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Chapter 6A: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors


September 27, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Enrie’s dreams were a strange combination of drowning in dark, bitter drinks and being followed around everywhere by Instructor Pelnyen. She woke feeling shaken and hurried to dress herself, fumbling with the buttons on her jacket and messing up her braids three times before getting them into something she would not be ashamed to see wearing. The cuffs of her linens were a loss; she failed entirely to get them properly set under her jacket and pants.

In the end, Kotke clucked gently at Enrie and straightened everything. “You complained in your sleep,” she told Enrie, quietly. “It seemed like not a good night for you.”

Enrie bit her lip. She was going to have to do something very nice for Kotke. “I’m sorry if I kept you awake.”

“No, no, it was not you.” Kotke looked out their narrow window. “Sometimes I do not sleep, that is all.”

“Maybe I’ll make you an infusion tonight. I believe I have the leaves my mother sent me with. Sometimes it helps with dreams, as well.”

Kotke smiled as she gave Enrie’s cuffs one last tug. “Perhaps we should both drink it. Perhaps we should brew some for the entire floor. There have been quite a few nocturnal talkings lately.”

“That would be a Diplomatic thing to do, wouldn’t it?” Enrie could always write home for some more of the herbs if she ran out. The letter might take a month to reach her parents, but she should probably write to them once in a while anyway.

Tonight. Tonight, she could sneak in a letter. Now – “I’ll be fine, Kotke. You don’t want to be late for breakfast again because of me.”

“I like helping.” Kotke tossed a light shawl over her shoulders. “It makes me feel like I am home.”

Enrie couldn’t help smiling. “That’s lovely.” What made her feel at home? Travelling, she supposed. Eavesdropping. Speaking of eavesdropping, she should see if she could find Lovdyo. “Thank you, Kotke. I’m glad you’re my roommate.”

She shrugged her own cloak, made certain her mittens were in the pocket, and trailed slowly out through the common room. There was Lovdyo, fiddling with his boot-laces. His braids bumped against his face, beads in Estya House colors making a fringe.

“Heading down to breakfast?”

As introductions went, it was not her most clever. Lovdyo peeked up at her through red and purple stones.

“Trying. But my bootlaces keep breaking.”

“Here.” Enrie pulled a spare from her pocket. “I twisted these up the other day. The ones they provide aren’t very good.”

“Oh.” He took the boot-lace, looking startled. “That’s very nice. You’re…” He squinted. “Enerenarie? Right? You share a room with Kotke from the North and Ledryie?” He began the tedious task of pulling out the broken lace from his boot and rethreading it.

Enrie couldn’t really help him with that so she sat down to keep him company. “That’s me. Room four.” She gestured loosely behind her towards the room. “You’re Lovdyo, right? You room with Kivsi and Balzhyas right by the back of the chimney?”

“Warmest room in the tower.” He grinned abashedly.

“I heard you talking with Kivsi the other day about the treaty—”

He looked up at her, the color draining from his face, and shook his head. “I have to go.”


  1. Rix Scaedu says:

    That’s an interesting reaction. I wonder why? ?? ???

    Is someone else playing in the same space, I wonder – and not nicely?

  2. Marina Brave says:

    She’s a keeper, En. Just let her adorably take care of you forever.

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