Stories / Anve /

Lighttime

As the sun dips over the horizon, the mist outside begins to light up with gentle glows. I walk out to the porch, nestle on the bench as rain patters overhead. The lightwrights have begun their patrols, silently marching thru the passages, or floating down the creeks in boats, their wares dancing at their waists. I spot a girl with vials of vibrant, gold-flecked magenta, and approach her. We exchange pleasantries and coin, and she goes about her way. I turn back to the porch, and sit down next to my sister, who's just wandered out. I pass her the vials, and her eyes are wide with glee.

"Pretty!" says Nalichenda.

"There's a clever new wright on our route," I say.

We wait for a while, talking, occasionally darting out into the passages as a wright with a desirable ema-vial passes. Night falls, and we go back inside, passing the vials to the slaves, who begin the task of pouring the lights in the townhouse. Soon the lounge is lit by a pale violet light, the globes lining the walls glowing with the luminescent fluid.

Mother returns, late, tired. She sinks into her favorite chair in the lounge. We make conversation as my elfin bedslave nestles her head against my breasts. Mother has been overseeing maintenance of the farms. Nali finds this terribly boring.

I tell mother of my firecraft progress. She is visibly relieved. The sooner I can bind blades worth selling, the sooner we can stop worrying so much about finances. The subtext escapes Nali, and I'm thankful for it. She does not need to know how close we are to poverty.

Midnight comes, and the ema-lights have begun to fade. We make for bed while there is still light.