Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the book "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale, nor will I ever. I do not own any characters or settings you recognize, and I do not profit from this in any way. "Eskel's Flower" is a story written by me (IceCreamGurl6455), purely for my own entertainment and the entertainment of others. No part of this story can be duplicated, quoted, or replicated without my permission and proper citation. Thank you for understanding the terms on which this story was and continues to be written. I appreciate your time and thank you in advance for complying by my personal standards, rules, and international laws.


~Hurry, hurry, hurry, slow,

That's the way the linder goes;

Not too hard, not too rash,

Just right so linder won't crack.~

Miri woke up with a start, the memory still jolting through her eyes. While asleep, her dreams had changed into a remembrance of traders parading up the mountain in the years before. After the procession, a new memory fought to the surface, a wonderful spring holiday, complete with Peder and his kiss. Miri knew immediately what the quarry-speech meant: The traders were coming, and Peder was waiting near the edge of town.

She quickly got dressed, not pausing to check who else was awake, and ran out of the house, her long, brown, braids lightly hitting her back. Her cheeks were flushed when she finally reached him. He took one look at her, and started to laugh.

"What?" asked a very annoyed Miri. "I just ran all across town to meet you here, just so you can laugh at me?"

Peder, a few minutes later, after he had stopped laughing, said, "It's just so good to see you. I've been so busy working, and you've been teaching, and we never have time to just have fun anymore."

Miri looked at him, her gaze quite serious. "But, you know, the older we get, the more work we have to do. We're not little kids anymore, Peder."

He regarded her with a mock serious air, all the while trying to snatch the woolen hat perched on her head. She slapped his hand away, giggling, as she softly quarry-spoke of Peder's winter bath. When he realized what she was doing, her quarry-spoke back, though his was of her three year old spring holiday, when she—

That was as far as he got before Miri, remarkably strong for a small, almost sixteen year old, had tackled him in the soft autumn grass. When Miri finally let him go, panting, they laid down next to each other in the grass, trying to take deep breaths while laughing hard.

"I'm glad you're my best friend, Miri," said Peder as he helped her up, and, together, they walked into town to face the traders.