Reality Skimming

Meet The Relatives – Post 10

Frog accuses Fital

Frog accuses Fital

Meet The Relatives by Lynda Williams, is the touching story of very Demish Dela's adventures in Red Reach. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.

Frog accuses highborn Fital of reneging on a deal between them.

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Behind Dela, Sert whispered a name in bitter anger, "Fital." But at least she let Dela go and moved aside a little.

"What's the rub between you and Fital, Frog?" Vras asked the Chief Stationer, exercising shocking informality from Dela's point of view.  "Liege Vrel heard you denied her dock."

The grotesque commoner rocked back and forth, nodding and grinning like a fool.  "Liege Vrel does us great honor to take an interest in such small affairs.  Great honor, but alas, for no cause.  Highborn Fital and I had a difference of opinion about what she owed me in exchange for extra rations."

"Extra rations?" Vras barked a short laugh, hands on his hips.  "Do you mean from your hoarded food stores?" He shook his head.  "Frog, Frog."

A murmur of unrest rippled through the poorest present, if Dela was correct to judge their status by their clothes.  Eyes darted here and there: asking questions, confirming alliances, working up courage. But what for?

Vras turned to address all the witnesses, trusting his entourage to watch his back. He threw out his hands an expansive gesture of appeal.  "I am here to judge Frog's revolt against highborn Fital.  He said she owed him goods for food.  Was it your food he bartered?"

Turmoil broke out.  People spoke to neighbors.  Here and there a fight brought out.

Eyes darted here and there: asking questions, confirming alliances, working up courage. But what for?

Sert darted into a mob of inferiors to even up a nearby squabble, leaving Dela entirely alone.

"Ask Fital what she sold!" a shout came from the crowd.  Another shouted, "Okal'a'ni!" The word sent a chill down Dela's spine.  It was a word that implied atrocity. A threat to souls or habitat.

"Enough!" Vras cried, and was ignored.

Sert cleared her sword.

At that signal, Vras and Harn did likewise, followed swiftly by their own six nobleborns and a smattering of locals showing support.


The effect was theatrical.

Silence took hold.

Vras advanced on Frog.  "Chief Stationer of Two Stop on Tiger Line," Vras said, naming the station Dela supposed.  "Your own kind cry against you.  You make deals with highborn Fital using their food.  And then you lock her out.  Explain both."

People had begun to shift, expressing support through their positions.

"It was her," Frog declared, stabbing a thin arm at Fital, who stood listening with disdain on her mannish features.  "She threatened me!  We made a deal to share spoils.  But she broke her word." He spat in his foaming anger.  "So I locked her out!  Yes!  And took hostages that will die if she kills me, I swear it!"

Frog accuses Fital

Frog accuses Fital

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