Virgulle’s Vestral 9

Sunday 29th May 2011

The author participates in a familiar game

GARY had brought with him a satchel of papers, the contents of which he and Martin began discussing in loud, frenzied voices. Both ignited drug-sticks. I left the room, seeking the quiet of my bed chamber and an opportunity for slumber.

The following morning, Martin offered me bland sustenance in the form of dried, toasted curls of corn, served in milk, to which I added slices of over-ripe fruit.

The refreshment was bestowed with haste, implying obligation, leading me to wonder if he regretted having rescued me from the giants. Was my presence a responsibility he wished to recant? Had he never previously met anyone from another land? Or was he simply diffident when conversing with women?

Differences need not be difficulties, as we are often told… but perhaps Martin hadn’t heard that one.

At which point, the door alarm sounded, giving me hope of better sport.

And I was not disappointed, for Martin returned with a woman, whom he was guiding into the room, as if playing a game popular with children on Rheta.

Gary followed, leading a man carrying several mechanical devices. Both newcomers wore eye-masks, but their posture and expressions suggested opposing attitudes to the burlesque: she making light of the jest, while he cursed and rubbed his shin, which had obviously collided with something in the entrance corridor.

The man reached up to remove his mask, but Gary stopped him with a curt command.

I laughed. If the four outlaws wished to play touch-me-tell-me, then I would play too.

Putting a finger to my lips to advise Martin and Gary to remain silent, I quickly removed my shift and stepped forward, smiling, much in the manner of the young woman I had seen in the folded papers in the bathroom basket.

Whereupon I unfurled myself to the fullest extent, before taking one of each of the strangers’ hands in mine and thus allowing them both, still unseeing, to feel, with the tips of their fingers, the tips of the feathers of my wings.

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