Posted by: jolantru | February 17, 2010

Third Branch: Earth Movements.

Josh was safe. His little restaurant escaped relatively unscathed. A couple of eateries in the same row had overturned tables and cracked walls. A small fire broke out near Lambs Quarters, swiftly put out by the well-trained City fire crews. The chefs gathered together and helped clear the streets, ferrying some of the injured to the Infirmaries in ma-drawn carriages.

We had Josh rested and fed him home-made oyster fritters. Then Auri gently broke the news to him, her eyes still sad. He simply held her hands and said nothing, just giving her support.

Auri soon retreated into her craft room where she stringed her beads in silence, illuminated by candlelight. She often crafted when she was upset or perturbed. The mood in our little apartment was heavy; I walked on tip toe, not daring to speak. My heart ached and I could only dart quick looks into the darkened room, where Auri worked, beads in her nimble fingers, half-hidden by her beads and mobiles.

When we went to bed, we did not speak, only resting against each other, our naked bodies providing the physical closeness, bare skin against bare skin. I watched Josh and Auri sleep; she was curled into a tight ball, stirring uneasily as if troubled by unpleasant dreams. I stroked her arms, seeing her finally relax and settle down. Throughout the night, the ground rumbled subtly, like a slumbering beast stirring and about to wake up. I kept my vigil, staring at the swaying glass mobiles casting slivers of light on the walls.

~*~

Auri’s Bead Bookmarks

Leather strips.
Beads of your choice.

1. Measure the leather strip so that it fits the length of the page.
2. String two beads, tying both ends so that the beads form the top and the bottom.

~*~

Morning saw us cleaning up the mantel. The oyster shells had fallen off, after a particularly strong tremor. I picked the broken shards, feeling their sharp edges and a sense of foreboding. Auri went about cleaning the floor, her demeanour pensive. She would be like this for a few days. Auri was just being Auri. We had gone through many upheavals and we had emerged stronger, the Triad relationship more resilient than ever.

Josh left early to open his restaurant. He had a new shipment of oysters coming from my village. My heart contracted painfully. I yearned for news from my home.

Auri…

I managed to catch her before she headed off to her Advanced class. I pulled herself into my embrace, feeling her sigh softly against my shoulder. “Auri, Auri, Auri.” I said again and again.

She hugged me, kissing my cheeks, feather-soft, feather-tender. We would weather this. We would.

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