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Author Topic: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5  (Read 7024 times)

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Offline Alkari

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St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« on: January 18, 2011, 03:56:20 am »
Previous chapter here: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=641.0.


Coroth Castle, two mornings later

Alaric sealed the letter, adding it to the pile of others at the end of the table in his solarium.   Pale early morning sun had replaced yesterday’s rain, promising a milder day and the opportunity for an outdoor workout later.   He frowned slightly at the two court rolls needing review – one of them a tedious case from a persistent litigant that could definitely wait until later.   He reached for the other, sipping at a mug of light ale as he read and made notes in the margins.  A nearby plate held his partly eaten breakfast of fresh bread and cheese.

“Mrrrp!”    A small ginger figure looked up at him hopefully.

“Hello Tiger.  How did you sneak in?”

“Mrrrp!”   Happy to be acknowledged, Tiger sprang onto his lap and from there to the table, where he wound himself around the inkpot and pen holder before sitting squarely in the middle of the section Alaric was reading.   Pale green eyes regarded the duke happily.

“You’re not transparent, you know.”  He scratched Tiger behind the ears, neither of which showed any sign of the recent injury.   “How am I supposed to work with you sitting there?”  Tiger purred happily at the caress, butting his head against Alaric’s hand and smiling in feline bliss.  Not even a faint scar marred the little pink nose.

Alaric put the empty mug aside on a nearby chest and gently moved the kitten off the scroll to his left.  “Right, you just sit there and let me finish.”   He fondled the kitten absently while he read.  The smell of cheese was enticing however, and Tiger squirmed away and headed for the plate.

“Hey – that’s my breakfast!” Alaric rescued it just in time.  Thwarted, Tiger planted himself back on the scroll; green eyes regarded grey ones hopefully.  “You’re not starving – you’re fed properly and get scraps under the table every meal.”

“Mrrewp!”  Tiger disagreed emphatically and stretched out a paw.

“Oh, all right.”  Alaric broke off several small pieces of cheese and placed them to one side, finishing his own meal as Tiger devoured them eagerly and looked up for more.  “That’s all.  No more.   See – empty plate.”  He waved it at the kitten before placing it aside with the mug.  “Now, let me finish this.”  He moved Tiger aside once more, finished reading and took up the pen to sign the scroll.

The quill was enticing prey as it scratched across the parchment: eyes narrowed, Tiger gathered himself and pounced, batting at the nib and bounding away playfully, almost knocking over the inkpot.

“TIGER!”  Luckily he’d lifted the nib just in time, and the signature was only slightly smudged.   The kitten surveyed him from the end of the table, crouched down, tail twitching, ready for the game to continue.  Alaric sighed and prudently replaced the stopper in the ink bottle.  His Haldane lion ring flashed, and Tiger sprang; grinning, Alaric tumbled his attacker over, allowing his hand to be attacked by four white paws and several little teeth.

“A great help you are!”  He rescued his hand, hastily re-rolled the scroll and placed it with the other. “Come here you little devil – why aren’t you down with Briony?”   He scooped Tiger up and cuddled him, amused that something that size could emit a purr that rumbled like an approaching thunderstorm.   “You might have used up a few more of your nine lives if you’d spilt ink on that scroll!”

A small white paw reached out and patted the silver chain around his neck, hooking a claw in it and pulling at the shiny metal.   Laughing, Alaric set the kitten back on the table, pulled off his Camber medal and dangled it enticingly.  Tiger sprang after it.

Richenda fastened her robe loosely as she stood in the doorway to their bedchamber, smiling as she watched her husband playing with the kitten.   Tiger was now stalking the medal carefully, lurking behind several books while Alaric trailed the enticing silver disc slowly across the table.  Another pounce, and he was rolling over, scuffling at medal and chain while Alaric laughed and tickled him.

“I’m not sure who’s having more fun,” she said, walking across to rest a hand on Alaric’s shoulder.  He grinned up at her.

“He seems to think I need his help when working.”

Working?”

“Yes.”  Alaric laughed and gestured at the scrolls and the pile of completed correspondence, carefully secured under a large book.   “I thought you could probably do with some more sleep, so I decided to leave you in peace and finish all this.”

“Thank you.  I don’t know what our daughter was doing last night, but she certainly wanted me to know all about it!”  Richenda sighed, then allowed Alaric to push his chair back and pull her down onto his lap.  She leant back against him contentedly.  “Briony certainly did a good job with Tiger, didn’t she.”

“Mmm.  Not a mark on him.  So you still agree – she definitely Healed him, and it’s not some sort of St Camber miracle?”

“Maybe it’s both.”

“Maybe.”  He chuckled as Tiger, who’d started to wash himself, suddenly caught sight of his own tail and whirled around to chase the white tip.  “So we’ll have to work out how we train her.   I wonder what we’ll be able to find from Liam and Matyas.   If there really are healers at their Royal Court, surely we can get something from them.  Oh, I wrote to Azim by the way – letter’s not sealed yet, if you want to add anything.”

“Thanks.  No, I’ll wait till we see him.”   She was silent a while, then heaved herself to her feet and stood looking down at Tiger, who’d given up the chase and begun washing himself again.  “I wonder if St Camber liked cats?”

“You think he’s sending us messages through Tiger?”  Alaric smiled.

“Stranger things have happened.  And if you want to show a little girl that she can Heal, what could be better than helping her Heal her kitten?”

Alaric sighed, then rose and kissed her.  “Do you want to go back to bed, or will I send for your maids when I go down?”

“No dear, I’ll get up.  Ask Colleen to come in - I’ll probably have a nap later.”   Richenda adjusted her robe and walked slowly towards the bedchamber.

Alaric looked down at the table, where Tiger had managed to capture his tail and was carefully washing the tip.  “So, young man – are you some sort of miracle, or just a bundle of mischief?”

“Mrrrrrp.”  Ablutions completed, Tiger smiled at him happily.

“I quite agree.”   Alaric shook his head and gathered up the kitten.  “Come along.  St Camber’s Tiger, that’s what you are.”

__________________________


ETA:
How could Alaric possibly resist me?  :)


Snoopervising and deciding whether to pounce:


It's my job to help the Duchess and Briony inspect late summer roses:


« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 07:35:44 am by Alkari »

Offline Evie

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 09:10:02 am »
I think someone has hidden a camera in my house and is basing Tiger on my Luke.   :D
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Offline AnnieUK

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 11:23:07 am »
A small furry creature seems to have melted Alaric's heart, then. 

Easy to see you are a cat-lover from this chapter.  That "mrrp" noise that they make when they want your attention is adorable.

Offline Elkhound

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 12:50:06 pm »
Is Tiger still a kitten, or has he become a CAT yet?

Offline Evie

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 12:56:56 pm »
Well, given that he was a kitten at the beginning of the story, and the ending of the story takes place just a few days later, my guess is he's still a kitten.  Though that just means Alkari will need to write another story that takes place a few years later, so we can see what Tiger is like as a full grown cat.   :D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Alkari

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 02:29:35 pm »
Tiger is 6 months old, so yes, still definitely a kitten and at the very playful stage.  He was born in early August 1128, and given to Briony just before the Morgan family returned to Coroth at the end of September 1128 - Alaric, Richenda and Brendan had gone to Marley for a visit after Kelson's wedding, leaving Briony and Kelric in Rhemuth with Meraude and co.

Despite his name and all the scraps, he is not particularly big anyway.  Small enough for Alaric to wrestle with one handed, but there is quite enough of him to sit on an open scroll and be, er, "helpful" ;)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 03:27:37 pm by Alkari »

Offline Elkhound

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 08:05:52 pm »
 Small enough for Alaric to wrestle with one handed, but there is quite enough of him to sit on an open scroll and be, er, "helpful" ;)

Oh yes, I know about when cats try to 'help.'  I tell Zane frequently that he makes a better supervisor than an assistant.

I'm looking forward to seeing Tiger as a great, magnificent CAT.  Perhaps in some emergency being transfigured by Michael the Warrior into a true tiger to defend one of his special humans from some danger.

Offline Alkari

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 11:27:57 pm »
LOL Elkhound.   And yes, cats definitely supervise - they have human underlings to do the hard work.   "Dogs have owners.  Cats have slaves."

Not sure Tiger will become transfigured into his namesake, but he will certainly "manage things" to his satisfaction in Castle Coroth.  And those attending court or having business with the duke will just have to get used to him having a ginger tabby in attendance at times.   He likes to sit up and supervise proceedings properly you know ...  ;)


Offline DesertRose

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 02:44:00 am »
I've heard feline "assistance" called, aptly enough, "snoopervising."  I find that a very convenient term, even if it is completely made up.

Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 06:20:16 am »
Tiger is showing Alaric that HE is the king of his realm!
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Elkhound

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 03:38:10 pm »
There was a novel called "MagnifiCAT"; it was about a bishop's cat, but that's all I remember about it.

Offline Jerusha

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 06:35:07 pm »
A very entertaining story.  And nice to see the formidable Deryni Duke of Corwyn relaxing and playing with a kitten.  That hasn't happened very often!
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Offline Alkari

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 09:16:09 pm »
A very entertaining story.  And nice to see the formidable Deryni Duke of Corwyn relaxing and playing with a kitten.  That hasn't happened very often!

Thank you.   The formidable Duke has a very well-hidden soft side, which is starting to come out more now that he is married with children.  Of course he will (mostly!) deny that this applies to any sort of cat ...  ;)

Offline Elkhound

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 10:14:40 pm »
I remember my late Mother and that cat my parents had the last few years before she passed.  He was a ginger tabby, not unlike Tiger.  She claimed to hate him.  Called him the Yellow Menace, among other things.  But I remember a few times that I found her asleep in the big armchair with him sprawled out in her lap.

Offline AnnieUK

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Re: St Camber's Tiger - Chapter 5
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2011, 07:09:21 am »
bumpity bump for cute kittehs in first post. :)

 

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