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Rated: E · Other · Fantasy · #1567826
Characters discuss among selves perspective on what's happening
Chapter 20 Reflections

Kulrick was not sure what to make of Uta’s report. Her conclusion that the Scarab was responsible for Liope’s pregnancy was so far-fetched that he dismissed it in the beginning, out of hand. Of the three possibilities, two he considered highly unlikely. He believed Morgolic’s claim that he had no part in in for two reasons. First Elves have a very high sense of honor and Morgolic’s word was strong evidence he was telling the truth. Second he had simply not had time and under the conditions, with the Snagar at his heels that liklihood the two shared intimacy bordered on the impossibility. The only evidence that made it a consideration was that Liope had the Elven scent.

The second possibility was that Liope conceived as a result of intimacy with her common law husband, Young Jernigan. The Magistrate needed little convincing and eliminated Morgilic, even though he claimed responsibility. This seemed the most plausible explanation but for two reasons. Liope and Jernigan were sapiens , not elves. Where did she get the essence that was an unmistakable part of her body and that of the children she bears.

That left the third possibility, that Liope had been impregnated by the Blood Scarab. Liope claimes to be a virgin and a physical examination shows her hymen membrane still intact. That after six hundred years that such a possibility could be seriously considered stretched the improbable to the far limits of believability but of the three it best answered the facts. Uta believed that the Scarb, engorged on Morgolic’s blood passed the essence of Morgolic and the seed of one of the Husbands. That having at long last accomplished it’s task, the beetle died.

Shaking his head Kulrick reasoned. There are four scarabs out there. Liope was wearing one and my wife is wearing one. Where the other two were he didn’t know and assumed that they were with Matilda’s line and Olivias. He did not like filling in the facts with assumptions and resolved to look into the matter further. Perhaps we need to inquire if any of the other three is behaving in a manner that is uncharacteristic. If one of the husbands has activated then is it not possible that the others have as well. That’s one way to find out if the scarab theory holds any water. This line of thinking left Kulrick troubled. His wife’s wearing the Scarab of Miranda’s line and her questioning of what his response would be if she were in Liope’s shoes began to take on a whole new significance. The fact that she had left Listeria to visit her mother was beginning to gnaw at him. I need to talk to Olivia he told himself and see what she knows about the other two scarabs.

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As soon as they crossed the border, Climatus was relieved to see her mothers coach parked at the Inn.

“Pull over to that Coach yonder, she said pointing for the driver.

When it stopped, Pluto jumped out and helped his mother down out of the carriage. He no sooner did so when Miranda and Trilla came rushing up.
Amid all the hugging and kisses he thought he detected a nervousness that seemed oddly out of place, but attributed it to a woman thing.

Come inside the Inn, said Mrianda. Trilla has made all the arrangements. We will be staying here tonight and tomorrow heading on to Nirvana.

Huh? Said Pluto…whats going on in Nirvana.

There was an uncomfortable silence before Climatus spoke up.

I have not yet told Pluto of our change in plans. Come inside son and I’ll explain everything.

The baggage was moved from one coach to the other except for the overnight bags. Inside the Inn Trilla led them to a private room which was being readied for the evening meal. Miranda and Trilla seemed very solicitous and none of there behavior seemed to make much sense. Especially the part of going to Nirvana. At length when they were seated around the table Climatus spoke.

Forgive me Pluto, for keeping you in the dark, but there was a need for secrecy and no delaying our departure. I have some mixed news. First I’m expecting twins. Seceond is that I am expecting a dangerous pregnancy.

I’m so happy for you mother….I know this is something you’ve always dreamed about…so what’s so dangerous about having some children. Its not like you’re too old or anything like that.

The problem is that one of the twins is a dark sister.

What is that?

It’s a type of pregnancy that is dangerous to the mother if carried full term.

Have you told father.

That’s another aspect of the problem. You see If we were still in Tristan, your father, would insist that I have an abortion… and that is something I refuse to consider. We will be going to Nirvana where they have more experience in this type of delivery. As a matter of fact there is a young girl there, Liope, daughter of Cateyln, who is in exactly the same situation as I am and seems to be managing quite well.

Dad is going to be extremely angry when he finds out.

Well son, he is just going to have to deal with it…I have made up my mind and that is that. You can return home or continue on with us.

Are you kidding? Of course I will remain with you. I’m just worried that you might be putting yourself in danger.

Every woman who conceives puts herself in danger. After twenty years of waiting I will not pass up this opportunity.

Miranda and Trilla had remained very silent thoughout the conversation. Now Miranda spoke up.

It’s so good to finally meet you Pluto. What a fine and stalwart young man you have turned out to be. Your mother is going to need our support. She took Climatus hand and squeezed it tenderly. We’re family she whispered softly and will be here with you every step of the way.

Thank you mother… and you too Trilla. Now we need to put on a positive face. Liope is nearing her third month and from all I have heard is doing quite well. The Midwife and nurses are trying some innovative therapies and there is every reason to expect things will turn out for the best.

There is another matter that is encouraging said Miranda.

Whats that.

The prophesy speaks of two dark sisters being born before redemption eve. Further that one of the six mothers will be “… barren ‘til of late.“

Now that is uplifting said Climatus with a look of genuine hope.

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After dinner Matilda and Climatus went upstairs while Pluto and Trilla lingered at the table.

This is more serious than everyone is letting on he spoke quietly. Exactly what is a Dark Sister.

The answered to that is not known answered his cousin. One has never been born. Conceived but never born.

Why would a mother not deliver one?

The attempt has been made before but one has never been successfully carried to term.

What happens.

The child dies and takes her mother with it.

What? What about this girl Liope…

Liope is not an elf for one thing. There is no record of a non-elf ever conceiving one. Maybe its different for a Sapien girl. Next your mother is a quarter elf… no record of that either. In the past it was something experienced exclusively by blueblood elven females.

So you think this might be different?

We are all hopeful but on the one hand and worried on the other.

I wonder how mother, after all these years finally became pregnant?

We have reason to believe that the father of your mothers babies is not her husband.

What?

Liope was wearing what is referred to as a Blood Scarab. Are you familiar with what those are.

Vagely, answered Pluto, struggling to maintain his composure.

Well there were four, one from each of the lines. Two have activated and are now dead. The women wearing them were Liope and your mother.

Pluto’s mouth dropped open as the significance of Trilla’s words sank in.

Are you allright she asked as she saw the color drain from his face.

I’m just so worried about mom, he answered. I don’t know what I’d do if we lost her.

Well that hasn’t happened yet, Trilla answered and geve his hand a comforting pat.

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That night after supper, everyone went to bed early. There was a tension in the air. It had spilled over from the Municipal Hall and into Orin’s house. Liope and Young Jernigan had not said a word to each another. Finally, after everyone else had said goodnight and the two were left sitting alone at the kitchen table.

“Hey woman," Young grunted in jest, me hungary…fix food or suffer stick."

Liope was not amused.

"Ah come on Liope, Don’t be mad….I know it didn’t work out like you might have hoped, but give me a chance, you won’t be sorry."

"I never really hoped about it that much," she answered, "and if I had to get joined, I’d as soon it was you as anyone else."

"I take that as a compliment; and you’re going to like me," said Young, "Everyone says I’m funny. I’ll make you laugh… and after awhile, I just might start to grow on you.

"Thanks for speaking up for me Young Jernigan, I know you must love me…a bad case of it too, taking me, damaged goods and all."

I don't see it that way. To my reckoning, I’m the lucky one. What I saw was a great opportunity…there was no thinking twice. I jumped right in I did, and I'd do it again in a heart beat. I'm greatful that you said "yes." I swear, you'll never regret it and I'll make you proud of me."

"I’m already proud of you, prouder that you'll ever know. You came to my rescue when I thought I was about to be married to an Elf. Not that Morgolic's such a bad sort, but he’s definitely not my type."

"I was nervous in front of everybody, especially when Orphious started asking all those questions."

"It wasn't a great performance, but you got through it."

"I was lying my ass off and I was scared he'd trip me up. That he’d poke holes in my story, get angry and marry you off to the "Low Life.""

Don't call him that! It was awful what Daddy said, I wanted to crawl under the table."

"For a minute it looked like we were in for a street fight"

"You know the way they see things, I'm the "Low Life" ,not him. They were shocked that anyone could possibly see it otherwise."

"They have such a high opinion of themselves, they don't even realize their arrogance."

"You were lucky that in all the emotion, no one paid much attention to your story."

"I was that bad?"

"You were lame."

"Why do you say that?"

"We only took two walks along the river."

"Yeah, but they were hiugh quality."

"It was really embarrassing when you said we’d done it plenty of times."

"Sorry about that."

"We never even kissed, except for the time you groped me."

"I know."

Liope begins to mimic the Magistrate and Young’s dialogue

“Where did you do it along the river…" "Which time Sheriff? Can’t really remember how many…we did it so often….Liope’s real affectionate you know…once we get in the bushes… she’s very insistant... and I better measure up..., if you know what I mean."

"I didn’t say it like that."

"You might as well have… everyone was laughing like I was some kind of a floozy."

"If they got that idea it was from Morgolic, not me."

"Maybe so, but the only reason they believed you was because he was totally unbelievable."

"Yeah, sort of ironic that nobody in the room, 'cept maybe the Elves, believed a word he was saying, and he was telling the truth. Wasn’t he?"

Young, since you have to ask that question, I’ll help you out. If it wasn’t you responsible, then who else could it have been?

"It still doesn’t make any sense to me., Maybe someday you’ll tell me the whole story"

Someday… when there’s nothing else going on."

"I don’t mean it like that…none of my business really... if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s OK…this is the happiest day of my life and I don’t want to spoil it by saying something stupid."

"Good thinking, its getting late and time we got off to bed."

"I was wondering how that was going to settle out.

"Then put your mind to rest….there’s a pallet next to the window that will suit you just fine."

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"Orin," I was sure proud of you today.

"I didn’t do that much… just took up for my daughter, no more than you’d expect of me."

"I never doubted you Orin, and seeing you there, hollering and all... and the way you stood up for Liope….she’ll never forget what you did and I won’t either."

"It wasn’t anything."

"What did you think of Young Jernigan?"

"He did the right thing. I mean I’m not condoning it, but in the end he fessed up."

"His father kicked him out of the house."

His loss is my gain. I’ll make a fine apprentice out of him, always wanted a son. Not that I blame you Cateyln, and once we’re married it’s still not too late."

"Kiss me big man; I'm ready."

"You know, something’s bothering me about all this."

"What’s that?"

"Why did Morgolic stand up in front of everyone and claim he was responsible? I mean those Elves are as standoffish towards us as we are towards them. What do you suppose came over him to spin that wild tale?"

"They're hard to figure out some times. Maybe he felt sorry for Liope."

"Why would he feel that way?"

"He gave her the jewels for safe keeping."

"He did?"

"Yeah, she wears them around her neck…some kind of heirlooms that he didn’t want those ferile cats laying their paws on. She really helped him out and maybe he figured it was pay back time."

"You know, that makes sense."

"You know what would make even more?"

"What?"

"Kiss me and put those big hands around my waist."

"You going to marry me if I do?"

"I said I would, didn’t I?"

"I made something for the occasion."

"Is this a formal proposal?"

"If by formal you mean “ring?“"

"Let me see it Orin." Oh my goodness it’s beautiful…is that a…?"

"It’s a diamond."

"Sake! Sakes!"

"Took it in trade last year for some Silberstahl arrows."

"I feel like we’re already married, love me Orin."

"I plan on doing just that…and more."

"More?"

"I have the Municipal Hall, booked, last Saturday in July."

"Determined, aren't you."

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"I’m sure glad you didn’t have to stick Liope’s head into that bucket, said Lilith.

"I was too," replied Dumar. "She threatened once to change me into a caterpiller."

"What?"

"You heard me, change me into a caterpiller. And she could sure do it if she was a mind to.

"What?" Laughing

"Go ahead and laugh but I've seen first hand what she’s capable of."

"What are you talking about?"

"You don’t know her like I do….you haven’t seen what I have."

"And what have you seen?"

"Enough to know she could do it if she wanted."

"Change you into a caterpiller?"

"That’s what I said."

Laughs some more shaking her head

"That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard in my life. My mom and her mom are sisters and Liope is my cousin and I can tell you for a fact that there’s no way she can change you into an insect."

"She can’t?"

"Whatever made you think she could?"

"Because she threatened me, that’s how."

"And you believed her….Dumar, what am I ever going to do with you?"

"I believed her because of what I saw her do."

"Go on."

"She made me promise not to tell."

"I thought we weren’t going to have any secrets."

"This is different."

"I let you kiss me because you said you loved me."

"I do Lilith, I swear I do."

"When you really love someone, you don’t keep secrets."

"Did you just make that up?"

"Are you accusing me...?"

"No I'm not, its just when you'r standing so close, I get confused sometimes."

Don’t you know anything about love….Why do I have to explain a simple thing like that?"

"I know I love you Lilith, more than anything in this world."

"Then what did you see to fill your head with such nonsence?"

"I saw her pick an Elf woman off the floor without putting a hand on her."

"You saw that?"

"I sure did... and then she sucked her through the air and into her hand. Kah-thunk."

"Go on."

"Then she flung her into the wall...Slammo!"

"You saw her do that?"

"With my own eyes."

"Who was the Elf Woman?"

"Name was, Walinda."

"Were there other witnesses?"

"There was me Liope, Albiano, Karla, and the one that got pitched."

If you’re lying I’m going to be ten times madder than when you called me that name!"

"I swear I’m not exaggerating."

"I wish I’d been there to see it."

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Uta sat in the guard room of the citadel talking to True Axe.

"Was I indescreet, asking the Queen to touch her stomach."

"That's an understatement! Only a few knew she was pregnant until you opened your big mouth."

"I figured as much."

"Then she had to go tell her father and get hauled off to the Municipal building and forced into a common union with that lying little snot."

"I was there," he groaned, head buried in his hands. sitting in the first row."

"Then why are you asking me what a fool you are."

"I'm a glutton for punishment."

"Isn't it Ironic…that here you are the person that’s supposed to be protecting hher, and you're the one that almost gets her dunked in a bucket of water."

"You didn’t have to explain with such relish... you old bat."

"Well, you owe her, big time. Your blunder wasn't, "Indiscreet," it was egregious."

"What does that mean?

"Ten times worse..."

"What’s done is done. I'll find a way to make amends."

"You can start tomorrow."

"By doing what?"

"First I have a question for you."

"Shoot."

"When you put your hands on Liope, what did you experience?"

"You were perched inside my mind. "You know the answer as well as I do."

"No, I want you to put it into words."

"First, came a surge of power; Then from the right side of my mind came a goodness, fresh as the morning breeze. At the same time, from the left, came malice, dark and forboding. As they mingled I felt joy and happiness and fear and anguish all at once."

"Did you feel both of them?"

"Yes."

"A male and female?"

"Yes."

One Cisterian, one Latonian?"

"Yes."

"One bright and one dark?"

"Yes, I was told what to expect; my experience confirmed it."

"Were you also told that never in the history of our peoples has a a dark one ever been carried to term?"

"Yes, yes , yes to all…I know all these things…so what?"

"Over the past three months we've noted that when the Queen yields to the darkness, that the little evil one takes delight in it. Further that as she grows, it will take an ever greater catharsis to relieve the darkness that surrounds her. We're getting to a point where the violence of her tantrums will threaten not only her mother but anyone who happens to be in the way."

"Are you telling me Liope might get mad and try and kill someone?"

"A distinct possibility!"

"How frightening….you have me shivering in my boots. To think I might have to witness a killing. Where do you think I’ve spent the last two hundred years!..., in a convent? If thats what it takes then so be it. I won't be an impediment."

"You're missing the point?"

"I am...then what is it?"

"I don't want you to prevent the catharsis, I want you to incite it, encourage it and be standing near when it happens."

"The troops are going to love this."

"It won't happen by accident. It will have to be orchestrated and we must find ways to incrementally increase Liope's outrage, as the dark child matures."

"And you want me to make her mad and then deal with the consequences?"

"You’ll want to be wearing full protective battle gear. You know armor, helms, and shields? Yes, you'll want to annoy her, fuel her rage, but then be able to protect one another, should she lose control and try and kill the lot of you."

"And I thought this was going to be peaceful duty."

"Joke all you want now. When you see it, you won't be laughing."






© Copyright 2009 percy goodfellow (trebor at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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