Quasi-Indefatigable Xenolith



An Unexpected Reunion

I love my wife very much and I am certain that she will not be enamored toward the writing style I have chosen to employ in this book. I anticipate that she will say that I jump between events far too abruptly, that I totally ignore the kind of descriptive detail that typical readers of novels expect and like, that I skip over parts of the story that she would like to hear more about, and that I spend far too much time philosophizing. In honor of the woman I love and legions of other avid novel-readers that hopefully have made it this far, I humbly offer yet another stylistic departure from what I have done previously.

For your information, I didn't start this chapter with an obscure philosophical statement. Nor did I bother much with proper syntax, but that is not really much of a change.

The guest bedroom of the Baroness of Herring is an interesting study in the various ways one can combine the colors violet, black, and a sort of turquoise blue-green. All the furniture is obviously finely-crafted and richly adorned, speaking of the affluence of their present owner, but nothing seems to match well with anything else and strikes me as being a bit gaudy. Although it is into the afternoon and there is a window set conveniently into the west wall that would have let the sun's rays illuminate the room, the drapes are pulled shut, as if to show off the black embroidery upon the black velvet curtain that one really didn't notice until one came very, very close. Of course, if one came very, very close to see the stitching, one couldn't appreciate the scene being depicted on the drape, which was of the glorious Baroness herself being worshiped on bended knees by five men. Seeing how the marvelously wonderful picture was sewn into the black drape with black thread, it really loses much of its aesthetic appeal and any ability to actually be seen, but that's totally lost on Mullicynda, who pulled the drapes open almost immediately upon being escorted into the room by a rather homely dame.

With the richly worked but totally unappreciated drapes out of the way, the glaring sun did do a bit toward washing out the wretchedly dark color scheme of the room, while also making the place intolerably hot almost immediately. Mulls was still dressed in the plain dame dress that marked her status before the late night abduction, but it was becoming sweat-stained in some very un-glamorous places. Now that she was back to being a prospective Lady, she was simply glistening as opposed to sweating like the lower classes, and a finely tailored pink party dress and heels had been laid out on the bed to make the final point that her status had recently changed. The bedspread sadly was also black like the drapes, the dress and shoes standing out starkly against it, and outlined in black stitch-work upon it was the glorious contest moment when the Baroness had won her current title, though again this could not readily be seen from any vantage point. Mullicynda sighed, knowing that pink was not even close to her most flattering color. She would have done better on all accounts to tear up the drapes and the bedspread to fashion a gown a little more becoming for herself. Unfortunately, abducted women are usually unaccompanied by their sewing kits and the girl would just have to make do with whatever the Baroness had to hand.

To break up most of the fabrics in the room, which continued the trend of being black with expensive black embroidery that no one could really see or appreciate, the walls were blissfully done in an antiqued sort of turquoise, complete with veins of other colors and textures, as if the room had been chiseled from the namesake mineral itself. The southeast corner gave the impression that some mold had not only taken up residence there, but had established a fine culture that was beginning to spread across the adjoining walls. Mulls took the further step of actually approaching the budding civilization and was relieved to discover that it was only a very intricate bit of painting and plaster-work and not something fated to kill her in her sleep.

The floor was carpeted from wall to wall in a deep violet that was mirrored in the ceiling color, both textured in large swirling patterns that utterly failed to match anything else in the room, but were obviously done with great skill and at great expense, as everything else in the room seemed to be. It was as if the decorator of the room, who had no sense of style at all, had stumbled upon a partial text regarding interior design, taken what she read to heart, and spared no expense to make the most well-appointed atrocity to decorating that Firsthome would ever know. The ultimate problem was that Mullicynda had to live here and stomach the tutelage of the designer, her most gaudy Baroness of Herring.

Like everything else, the pink dress proved to be made of the best materials, but ultimately a study in exactly how not to tailor a garment. In spite of Mulls' inherent beauty and grace and uncanny ability to make even common clothes look good, she was up against overwhelming odds with a dress that worked hard to appear as if the girl were engulfed in pink fire. It was tapered at the hem, nearly coming to a point at her calves, widening at the hips, practically exploding up her bodice in pointy tongues, and finally ended in cones of fabric that jutted skyward from her shoulders. She had the misfortune of seeing a mirror before she was adequately prepared and frightened herself at what she saw in it. Of course, it in no way interfered with her beauty, but she looked as if she were some sort of clown in a tragic play and her gorgeous face was not looking very pleased with its fate.

Mulls dealt with her situation by weeping, which any intelligent girl would do in her place.

Fortunately, two burly men burst into the room, distracting her from the horrifying decor, caring in the large bundle of burlap Mullicynda had first been "introduced" to on her abduction ship, doing their best to bow and honor their new Miss. The bundle was scrumptiously dumped on the floor and, with further bows and obvious aversions of eyes, probably before the men could burst out laughing over the ridiculous dress the poor girl was modelling, they happily exited the visually assaulting room.

Everything else blissfully forgotten for the moment, the girl concentrated on opening the package that contained what Symantha had called a "guest". Whatever it was, it was wrapped quite well in several layers of covering and, as Mulls had no knife or other useful implement at hand to quicken the work, she set to work unwinding what seemed like an endless roll of coarse fabric. After a time and lots of rolling the parcel about, arms and legs emerged from the burlap that infused the girl with a sense of urgency that the occupant wouldn't suffocate or succumb to extreme claustrophobia, even though the man inside was obviously unconscious and didn't react at all to being pushed about. It certainly wasn't a very well-kept man, appearing quite dirty and smelling quite bad, as if he had been stolen and baled up right out of working in some fishing hold.

Whomever had done the wrapping had apparently wished the bundled man to remain unknown until the very last, for the final wraps hid the man's face alone. The body was thin and a bit scrawny, so plastered with the slime of fish that Mulls had to peal off the innermost layers and cringe at the putrid odor of rot that had begun to set in. Perhaps the man was already dead and moldering here, but the young Miss was determined to know who this man was, if only to keep her mind off of her appalling surroundings. The last fold peeled away and in excitement, she embraced the limp figure.


As if to stave off any fears of his death, the disgusting figure gasped for breath and coughed out a dirty rag that had been shoved into his mouth before his premature mummification had been attempted. He wasn't really coherent yet, which was good for Mulls as she wrestled and rolled the man roughly across the now stained violet carpeting, through an adjoining bathroom door, and heaved him into a turquoise colored bathtub with a violet rim around it. She carefully rinsed off his entire form, forgetting for the moment that this was the first time she had seen the man naked, starting with his now misshapen-ed head from the blow he took from his abductors and working down to the feet that had been wading in fish guts ever since he had last seen her. By the time she had finished the job, Daavor had his eyes open and was looking about with that kind of sleepy, lolling half-consciousness that people with head injuries will display.

Although Daavor was reasonably clean for the first time in a number of days, the obnoxious dress was now stained with the things that had come off the man, to Mullicynda's complete indifference. It would have been a happy thought, if it had occurred to her, that she would be given a different dress as the Baroness would likely order this one burned. It was also likely that the Baroness would recoil with horror at the slimy mess on her fine carpeting, which might blessedly require its removal and replacement. With any luck at all, the new carpeting wouldn't match the decorating taste of the good Baroness and the entire room itself, furnishings and all, would have to be redone. Further good fortune would likely result in Mulls' evacuation to temporary quarters that would probably be some Dame's room that would be much more plain and unadorned and probably be far less assaulting to anyone's taste, except for the Baroness. If I could, I would like to chalk all of this up to a generous God once again, providing for the small, unspoken, and even un-thought-of desires of a young woman's heart.

All Mullicynda could do was hold and kiss her Daavor and thank the God of the Mariner that she had him back.

Next Chapter...

Copyright, Jason Nemrow. All rights reserved.