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Kelric's Adventures Chapter 5 The Night Visitor

Started by Shiral, July 07, 2018, 02:23:06 AM

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Kelric Story Chapter 5 The Night Visitor

           "Daddeeeeeee!!!!!" Kelric squealed and covered his eyes with both hands. Within seconds he felt Papa's hands on his ribcage and he was being lifted up and held in a reassuring hug.
           "It's all right, Papa's here Kelric.  What's the matter?" "

          He buried his face against Papa's shoulder and clung to him with all his strength and fear. Calmness and reassurance flowed from Papa, dispelling Kelric's fright at seeing the face inside the ball.

          "I broke it! I broke it and now you're going to be  mad at me!" Kelric sniffed, not daring to look up quite yet.

        "Broke what? I don't see anything broken."

        "The crystal..."

        "Kel, there's nothing wrong with the crystal."

        "It gloowwwwwed," Kelric moaned.

        "I see," Papa said gently. Kelric could tell he was trying not to laugh. "You made the crystal glow, and it scared you, didn't it?"
      Kelric nodded.

      "Poor little Kootik, you gave yourself a fright over nothing. That's what shiral crystals do, remember?

        "It is?"

        "You've seen Mummy or me make the crystals glow before, haven't you?"
Kelric nodded.

               "Now you know that you can do it too. But it's a very bright crystal, and the light probably scared you, didn't it?"

            Kelric nodded for the third time, not entirely reassured. Papa had talked about glowing, but he hadn't said he'd ever seen any tiny people trapped inside a crystal.

           "The Crystal is perfectly all right, Kel," the King said kindly. "Look, it glows for me, too."

            Kelric turned his head to see the crystal ball within his godfather's cupped hands, shining like a tiny sun.

          "Isn't it pretty?" The King lifted it up so that Kelric could see it more easily. There was no one inside the Crystal now, not even a cloudiness, just clear amber light which slowly died until the crystal was normal again. The King set it back into it's nest in the Corwyn Gryphon's claws.

          "So you see there's no harm done, Kel," Bishop Duncan said kindly. "You didn't break it."

           "For once, you didn't break anything," Papa said, amused.

          A knock on the study door ended the conversation. Derry's head poked around the edge of the door at Papa's summons.

         "Begging your pardon m'lord, but Her Grace sent me up to look for you," Derry said, making the King a half-bow. Kelric saw that instead of his usual mail and riding leathers, Derry wore a rich court tunic of deep blue embroidered with silver in an all-over pattern that looked like one of the great fishing nets the sailors used down in Coroth Harbor.

            "I'm afraid we're found out gentlemen," Papa said, setting Kelric down on the floor again. "Time for me to go back to being the gracious host."

         "I'm afraid so, sir," Derry chuckled. "Supper is very nearly served, and nobody can eat until you and the King's Grace are present."

         "We'll all come down with you, now, Derry. If I know Richenda, she's told you to not only find us, but to herd us all back downstairs, like stray sheep."

         Derry laughed. "Aye, m'lord. She knows you'd much rather stay up here talking about Duke Matyas' scroll than attend a state dinner."

       "She knows me far too well, sometimes," Papa sighed though he smiled as he said it.

       Back in the garden, Mummy had been watching and waiting for them. Kelric watched her anxiously as she greeted the King, Papa and Bishop Duncan, wondering if she'd seen him and whether she was still angry. Then she looked directly at him, smiled her usual smile and held out her arms to him.

           Hugely relieved, Kelric ran to her and was swept up into her embrace. "How's my darling boy?"

         He hugged Mummy tight, his arms around her neck and hid his face against her shoulder. He felt her lips brush the top of his head, and her hold on him was as tight as his hold on her. She had to have forgiven him or she wouldn't be hugging him like this.


           "What is it, lamb?"

           "I'm sorry I made a mess this morning. Please don't be mad at me anymore."

           "Oh that. I'm sorry *I* was so cross about it this morning, my love. I was busy and in a hurry to have everything ready before the King and Queen and the Orsal arrived, and all sorts of little things kept going wrong. Unfortunately, finding you all sticky with honey was the final wrong thing, and so you got all my anger at once. I'm sorry, darling."

           "S'all right," Kelric said happily.

            He didn't even mind when Mummy gave him to Lady Moira for her supervision during the feast that followed. Mummy had forgiven him, and everything was all right with the world again. Lady Moira was more strict with himself and Briony than Uncle Seandry, but nevertheless she allowed them both larger portion than usual of the sweet course. Feeling very full and sleepy afterwards, Kelric slipped under the main table, almost landing on top of Gryphon, one of Papa's favorite Cassani deerhounds. Gryphon thumped his tail on the floor when he sniffed him and gave Kelric's cheek a juicy swipe of welcome with his tongue. It was pleasantly warm and dim under the table, and Kelric curled up beside Gryphon and dozed off, his head pillowed on the dog's stomach. He woke up a bit when Derry fished him out from under the table and carried him out of the hall, towing the cross sleepy Briony with his free hand. Kelric let his head rest on Derry's shoulder while he tried to work out a way to feed Stripes the table scraps he'd smuggled out of the hall for her without Nurse finding out. He had the napkin wrapped bundle stuffed inside his tunic, but that wasn't a safe hiding place as Nurse always helped him undress for bed. Unfortunately the bundle had now worked its way down to his waist where he couldn't reach it without being obvious.

           Nurse might be forced to tolerate Stripes' presence as the Nursery cat, but she and Stripes were not at all fond of one another. Nurse insisted that if fed, Stripes would become lazy about keeping the Nursery free of vermin which was the only justification for Stripes' entire existence as far as she was concerned. Nurse might dislike cats, but she detested and feared rats and mice. Kelric loved Stripes though and couldn't bear to think of her being hungry. Briony too often sneaked extra food to Stripes. They knew Stripes couldn't be banished as Mummy wanted her to stay.

          Fortunately, Nurse was dozing by the nursery fire when they arrived. When Derry woke her, she trundled off to help the yawning Briony get ready for bed, leaving Kelric to Derry's care. Before Kelric could stop him, Derry started to tug Kelric's slightly outgrown blue tunic off over his head.

           "Good heavens, what's that, Kel?" Derry asked as the napkin wrapped bundle plopped onto the floor of Kelric's bedroom. "Were you planning a midnight feast?"

          "'S for Stripes," Kelric said yawning. He eyed the stained napkin thinking that perhaps he should have wiped more of the gravy off the strip of beef fat first before adding it to his bundle. There was a small matching round gravy stain on the front of his blue tunic, too.

           "Two tunics needing washing all on one day," Derry sighed holding up the tunic. "You're hard on your clothes, my lad. You and that cat," Derry said, but he smiled at Kelric. "Better hide Stripes' supper before the boss comes in, though."

             Kelric stuffed the napkin under his pillow then grinned up at Derry who winked back. He tugged Kelric's nightshirt over his head then guided it down over his body, and helped Kelric find the sleeve openings with his hands.

          "Make it a quick prayer tonight, eh, Kel? There's a young lady downstairs I met at Horthanthy this summer, and I'd like to become better acquainted with her," Derry directed as Kelric knelt on his bed and clasped his hands.

             "Dear God, this is Kelric speaking. Ummmm..." Kelric paused. He liked quick prayers much better than long ones, but it made him nervous to know that Derry was waiting, wanting to be back downstairs among the adults with his duties complete.

            "Ummm, I'm really very sorry about making a mess this morning and making Mummy cross. Oh, and sorry about getting my clothes dirty. Amen."

          "Excellent," Derry nodded pulling back the bedclothes. "Very brief and to the point, but heartfelt, nonetheless. Good night, little scourge of Coroth."

           "What's a ..?" Kelric began but Derry shook his head.

           "It's way past your bedtime Kel and you're yawning your head off. I'll tell you in the morning. Goodnight!" And Uncle Seandry was gone.

            Nurse came in shortly afterwards in her shift, tying the strings of her nightcap under her chin, her graying brown hair in a long braid down her back. She gave him a kiss goodnight, then blew out the candle and went to lie down in her cot across the room. Soon, Kelric heard the soft drone and rumble of her snores - a sound familiar to him from his earliest memories.
           Kelric felt very sleepy, but forced himself to lie awake and wait for Stripes to come. The cat always waited tactfully until Nurse was asleep to join him in bed. He must have dropped off, anyway, for he came awake again at her mew and the sound of a soft paw scrabbling against the linen pillowcase by his head. Stripes' keen nose had led her directly to where Kelric had hidden her packet of table scraps. He reached under the pillow and pulled out the napkin and untied the knots for her. He smiled at the funny sound of Stripes trying to purr and eat at once. He yawned widely though, and his eyes closed without his being able to stop them...

               Kelric did not know how long he had been sleeping, or what woke him later on. The foot of his bed was bathed with bright with moonlight and it was very quiet in his room and indeed in the whole castle. Stripes was wide awake, though. Her large pointed ears were pricked forward, and she was half standing and half ready to jump off the bed and run. She was staring fixedly at a point a little to the left of the foot of his bed. Kelric could see nothing at first, then a long, loose grey sleeve, not visibly attached to an actual person, extended toward him and Stripes. A man's long graceful hand with skin as white as moonlight was extended toward Stripes, delicately offering her his fingertips to sniff.
You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!


So cute!

Kelric reminds me a bit of my oldest nephew at that age (said nephew will be 35 soon, so that's been a while).  Always looking for something to get into, some mess to make, but a sweetheart despite a grimy face and a mischievous streak.  :D
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)


 I'm mostly away from keyboard this week due to my parents being in town and trying to help them find a place to live, but just realized I haven't commented on this story yet. I've loved little Kelric's antics! Looking forward to reading more of the story.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!