A Miracle in ThymeAdrian Juhl / Fantasy / Actions & Adventure
A Drift Worlds Christmas Tale
A Miracle in Thyme
Copyright © 2014 by Adrian L Juhl
All rights reserved
Adrian L Juhl
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental
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Glossary of Exotic Names
"So what are you going to give me, daddy?" Zemerela asked her father.
The crowded room bustled with activity. Magistrate Marcus sat on the floor beside his daughter. Her blond hair smelt of the delicate apple shampoo Gaiana had given her earlier that day. Marcus leant close to Zemerela and kissed her on the head.
"I'm afraid that's a tradition we don't celebrate here, Zem," he replied, as he reached into his robes and pulled out a small metal ring. Marcus slipped the ring into Zemerela's small hand and whispered, "But that doesn’t mean I can't give my baby girl something pretty."
Zemerela opened her hand and waved her hands in excitement, "Thank you, thank you, daddy!"
Gaiana sat at the head of the large group that had assembled for the Reconcilement blessing. She smiled as she watched the little girl hug her father in appreciation of the gift. Marcus hugged her back and whispered, "It's made from the ore on Ketu. I had it inscribed for you, so you will always know I'm thinking of you when I travel."
Salunas Tac stood to the side observing the happy children in the room with their parents. It was a rare moment on Aazronia, when the fathers could spend time with their families instead of defending the farmlands from Abomination attacks.
"I saw that!" shouted Marcus' wife from the doorway. Her shrill voice flooded the room. "We decided that Zemerela would have nothing to do with these silly rituals."
Marcus flushed with embarrassment as he tried to explain to his wife. "Marlina, it is just a small token-"
"Token? Token! It is more than just a small token. We’re under attack every day from evil creatures and this druid comes here with her little fantasy about Reconcilement while fathers die! How can she reconcile that?!"
"It's not like that all, Marlina!" Marcus protested.
"Oh? Well, where were the Rangers when we needed them? She won't even tell Dalynia to remain on Aazronia. Isn't she supposed to be the ambassador? We have no healing magic and yet, Dalynia does nothing to heal our sick and injured. They prefer instead to sip cups of green tea and tell stories of a fat man wandering the worlds giving out gifts! It’s deplorable." Marlina did nothing to hide the disgust on her face as she looked down her nose at Gaiana.
Gaiana looked close to tears when Marcus caught her gaze. He turned and nodded at Salunas, pleading with his eyes.
"I want this woman out of here! Get this-" Marlina fell silent as the Coercers' magic overpowered her will.
Marcus breathed a sigh of relief. He held his upset daughter closer to his chest. "It's okay, Zem. You know your mum gets a bit upset sometimes."
Zemerela nodded to her father. He looked at Gaiana. "I'm so sorry. It seems I can rule a nation under siege, but not one woman. I fear as a husband, I must take a separate path. Please, continue your tale. We may not believe in your traditions, but your tales take us away from our every day worries, and are a very rare gift indeed."
Marcus turned, and as he did so, Zemerela opened her hand and dropped the small silver ring onto the floor in front of Gaiana. Gaiana leant down and picked up the ring. She smiled and placed the ring back in Zemerela’s hand. Zemerela opened up her hand and watched it tumble back to the floor. Gaiana looked up and froze as Zemerela glared at her, her face full of anger, as her father carried her away.
Unsure, she sat back down on the floor. Marcus looked at Salunas and whispered, "Wipe her memories, please. She came down and found us standing outside, refusing to take part."
"Are you certain?" Salunas replied.
Marcus looked at his daughter. "Yes, I'm sure. Zemerela deserves better than this tonight."
"As you wish, Magistrate."
Marcus paused, sensing the anger in Zemerela as she watched Salunas wipe her mother's mind.
Marlina looked around the room startled. "Marcus?"
"I'm here, darling. I'm afraid you've had another episode. Should I ask our guest to have a look at you?"
Zemerela reached out for her mother, who automatically reached for her. "Nonsense. They've never offered to leave a physician here in the past, why start now?"
"As you wish. Shall we go dear, or would you like to stay?"
"No. I've fulfilled my duties here, and not a moment too soon."
Salunas nodded to Marlina as they left the room. He walked up and sat down in the open space left by Marcus, and listened to Gaiana's tale of Reconcilement and the Great Gifter - A being who traveled the worlds bringing happiness to the lives of children. He left them special gifts they desired in their hearts, but dared not speak of.
Gaiana finished her tale. "And so that is why we give gifts. With our actions, we sow the seeds we live by."
Salunas picked the small ring up off the floor and remarked, "The seeds we sow. Yes, I understand now." He stood up and kissed Gaiana on the cheek as she prepared to leave for Ketu. "Thank you, Gaiana. Your message found at least one heart today."
"Thank you, Salunas. I'm pleased to hear our traditions can be appreciated. Even out here."
"Keep telling your tales. I'm not sure if the Ferals will appreciate it, but I will try to help as well by visiting the men on duty. Perhaps they will enjoy the tale more than our first lady."
"Thank you, Salunas. Remember, it's just a tale for a simple time of giving."
Salunas looked at Gaiana and smiled. "No. I think it’s more than that."