Saturday, March 04, 2006

Another story beginning

Lady Krissanna pouted.
In a high and empty room she stood at the pedestal in the center, her chin barely reaching over its white marble edge. Hovering two inches above the surface of the pedestal was a blue metallic sphere. Slowly turning, it reflected Krissanna’s upturned face as she glared at it.
“I’m bored,” she told it severely. Her voice echoed to the highest reaches of the room, returning to her from the marble-arched ceiling. The sphere did nothing, flickering once with an unearthly light.
“Yah!” shouted Krissanna in frustration, whipping around to stalk out of the room. The effect was spoiled only by her pigtails flopping across her face as she marched her four-foot frame out through the archway.
“Mavris! The Wishball is broken!” she shrieked, kicking a red pillow out of her way. Only when the pillow hissed could it be recognized as alive. Uncurling, the creature known as Mavris stretched, licking a paw. It regarded her coolly, sleepy yellow eyes meeting furious green ones.
“Oh, what is it now, Krissy?” Mavris yawned.
“Krissanna! Princess Krissanna!” shouted the girl, stamping one foot.
“Yes, yes, of course,” sighed Mavris, rolling his eyes. He stood up and lept up to a nearby table. In contrast to the immaculate marble room, this room was an abject lesson in clutter. The floor was strewn with cushions and pillows, all in various states of disrepair. The shelves, crammed with books, odd and ends, evens and beginnings, completely obscured the walls. Squeezed in the room, somehow fitting around each other, were two tables, each one piled high with knick-knacks, arcane ingredients, parchments, and several game boards. Mavris picked his way carefully across a chessboard, and gave Krissanna a cold look. “You know, if you were to actually straiten up in here, I wouldn’t be napping on the ground and getting in your way.”
“But then I would be able to kick you, Mavris, dear,” said Krissanna sweetly.
Mavris glared at her, ripples of color playing through his fur. “So what was the problem, again?”
“The problem is that I’m bored and the Wishball won’t do anything about it!” snapped Krissanna, kicking pillows towards the shelves.
Mavris sighed. “How many times do we have to go through this, Krissanna? The Wishball won’t respond to things like “I’m bored.” You have to give it a command, a set of specific instructions, and then it’ll carry them out. Understand?”
“That’s too hard!” whined Krissanna. She waved a hand, and several pillows climbed onto each other, piling up to stool-height next to one of the chairs. She climbed onto it and rested her chin on the table, face-to-face with Mavris.
“Well maybe then you should actually try studying a bit,” sniffed Mavris, gesturing with a bushy tail to the cluttered bookshelves. Krissanna frowned and stuck out her tongue. “A game, then?” asked Mavris, gingerly tipping over one of the chess pieces with an indifferent paw. Krissanna made a rude noise with her outstretched tongue. “A new game, then,” Mavris suggested, exasperated.
“What kind of game?” asked Krissanna, lifting her head from the table excitedly.
“Honestly, Krissanna, do I have to do everything?” asked Mavris. “You complained about the Wishball, and then about your old boring games. Combine them and then you have your new game.”
“Of course!” exclaimed Krissanna. She hopped up from her pillow-pile excitedly, running to one of the bookshelves. Jumping, she tried to reach a book on a too-high shelf. Muttering to herself, she made a lifting motion with both hands and rose throught the air to grab the book, then floated back to the table. She made a sweeping motion with one hand, and all of the clutter on the table, including Mavris, flew off. Landing on his feet, Mavris leapt back to his spot on the table aa Krissanna opened the huge book.
His eyes widening, Mavris read the arcane symbols on the book. “Krissanna, do you know what you’re doing?” he asked.
“I’m making the game,” she said cheerfully. Tracing her finger down the page, she found the symbol she was seeking. She recited a few hissing words, and the symbol glowed blue, seeming to writhe on the page.
Worlds away, across time, across possibility, the words were heard.

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