This is a picture of my psychokitty taken by me yesterday with my brand new and quite wonderful digital camera. I also bought a 4G memory card to go with the camera, which equals around 2,000 pictures. I wonder how long it would take me to fill it. :)
This is the scene right after the one from last week, two scenes actually since the first is so short. I will get around to read everyone else's snippets, but it might not be until Sunday (I have a writer's group to go to- my first time). Hope you like it.
“Adhara? Sweet girl? I need you to get up, I’ve got a favor to ask you,” Vela’s voice was soft but woke her none the less. Then again Vela was not only Mum, she was, more importantly, the Captain.
“Yes Ma’am?” Adhara yawned deeply, rolled over, and opened one bleary eye as Vela sat on the edge of her bed, “You accepted Farmer Tobias’ offer?” It was just a guess, but Adhara felt it was a pretty accurate one.
“I did,” Vela agreed, “We need supplies, a large amount, and we need to replenish our fresh water…”
“And somehow he knows that you can’t leave port,” Adhara shook her head. “I’d like to know how he knew. When do I leave?”
“This morning,” Vela sighed in relief, “You’ve a good head on your shoulders; you should have no trouble getting what we need.”
“If I remember true,” Adhara climbed out of bed from the other side and pulling on her shore leave clothes, before packing the rest of her gear in her duffel bag, “his farm is a full two days out of town, so I should be back in a week, give or take a day. Don’t go anywhere without me.”
“Don’t worry,” Vela assured her with a grin, hugging her daughter and kissing her forehead, “We’ll still be here when you get back.”
From the sounds emanating from the stables, someone was very unhappy with the day’s plans, “What do you mean, I have to go out to the farm with this Trader, why can’t someone else go? I’m in the middle of a very tricky dyeing project and if I don’t finish it today the dye will be lost.”
“Now, don’t fret Selene,” the voice Adhara heard managed to be both condescending and slightly threatening at the same time, “I had Tavie bottle it up nice and careful for you.”
“Thus ruining not only the dye that took me all of yesterday to mix up but my best jar, and my only glass one at that,” the voice that muttered this, sighed in defeat, making Adhara want to rush in and do something, anything to make whoever belonged to that voice not sound so sad.
Walking into the stable yard, Adhara walked up to the owners of the quarreling voices and faced Farmer Tobias, “Farmer Tobias? I’m Adhara from the Free Trader ship Intrepid, my Captain sent me to accompany your agent to your Home Farm.”
“Agent? Bah, this is my daughter, Selene.” The Farmer looked Adhara over carefully. Making sure, no doubt, thought Adhara, that Vela had not sent some strapping boy to seduce his only daughter, and hardest worker, away, “Thinks she’s Maré herself, this one does. Good luck,” and with that the farmer went back into the farmhouse shouting orders as he went.
Adhara turned to face her traveling companion and froze, all thoughts flying away at the sight of her face. The face was as beautiful as the voice she had heard: the hair that was spread out across the back of the thick woolen cloak was a thick honey blond. Not just any shade of honey, the pale golden honey that only the bees on Breccia produced from the flower of the tree known far and wide as Trader’s Balm: given that name because everyone knew how much Traders were willing to spend of their hard earned coin for some of that rare and precious honey. Traders used the honey for many things: barter coin, medicine, to satisfy a sweet tooth, and rumor said it was even used as an aphrodisiac.
The eyes that were looking back at Adhara were a beautiful gray-green color, full of intelligence and good humor as they laughed as if Adhara’s every thought were playing itself across her face. Adhara blushed crimson as she realized that was just what she was doing.
“I’m Selene,” she introduced herself, ignoring Adhara’s struggle to gather her scattered wits and respond intelligently, “I haven’t had a chance to harness the horses yet. I only just found out about this little excursion myself.” This last statement was said with considerable scorn, but Adhara had already realized it wasn’t aimed at her but at Selene’s father.
“I’ll help,” she quickly offered, “I only found out about our trek myself this morning, but from the dealings we’ve had with your dad in the past, I wasn’t terribly surprised when the Captain woke me up to tell me what he’d done.” And following Selene into the stables, Adhara gathered up the brushes and curry combs and began grooming the two draft horses tethered in the main aisle, waiting patiently.
Selene watched briefly as Adhara groomed the horses more thoroughly than they’d ever been groomed in their lives and then turned to the wagon, checking the wheels, the wagon bed, as well as the reins, the harnesses, the traces, and the wagon’s handles. Everything on the wagon was in order, but Selene was dismayed, when she checked the harnesses, that the leather straps had been stored hopelessly tangled; it would take her forever to get them straightened out.
“Here,” the still unfamiliar voice offered behind her, “I’ve finished with the horses, anymore brushing and those brutes would have started to purr,” Adhara chuckled, “I think the second one actually started to drool, she was so relaxed.” Adhara smiled briefly at Selene and then turned her attention to the tangle of leather straps dangling from Selene’s hands. “If you hold that, and that,” Adhara murmured, part in explanation, part thinking aloud, “and I hold those, and pull there. We have it!”
As Adhara pulled the last strap, the two harnesses suddenly separated and hung neatly, Selene holding one and Adhara the other. “If you’ll hold that for a minute, I’ll put this one on first and then we can harness the other without needing to untangle those blasted things again.”
“How did you do that?” Selene asked, amazed, “I thought it was going to take all morning just to get the two separated, let alone get them unknotted.”
“I don’t know,” Adhara replied honestly, after thinking about it for several minutes while strapping the patiently waiting mare into her harness and then strapping the harness to the wagon, “It’s a talent, I guess. I’ve just never met a knot I can’t undo.”
“Well, it’s a good talent to have,” Selene agreed as Adhara returned and repeated the process with the other horse, a nice placid gelding, “I can see how it would be handy on board a ship. The middle of a gale storm would not be the place to find your lines tangled.”
Walking over to where they had both stored their gear, Adhara loaded the bags onto the wagon bed before turning to Selene, “Is there anything else that needs to go with us? Anything else we need to do before we leave? Then let’s head for the hills.” And climbing onto the driver’s seat, Adhara took the reins from Selene and nudged the horses into motion. “You were generously volunteered for this journey, the least I can do is my fair share of the work.” Adhara offered, smiling over at Selene, who smiled back surprised and pleased, evidently not used to other people helping out.