Tammy Drabble 66

Tammy Drabble 66

Flavors (note the American Spelling)

Word count: 464

The usual disclaimer applies

Daine was in a decidedly grumpy mood, and that was a completely abnormal state for the usually agreeable girl. Onua watched her muck out stalls using pitch fork motions that might have ripped and shredded any hapless creature in the way.

"I haven't seen you in a state like this since the last time you had words with the royal hunter," Onua finally remarked.

"Huh?" Daine didn't even look up. She continued to clean until there was no more to scrape, then filled the stall with fresh straw at an astounding rate. Finally, she jabbed the sharp prongs into the floor of the stable so hard that fork looked like it might be permanently mounted. Her brow was furrowed and she was hardly aware of her surroundings as she stopped to examine the hinged gate. She then retrieved a hammer and drove an offending nail back home with one sharp and swift strike that narrowly missed her thumb.

"Let's take a break," Onua said pointedly.

Daine followed dutifully, stopping only briefly to pat a new, skittish pony. Onua and Daine took a seat on the stable bench and looked out on a crisp spring afternoon. "What has you so worked up youngling?" Onua asked.

"The flavor of the month," she answered tersely.

"The what?"

"It's a who, actually, though if you ask me, any girl that absorbed by her appearance and fashions hardly counts."

Onua was so stunned that she didn't immediately laugh. It was inevitable though. "I think I need a better frame of reference."

"She's a lady of court. Numair's latest – friend." At fourteen, Daine was not commonly one to mince words, and so Onua could only frown.

"You don't like his choice of women?" Onua inquired cautiously.

"I knocked on the door for my noon lesson, and she answered. She didn't even let me explain why I was there. She simply shoved a dress at me and told me to have it mended and cleaned by this evening."

Onua began to chuckle. "She thought you were a servant."

"Yes. It must have been my castle uniform, or perhaps the large feather duster I wasn't carrying," she said sarcastically. Onua gave in to a fit of giggles while the girl continued. "This wasn't even the first time she'd seen me. For a smart man, Numair can be fair foolish when it comes to women. This one's even slower than the last."

"Daine, I never figured you for one to judge a person's intellect," Onua said. The remark brought a brilliant crimson to the girl's cheeks. "Dare I ask what you've done with her dress?"

"Back stall," Daine replied with a flip of her hand. "It'll make a nice bed for the new colt."

Onua laughed until she thought she might burst something.