A Master In His Own Home
Vestian's eyes felt heavy, and his throat dry. He carefully opened one
eye lid. It looked like morning from the way the sun was peaking in
through the curtain. A chorus of raised voices from another part of the
cot told him for sure it was well passed dawn. Slowly, he pushed
himself up into a sitting position. What a night.
He turned to look if there might be some water left for him on the
nightstand beside his bed. There was indeed. Wives were a good thing
sometimes. And sometimes children where _not_! What were they
screaming about? The voices were quickly hushed, but his head had felt
every noise shoot straight to his temples. As he reached for the water,
his fingers brushed a braid he had left there. That brought a slight
smile to his face. Forgetting the water completely, he lifted up the
knots and ran them through his hand.
The night before had been quite the celebration. There had been nothing
but praise for his work, which had hung from every wall and stood on
stands around the room. People had walked around admiring his talent,
praising his skill. Even the Hallmaster himself had congratulated him
on his triumph before handing him his Master's knots to cheers of the
on-lookers. He was the pride of the Hall for a night, and Almonteo
personally asked him to decorate the wall of his new office with a
mural. Honor upon honor. And the marks came in, as well. He had
inquiries for nearly half of his paintings, marks for half of those, and
several people asking when he could be available to paint a portrait for
**I did it...** he thought with a look of pride in his eye. Everything
he had worked to hard for over Turns and Turns had not only come to
pass, but in a blaze of glory.
But another shout from the other room reminded him that the night was
over, and now... What happens now?
**Now, I want klah,** Vestian decided, swinging his legs over the side
of the bed. He was still wearing his pants from the night before, he
noticed, but he hardly cared at this moment. The hardwood floor was
cold, but not nearly so much as the Weyr's had been. Over the Turns, he
had made enough marks that when time came for the artists to move to the
new Hall, he was privileged enough to build his family a nice big cot on
the edge of the property with plenty of room for all of them, and space
for growth besides. But that just made his trip down to the kitchen
that much longer.
Stepping down from the bottom stairs and turning towards the kitchen, a
little girl came tearing around the corner. Her head came up no higher
than his waist, but high enough that when she smacked straight into him,
it caused a new flash of pain that throbbed just as much as his head did
at that moment. "Lelldora, you shouldn't be running in the cot. Watch
where you're going, all right?"
The eight turn old completely ignored him and whipped around her
father like a runner on the race track, laughing as she ran away from
her toddler sister.
"Lelldora!" her mother said sharply. "Do as your father says and sit
down! Breakfast is ready."
Of course Aponia took that moment to scream distress at her sister for
taking her toy and plunked her bottom down on the floorboards for a
good squall. Porenne scooped up the toddler and went on tiptoe to kiss
her husband's cheek. "Sorry dear," she put the little girl on her hip
and went back for the plate of breakfast cakes their drudge had
prepared. Then she grabbed the toy out of her older daughters hand
while pushing her chair up to the table with her knee. She placed the
baby into her high chair and put the toy on the tray. "Epsorio!
Breakfast!" she called and touched her husbands arm. "Anything to
If the thought did not turn his stomach a little, he probably would have
asked for a stiff drink right about then. Especially when his son also
came running around the corner and bumped into him with a "Sorry
Father." Vestian was not even going to say a word. Sometimes words
were unnecessary. Instead, he just pointed to the pot of klah.
She turned and immediately retrieved the pot and a mug. "Here you go
dear," she said as she brought them to the table.
Vestian took his seat and reached for the mug and the pot, pulling them
closer so he could pour a nice full cup. As he reached to set the pot
down, Aponia decided to get up on her knees on her seat in order to
reach the juice, bumping the table hard as she did so and sending hot
klah sloshing down into her father's lap.
"Aponia!" he roared, standing up quickly before the unpleasantly hot
liquid soaked his trousers. Too late. "When you want something, _ask_
for it, all right?" With an angry shake of his head he walked over to
the sink and grabbed a washcloth.
"My goodness Vestian," Prenne gasped. She was sorry for the spill but
obviously their tiny daughter hadn't realized what she was doing and
melted into tears. "She's only three."
She picked up the baby and mopped at the mess on the table.
Vestian threw the rag back into the sink and gripped the edge. Sure,
outside these walls he was praised, he was admired, he was respected.
Outside these walls, he was a _Master_. But inside... **What am I
doing here? How did I ever end up here?** Well, he knew where he was
Pulling out the bag of marks from his pocket, now soaked with klah, he
threw it on the table as he passed. "I'm going to my studio. I have
work to do."
She looked up startled as the bag of marks slammed down in front of
her. "Vestian?" Her shoulders sagged and she shook her head. For a
moment she watched his back and couldn't understand why he was so
angry over a little spill. Then the children began their next yelling
match and she had to deal with it... alone... again.
Last updated on the March 27th 2013