“Niya,” I grumble beneath my breath, “g’way.”
My little sister is always such a pest. She wakes up earlier than everyone and since we share a room together, I was always awoken. I peeled open an eye to look out my bedroom window and groaned. Not even the sun was fully roused.
“C’mon, Pebble, ‘ Niya nearly whined my pet name, sending an annoying raking down my spine as she tugged on my sheets, “I gotta suprise for you.”
I turn my face in my pillow and groaned. I would not wait for my En Passant so that I could get my own room. Five months, two weeks and six days, I chanted the count down like a prayer in my mind. ” Why are you always waking me up? Tell me about it later,” I groused as I huddled under my linen quilt.
I cry in alarm as my quilt is suddenly ripped off me with far too much strength than Niya could muster. My mind immediately went to one of my brothers and as I turned to hurl my pillow at the lot of my rotten sibling when I saw the smiling face of my beloved cousin, Shirazi.
“Later, huh,” Shirazi huffed as she tossed my quilt back at me, the metal links in her leather armor clanking as she did. “Well if I’m not worth waking for, I suppose I can give your gifts away to Niya.”
“I’ll take ’em, Shirazi,” Niya piped and I glare at her.
Hoping out of bed, I give my favorite cousin a fierce hug. I had missed her so much! She was my best friend and I wanted to be a warrior like she was. Never did she falter in her manner or speech. She was a noted archer and on horseback, many felt the sting of a well-placed war arrow.
After breaking our fasts and morning prayer, the family gathered in the common room. I peeked from the upstairs foyer as my father entertained the knight’s retinue that Shirazi was a part of. I marveled at the knight, a northland woman of light brown hair and fair skin. My mother applied salve from the aloe vera plant on the angry reddened skin of her face. Many of the northland people suffered a likewise fate when they came to the desert..either that or they fainted. I stifle my laughter behind my hand and get ready to go downstairs to mingle….
I awaken from my dream and realize with a start that I am not in the home of my childhood but rather Saint Celeste’s Almshouse. About me I can hear the sound of the sleeping women around me. A nearby window allow me to notice that the sun has barely risen. I am here in Lithmore. I will not fail in my task. I rise and quietly dress, having care not to disturb the other women. I give my thanks to Father Aylor and make my way to the cathedral for morning prayer.