Taneevia migrated toward the pegs but her shield and sword fell short and tumbled to the cloakroom floor. She dragged her weary body through the galley and then struggled to open the pantry doorin search of some ginger tea. She positioned the kettle on the heater, set it to boil. Heard a knock?
Listened; looked up and to the right. No, it wasn't the sound of marauders sneaking around on her roof, an earthquake or an avalanche.
A voice? Did someone need rescuing, today of all days?
"Can I come in?"
What is this? Taneevia reached for her ribs to finger the spasms; razorsharp pains had doubled her over after she'd put the dragons to bed. Again the voice. Taneevia shook her head, heard herself say, "Come in."
"Good. My name is Mariah. I have been sent by Norah and Haron, your spirit guides. We have a lot of work to do. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get here."
Taneevia twisted toward the voice, the spasm still spasming from a place in her ribs she could not see. If she hunched over, as though searching for crawlers, she was able to breathe, albeit painfully, through the back of her throat.
"You have a rip in your solar plexus, the space beneath your sternum where your ribs come together. We know you have been trying to repair it. We really liked how you sent those thieves to Pivondorf in the Epiphany of Personal Pain. I guess you showed them! How you locked your solar plexus when they threatened to enter without permission."
Mariah plucked a feather from one of the folds of her flowing gown and began drawing circles in the air. "Unfortunately that maneuver is temporary. We will retrieve the key and unlock it so we can repair the rip. I am sending the Yellow Princess and the celestial surgeons to supervise the operation."
Mariah adjusted her halo. "It has also come to my attention that you have been struggling with an allergy to wands." Mariah drew three triangles in the air and sprinkled them with azure powder. "This is the remedy for that."
Then Maria handed Taneevia a studded leash. "Take this. Your struggle to determine who is a friend and who is a foe is obvious. What we observed between you and that woman from the Yob of Tary was quite unsettling. Brutus the Timber Dog will rumble when an enemy is near, so you will know which is which. It will be up to you to decide what to do."
Mariah opened a portal that appeared suddenly and reached inside. "We have been watching you collect tools to put in your tool chest, but I noticed you lack compassion. I will appoint you some so they will like you better."
Yes, they are everywhere. Compassion comes in various colors. What color would you like?"
Mariah pulled a beautiful toolbox from the portal and started taking things out. There was a vise, which she showed Taneevia how to use. A forge and a hammer, but Mariah discouraged those as they wouldn't be as effective as other forms when it came to pricking. A sword. And then Mariah produced a small dagger. She called it a lancet.
Taneevia liked that. A lancet.
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