Moon day

I lay awake in bed this morning, listening to the animal bellows from the street beneath my rooms, holding still and letting myself consider my day. It seemed like it would be a good day. Sev had gone out, and the children as well, and I had my breakfast and settled down to think afterwards. Shortly thereafter, I grew bored with that as well and went visiting, dropping by to see the infirm old woman down the hall. She was asleep, and I sat at her bedside. Even there the sound of the street carried to us, a low babble a little like running water. It didn’t rain today.

I was in a bit of a state by the time Sev came home for supper, and he was tired as well. He held me while I shook, though I did not feel like speaking about why I needed his attention. Sometimes, it is a blessing to simply be held. I kissed him, for not asking why. We retired to the bedroom for a little while.

Dinner was late, after the children finally trailed back in, looking proper little beggars and twice as smug with their lot. Sev informed them that they were not to skip their lessons again, and they bowed their heads and said, “Yes, lord father.” The twins, that is, to be clear.

Before dinner, Sev asked me, “Where are the children?”

“They went out before I woke. After you left for your meeting, I think?”

His smile twisted sideways.

“Not a meeting,” he said. “I was off recruiting.”

“How’d that go?”

“I terrified him out of his wits and he swore that if my demon face crossed his threshold again, he’d have me impaled.”

“Demon face?”

“Mask.”

I chuckled. He didn’t smile.

“So, the children are slipping away, are they?” My husband asked, as if he was not occasionally errant himself.

“I’m not sure it matters.”

“Lessons?”

“Do use complete sentences, please. The children’s lessons – honestly, I’m not sure what else to teach them. My memory is not that fine. We’ve gone through most of the songs and stories I remember well enough to be worthwhile, and I think they’ll enter open revolt if we spend four hours every day memorizing family lines.”

He laughed.

“We can’t have open revolt. That would be ahead of schedule.”

“Tch. You and your schedules.”

His smile turned crooked again, but it was a nicer sort of crooked.

“Schedules are important.”

“Tell the children that they’re to spend their mornings with me, and that they are free to spend their afternoons at large as long as they take care, run errands and, oh, say their prayers.”

He blinked at me, and smiled.

“You know, that sounds like quite a reasonable suggestion. I think I might well do something along those lines.”

I smiled back.

He repeated me verbatim at dinner. I despair.

Bad enough he lets me have my way so often, but does he have to make fun of me for it?

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