Conversations, by Misha

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On those glorious evenings that we got Neopar drunk enough to pass out, there was freedom for one and all. While Fen liked to go missing, I generally went to the quarters that Hetta and Taisia shared for a night of drinking, soul-searching, card-playing and needle point. Hetta had designed an elaborate tapestry in her mind but with her failing eyesight and unsteady hands she found it easier to direct me. The colors, though vibrant and bold, were still difficult to work with in the candlelight.

We were an odd circle of friends: the cuckhold, the aged nurse and the jilted mistress, but very tight none the less. Hetta was not humerous by nature, but was quite a gifted storyteller and was guaranteed to have us laughing so hard that we couldn't see straight. Many of her more colorful stories revolved around Renet Aylii.

Fun, playfull and affectionate, she was more puppy than teacher and everyone loved Aylii, but no one more so than Hetta.

Hetta spent much of her early life wandering in and out of the House with her parents as they conducted their garment business. She enjoyed all of the religious and academic training as the sisters, but as a full Eltesnian citizen she had the world at her feet. Unfortunately, she wasn't interested in the world, only in helping her best friend find a way out of her servitude.

There was always a way out - it just took time, money and the requisite contribution of three children to serve the House. Hetta and Aylii constantly petitioned Nalev to intercede on for them, but even as high priest, his hands were tied by bureaucracy. Hetta concentrated her efforts on her parents, but they were unwilling to throw their money or their reputation in House and Court away for anything. When she persisted too much, she was banished from the House and forced to remain at the Court at Kanabulan. Shortly afterward Prince Avram took notice of her. By the time Hezason was born the prince had already lost interest in Hetta and moved on with his philandering, but she remained at the Court and raised their son.

Hetta became a much sought after nurse and raised Hezason's cousin Eburgistraten until he was nearly thirteen. Then she packed up her bags and went to the House looking for Aylii only to find that she had fulfilled her obligation and was redeemed from further servitude by wealthy landowner from the northwestern mountains of Eltesnia.

Well, I suppose it wasn't always humorous. Sometimes life has a way of sticking it to you no matter what. At any rate, the companionship the three of us shared did immeasurable good for our well-being.

It was a few hours before sunrise when I retired to my bed. I was restless and beginning to worry about what Fen had gotten herself into. Eventually I drifted off, but was easily awoken when she crept into bed.

"Rough night?" I asked.

"I went for a ride."

"By yourself?"

"Yes." She stated.

"You know, it's one thing if I think you're knocking around with a bunch of rich, inbred malcontents, but I can not condone you traipsing about the countryside until the wee hours of the morning. Do you have any idea what type of people are out there?"

"I do know what type of people are in here," Fen said defiantly. "Did you have a pleasant night?"

"While I was up worrying about you?" I asked.

"You were asleep when I got in."

"I was not asleep. My eyes were just closed."

"I'm sorry if I caused you any undue concern." She said somewhat contritely. There was a long pause then she whispered, "Good night, Misha."

"I'm not sleeping," I grumbled and rolled onto my side, facing away from her.

"Come on, Misha. I apologized already. What more do you want from me?"

"I'm not angry with you," I stated.

"Then what is it? Don't make me beg you to talk... Even though you always ridicule me for running off at the mouth about my petty problems."

"I never accused you of having petty problems, just a petty attitude." I corrected.

"Oh, that's so much better." She quipped then placed her arm around me.

"I was hoping for news by now, Fen."

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault."

"I'm sorry that I got you even more involved in this whole mess," Fen said. "I was only trying to help."

"I've survived worse."



Fen kissed my ear and the side of my face. I can't claim that I thought much about it before hand, but I turned my face and kissed her. I was far too tired to think about anything or anyone --right up until I accidentally called her by the wrong name.

"What did you call me?!" She shrieked and got out of the bed.

"I'm sorry, it slipped out. I don't know why."

"My mother?!"

She continued to shriek a number of insults to my character while wildly gesticulating with both arms. I attempted to interject that her mother was very attractive, but that, as you may imagine, was not the proper thing to say.

"Look, Misha, if you want to fuck my mother, just do it. Leave me out of it!"

"I don't want to fuck your mother. I was just thinking about her."

"While you were kissing me? Thanks for clearing up that misunderstanding!"

"Fen, sit down," I pleaded.

"I don't want to sit down!" She snapped.

"I'm not after your mother. As if I needed any other reason, Rad'en' is in love with her."

"Screw Rad'en'! What does he have to do with this?"

"He's my son, Fen."

She was speechless. I enjoyed each moment of absolute quiet to hear myself think. I was tired and really didn't want to get into it, but I hadn't left myself any other option. The last thing I wanted was for her to start babbling on with her theories as she attempted to get inside my head.

"So you've always had a problem with boundaries," Fen remarked under her breath. Even before I had a chance to explain, she took back precisely three insults, but no more. She held strongly to the validity of the other twenty or so, I had rapidly lost count during her tirade.

"Zbinka's father was very ill for a long time. After he died, she was a wreck from drinking too much. I attempted to comfort her."

"Sounds like you succeeded."

"I was young and stupid. Nothing more to it than that."

"Then why should you care so much about Rad'en'?"

"When he was a little he used to worship me. Worship me, Fen. That didn't change until he went off to the military academy. I'd still do anything for him."

"Even after he wanted to kill you?"

"Whether he knows it or not, he's my son, Fen. That's really all that matters to me."

Fen got under the covers and laid her head on my chest. She was right, of course. Taisia had such a warm and unassuming nature. Soft words and gentle laughter flowed effortlessly from her lips. She possessed both beauty and strength in such an alluring amalgamation that it was hard for me to turn away. Yet from the very beginning, I was determined that she would be the one person I could never have.

Other things were certain as well: Ompar wouldn't sleep forever and in spite of all the bickering and jealousy of our contrived and unholy union, I never doubted that I could count on Fen to be my soul's confessor, nor I hers.


  1. Lady Fenwick of KanabulanAugust 14, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    It is utterly preposterous for you to portray me in such a vulgar and reprehensible manner. I honestly do not know how you believe to win the trust of the readers when you stoop to such levels of profanity.

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