FICTION FRIDAY: Thimbleful-Iron Out the Difficulty

Another Thimbleful Thursday post for you! This was meant to be between 450-550 words, and it’s just over (sorry, Lyn) but it just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. This is a very very very far sequel-ish to QUEST TO KARANTIRI. We’ve met Kelina, the princess of the Metadrine elves before. The young man she’s speaking to, not so much. I had a little bit of leeway with the wording, since “iron” in terms like this don’t quite translate perfectly, but…I think you’ll see. 562 words.

Kelina took a deep breath. “We’re never going to be able to do this. If your parents find out you’ve been here…”

“What are they going to do?” She’d never seen his stance so sure. “We have to do something, Kelina. No one from any of our kingdoms has been able to make this work, but we can. It’s just a matter of…smoothing things out.”

“Like fabric.” Kelina could almost see the hot stones they used to press out garments, smoothing the fabric so that not a crease could be found. The dancers often did this to their satins and silks. “But we’re not just some wrinkled up robe, Savitri. We’re like…like…” She waved her hands inarticulately. “Like a silk that’s been ripped in half and burned at the ends. There’s no smoothing that can put them back together again. The Metadrine will barely follow me, and I can’t imagine the Kalvarine…”

“The Kalvarine will listen to my father, and he will listen to me, if he believes I’m telling the truth. I know it’s going to be hard.” His hands twitched, reaching out to hers before pulling back again. Friend or not, she was still the seriath of the Metadrine people, and she was betrothed to another. She couldn’t just go around holding hands with every elf who came around–no matter how charming he was, or how fascinating it was to see the garnet-red clashed against the blue of his eyes, blue like a noon sky giving way to the storm, light and dark all at once, with its ruby lightning streaking across.

She shook her head. “I’m scared, Sav.”

“I know.” Now he couldn’t help himself, and his fingers lightly closed over hers, his warmth strong even through her gloves. “I am too.”

“If we fail…if our parents won’t listen, if the kingdoms won’t listen…it won’t just be the Metadrine and the Kalvarine fighting. It’ll be the humans, too. We’ll bring war on my people, and my mother won’t let the Ravens guard me if I’ve committed treason.”

“Your Lari-to-be and I will protect you then.” But even she could hear the question in his voice. Would Davlin follow me, or would he remain true to the kingdom? He’d always supported my claim to the throne, white-eyed or not. He had been my firm companion…but I’d never dared tell him about Savitri or his meetings with me. We were discussing treason. It was already treason to have him in the dark woods, let alone the house of the Kareni. If it hadn’t seemed so necessary, I would have been terrified every moment I was with him.

There was a knock on my door, and Sav jumped back, his hands leaving mine to feel more cold than they should. “Seriath? Your mother calls for you.” My mother. Not the Kareni. Who knew what that might mean, if they didn’t use her title.

“I will come shortly.” She heard the Raven’s footsteps leave. “You have to leave,” she whispered to Savitri.

“With all the speed of the light across the shadows.” He gave her a small bow, eyes twinkling. “Smoothing out the differences. Just think on it, princess.”

“I will. Be safe.”

“As only I can be.” He ducked out a window and vanished. Kelina took a breath, straightened her mask, and went to meet the Kareni.


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