Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Marchant, Orb's Year 921-924

Orb's Year 921
Baji glanced around at the restocking that still had to be done.  They'd been slammed today - which was good because they needed the money!  As it stood now, they would have to borrow again to pay the taxes.

His brow wrinkling, he wondered if perhaps Alicia had not quite recovered from Farha's birth.  Perhaps he should encourage her to rest more.
Meanwhile, Caira had a wonderful idea to help earn money.
"Flower arrangements!" she said cheerfully! "People will love them!"

Baji looked down at the flowers doubtfully.  "I don't know Caira.  I just don't think they'll sell well.  We'll put them out today and I'll let you know.  But, don't let your feelings be hurt, okay?"
The next afternoon Baji had come to find Caira making more arrangements and excitedly told her that the flowers were a big hit! "Keep them coming sister!" he told her.  "You have a true gift!"
Alana could not believe her granddaughter was a toddler already.  And if she was right, there might even be another grandchild on the way...

She carefully laid Farha to bed and patted her head.  Toddlers were much easier now than they had been when she was younger!

Orb's Year 922
"MOTHER!" Caira called from the other room.
Caira was angry.  "What do you mean you have pledged me to be married?" she demanded.  She angrily shook a scroll she had found on the table.

Alana tsked.  "You should not be reading things that do not belong to you!"

"Belong to me?" Caira cried.  "This is about me!"  She threw the missive to the floor.

"I love Dirk! I will marry him!"

Caira shook her head. "You will not. He is a Taveryn and unworthy of you!  You will marry in an arranged marriage and that is the end of it.  If you do not, you will be sent away to the Abbey."
Caira began to sob.  This could not be happening.

"Do not lose heart.  Just because you are married does not mean you cannot find love," Alana counseled cagily.

"Oh stop Mother! I am nothing like you!"  Pressing her face into her hands, she sobbed again.  "I'll run away! I'll leave and never come back!"

"In that case, perhaps we should speed your vows sooner."
It all happened in a blink of an eye.  Before Caira knew it, Remington Flowers was standing before her.

"Remington, old friend! So good to see you," Alana said cheerfully.  "May I present your bride, Caira."

Remington barely glanced at Caira.  "Yes, yes. That's fine.  He pressed a gold sack into Alana's hands.
"Are you ready girl?" Remington asked. 

"No!" Caira said stubbornly. 

Alana pushed a sack of her clothes into her hands.  "Go with him.  All will be well."

Caira stared at her mother, horrified that such a woman existed. She knew full well that her heart belonged to another, but she was being forced into a loveless marriage with an old man!  He had to have been at least a decade older than her... maybe even two!
Disheartened, she followed after him.  She was pledged and the dowry paid.  There was no going back now....


Darius and Eryka refused to make eye contact with their mother.  What she'd done had been cruel and both were worried that she held their eventual fate in their hands.
"How could you?" Baji raged when he returned home from the neighboring village to pick up more supplies.  "What gave you the right to go behind my back? I had told her that she could wed Dirk."
"Ha! That is precisely why I intervened.  Dirk is a Taveryn!" Alana raged.  "Even worse, he is an illegitimate Taveryn!"

"Eryka is illegitimate, if you haven't noticed!"

"Of course I've noticed!" Alana snapped.  "And when Eryka is of an age, she'll be sent to the Abbey where she will not breed more Taveryns!"

 "No!" Baji yelled.  "You will not have a say in Darius' or Eryka's future! I am the heir. I am the Master in this manor.  Your place in my home is solely thanks to the love our Father had for you.  Although, if he had lived, I'm sure he would have been just as shamed by you as we have been!  Do not cross me on this or it will be you that goes to the Abbey!"

"Why I never!" Alana erupted.  "How dare you disrespect me in this manner!" 

But Baji was through talking.  He turned on his heel and marched off. 
But he still boiled with rage.  He couldn't believe Alana had gone behind his back and sold his little sister into a loveless marriage.  Oh, it was all on the up and up, dowry's were customary in the kingdom.  But, to knowingly arrange such a marriage to an elder when she loved another was most cruel!
Alicia attempted to console him.  "You have to let go of the anger.  We will not trust her and keep our eye on her.  Caira will be okay.  She is resilient.   And if we need to, we can always help her sneak off to the Abbey!"

That thought cheered Baji.  Reaching out, he grasped her hand.  "You always know the right thing to say, love."  He blessed the Celestial Orb daily for bringing her into his life.

Orb's Year 923
Baji stood at the register and tried to comprehend the words his sister had just tearfully delivered.
Hands shaking, he walked from the store...
...he flipped the sign to closed and walked to his home.
Gone. She was gone. Nothing remained but the bowl of food she'd prepared for the family.

Baji dropped to his knees and howled with pain and anger.  Noooooooooooooooooo.....

Alicia Marchant, Celestial Orb Years' 900-923

Baji brought flowers to the grave daily and talked to Alicia about his day and Farha.  He still couldn't believe she was gone.  A double blow to find out that she'd been carrying his child when she'd passed so suddenly.
It must have been weeks that Baji lost the will to live.  He would have happily rolled over in bed and joined his true love if not for one thing...
...Farha.


Orb's Year 924
Darius was glad that Devon Taveryn had come over.  They risked much if his mother discovered her here.  But, Devon said she'd come over anyways because he needed her after the loss of his sister-in-law.
Darius loved her for it.
"Come on. Up and at 'em.  You need to bathe! You reek of stink and sweat!" Barika said as she pushed and pulled Baji.  She alternately cursed and consoled him until he got out of bed.

"Is this a dream?" he asked her helplessly.

Barika hugged him tight with tears in her eyes.  "It's not.  I'm sorry brother.  She's gone."

Baji hung his head and squeezed his eyes shut against the pain.  He made a move to go back to the bed, but Barika stopped him.  "Farha needs her father, Baji.  She needs you."

Baji covered his face with his hands.  Everyone needed him... all the time...  With Alicia, she didn't need him.  She was with him... helping him.  But he had failed her somehow...

Barika pulled him out to the kitchen and put a bowl of food in front of him.  "Eat." she said sternly.
Then she grabbed Farha and bathed the child, making sure to play and laugh.
Then, carrying her into the living room, she sat down for a game of hide-and-seek.    She was glad to see the toddler smiling again!  Too much tragedy is her young life!

She sighed when Baji finished his meal and headed back to bed.  He needed time to heal. But, she wouldn't always be available to care for him...
In the end it was Farha that saved him...
"It's okay Daddy. I miss her, too!" Farha said as she reached up to hug her father and pat his cheek. 
Baji gazed down at his daughter and saw some of Alicia in her.  Alicia wasn't gone forever, she was right there in his daughter.

***

Baji carefully stepped into the store, worried about all the work that would be necessary to get it running again.
He'd been surprised to see Darius running the register & Eryka restocking.
Feeling grateful that his family had pitched in when he'd been unable, he'd grabbed Eryka into a bear hug.

"Well, we have to eat, too, you know..." Eryka tried to laugh it off, embarrassed by her brother's emotions.
He had surprised the entire family by coming out for dinner that night.  It was the first time they had eaten together as a family since Alicia's death.
As he went to bed that night, Baji finally felt like things were going to be okay....

2 comments:

  1. I've been reading stories the last few days and really enjoying them. I have to comment on this one. I am so annoyed at Alana for marrying off Caira to a stranger against her will. And I'm so sad that Alicia died. At first I thought Alana had died, but of course not. ;)

    Anyway, great stories! I'm addicted. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! I've enjoyed the medieval-slant with this game!

      I was so sad when Alicia died! She was the perfect wife for poor, put-upon Baji! If only it had been Alana!

      I thought that if there was anyone in the realm to marry off their child to someone they didn't want to marry - it would be Alana Marchant! Thankfully Baji has put her in her place!

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