And There Were Three: Chapter Five

Fiction By Clare Marie // 8/2/2008

Anomien could not tell what Ficum did. From where she was mounted on her dolphin, it seemed to her that Ficum and the two panthers just stared at one another, looking each other in the eye. They stayed in that manner for quite a while, and then to Anomien’s utter amazement, the panthers bowed their heads slightly, as if in acquiesce, and padded slowly up to the boy’s feet. Once there, they proceeded to gently lick his wounded arm, washing it as only they knew how. Ficum, meanwhile, stroked their sleek fur as a mother caresses her babe. Each having groomed and cleaned the other, the panthers sat back on their haunches, and Ficum gazed into their eyes once more. The panthers got on their feet and walked majestically back into the woods from whence they came. Ficum likewise walked to his mother’s side, but not before glancing at the dead panthers with pity.
The Water Fairy was speechless as Ficum quietly climbed on his dolphin’s back, but she shook herself when Ficum began to wrap his wound, and helped him clean and bandage his arm. While tending her son she found her voice.
“Ficum, my son, my son! I do not know what I will do when…” she broke off, choked by emotions and checked by prudence. Ficum glanced curiously at his mother. Seeing the anguish in her pale face, he said nothing. Anomien cleared her throat and again spoke, her sweet voice trembling.
“Son, while you were fighting that awful battle, I was frightened, as I have never been before. It was horrible to stand by and watch my boy get attacked and almost killed. Now that it is over, however, I am very proud of you Ficum, O so proud! I pray that if you ever have heirs when you are grown, you will never feel the torture I felt to watch your own” (she gulped) “flesh and blood battle for their lives. Yet I also hope that you will have cause to be as proud of your sons as I am of you, dear one. Up to this day I thought that your talents were good, but no better than that. I was still proud of you then. Since I have watched you display your abilities in such a manner, I know that you have marvelous skill, and I feel that it will become greater still. Although there is one question I would ask you. How did you learn the speech of animals? For of course, when you looked into their eyes you were talking to them. Till now, I never knew you possessed this talent.” Ficum smiled.
“Well, I guess when I walked in the woods I learned the ways of the animals,” he answered. “I am so glad that you and my other fellow fairies taught me how to walk silently, even through brush and thickets. Then I was able to creep up to the very dens of the wild beasts in the forest and watch their doings. I just tried to understand and speak with them, and you yourself saw the results.”
“So that was where you were, when you would run off alone. I was often wondering where you had gone. There, your wound is bandaged up. Let us go home, for my strength is quite spent, as I am sure yours is as well. Come.” Then mother and son urged their dolphins on at a slow pace, and during the whole ride home, conversed earnestly together.

Queen Asani was astonished. Her sister Anomien had just entered the throne room, and related the whole of young Ficum’s first battle. After the Water Fairy had left, Asani sat back in her luxurious throne to think (she was always a very contemplative sort of person). She knew that Ficum was very skilled, but like Anomien her idea of his abilities was underrated. She brooded in her throne for two hours at least, and when she broke her train of thought, the expression on her face was one mingled with fear, sorrow and triumph.

+++

One day, about two weeks after Ficum’s first battle, Anomien was alone in the house, cleaning. Ficum was on one of his walks that he loved so well, and it was while he was gone that Anomien discovered extremely messy corners of her son’s room. She shook her head at Ficum, remembering how the night before she had told him to tidy his bedroom. This must be his definition of clean, she thought to herself, pushing the mess into corners. I must talk to him when he gets back. However, she didn’t mind the work, and was humming softly as she cleaned. While trying to come up with a good punishment for Ficum, she heard a knock on her doorway.
“Come in!” she called. Dusting her hands, she glided out of Ficum’s room into the main room. She was surprised to find her sister Asani, without any royal guards or heralds. Asani had on a simple but elegant red gown, and no shoes. Her loose hair swept round her shoulders in the breeze.
“Greetings, my sister,” said Asani softly. Anomien’s face lighted with happiness and she ran to her sister to embrace her. Asani returned the embrace, but not with her usual excitement. Nor did she sound her usual, boisterous self. Anomien noticed this and asked the Queen,
“Why, Asani, what is the matter? Are these tears on your face?” Asani tried to laugh, but only was able to smile sadly.
“Yes, they are tears. I am very unhappy, Anomien. I must tell you something.” The Water Fairy grew sober, and she motioned her sister to sit down. Asani sank onto a chair, where she started to sob. Anomien sat silently for a while, letting her sister cry. The cave was quiet, except for the sound of the waterfalls (Asani’s included).
Presently Asani straightened her back, wiped her face with an embroidered handkerchief, and sighed. Anomien stood up and walked to the cupboard, pulling out her copper teakettle. She filled it with water, set it on the bracket hanging over the fire, and brought out a pair of teacups.
“Tea?” asked Anomien, trying to sound cheerful. Asani nodded. “I think you will like this mint tea. The Earth Fairy brought it as a gift once when she came to visit. She grew it herself; she has a wonderful garden, you know. It is quite good, and even Ficum liked it.” Asani started crying again, seemingly at the mention of Ficum. Anomien filled the teacups with the boiling water and with the mint leaves, and set one before her sister. Asani dried her eyes, and took a sip from the refreshing hot drink. Setting down the cup, she addressed her sister,
“Anomien.” The Water Fairy looked at her, silently encouraging the Queen to go on. “I, for one, am deeply saddened by what I have to tell you, and your sorrow will be greater than mine. I didn’t want to tell you this, but it seemed only right that I should be the one to break the news to you, in person. Anomien, dear heart…Ficum has to leave us.” Anomien stared at her sister with wide eyes and her face turned pale. Then she whispered,
“Say that again, please.” Asani quietly repeated herself. The Water Fairy was stricken with grief, and sat dumb in her chair. Asani knew she should let Anomien be alone, so she patted her sister’s hand, and stole out of the house.

Comments

Well, I am very interested,

Well, I am very interested, and personally I don't see anything wrong with the chapter. The mood is a little different, but I think that's good as far as what's going on. So I like it, and I love this story. :D
Anna

Anna | Sun, 08/03/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

:)

That just made my day...
Thanks, Anna!

Clare Marie | Sun, 08/03/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Saddness and Grieving

Saddness and Grieving

Arthur | Tue, 12/08/2009

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

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