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Interlude: Maiku Hall

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October 22, 2014 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

“I wonder why it’s called Maiku Hall1.” Riensin had only known his three-team for a few days but he’d already learned that getting her to talk about things she liked was the easiest way to get Kekdela to pay attention to him, and getting Taztyag to talk at all was useful – not because Riensin was particularly interested in Taztyag’s attention, but because when the boy didn’t talk, the teachers started glaring at Kekla, because she always talked, and then Riensin had to juggle both of them being miserable and charm the teachers.

He looked between them now, waiting for one of them to take the bait. “I know that the Houses are all named after successful graduates…”

Taztyag shrugged. “I know she was someone famous in Bapzhoom House, a teacher I think.” His hand made a gesture that might suggest curly hair, which wasn’t exactly explanatory.

“Oh! Oh, I heard that one. There’s a really wonderful portrait of her over in the Art Hall.” Kekdela jumped a little bit. “With the wild curls. I’ve only ever met two… no, seven, now… people with hair like that.”

“Seven?” Sometimes Riensin had trouble following the way Kekdela’s mind worked.

“Well, there’s two students, two instructors, and one woman on the cleaning staff who have the curls. None of them want me to draw them, though.” She pouted. “But I could do a portrait of Maiku. There’s several pictures of her in the archives in Art Hall, too. I think people really liked painting her. She has such a fun smile. Had, I suppose.”

“But who was she?” Curly hair. Only Kekdela would notice curly hair in a group of people who always had their hair in braids.

“Well, she was Maiku. I think she was a bit wild, I’d have to look up more of the stories to know. And she never married, I know that for certain.”

“Lots of people don’t marry.” Riensin, on the other hand, had full intention of marrying. Eventually.

“But seven hundred years ago? They said she was a Goat-Wife2, but she redefined it.”

“Redefined being a Goat-Bride.” Riensin glanced at Kekdela. “Is that admirable?”

“Well, yeah. It’s always neat when someone changes the world.”

[1] MYE-kuh, or, if you wish, Micah.
[2] See this story; a Goat-Wife (Goat-Bride, or Goat-Groom, Goat-Husband) is one who chooses service to the tribe (or, later, a job) over marriage and children.

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