IN THE COURT OF THE SONG SLAYER
Arianna Arabelle Erisyn Eros
Commander Rius Andros, Space Marines, Veryona
Planets: Veryona, Earth
The word “Marine” was generally inclined more towards that of distant oceans on the planet Earth, but, in relativity, the word was concocted to that of the planet Earth, and not of oceans in the universe in general. The term “Marine” derived from Old English; Middle English.
She was the song slayer, the woman from Veryona.
It was the world beyond worlds; the world beyond time and space. Or, rather, it was situated between the 32nd galaxy and the 43rd galaxy. Her mother said there were over three hundred thousand trillion galaxies in this universe alone, and it spun endlessly. Her father was Commander Rius Andros, of the 31st Space Marine Corps. “Marine” was a strange word. She didn’t know it could be applied to space, as well.
Her full name was Arianna Arabelle Erisyn Eros. She had flowing blonde hair, piercing purple eyes, and a ruby in the middle of her forehead. She demonstrated interesting abilities when she was five. She had the gift of telekinesis; and Cat-pathy, the ability to communicate with felines in space. She generally bent spoons; then, when she realized spoon-bending was an old art, she lifted entire tables off the air and sent them spinning out the window. She almost destroyed her neighbor’s backyard with a brown wooden table from Earth. Earth and Veryona were on good communication terms; they agreed to have skirmishes every three hundred million years, when Mars, the god of war, thought it was necessary to put the universe back on balance. Which was whenever he felt like it.
In the dictionary, war was described as “the ability to harness powers in an evil manner.”
Arianna smiled primly. She had been studying her primer. She was three hundred seventy four years old, and barely reached adulthood. Her hair was long and flowing and her best friend was a manitee. A manitee was an animal that had brown fur and bristly hair. The bear’s eyes were pools of blackness.
Arianna held the book out in front of her. The book was old and the pages were torn in two. The pages were torn in two and she couldn’t ask for another. Her Mentor, who was also called “William,” was a very stern teacher. He had seen a lot of battles and went to Tyn to fight in the wars. Tyn was a long ways away, and Arianna dreamt of leaving her castle. Did she forget to mention? She was a princess. She hated it. She was stuck inside all day and had nothing to do. She felt like crying all the time. The boys from her school came to visit her and played cricket and handball. She watched, sitting under the tree, reading a book. She wasn’t talking to any of the boys. They only played games. They were ordered to by her father; she wasn’t supposed to talk to boys, only girls. She could play with the boys, though, but she didn’t feel like playing.
One day, a young servant came to deliver a set of hand-washed clothes. He said his mother was a Ljnn, someone who could weave magic from nothing. Her father only hired the best. It was all he could do. He had so much money he didn’t know what to do with it. He had so much money, he was greedy and thoughtless and slept with woman after woman. Arianna was studying in the kitchen. She liked to study in the kitchen with the cook, a Khr Sa’in. She was not Earthling. She was from a planet called Iare. She said people lived on the world and they were very small, tiny. Their eyes were usually gold or purple and they lived their lives singing songs. Arianna didn’t believe her. The servant left, and Arianna paid no mind. She was used to people coming and going. She was used to people doing odd things in her presence. She was, after all, a princess. She collected her homework and went up to her room. Exhausted, she fell onto the bed, and her mouth hung open. She looked out the window and the clock tower was in the distance, shorn of silver and stone. She had never been to the clock tower. Old Man Niles lived in the clock tower. He was very cranky and had a big nose and narrowed eyes. She wanted to visit the clock tower one day.
The next morning the sun was a brilliant blue, and Arianna went outside to practice bow and arrow. The target was an apple in a tree. The leaves of the trees were very big, broad, and green. The sun shone through the branches. The sun was fierce and hot. A man wandered over to her. It was her teacher.
“What are you doing?” she asked him.
He frowned at her. “I was studying astronomy!” he replied. “Looking at the stars. Don’t you ever wonder about the stars? Don’t you ever dream? Don’t you ever think, be? Are?”
She frowned. “You’re not making any sense.”
He spread his arms wide, as if to embrace the entire castle. In fact, he really hated the castle. He despised it. It wasn’t something he enjoyed, spending time in the castle. He was happy doing other things. Off having other adventures. Off doing things he wouldn’t normally be doing. Sometimes with her, more often by himself. She worried about him spending more time alone, by himself. “I found a book,” he said, his face brightening.
“What book?” she asked him. She was interested now. She put down her bow and arrow, and everyone complained. She made a face at their backs. So, let them complain. It would do them good. She knew about doing good and complaining. They were both among her favorite pastimes.
“What kind of book is this?” Arianna asked with interest, flipping through the pages.
He shrugged. His shoulders were small and bony. He had always been small for a teacher, and had big eyes and brown hair. He was born on a space station that orbited Earth, and confessed he felt out of place. He wasn’t happy with the way things were going in his life, and spent more and more time absorbed in his books-usually, magick books, or books about spells and sorcerers. Recently, he had come across an old book and had given it to Arianna for inspection. She found the pages were blank except for the last page. The words, “Iresyn Litte” was written across it in gold, bold ink. The lettering was like magic, but it wasn’t exactly so.
“What does it mean?” Arianna asked quizzically.
He shrugged his shoulders. “Damned if I know,” he replied. “Where do you think it came from?”
“I thought you bought this thing.”
“No, someone gave it to me. He said it belonged to the song slayer.”
“Someone who can pen songs-songs from magic,” he reported. He frowned, and added: “I think.” He rubbed his temples warily. He hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep lately. He had been working all day and all night, his temper was flaring. He didn’t want to take it out in front of her. She was his buddy.
“I don’t know anyone like that,” she said, pursed her lips while she thought. She didn’t know why he was interested in such a book. She had better books in her father’s library, large books with large words and written in script. Men came from all over the world to give her father books. She was very proud of him. He had a large collection.
He cocked his head and winked at her. “Maybe you do,” he replied, and chuckled. “Maybe it’s you.”
She shoved him. “Or it’s you!” she said sarcastically. She made a face at him. “Always making fun of me, huh! I don’t like the turn of events!” She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him.
“It is you,” he said seriously, and shoved the book in her hands. He laughed and hurried away. She stared after him, and shoved the book into the pocket of her cloak. She had better things to do. It was time to go to the Midnight Ritual. The Midnight Ritual was a union, an elite, of a group of girls from the castle and they gathered around and paid homage to fairies. Lydia was the first one to think of it. She was her Uncle’s next door neighbor and was home schooled and her mother worked at the castle as a teacher. The city didn’t have a real school and they were trying to get her father the money to give the workers to build a school.
The four girls clustered around a large, silver tree. The sun was red, now; it only turned to blue once every full cycle. A cycle was a half a year on Veronya; they didn’t go by Earthtime. That’s was what they called a year on Earth, Earthtime. Veryona had no government; no intricate system of webbing sand from stone. The clouds hung in the sky, and it was a lazy, lazy day, and then midnight was an even darker night. Lydia crept closer and threw a flame into the fire. She was a flame-thrower. Most people shunned her. She was from Veryona, which was very curious, because Veryona did not possess the gift of magick. Magick was an old, ancient art. People did not have magick here. It was forbidden, and no one knew how to use it, besides, and decided to make it forbidden. The forbiddenness came from within the heart; the heart was where all Darkness and Light had lain. Her father told her this many times, after her mother died. She was the one who told her first. She missed her mother dreadfully, and life had become dreadfully dull and boring.
Lydia was a spot of bright sunshine in her otherwise dull life. She had black hair and blue skin. She was from Earth, but her mother was XCryick. A planet three thousand light years away from Earth, she was often lonely and desolate, until she discovered magick and other girls who harbored it. She was surprised Veryonians did not have magick, and Arianna explained women on Veryona were not gifted in magick, her abilities were flukes. She said William told her it was not so, that she was different, brilliant. Her magic was different. He called it “magic” without the “k.” She was surprised. Most of the time, he sounded like an Earthling and wondered about his parents.
The Midnight Ritual started out fine. Lydia chanted about the moon and the stars and Brooke talked of her mother, on the Other World, the Ghost World. Veryona had a real world and a ghost world. The ghost world was three hundred light years away, in the universe. The universe was vast and Brooke wanted to visit it one day. She planned on building a star shuttle to take her to the place.