Tuesday, November 08, 2005

City of Mages: Chapter VI

Yes, I'm breaking my own rule. The dragon story needs to take a little break, though. Don't worry, it's not over. It's just being fussy, and this story isn't.

Brandon Darkwood gazed at the parokeet. Until a few minutes ago, it had been his half-sister, Jiuni. And it would, he was sure, be again in an hour or so, but at the moment she was a parokeet. This might have struck Brandon as odd, if not for the fact that this was the sixth such incident he had witnessed in the past two weeks. The high priests had pretty much been stumped after the first incident, but after the second (and the realization that Brandon had been the only one present at both), they had immediately suspected him to be the source. The priests had always been suspicious of Brandon due to his unusually light skin, a pale brown in sharp contrast to the jet black of most Xarnipians, and had blamed him before for strange happenings in the village. Fortunately for Brandon, his mother, the Queen of Xarnip, had advised them to seek an alternative solution, if they wanted to keep their heads attached to their bodies. The priests had quickly come up with a whole host of alternate solutions.
The Queen, for her part, seemed remarkably unconcerned about this strange wave of temporary transmogrifications. Whenever one of her servants, advisors, or numerous children would ask her about it, she would merely smile sagely and say she was sure it would all work itself out soon enough.
Brandon privately agreed with ther priests. Not only had he been there for every transformation, they had all happened when he was especially angry, annoyed, or even just bored with the victim. Juini, normally his favorite half-sister, had been going on about all the people she'd turn into animals if she had this power, utterly refusing to understand how involuntary it was, and suddenly she'd found herself a parokeet. Brandon was trying to decide whether or not to alert anyone of this when he heard footsteps in the doorway. He looked up. His mother was staring down at him.
The Queen of Xarnip was an immense, dark-skinned woman, covered from head to toe in various types of jewlery her erstwhile husband had brought her from all over the world. Her wild, fluffy hair was currently tamed in what seemed like millions of tiny braids.
"Where did you get that parokeet?" she asked commandingly. She was not especially angry; that was how she always talked.
Brandon decided not to lie. "It's Jiuni," he said.
"I figured as much," answered the large woman. She turned to address the little bird.
"What are you still doin' here girl?! You can fly! Fly on outa' here!" She walked over, picked up her daughter, and threw her out the window with an amazing amount of force. Just before she hit the ground, she managed to get airborne and steady herself. She turned and flew away.
"Now don't you fly to high, lest you turn back into a little girl and break yo' neck!" her mother called back after her.
"Mother," asked Brandon, respectfully, but not timidly, "You seem remarkably unconcerned about all this,"
"Right you are," said the Monarch, "Right you are,"
"Might I assume you have some idea what's going on?" he continued.
"You very well might," answered the matriarch, "And if you'd stop interupting me I jest might let you in on it,"
Brandon wisely said nothing.
"Ma high priests may be mean-spirited and intolerant, but they's not stupid. YOu know as well as Ah do who's causin' all this,"
"Yes, mother," said Brandon.
"It's your father of course," she said calmly.
"What?" Brandon blurted out.
"Well, not directly obviously," she clarified, "He's halfway across the world. But he obviously passed some of his powers on to you. I was hopin' that wouldn't be the case, but now that it's happened, ain't nothin' we can do but take advantage of it,"
Brandon didn't know much of his father, the notorious sorceror pirate. He remembered anticipating visits from him, up until he was about six, when he had inexplicably stopped coming, and his mother had made a decree that no mention of him be made in the land of Xarnip. Naturally, his memories had been fading since then. His mother continued.
"Anyway, you'se a sorceror now, boy. Ain't nothin' for it but to send you off to live with yo' own kind. Clayton will be here in a coupla' days to take you down to Erilliance, the City 'o Mages, where you'se gonn start a new life,"
"That's it?" asked Brandon angrily, "You're just kicking me out? Just like you kicked out Father?"
He turned to face her, and was surprised to find himself facing an unusually large hippopotomaus, looking ridiculous adorned in his mothers jewels.


Anonymous said...

Lol! I wsa expecting to work a little harder to identify which character was Ms. Means. This is really funny.

wings said...

Oh man, that is Ms Means? I SO knew it!

I laughed out loud numerous times. I love this chapter.

Erin said...

lol! Yay, funny! This is a great chapter. Don't ever let Ms. Means find it-- it could easily be interpreted as offensive there. ;)