Island of the Kahts~ Part Six

Fiction By Kay J Fields // 6/29/2012

Much to my great surprise and even greater relief, Savadra did nothing earth-shattering to me. Now this in turn, made me nervous of what she could possibly be planning, but I eventually had to concede that maybe she was simply growing up and had decided not to join in on my pranks any longer.

This made me feel somewhat left out and alone, because as much as we might appear to hate each other, Savadra and I had already become fast friends. The kind of friends who will kill to protect one another. This probably had something to do with the fact that we had spent a sleepless night in a tent with a tiny fire while poisonous snakes crowded around on every side, just waiting for us to let down our guard; surprisingly we lived through it and became better companions because of the experience.

All five of us, really, were good companions at this early stage. We had our laughs, although Fern pouted and pretended she didn’t think any of it was funny while the rest of us know she did, and Craigin occasionally stepped in as the responsible adult, though most of the time he was too busy joining in on the fun.

Bart met us in his front hall—a spacious, but simple place where it must be said there could be no silver found. I had begun to feel snow blinded by all the shining grays of the palace, though I couldn’t really complain too much as it might be as snow blind as I ever got. Savadra, having come from a very cold place, was likely used to the brightness. In any case, here we had no such worries.

Bart bowed in greeting, straightening and offering one arm to Savadra and the other to Fern. “I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting you, ladies.”

Fern, wonder of wonders, turned a bit pink as she introduced them.

“Well, I must say some of you men” and here he looked directly back at us as we trailed the trio “are extremely lucky.”

That made everything awkward at once. Savadra politely told Bart that neither she nor Fern were married to any of us and, as a matter of fact, Fern was Gern’s sister. Somehow, Bart seemed to have missed the resemblance. Bart laughed as the same servant who had opened the front doors now showed us into the small, yet elegant dining hall. “Terribly sorry, about that. I’m not accustomed to seeing lady adventurers. I just assumed you were married to one of these fine gentlemen.” He winked at us. The awkwardness faded.

Savadra allowed herself to be seated and smiled at our host, her pride still a touch rankled. “Thank you for having us over for dinner, Captain.”

Bart nodded at Craigin. “As far as I’m concerned, miss, you’re companion here is the only captain in this room. My title is merely a military standing, whereas Craigin is master of a doubtlessly grand ship. As I told the men of your party, call me Bart.”

With a half hidden smile and a tiny nod, Savadra gave Bart her approval. I’d never seen her behave this way before and haven’t seen her act as such since, but she was happy and our new friendship with the Kurrm’anairis captain was established so I thought little of this and focused on the platters of food being carried into the dining room.

The overall impression of Bartholomew’s dining room was this: white. Not white, like stiff, hospice white, but more of the lighter, free, clean, and snowy white. The curtains, tablecloth, doilies, swathes of material swooping in the corners of the ceiling, and the marble tiled floor were all varying shades of crisp snowiness, and it seemed to make the air in the room more pure and fresh. The table itself and all other wooden furniture pieces were made from a dark, red-brown wood which gave the room both sustenance and flavor. All in all, it was quite tastefully decorated—pun intended; it might just be possible that the food tasted as well as it did because of the choice colors in the area. Still, the brightness of the room wasn’t half so disturbing as the shining brilliance at the palace.

The meal was indeed delicious, whether or not the white and wood had anything to do with the fact, and Gern for once was highly satisfied by the time we all sat back in our chairs, sighed, and started to talk. There had been some polite, light-hearted bantering inbetween bites of food during the meal, but now was time for real discussion. We sipped our water for a few minutes, until the servants interrupted their master and, though very demurely and respectfully, requested we go elsewhere so that they could clean up and retire early. Bart threw his arms in the air in a sigh of resignation, tsk-ed at his staff, and agreed with a smile.

He led us to what I first took to be a lounge before realizing that it was, in fact, his study. This room was not white, but many contrasting shades of brown with cranberry sashes in the windows—there were many—and matching cranberry cushions on the seats—they were soft—as well as a cranberry rug—I tripped on it.

“What can you tell us about this island?” Craigin asked. Once a captain, always a captain.

“Daarimere is a beautiful place.” Bart began. “Mostly a jungle, but for a plateau where we began planting orchards. There are low mountains buried in the center of it, deep mountains I’d swear. The sort that are valuable; the ones that sing and shine.” He shook his head and brushed a hand through his hair. “I suppose that doesn’t make much since.”

“They’re mountains.” Craigin supplied with a faraway look in his eye.

For us, that was enough of an answer, but Bart looked a bit confused by this slight comment and so Craigin elaborated. “They cannot be explained and can only be described once you’ve climbed every peak, explored every twisting cave, dug to the very depths, and crumbled them to dust. And then there is no longer a reason to describe them, for you have swallowed them up trying to explain what their majesty means.” Craigin, it should be known, had grown up in a very mountainous country, and as great was his love for the seas and adventure and information, his love for mountains was still greater. He was a relatively average sized man. Not tall, not short. He was also neither wide nor thin, for both seamen and mountain men are made of different things, things that make them enduring and quick. The one thing I’ve really found in common with Craigin’s two great loves is this: both require steady and sure footing. Craigin mentioned this to Bart—well, the part about living in the mountains, anyway.

“You will love Daarimere, then.” Bart said. “Her mountains may not be so high as you like, but they are picturesque all the same.”

“What else can you tell us?” Savadra asked.

“Yes, what about those charming local man-eaters?” Fern added. Gern was in a convenient position to poke her and did so. Unfortunately for him, this meant she was also in a position to return the favor, which she did with gusto.

Bart leaned back in his chair and pursed his lips thoughtfully. It looked dramatic on him but I knew without attempting that it would look like I’d swallowed a lemon if I tried the expression. “The creatures, I believe, will be best for you to see for yourselves. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure what they are because I’ve not been close to one, though they resemble some sort of feline. They make the most hideous screeching noises day and night but go silent when they hunt. Also, they…” He stopped. “Really, it’s better for you to wait and find out when we arrive.”

Comments

Great. Just one thing; when

Great. Just one thing; when Bart says: "I suppose that doesn't make much since." Instead of "sense". One more chapter to go!

Maddi | Thu, 08/30/2012

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

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