Go to sleep, you silly girl
The Day of the Counting was so busy… Halla and our apprentices had collected a bunch of other smart and eager people. Despite having had only day to prepare, they had paper notebooks to write down everything, they had a system and a plan. It just shows what you can do with delegation! And by the end of the day, we had more people in our kitchen than ever before, and most of them stayed for semsin lessons…
The day after the counting was done, on the day of the eve of the Feast of Naigha, I most spent my time preparing for the feast. A lot of it was working in the workshop with Maile, and our new apprentice, Sabeh, an Ishey girl, gifted of course, who wants to learn a craft.
We’d have Coran with us, and he had a date with Cynla, one of the two priestesses of Naigha who teach in the school. Tylse was busy cleaning the house, making new sacks for the beds and getting fresh straw in. I went out shopping, and in the afternoon, all of us went to the baths. I even got a little bottle of scented almond oil for Coran, to rub Cynla with. We’d sleep upstairs, ourselves. I have to say that that made me a bit nervous!
We’d made the bedroom really lovely! What we now call our wedding portraits, we took those upstairs, of course, but the walls were freshly whitewashed, there were flowers (flowers! At the Feast of Naigha!), I had put down some nice little dishes to nibble, a jar of nice wine, nice cups to drink from, our best ewer with fresh water, towels… Everything to make sure that Coran would stay awake through Cynla’s wake.
(The priestesses are supposed to just fuck and then wake, while the man sleeps, and in some places they go to the temple with the seed still trickling down their legs, and in some places they have to go into the first house with an available male! Well, if our Cynla, who is a thoroughly good sort, has only one man in a whole year, it had better be something perfect! And Coran really is very, very handsome, and I love the way his mind is playful and sharp without ever getting sarcastic.)
I will have to teach Tylse how to cook… She’s almost Khas-like in her approach, and our Naigha’s Eve dinner was… Not good. Just stuff boiled together with bread. But she didn’t get angry or hurt when I suggested cooking lessons so the meals would be fit for a baroness. As she said, “I’m a housewife and a widow. My husband was poor, we had six children. Making food stretch is what I know to do — making it so nice everyone wants second helpings, nope.” Not that Moryn and Maile didn’t take second and third helpings, but they’re growing children.
Then Cynla arrived — she’s not gifted but her sister in the school is, and I had told her that Cynla should come to the Pink House, not Coran’s shack, that he shares with two other men!, and so she came to our place. She had had dinner, which, under the circumstances, was a good thing.
Oh, she was so surprised at the nice bedroom! I guess she was all prepared to go down on Coran in a heap of straw and rags, I would be ready to do that, too, but I could see she was pleased with the clean linen and the preparations for making it a bit more than in, out, prayer done. Coran had never expected this either, so we left the two of them to themselves.
Pretty soon, Moyri and I went upstairs as well. Moyri had had a really, really tiresome day, preparing for the Feast and working through the results of the Great Counting, and all she really wanted was a cuddle and a massage, because she was as stiff as I am sure Coran’s penis was right at that time. When I had got the tension and stiffness out of Moyri, she almost immediately fell asleep.
I couldn’t sleep though, just like at the Feast of Anshen. I didn’t feel like diddling myself either, so I went out on the balcony. It had something to do, maybe, with not being on the ground floor, or maybe it had something to do with Naigha.
I sat on the balcony, in the rain, and I guess I was just praying? Or at least letting Naigha know that I was there, and that I was happy to have her priestess in my house. From downstairs, there were giggles, and moans, and little cries, and at one point, I think I even heard Coran sing to Cynla! If I wasn’t mistaken, he’s got a very nice voice.
I only went inside again when I was all cold with the rain, and dried myself off with my long skirt, and sat down in bed and put Moyri’s head in my lap. I got a fully sleepy kiss, and started stroking her hair.
I love my wife…
And she loves me.
That morning, we had to prepare ourselves for the Temple and for the hand-out, and that took a bit of time. We were already having breakfast when Cynla and Coran came into the kitchen. She had a very satisfied cat-with-cream look on her face, and moved pretty carefully, as if she had some trouble steadying her legs. Coran looked pretty content as well, even though there were bags under his eyes, and he moved a little drunkenly, too.
So I knew they had a good night, that Coran had kept his pecker up, and that all our preparations had been welcome.
She just had time for a pancake and some tea, and then had to go to the Temple. She said, she was late already as it is.
After she’d gone, I had a strong urge to give Coran a good ribbing about his prowess, but he looked so happy after he had had his first cup of vervain tea, that I didn’t have the heart for it.
I think everyone in the house felt kind of like it was all too sweet for words.
When we went into the Temple, we were dressed like lords, well, like ladies, our neighbour having fixed and finished our dresses in record time. Good thing too! We were officially welcomed by the High Priestess, who is actually very nice, and gives me tea most of the time I have business with her. And then we made our offerings; Moyri first, then me.
Moyri cut her hair for the people we had hanged in Valdis.
I cut off hair for my father. I also cut off hair for little Arin’s mother. Maile and Moryn had their own remembrances.
And with the stink of my burning hair (it had been oiled the day before, too, so you can be sure it went up in flames!) we went out, and had the big doling out. Moyri and Halla had a quite ingenious system to make sure that nobody would manage to get a double portion, and we had guards for the silver and everything.
And when Moyri handed out, with the money, a chit for beer or wine in the inns, it really was Feast, even for the poorest of people.
But it was really, really draining. It felt like everyone who came up to meet us — and those who didn’t need the shillings came to us anyway — as if everyone took away with them a little piece of us, and left us a little bit of them. I guess it’s called “meeting” and always does that, but doing so with more than five hundred, maybe even a thousand people is very, very draining.
In the afternoon, I took Tylse shopping, and we prepared the Feast of Naigha dinner together. She likes to learn, I think, and is very nearly gifted, too. In any case, we had a lovely dinner, and then a long sitting-together, talking about this and that with everyone who came to our house, but no lessons. Not on the Feast day. It’s quite strange, having a dozen people of my own age or younger who prefer to sit together in a small kitchen and talk and chat and nibble and drink a bit, but not much, on a day when there’s dancing in all the inns! I wanted to dance, too, but I thought I could barely walk — and I hadn’t slept for two days, too. The night before the Eve, we had spent again on the cliff…
When we went to bed after dinner, I had to giggle… The crockery had been cleared away, but Tylse never had time to make the bed, or even the linen to make the bed, the second set is still soaking in the tub. So we lay down, and I smelled Coran and Cynla, and their sex, and it didn’t feel gross or anything, it just made me happy inside.
Moyri and I had a bit of a cuddle, a bit of love-making, a bit of playing around, a lot of talking. About us, about our people, about our aims and our ideals, and about ourselves again. After all, Moyri is the most interesting topic in the world, to me!
But sleep wouldn’t come… I was too much taken out of myself, and too much had been put inside me, and the same went for Moyri. And the house is pretty full, I could feel the minds of all the people we seem to have collected, some asleep, some awake, some not taking enough care not to share some particularly lustful recent memories with others — Coran!!! Keep your mind shut!!! — and we suddenly wanted to be alone for a bit.
It’s too dangerous to climb the cliff in the dark and in the rain, so I proposed to walk along the sea, to beyond the fisher’s village. Moyri looked so relieved! As if this was exactly what she wanted, but either didn’t know she wanted, or didn’t know how to propose.
It was dry, at least when we set out… When we came to the outcrop that separates Selday from the fishermen’s village, we dropped our clothes on the outcrop, because it only gets wet if it’s very stormy, and started strolling through the water. The sea water was between cool and warm, but not cold, and very soon we had passed the fishing village.
There we started getting trailed by Sea Beings. They were friendly, interested, and even rather cuddly. Some would jump up at us, as if they were particularly high waves, and it would feel like a caress to our bellies or buttocks. And when we’d gone a bit further, I pulled Moyri down on me, and we started making love in the surf.
That sounds very cute and all, but what happens is that sand gets between your cunt lips, and that is no fun… When we were sated, we squatted to piss, and at that point, the Sea Beings really got interested. We sort of got thoughts? “Why are you giving us nice, warm water?” “Why is this water scented?” Well, it was a bit hard to explain all of that, but now that we’d gotten into touch with our neighbours, so to speak, we reached out to see whether we could feel their concerns, their fears and their hopes.
Their greatest fear was that Selday would become poison, like Essle, which means I have to write Ajay to ask him how we can prevent that. Fortunately, only water comes to the houses, water and waste isn’t carried into the sea, but collected by night soil gatherers. There’s a bit of poison that comes from painting ships, though…
In any case, it was just GOOD! To be there, on this day and night and be touched by them. I told Moyri stories of how one of them, further east than Sarabal, had made a big storm and huge waves because he wanted to marry Lyse, the Tilis girl who married the Velihan crown prince, but none of the Sea Beings here wanted to marry either of us. Moyri said, “that’s because we’re already married!” But I’m not sure, because Lyse and Fekemme were already married.
And then we got cold enough that we got out of the sea, said goodbye, and ran half a mile towards the town to get warm. When we’d reached the outcrop, we were both warm and cold, and put on our clothes again. And when we were back in bed, we started playing with each other. I can be rather… I rather like… Playing? So, with us both bleeding, I even played with our blood. It’s ours, and we can do with it what we want! It was quite heady.
I met so many different people in my previous life in Turenay. The duyen lady who gave me the Iss-Peranian ivory penises in the black wooden box. The man who wanted me to bite him, hard, while playing. The cute boy, a servant of a visiting Hayan, who was really afraid of being with a girl, because he had rather a small, rather a thin penis. And his first girl had mocked him for it.
Moyri seems to like me telling her about past lovers, probably because then it’s a shared experience, and she’s had so very little experience. Telling her about this boy, well, it made her laugh. I only said it was rather a relief to be with a boy whose penis doesn’t immediately go down your throat, but politely stays where the tongue is. And I know I left him with a lot more confidence in himself than he had before. After all, his penis might’ve been small, but Moyri and I prove on a daily basis that penises aren’t needed for making love, and it was still fun to play with his. Also, he became an awesome kisser, after I’d given him a few pointers.
Moyri wanted another massage, a really stiff and strong one, and I did my best, and I think I dozed for an hour, and it was time for breakfast.
At breakfast, we told everyone about the Sea Beings, and Tylse said, “Well, I never! Jilan used to come home with stories like that, and I never believed him and gave him a clout around the ears! So, it’s true!”
And yes, it’s true. And then I fell asleep in my porridge.
And we’re really settling down. Making sure we have the right conclusion from the Big Count will take days. I’m taking Tylse around to find stuff to cook with, and I’ve shown her my garden. Our kitchen is pretty full every night with people learning semsin. And I’m finding new stuff to teach them; things that are also interesting for Tylse, like the time I put five spices in six containers, and trained them to distinguish the containers, recognize the spices and find the power in the spices with their mind.
I think I’m a good teacher? At least, we don’t lack for apprentices. But something needs to be done, and the first thing we’ll do is have a banquet for all Masters in the Guild of Anshen, in two weeks’ time.