So, I spent the morning practicing my Line. I felt great improvement in my Skipping abilities, and it gave me hope. Although I also felt exhausted. I suppose it takes a lot of energy away. I didn’t know what that would mean for the stunt I planned for the final miracle, but I ignored that for now. I was certain things would work out. Performing the first actual active point of the prophecy was nerve wracking, but we managed. People had been so curious about what the coloured void would be, and once they saw it, they were even more surprised. I loved all of the reactions, until *pwang of bows*
[Music in background]
This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
[Music louder and solo]
Episode 42: the coloured void
The small windows of the stock house didn’t let much of the daylight through. The interior’s dim gloom revealed enough to show it was still empty, as expected. At least Nadec hadn’t Skipped into the pool this time, and Blackie didn’t look as if she was about to throw up.
‘So far, so good,’ Nadec said out loud, relieved at the successful first part of the plan. She’d Skipped Blackie along without touching her. The next part will be more difficult, she thought. But they’d practiced enough. A sense of exhaustion settled in her entire body. She hoped the morning of practice hadn’t drained her too much for what’s to come.
‘Alright, let’s do this. Get ready to begin flying. And then descend as slowly as you can.’
Blackie appeared to smirk at her while saying in Nadec’s mind: ‘Know I. Not worry. Tense less.’
‘I’m not… Ugh, maybe I’m a little bit nervous. But it has to go well, so much is at stake. If we mess this up, the rest of the prophecy won’t matter because people won’t believe in it anymore. If they even do now. Probably too early for that. That’s why this has to work.’
‘Will it.’ Blackie’s voice managed to be soothing in Nadec’s head.
Without another word, Nadec opened one of the double doors and stepped outside of the building. The street was empty. Good.
She looked up, fixating on a point high in the sky. Her gaze returned to Blackie inside of the building. The dragon opened her wings as far as she could in the confines of where she was, Nadec began the Skipping process; opening and closing her legs with her hands almost, but not quite, following. With her jaw tight, a line between her downward brows, and lips pressed together, she kept the point in the sky firmly in mind while keeping eye contact with Blackie. The build-up of Power peaked. Blackie vanished.
Nadec looked up again. She couldn’t see anything.
Blackie’s voice in her head reassured her that she hadn’t sent Blackie too high—or somewhere else completely.
The street was still empty. Nadec went back into the building, closing the door behind her. She staggered as she bent through her knees again. She Skipped.
Nadec’s head banged the wooden door in front of her as she appeared. Through the heart-shaped opening, she saw the back of a woman facing several men and women in a small courtyard.
‘Calm down, come now, my friend is in there. She shall be done soon.’
‘There isn’t anyone, I saw you shut it empty. And no visible feet. What are you trying to do here, lady?’ The gruff male voice sounded as if this wasn’t the first time he’s asked that same question, and was about to lose his patience.
‘Then I think you might be going blind,’ Nadec said as she exited the privy, which was nothing more than a plank with a round cutout above a hole in the ground. Gross as it was, Nadec still liked it much better than having merely a pit in the middle of a courtyard.
‘Hold on a minute.’ The man the voice belonged to had grey hair over combed to the other side of his head and tight pants tucked into overturned boots. He was obviously not from here. No hat. Pants too long. Boots different.
‘No, I will not hold on. As if it’s not bad enough to get pestered by men while I’m doing all I can to hurry up. Do you have ANY idea what it takes for a woman, wearing a dress,’ she gestured towards her circle skirt, ‘like this, to do her business in a confined space like that? Do you have a clue of how many layers these clothes have, and how much effort it takes to avoid soiling them? Do you?’
She felt herself getting genuinely upset and decided to go with it. ‘You men have it easy, you don’t even have to take off your trousers. You only have to take your little sausage through the slit, aim, and go. And then you still often manage to misaim .’ She let her voice grow louder. ‘It is not right that women are expected to relieve themselves in the same tiny space that men do. We deserve more. We need more.’ She had gathered a crowd in the courtyard, people hearing the commotion from inside of the inn and getting curious. Several women cheered.
‘Women need larger facilities. If I was a ruler, I would make this a requirement. Separate privies for women. With hooks and accessories to help us keep the garments out of the way. Women privies, women privies, …’ All the women in the courtyard chanted those two words along with her.
‘Come on, they’re distracted. We have the arrival of a myth to look for.’ She glanced towards Ayba, who looked out at the crowd with wide-open eyes.
Nadec made her way towards the inn’s open back door. Ayba followed. Right before entering, Nadec yelled out: ‘Don’t forget to look up, for a myth shall appear there soon. So the Prophecy of The Real Heir goes.’
She hurried through the inn, onto the Square, hoping there had been enough people and confusion to avoid being followed by strangers with bad intentions, especially ones connected to the Order of The End. Ayba caught up and stepped in line next to her.
‘That was…’ Ayba began, but Nadec cut in.
‘Foolish, rash, idiotic? I should stay hidden and don’t draw attention to me, not go and start a female revolution for larger shit houses. I probably shouldn’t even be walking about in the open like this.’
‘Extraordinary. When we talked before, in the very inn I just saw you inspire many people, you said you were not a leader. You admitted you were scared for being a Queen, because you thought you are not. I can tell you now, you are. That was incredible.’
Feeling uncomfortable with the compliment, Nadec made a non-committal sound and looked up. Blackie should be visible soon.
‘All good?’ She sent mentally.
‘Coming down,’ Blackie replied cheerfully.
‘There!’ Ayba pointed up.
Other people saw her point up. Their gazes swept upwards.
‘What is it?’ People whispered to each other, questioning their companions about what the myth—the coloured void—might be. A smile blossomed on Nadec’s face as she saw Blackie descending closer, her shape gradually growing from a speck, to a bird, to a bat, and finally, to the unmistakable dragon. Gasps filled the Square Market.
As Blackie came closer, the iridescent colours of her scales became more obvious. The dragon dazzled in the sunlight. Nadec felt a weird moment of pride.
‘It’s coming closer, run!’ someone yelled. Nobody moved. The whole crowd stood transfixed on the unbelievable appearance of a myth. Blackie circled above the Square for a while, making sure to keep some distance to avoid people getting scared. She then settled on the highest tower of the castle.
‘Such magnificence,’ Ayba shouted. ‘We are unworthy.’ And with elaborate gestures, she went down in an exaggerated bow, holding the posture in the lowest position.
‘Yes, if this is true, then perhaps the prophecies are real,’ Nadec yelled, also bowing.
People around them looked flabbergasted for a second, before bowing as well. It didn’t take long before all the people in the Square stood still in a curtsy.
‘Succes, all bow.’ Blackie sounded smug in Nadec’s head.
‘Now roar,’ Nadec sent to her.
An overwhelming roar sounded, impressing Nadec and startling everyone upright. Blackie looked down upon them from the tower. She did an expert job at appearing to judge every single person.
A disturbance at the castle gates moved aside the awestruck people. Guards rushed out, urging everyone to get on with their business. The Square buzz picked up again, although many quick glances kept being shot towards Blackie. Entertainers started entertaining again, food vendors yelled out their specialties once more. The coronation festivities continued, now with an extra layer of expectation.
‘That was perfect,’ Ayba said.
Nadec grunted in agreement.
‘Oh, I see. That’s the queenly version of saying, yes, the plan went well, that was a great idea, the prophecies were a brilliant plan.’ She quirked an eyebrow. Nadec hardly saw.
She did see arrows striking up towards Blackie.
You have been listening to Nadec, chapter 42 the coloured void
Narrated, adventured and lived through by myself, Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. [music on background]