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Night was falling as the three made their way towards the hall for the Spring Dance. “I can’t wait to get my hands on some of Bev’s fresh rolls and roast mutton,” Nocs said with a gleam in his eyes, “and some of her pie. I just wish the berries were ripe now….”
They approached the hall and were greeted by Marivon. She had changed her clothing to the dress of the Spring Mistress. Dark blue and golden silk scarves had been braided in her dark hair to represent the rain and sunshine. These scarves flowed down over a loose but fitted bodice patterned with spring green leaves on a background of light blue sky. A flowing skirt made of four individual overlapping brown silk panels hung nearly to the floor where her feet were wrapped in a tanned doeskin boot dyed to match the skirt. A black and white sash tied about her waist had the effect of connecting the different portions of the outfit into a cohesive whole.
“Welcome to the Spring Dance. May your Springs be filled with new growth, your Summers be ripened with the fruits of your labor, your Autumns filled by the harvest, and your Winters safe and warm with companionship. I see,” she said, turning to Trancy and giving ever so slight a bow, “that you have escorted the lovely Miss Ardon with you. I do hope that you both have a wonderful time on this most festive of occasions.”
“See,” Nocs said, “She doesn’t eat babies, Trance. And she even smells good! I think tha’ you two would make quite a pair. I mean, wha’ better!” he smiled into the combined glare of three sets of eyeballs, “A friend and companion for my best friends girl, and a lovely lady to escort me.” He flourished a hand and bowed, proffering a kiss towards Marivon’s hand. Marivon laughed, yet managed to avoid touch of his lips by turning and raising her hand in the formal gesture to draw attention.…Continue
The sun was still high in the sky as Temon emerged from the hall. “So there you are. I have made us a lunch. We can go… What is wrong, Temon?” Trancy asked, “You look as if you swallowed a sour pickle and it got stuck halfway down.” Temon just looked at her, unsure where to start.
“He, I, and the rest of the F… F… Damn it! … the rest of us got tri… tri… Oh, One World! They really did it to us, didn’t they, Temon?” said Nocs, eyeing the sacks that Trancy had, “Hey, is there any food in there?”
“Who did it, whatever it was? She did it, didn’t she. I knew I couldn’t trust the likes of her. What has she done?! I will let her know that she just can’t come walking in here and…”
“Slow down a minute, Trancy. There has to be a way to tell you.” Temon thought for a moment before continuing, “I have had my suspicions confirmed, but in such a way as to not be able to tell you what occurred. There is more that even Nocs doesn’t know…. Hey, I might be able to tell you that. That wasn’t in the room. But I am hungry, if we could get away from prying eyes and ears, I might be able to shed some light on this whole thing.”
With that Temon led the others away from relative bustle of the street in front of the hall to the center of the public commons where there stood a massive stump, the remains of the great cedar that had stood for 1000 years until, in the nature of all things, it died. Being thrifty folk, upon recognition of the fact that the tree was no longer going to live and bless their commons with its greatness, the townspeople carefully cut it down. The amount of wood that they recovered from the tree was enough to build four houses and heat them for two winters. From the stump they fashioned a series of benches all around the base, and a higher platform that overhung the benches. It was to this platform where…Continue
Jeffrey Fowle, an American detained in North Korea, speaks to the Associated Press, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and watched by officials as they spoke, called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)