked out over the landscape and admired its beauty.
My dear people,” the King began. “Cherished citizens of the the Valley Kingdom – a tiny jewel set apart from the rest of the world here in our Gods given and peacefully secluded land...”
Everyone smiled as he pointed out the best part of their Kingdom – the reason that it was the pride and joy of every citizen. Here – because they were isolated in a valley that provided them with fertile land and hidden wealth – there was no such thing as poverty or starvation. It truly felt as if the Gods had blessed them and kept them protected from the harsh reality of the rest of the world.
With a deep inhalation of pride, the King continued. “I have gathered you all here today because I feel that we as a Kingdom are morally obligated to help those who are in need. Recently, I received a missive from our closest neighbor requesting aid. They have had terrible upheavals and a drought last year dwindled their supplies to almost nothing. This year's crop seems to be failing as well and they are just desperate! I cannot – in good conscience – ignore such tragedy when I have it in my power to help them!”
He paused to look around. Everyone was nodding their head in agreement. Even the smallest children – those that were old enough to understand what was being said – nodded their heads as if this was common sense. No one had the slightest doubt that this was the right thing to do.
As you know,” the Queen said, taking over the announcement. “Our Kingdom is overflowing with wealth. We have an abundance of food and other crops that is far more than we could ever need. Due to generous sales of our excess and the gold that lies buried under out very feet...” By this, she referred to the fact that under the valley was an impossibly rich gold mine that the Kingdom had preserved as much as possible because gold could not be eaten and people could only display so many things in their homes before they became worthless and discarded.
We are the wealthiest nation in the world,” she stated, almost sadly. Her eyes were full of compassion. “But wealth is not everything and gold cannot buy health. It is vital to me that we do what we can to share the blessings of our Gods with the rest of the world.”
And yet we do not want to simply squander our divine inheritance,” the King added. “So this is what we have decided. We will send a small delegation to our neighboring Kingdom to bring them aid in their time of need. Our son – Prince Orion – shall represent our Kingdom, accompanied by my most trusted adviser – Lord Arturos. However!” The King emphasized the word just in case people were tempted to start discussing the news. “We have also decided to send someone else as a delegate; an Ambassador of Goodwill to teach others of our Kingdom and learn about our neighbor in exchange.”
The Queen nodded in agreement. “Three is a sacred number, so it makes total sense that our delegation have three officials to represent us. They shall be accompanied by four guards for a total of seven members in the party.”
Divine seven,” people murmured automatically. Seven was the number most sacred to the Queen of their Gods. To say “Divine seven” was to say “By the Goddess' will” or “Bless you” or “Good luck!”
The Queen smiled. “Yes, divine seven. However, that immediately presented us with a problem! Who – in all the Kingdom – was the most important citizen? Who would be the right person, the divine person for the delegation? Who would represent our Kingdom the best? As you can see, it is the most vexing conundrum for each and every citizen of our Kingdom is equally important! There are no unnecessary people in our Kingdom. Everyone is valued and cherished as if a member of our family!” She ended with a deep sigh.
The King put a hand on her shoulder to provide her with comfort and support. “We simply could not decide... so we decided to let the Gods decide for us.” He gestured to a servant wearing a soft and fashionable uniform.
The servant strutted like a peacock toward the center of the balcony where another – equally proud to serve – servant quickly set down a small marble table. It was sacred; a portable altar to the Gods. Once the table was in place, the first servant set the valuable item he'd been asked to hold perfectly in the center. It was a large and ornate crystal bowl that had been gilded and delicately painted with real gold.
In this bowl,” the King stated as clearly as possible so that all his citizens could hear him. “Are the names of every citizen 18 years of age or older who is not currently sick or disabled. In a moment, Prince Orion shall – guided by the Gods – draw the name of the most important citizen in the Kingdom; the citizen that shall accompany him on this most important mission of mercy.”
Prince Orion took a deep and steadying breath to calm his nerves at being thrust into the center of attention so abruptly. Then he walked to the bowl, closed his eyes until he felt serene and at peace, and slowly reached in to draw a name. He swirled his hand around three times, and then closed his fingers on a slip of paper. A moment later, he opened his eyes and turned to give the paper to his mother.
The Queen grinned – her eyes watering as if she was about to witness her child's first steps – and opened the paper. With a joyous nod, she exhaled as if in relief. “It's... Rohana Mendara!”
Congratulations my dear!” The King added, clapping happily.
Rohana had a hand over her chest and felt as if she couldn't breathe. She gaped unseeingly at the ground, highly tempted to insert a finger into her ear and clean it out. Surely I couldn't have heard that right!
Chyllen was also too much in shock to move. He gripped her hand far too tightly as he stared at her. His eyes were wide and his mouth was dry. He swallowed once to wet it, but that didn't help.
Rohana? Where are you, my dear?” The King asked, puzzled as to why she hadn't immediately ran forward to claim her place on the balcony.
Finally, Rohana's parents made their way to her side and loudly called out for all to hear: “Clear a path!”
A path was cleared. Rohana felt numb as she followed her parents– who tugged her along as they smiled and waved at all their friends and relatives. People whispered excitedly as she passed them. Her friends were both happy for her and jealous that they hadn't been chosen. Neighbors all informed each other that she had always been the kindest girl her age.
Far too soon – in her opinion – Rohana was standing in front of the King and Queen. Her parents were behind her, having dropped to their knees in respect. Rohana felt a moment of blankness – no thoughts of any kind – before her brain started to function once more and she curtseyed.
My King, my Queen,” she murmured.
The Queen pulled her into a hug. “Stop looking so frightened, my dear! This is a great honor; the Gods have chosen you as their living representation!”
It was not as strange as one might think for the Queen to hug a subject. The King and Queen often invited a citizen or even a whole family to join them for lunch. They had chatted with and held hands or hugged everyone on more than one occasion, so this was no surprise to anyone. Even so, it felt strange to Rohana.
She squared her shoulders and took a fortifying breath. “I must humbly apologize, but I must decline.” Rohana pointed in the general direction where Chyllen had been standing with her a few moments ago. All the way at the back of the crowd. “I'm engaged to be married in just two months! I cannot just abandon my fiancé for an indeterminate amount of time! I...”
Tears welled in her eyes and threatened to fall. “I love him so much that I cannot bear the thought of being without him. Not even for a day!”
The entire crowd gasped in disbelief that their chosen one dared to refuse her duty to the Gods. Yes, they were sympathetic to her reasoning, but even so... One risked dire consequences when they turned their back on the Gods...
The King and Queen looked more displeased than anyone had ever seen them. They stared at Rohana intensely for several long and silent moments before they snorted with amusement. Both exchanged grins before the Queen spoke.
Oh come now! There's no need to be so upset and dramatic!” The Queen kissed Rohana on the cheek. “I said that there would be guards, didn't I? Who better to guard your virtue and safety than the man about to become your husband? You'll likely be back before the wedding date, and if not, it can easily be solemnized in the other Kingdom and celebrated when you return.”
Rohana exhaled more air than she thought her lungs could possibly hold; she was that relieved. She tapped her chest with a hand to remind her body to do its job, and when she finally felt like she could breathe again, she started to giggle.
The King and Queen joined in on her giggles as the crowd slowly went from chuckling to outright laughter. Rohana's head bobbed slowly at first, but then increased until she was nodding way more than necessary.
I sincerely apologize for my misunderstanding!” She finally thought to say. “Of course I would be honored to represent our Kingdom and our Gods as an Ambassador of Goodwill!”
The King put an arm around her shoulders and tilted his head close to hers. “Don't worry, I'm certain that you will be a shining example of everything that's good about our Kingdom. They'll love you! Probably... Good luck!”
With a devil may care grin and a quiet cackle, he turned to his wife, tucked her hand into the crook of his, arm and then led her back into their Palace.
Rohana stared after him as she felt her sense of unease slowly sink back in. She turned to look at Prince Orion – who had started laughing at the expression on her face.
Never mind him,” Orion stated with a sparkle in his eyes and a grin on his lips. “He's a practical joker. He's probably going to be roaring with laughter all night at the thought of you wondering what he meant by that.”
Princess Arianna giggled and nodded in agreement. “He's right. Daddy just loves to make people wonder whether or not he's being serious.” She turned her smile to her brother and then held out her hand expectantly. Prince Orion tucked her hand into the crook of his arm and prepared to lead her back inside the Palace. He delayed by just one moment.
Go home and celebrate your good fortune tonight because I'm certain you'll be summoned to the Palace first thing in the morning,” he instructed.
Rohana nodded in acceptance. “Yes, my Prince. I look forward to our journey,” she murmured politely.
As do I. See you tomorrow,” he responded just as politely, and then led his sister away.
Celebrate is right!” Rohana's mother practically shouted, startling her since she had forgotten that her parents were literally right behind her. They pulled her back into the crowd, which promptly picked her up and carried her to the town square where an impromptu party materialized around her.
There was food and music; sweet juices and a couple of bottles of fine wine. People danced and cheered her on until her head felt like it was spinning! Finally, Chyllen managed to grab hold of her and claim a dance. He held her close and simply savored the feel of her in his arms for a long time. She clung to him until she stopped trembling from the shock of her day.
So...” he murmured supportively. “I guess we're going on a mission.”
She sighed in relief that he would be there for her every step of the way. “Yes... I guess we are...”


Lord Arturos put a comforting hand on Rohana's shoulder. He was in his 70s and very wise. He was also kind and had taken it upon himself to look after Rohana and Orion as a father would. Rohana squeezed his hand gratefully.
Are you all right?” Arturos asked in concern.
Yes,” Rohana assured him. “Just... flustered...”
The entire delegation was currently waiting in an antechamber outside the throne room. In just a moment or two, they would be introduced to King Felix of Uridian. Rohana had to remind herself to breathe.
To think, I – the simple daughter of farmers – am about to be introduced to a foreign King as if I was a Princess or something!
She tugged at her sleeve nervously, and then forced herself to stop. She had been given a wardrobe fit for royalty and she didn't want to ruin any part of it with her carelessness. She sighed, impatient with herself.
In her Kingdom, everyone owned at least one item that could be considered fit only for the Palace ballroom. This was not the first time she had worn an expensive dress, nor would it be the last. The only person concerned about whether or not she ruined the dress was her, and it was mostly because she kept telling herself that she didn't deserve any of this.
Rohana glanced towards Chyllen just as the large doors were opening. He looked heartbreakingly handsome in his uniform of the Royal Guard. The sight of him was enough to lift her spirits, but even better was when he caught her looking at him and grinned. He had faith in her even if she didn't.
They walked forward as a herald announced them. Rohana smiled as even the herald seemed confused. She wanted to throw her hands out and tell the herald that he wasn't the only one, but she kept her mouth shut.
Presenting his Royal Highness, Prince Orion of the Valley Kingdom; his trusted adviser Lord Arturos, and... Rohana Mendara, their most important citizen chosen by the Gods of the Valley to be the living representation of their will on Earth...”
The herald scrutinized her in disbelief for a moment before recovering his composure. “The delegation from Valley Kingdom has come to aid our newly crowned King in answer to his heartfelt request.”
Welcome,” King Felix bade them, officially ending the herald's duty to keep explaining what was happening to the courtiers in attendance. “I thank you for coming. Words simply cannot express how deeply I appreciate you being here in our time of need.”
Prince Orion simply nodded his head regally while Lord Arturos gave a light but elegant bow. Rohana felt a split second of panic as she wondered if she should copy their nonchalance in greeting the monarch. Quickly deciding, she performed a curtsey. Not a deep and painstakingly held curtsey of obeisance, but a smaller, graceful curtsey of respect. Behind them, their Royal guards gave matching deep but brief bows, which made Rohana question her choice. After all, a commoner was supposed to exaggerate their respectful gestures, right?
The only thing she had to base her limited knowledge on was the handful of books from Uridian that all the girls passed around in secret. In them, all men in Uridian were charming rogues who poetically tried to woo the ladies. Well, all except for the old King – who was portrayed as strict and unyielding; an indomitable force of will never to be disobeyed. And all the Ladies were portrayed as easily swayed by pretty words while trying their best to maintain a certain distance between themselves and the men who pursued them. Any one of them lucky enough to be presented to the King was expected to nearly swoon as she elegantly collapsed to the floor in a perfect curtsey.
Rohana mentally cringed. Why oh why didn't the King and Queen prepare me for this??? In their Valley, respect was kept simple, and very rarely did anyone have to bob a curtsey for longer than a couple of seconds. Most often, the King or Queen would take a citizen by the hand to convey a sense of caring and concern.
I wonder what they would do if I suddenly took King Felix's hand and started chatting like I would with my King? Rohana wondered, trying to stifle a giggle as the image of scandalized faces floated in her mind's eye. Felix recalled her attention to him, allowing her to successfully maintain her composure.
Just as you have responded to our need, so too has a delegation from the Great Kingdom. Have you ever met Prince Henry, son of Queen Dantaelian?” Felix asked curiously.
Prince Orion shook his head. “No, Majesty, I haven't.”
King Felix gestured to a pair standing just off to the side of his throne. “Prince Henry and his twin sister, Princess Eve, arrived just this morning. It seemed the very moment I had lost all hope of gaining any aid from my neighboring Kingdoms, they swept in like angels of compassion.”
Lord Arturos bowed to them with deep respect – which confused Rohana as she wondered if she was supposed to mimic him, or follow Orion's lead and do nothing. She also studied them carefully, frowning as she realized that they could only be about 16 years old, and yet they had an aura of power to them that was almost palpable.
We are delighted and honored to find ourselves in such esteemed company,” Lord Arturos stated.
Prince Henry smiled lightheartedly and bowed ever so slightly to the delegation from Valley. “No, it is we who are honored to meet citizens from the famous and mysterious Valley Kingdom.”
Lord Arturos nodded in regal acceptance, and then turned to look expectantly at Prince Orion. The Prince responded by returning his attention to King Felix. Rohana marveled at his confidence. Only 15 and he acted like a man twice his age!
King Felix, we of the Valley Kingdom have brought a variety of food, medicines should they be needed, and a small amount of gold to help you survive this time of scarcity,” Prince Orion accepted a large and heavy wooden box about 10 inches squared by four inches deep. He stepped forward and presented the box to King Felix with a small flourish.
King Felix opened the box curiously and then gaped at its contents in astonishment. He had expected the box to contain small vials of medicine, but instead, it held a dizzying amount of two inch long by half an inch wide and deep gold bars ready to be melted down and minted into new coins. Recovering from his blunder as quickly as he could, King Felix closed his mouth and grasped for words.
I am... stunned by your generosity!” He finally managed to say.
Prince Orion didn't really know how to respond to that, so he hastily stepped to the side and gestured to indicate Rohana. Rohana took a deep breath and then squared her shoulders before accepting a small bundle from Chyllen. She stepped forward and took yet another deep breath to steady her nerves.
A-a-as the one chosen by the Gods to represent them and our Kingdom, I hereby give you this gift.” She dropped to her knees before the King as she removed the white silk cloth embroidered with fine strands of real gold and tiny pearl beads from the present. The cloth was a sacred relic that must be returned to the temple, but it was necessary to protect its contents from being touched by anyone not chosen by the Gods.
Holding up the sturdy yet delicate looking crystal chalice, Rohana explained the gift to its recipient. “This is the Chalice of Divine Abundance. It was given to our people centuries ago by the Queen of the Gods herself. Anyone who finds themselves in need of a miracle should sip from the cup and pray to her for her favor.”
The chalice – which had naturally been empty during transport – unexpectedly began to fill itself. Rohana gasped in awe, and then quickly continued. “If the prayer moves her, tears from the Queen of the Gods will fill the chalice... The Queen has heard your prayers and gives you favor!”
King Felix stared at Rohana in silence for so long that she forced herself to look directly in his eyes. Her head tilted curiously, wondering what it was she saw in his expression. Whatever it was changed quickly as he focused his attention on the chalice.
Once more, I am stunned with awe and find I have no words to express my gratitude,” he said, making no move to take the chalice from her. He was just a little afraid that accepting favor from a foreign Goddess would grievously offend his own Gods.
Rohana got to her feet and leaned into the King until the chalice was right below his lips. “Please, my King, take a sip of the Divine Tears and accept the abundance our Goddess plans to send your way!”
His eyes studied her face for a moment before his features softened and he bent his head to comply. She tilted the chalice to make it easier for him. When he straightened his head once more, she smiled, utterly relieved that she had performed her duty without screwing it up somehow.
King Felix returned her smile. “I must admit, I certainly feel blessed already.”
Rohana thought his smile was beautiful in a tragic and poignant way. It was obvious by the serious lines on his young face that he hadn't had a reason to smile in a long time. She silently prayed that she could make him smile at least once or twice more before she returned home.

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Charts and Readings