Miranjii stretched and flexed her legs again working out the kinks from the morning training to be among the elite of royal service of Ombeyant. She had practiced the form of the SittanKesk or Self-Seated. Sitting on her haunches, knees together, feet flat on the floor with one’s face pointed to the sky, her hands to her side fingers lightly touching the floor to maintain balance only. Should she be summoned, her hands must them lightly touch the hem of her skirts to tuck it under as she uses her leg muscles only to rise, her back ramrod straight. A rise from the SittanKesk always finishing in the AttenKesk form of legs together, both arms bent at the elbow palms up, the left in front – the right in back; her head and eyes straight ahead. She had started the SittanKesk not too long after the beginning of rise. Her grandmother Raunna, having only called upon her twice, did release her from practice until the sun was well overhead, to full rise. Her young body felt so much older to her right now.
“You held SittanKesk all rise?!” Lavrioraa shook her head in a very non-Ombeyant manner, impressed with the accomplishment and now understanding Miranjii’s desire to do little other than lay out on the grass after a short swim in the watering hole.
“You are good! I started whining an hour into the position; I cannot stay in one position for so long! Papa simply could not take it and started whining to Mama who became annoyed at hearing him whine and both let me go. I know it will be my enyache that I’ll be the Ombeyant in service at an all night with the Darkran and LeadCourt. People will come in the morning wondering; what is that horrible new gargoyle in the throne room, then they’ll look again and realize it is only me turned to stone from having been in SittanKesk all night.”
“Lavri, you are so silly.” Miranjii laughed heartily at her best friend’s theatrics.
The two girls had a fierce friendship in common, but that was all. Lavrioraa’s parents were wrapped around their second youngest of nine’s finger and knew it. An only child, Miranjii’s adonii let her get away with absolutely nothing. While Lavriaraa managed to do well enough in her studies, it was mostly due to the prodding of Miranjii who managed to be tops in her classes with little effort. Other than being the same height, even physically they differed. Lavrioraa was as tanned as any Ydarkran farmer of the Hassaunt Plains, while Miranjii had just enough coloring to let one know she has spent some time in the sun, but not much. Lavrioraa was willowy, while Miranjii was made of much sturdier stock. At seven reaagons Lavrioraa cried for a fortnight for her straight copper hair to be cut short, but no one listened to the girl. To this day, no one quite knows how she had managed to burn half of her hair to the point it had to be cut. For fear she would do something worse that would get her killed, her hair was kept short altogether after that. Miranjii inwardly sighed as she once again coiled the thick ebony locks that seemed to magically come loose to curl around her face. With it more heavy being dripping wet from swimming, she could not help but wish for the lightness of her best friend’s short style as they lay out on the grass.
What had started as a miserable rainy morning as Miranjii went through her daily Ombeyant training had turned into a beautifully sunny afternoon. After much daring and outright coercing Lavrioraa had convinced the normally very careful Miranjii of the pleasures of lying out in the grass totally naked with the other girls that were there with them by the watering hole. Miranjii had to admit she enjoyed feeling completely decadent as she lay there the warmth of the sun washing over her tired muscles.
“Did not your mother wear her hair so long also?” Selkoree asked.
“Not once she became Vras according to Adoniicio.”
“Then why do you have to?” Selkoee’s younger sister Vinloree shook water from her own cropped hair.
“I’m told Mama wore her hair long as a child, but cut it when she became Vras. A married woman can wear her hair short or long. Adoniicio had no control over that.” Miranjii shrugged. “Adoniicio very much has control over me and I am a long way from Vras. Were I to accidentally burn mine as someone else has….” Miranjii winks at her best friend, “…I fear will very much wish I had done likewise with the remainder of me once my Adonii sees it. I think it would be less of a torture for me. Adoniicio has never so much as shortened her hair to my knowing. She would never be so rude to say such aloud for fear it may insult those who choose to have shortened theirs, but I believe she feels it is some mark of EnHonora to have long hair and the longer, the better. I was told my mother was not of that mind.”
“Do you miss her?” Vinloree turned onto her back.
“I have to say no, because I never knew either of my parents.” Miranjii paused to give it a moment of thought. “I would like to think Mama would have let me cut my hair some, but not too short to appease both Adoniicio and I. She and Papa passed into Rohn’s Hall during the Great Rains; I was barely of a moonface. Adonii says it is Ydarkra’s gift that I survived when my parents did not. Especially, when no other child under the age of two reaagons in the Hassaunt Plains survived the Great Rains.”
“That is a gift indeed. I for one am doubly grateful to Ydarkra.” Lavrioraa nodded her head decisively.
“How so?” Miranjii grinned kicking at a pebble.
“For one, she was born in Verrage and did not come to the Plains until she was nearly three reaagons and two, that you did survive to be her best friend because no one else seems to be able to put up with the various forms of mischief you’re constantly pulling her out of.” An amused response came from behind them. Lavrioraa groaned at the sound of her older sister D’jarraa’s voice.
“Considering half of the time I’m in mischief with her.” Miranjii laughed sheepishly. “I’m not sure that such is valid.”
“You mean like laying out here as we are in the sun?” D’jarraa teased standing above them. Miranjii shrugged with a lot more confidence than she actually felt. That her Adonii Raunaa would be most upset was a vast understatement to say the least. Lavrioraa frowned for a moment at her sister and then burst into a grin.
“Race you to the rock and back!” Before anyone could give pause, she jumped up and took off running. Not in the least worried the other girls took off after her. Miranjii not wanting to go through yet another session of being teased for always being the good girl took off a moment later; the strides of her long swift legs easily catching up and eventually passing the other girls reaching the rock first.
Simply running and enjoying herself, she kept running past the copse of trees and was totally out in the open when she heard her fellow playmates suddenly yelling. She turned and saw them all running back through the trees. She turned again to see a male on horseback heading straight towards them. Remembering her nakedness, she ran as though the fires of Briellekok were licking at her heels, but she was simply too far away from the trees. There was no way she could outrun a horse! Hearing the animal closing in she immediately dropped to PlearKesk.
PlearKesk was the form of pleading only to be used dire need. It is the form used to help protect an Ombeyant from the physical wrath of the rare, but cruel member of EnCourt, or any one who would dare strike one who serves. The Ombeyant falls into a form of fetal position where the body curls in on itself; using the hands protect his or her neck and head. Usually the Ombeyant lies on one side leaving the cushioning of the arms, thighs and calves to take the brunt of the punishment. Choosing to hide her face Miranjii used the kneeling form, leaving her back, buttocks and soles of her feet exposed instead.
For once she was completely grateful for her long hair as it had once again come loose from its coil during her run and now fell about her back and face providing her scant more coverage. If only if could be glued in place she thought to herself as she hears the horse come to a stop. All she can think, as she hears the footsteps of the approaching rider, is that he must not find out who she is. And how was she, a girl of ten reaagons naked and out in the open was going to accomplish that, she did not know…
30 Stories in 30 Days | Day 2 – Yes, there is more to this one coming – see you tomorrow 😉