Tea time

“Did you come up here to see my son?” the Baroness asked.

Dahlia nodded, even though it wasn’t true. Not that she didn’t like to see him. She came up often enough to do so. But sometimes she had an ulterior motive. And that was the real reason she was up here today. Though she hadn’t expected to be found out so quickly.

“I think he is with Fletcher in his chambers. You know where that is?”

Dahlia nodded again. The Baroness smiled at her, then returned to her drink and papers. Dahlia swallowed.

The woman looked up again. “Would you like some tea, Dahlia? Yellow chrysanthemum.”

Dahlia nodded a third time. Nemissa gestured to another seat as she gave Dahlia her cup.

Completely comfortable, Dahlia took a sip.


“Is she…?”

Zamir pushed his hair back, the gel once keeping the dark waves from his face long since having lost their hold. “What took you so long? You couldn’t call?”

Shachaf must have realized what that meant, because his urgency fell off the map immediately. He looked away, then back at Zamir. “Car broke down outside the towers’ range. I didn’t even get your message until…”

Zamir sighed. Shachaf cleared his throat.

“Did she ask for me?”

His brother was an idiot. Always hoping for the favour of a woman who had never liked him. Zamir wanted to lie for him too, but he couldn’t do so in the way Shachaf would want. “She didn’t say much, near the end.”


They both stood there. Zamir wished he was anywhere else. He wished he could have been out there, stranded like Shachaf. He would have even done so alone, swapped places with him.

“I’m glad you made it,” Zamir said.

And Zamir would be the only one.

Chuck it

“How do you get it to come back?”

He shrugged. “No idea.”

She chucked it. It slammed into a tree, twenty feet away.

“Guess it doesn’t matter if you can’t aim at a clear space.”

She sighed. “Probably not.”

Waiting for him to throw, she watched with her arms folded across her chest. He threw the boomerang as he had looked it up earlier.

It didn’t come back.

Continuing, not suspicious

Vidvan’s master was a very calm individual. Collected, informed, content. One wouldn’t think he was stressed at all by being in control of the largest city in the known world.

But that was the known world. There was plenty that was unknown. Vidvan pointed this out, his master nodded, and mentioned that they would soon fix that. Vidvan figured he meant that they would learn more about the outside world and fill in their maps. Vidvan studied these maps, written accounts of the places, known ways to travel through the different environments. He compiled his notes and would give them to Iqbal, who would either throw them back in his face or (after a bit more pleading) hand them up further to their master.

Who would take them and eventually read them. Then he would return to Vidvan’s chambers, papers in hand.

“Vidvan.” Calm, with a slight smile on his face, his master. “I want you to add this into your primary research.”

Vidvan wasn’t sure how that would work at first, but he nodded nonetheless. “As you will.”

His life within the walls was exactly what he wanted. So no one would guess when Iqbal helped him outside.

A solar system

He was almost disappointed to know that Fletcher wasn’t going to show him anything with his rainbow coloured magic. He tried his best not to show it.

“If you enjoy this lesson, you should ask your friend to join you again.” Fletcher said, right before they started.

The Baroness’ son cocked his head to the side. “Which one?”

“The surly older boy.”

“Golden?” He was never certain what to say about the boy called Golden. Though, despite saying he didn’t want to do anything with anyone, Golden did spend a great deal of time trailing along after them anyway. So he nodded. “Sure! You think he’d like this?”

Fletcher’s lips twitched upwards. “I have a funny feeling. But I will let you be the judge of that.”

Then Fletcher took the cover off of the solar system and he was utterly distracted from the thought of anything else.

Parvena’s last, part two

“Everything will be for you.”

That didn’t make sense. It wouldn’t make sense until later. He wanted to be able to tell her that Shachaf was coming. She would be dead soon, if he didn’t show up she would still think he was coming. But not even Zamir had it in him to lie good naturedly to the dying.

“Unlike that no good brother of yours.”

Shachaf loved Parvena. Zamir had never understood it. Especially as he was not here. But his good natured attempt dwindled when he heard her say those words. “He is coming, gramma. He’ll be here soon. For you.”

No matter what Zamir wanted, it didn’t mean anything to her.

He could see her slipping away. “Mother!”

Shachaf still wasn’t there. He wasn’t there as she died.

Then his family changed.

You will never know

“Sorry, we were having a discussion that neither of us want to repeat.”

The older girl rose an eyebrow. The blonde sat on her trunk, where he struggled to get out. She didn’t know what the point was in hiding him, when the blonde girl had already admitted to his presence. “Um… yes?”

“So we’re cool?”

“Tell her I give in,” he moaned from in her suitcase.

The older girl decided not to ask. “Look. I just came in to say the train is arriving… probably sooner than you can refill your luggage.”

She left them to repack.