A Shaman’s Gift – Part 21


Jaryl came bursting out of the passageway and dropped to his knees in front of Maikyl.

“My sovereign, I am so sorry to keep you waiting.  There’s been an accident in the kitchen and I was helping with the recovery.”

“Recovery?” Maikyl asked astonished, “Recovery?  What has happened and are there injuries?”

“Two of the soup cooks were killed.  One of the large soup racks collapsed while they were trying to bring the kettle off.  When the kettle fell, they tried getting out of the way and fell back into the hearth.”

Maikyl paused to consider this, “Jaryl, please do not tell Kevyl about this. You know he was close to all the staff.  I don’t know if he could handle the news right now with his condition.”

Jaryl nodded his assent, “Indeed Maikaj.  Lord Kevaj wouldn’t handle it well as the two soup cooks were amongst his favorites.”

“Lyaru wasn’t one of the cooks was she?  She was the only one who could make the traditional sitaflen that Kevaj loves so much.  I don’t know how he could eat that stuff.”

“What is that?” Jaryl asked, not really sure if he wanted to know.

Maikyl grimaced, “Apparently, it’s hickory smoked horse butt holes.  They allow them to dry age then smoke them.  Once they are smoked, they are slow cooked in a traditional clay pot.  It’s considered a fine highland delicacy.” Maikyl couldn’t help but notice the look of disgust on Jaryl’s face.

Maikyl was about to follow up with his own expression of disgust when he saw Kevyl walk into the room.

“Hi!  How are you doing Kevyl?” Maikyl asked, surprised that Kevyl was out of bed and moving almost normally.

“I’m doing okay. I’m just sick of laying in bed and listening to everyone telling me stories while trying to keep me distracted. Like I don’t know that I have a huge job in front of me raising the kids.”

“We know Kevyl.  It’s just that no one knows what kind of physical toll your pregnancy had on you.  No one has ever seen a human change genders like that.”

“Yeah, I gave birth and seeing how things are returning to normal down there, I don’t think there will be that much long term damage.  Besides, I’m bored just laying in bed.  I want to be out with the people.”

“Well, let’s see how you are feeling in a couple of days my love.  If you are still this energetic and ready to take on the Lodge again, I’ll give you my blessing.”

Jaryl cleared his throat, “Did either of you need anything from the kitchen?  We’ll be fairly limited this afternoon due to seasonal cleaning and inventory.”

Kevyl’s face scrunched as the thought about what Jaryl said for a second, “Cleaning you said?  I could come down there and help with the inventory.”

Jaryl and Maikyl both exclaimed “No!” at the same time, startling themselves and further irritating Kevyl.

“Fine, I’ll just sit up here and be a bored father I guess.  I am hungry through.  My appetite has been getting better.”

Jaryl bowed slightly towards Kevyl, “Kevaj, what would you like from the kitchen?  I make no promises today but I will do what I can to bring what you want.” Maikyl looked at Kevyl and could almost read the thought on his mind before he said it.

“You know Jaryl, I could go for some sitaflen.  It’s been years since I’ve had it.”

“Kevaj, my sincerest apologies but that will not be possible for a few days.  We will need to get the ingredients,” Jaryl paused for a moment at the thought of what he was about to say, “fresh from Pamnyki then the time to prepare them.”

“Ah yes Jaryl, I always forget how long they take to make properly.  Whenever we went travelled to the highlands to visit family, they always had them ready and waiting for us. Since it will take so long, can I get some Lodge vegetable soup?”

Jaryl barely contained the flinch, “Kevaj, I will have to make sure that we have fresh soup that is worthy of you.  I do believe a fresh batch will be started soon.” Jaryl said as he thought about the cooks and the kettle that had been lost earlier in the day.

“Jaryl, any soup and a hunk of day old bread with a tankard of ale would do me fine.” Maikyl said to break the tension.  “Do we have any fresh greens that would be put together with the soup?”

“My Lord, that I know we can do.” Jaryl bowed with a flourish, “Shall I do the same for you Kevaj?”

“Why yes Jaryl, if you would please.  Can you also set up our lunch outside so that Maikyl and I can enjoy the weather?  I’ve been cooped up here in our bedchambers for far too long.”

“Of course, my Lords, is there anything else that you desire for your meal?”

“Not for our meal per se Jaryl, but if you could get the bathhouse ready for use later this evening.  Kevyl and I would like to spend some time cleaning up and relaxing.” Maikyl said with a wink and a slight nod.

Jaryl made no attempt to hide the smirk on his face, “Certainly. Just before nightfall so that you can enjoy the night air once you are done?”

“A splendid idea!” Kevyl giggled and clapped his hands, knowing that Maikyl wouldn’t be happy with all this activity.

To everyone’s surprise, Maikyl agreed and told Jaryl to summon his advisors for a gathering to start at the top of the next hour.

“Yes sirs!” Jaryl said as his stiffened to full attention before bowing to both of the lords before him.  Before either Maikyl or Kevyl noticed, Jaryl was gone.

If you enjoy reading these Wednesday flashes, here are others writing this week:

T. Kat
Cia Nordwell
Nephy Hart
Jim Dunaway
Lynn Hayes

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