Ginger and the Tale of a Snake [24 Consimbs 4261]
I was a very small levitating snake. Vae was a very large land-based snake. We were perched near or in the branches of a big arken tree, having The Conversation. It was not going right.
Me:"Please turn me back. I like my fore- and hind-legs, and my wings."
Vae:"The but you're sleek and sinuous this way!"
Me:"Sleek and sinuous doesn't seduce the Orren."
Vae:"Oh, that's what's wrong?"
Me:"What's wrong is that I am missing two forelegs, two hindlegs, and two wings. And I'm compressed into a thin tube."
Vae:"The that's not what was wrong when you arrived!"
Me:"There wasn't anything wrong when I arrived!"
Vae:"Well, the it's not quite as obvious when you're in your tears, but you were."
Me:"Never mind that then."
Vae:"The Sythyry, you're impossible!"
Me:"And getting less and less possible with each passing day."
Vae:"And how is one to cheer you up?"
Vae turned us back.
Vae:"The when I was moping, Mother would turn us into something silly and pretend it was very important we'd be like that. It's the great nendrai joke, like."
Me:"So you do like your hands and legs?"
Vae:"Well, not very much, but truly. I'm not at all fond of the way I look really. Neither is anyone else, this much I know."
Me:"Are you going to live as a snake, then?"
Vae:"No, that I am not. Not yet have I decided just what I will look like when I grow up, but some limbs I will have."
Me:"Well, if you want aesthetic consulting, I know several good arts students who might well be able to advise you." It would serve Tethezai right for all those comments about Ilottat.
Vae:"The maybe! But that is a plan for later. Today is a good day for me: I have sold two mara eleni into off-world slavery, I have good ginger from primes. But you are miserable, which is not making my day so good actually."
Me:"Oh, I broke up with Ilottat as an attack on you."
Vae:[looking a bit hurt]"The truly?"
Me:"Yes. Well, he broke up with me, and not as an attack on you, but we did break up."
Vae:"Oh... what are you going to do to him?"
Me:"I've asked our go-between to try to negotiate us getting back together."
Vae:"Oh, and I hope that happens!"
Vae sometimes seems like the only one of my friends who actually thinks well of my relationship with Ilottat and never has anything ill to say about him. I have a horrid suspicion that the two properties go entirely together, and that all my friends who have met Ilottat are utterly right.
Vae also seems like the only one of my friends who has never met Ilottat -- at least, I think she hasn't. Also, Vae is the only one of my friends who is sexually immature and has never had a sweetie. Also Vae is the only one of my friends who isn't prime. I suppose those are just as likely to be the reason.
In any case, I spent a while comforting Vae for my breaking up with my boyfriend. Half my every-third-days, I think, are comforting the monster.
Then she gave me the thing she wanted me to sell in the city. It's the oddest thing I have ever seen: a trowel made entirely of metal, except for a wooden handle. Actually the handle is a big bead, with a metal rod running all the way through it. And used -- well-used, if the wear on the blade and the condition of the handle are any indication. It's insanely valuable -- it's probably the most expensive nonmagical trowel in Ketheria. Probably the mightiest too.
Me:"How did you come by this?"
Vae:"Oh, I sold some mara eleni to slavery offworld for it."
Mara eleni are intelligent trees. They control animals (and unlucky people) who eat their berries. Very dangerous, very wicked.
Me:"I didn't know you were in that business."
Vae:"Well, they'd sprouted on my territory, and I wanted them away before they grew up and got their magic. But I'm not so fond of killing babies. I was going to move them, but I didn't know where to. So I made sure that an offworlder showed up, and to her I sold them."
Me:"That's ... Vae, it was less disturbing when you hated your arms and legs."
Vae:"The I'm sorry, Sythyry. I've entirely failed you today." She started crying bloody tears, which is not a bit unusual, and teleported home, which is not unusual. But usually she lets me calm her tears before she leaves, or at least teleports off in a huff.
She didn't fail me. As far as I know she's not responsible to me. I'm pretty sure I failed the city, though. And if I fail my class I won't complain.