The wind in the river, p.1
THE WIND IN THE RIVER
by Cheyenne Lynnae
It had rained the night they held the funeral. It was held on the highest hill in the kingdom. As per tradition they sent the dead off with fire, but this time they tinted it blue with herbs. Neither Peter, nor I attended. Instead we watched from the castle. We had busied ourselves with war preparations. We told ourselves it was so we could prevent others from losing their equivalent of Trina and Kathy, although we both knew that wasn’t the whole truth. I shook the memory and the accompanying thoughts away, pushing them to the back of my mind, as I peered into another supply cupboard and took note of the contents. Not enough, we had nowhere near enough. A moan came from one of the infirmary beds behind me. I turned to see Kalina, another one of the nurses, attending a man with a heavily bandaged leg. The doors opened.
“Captain." a few of the nurses said, with bobbed curtsies.
“Ellasis, how are the supplies looking." I looked into his eyes, and could see the dead look in them, I knew my face reflected the same. All of us were acting as if everything were alright, normal, but they weren’t.
“I don't know how they got so depleted. How soon can we get more?"
“Perhaps a fortnight, depending on how much you need, we should have a fair amount stored in our emergency vaults that can be added to the bunch." I nodded, and handed him the parchment I held.
“The list. I have to go to the hot house and see what can be done about growing the amount of herbs that will be needed to treat so many soldiers. I need to send for my remedy book from my rooms. The recipes that they have in these books here just aren't quite right. Peter, I don't know if I can manage this, perhaps they should have asked someone else to be in charge I’m only-"
"Ellasis, stop. You and I both know that you are the only person who can do this job. I will send one of my men to go get the book,” I nodded. “Ellasis, you and I both know this situation is grim. There are no guarantees that our kingdom will survive this let alone win this war, but isn't this what we learned from their death? Courage without guarantee, and hope without reason or logic? If any one of us gives up, we will seal our fate, and the kingdom's as well."
"You're right, I apologize."
"I can not say that all will be well, because we don't know that, but I wish I could." Peter gave her a hug and began to leave.
"Me too, Ellasis, I'd be worried if you weren't," he said, then left. I closed the cabinet doors.
"Kalina, you're in charge until either I or Head Nurse return, I must go to the hot house." Kalina nodded, and I exited out the grand doors. I crossed the courtyard, and went into the woods along the back of the castle. Once I found the path, I walked along it until I found the clearing where the hot houses had been built. The doors propped open, the sun shining down, I could hear Agatha humming from one of the houses. I smiled.
“In here, dearest!" Agatha said. I slipped through the door of one of the hot houses.
“Ooh those blasted Hingalstens, I could just string them up by their ears for betraying us like this. The little cowards, couldn't even give us the proper time to prepare. They could all use a good whipping, I could just take them on my knee and whip them black and blue, every single one of them. Like spoiled children, they are. Just give me five minutes with them and I could straighten them out. A firm hand is what they need." I smiled.
“I have no doubt that you most certainly could, although I fear there are for too many of them for one knee," I said. Agatha's slightly plump frame, dimpled, pink, cheeks, and gray hair was the image I had envisioned as a child of what a fairy godmother would look like. I could feel myself begin to calm, and my mind become clearer with the lighthearted conversation.
“I'm assuming you're here for a reason other than to interrupt my work for a little conversation."
“You're right." I sighed. "We are going to need to grow far more medicinal herbs we’ve ever attempted to grow in the past, in preparation for this war. I have come to ask you what's possible and what's not so possible," I said, and handed her the list. Agatha glanced through it then put her hands on her hips.
“You're expecting me to grow all this?"
“Hoping more like, and I will help to my best ability."
“Well it's possible, but I don't know that it's possible in the time frame we have."
"I have created a plan that will enable us to make the herbs that we do have go as far as possible, while the others grow. I have also instructed some of the grounds crew to create a sort of discreet cellar near the infirmary so we may store them there when they are grown." Agatha pursed her lips.
"I don't like it. Trying to grow this amount of herbs, with such a large variety, and in such a short time. It is a fool's errand, but I suppose if there were any time to be a fool it would be now."
“Thank you." I said, rising onto my toes to give her a kiss.
“Get on with you, child. I have a lot of work to do, thanks to you."
"I'm flattered, but I'd give my thanks to those spoiled rotten Hingalstens." I said, leaning against the door frame.
“I’ll tan your hide as well as theres if you don't let me get back to my work." Agatha said. I just smiled, and left.
The Wind In the River by Cheyenne Lynnae / Fantasy have rating 3.9 out of 5 / Based on39 votes