Wednesday, January 7, 2015


          Her companion nodded sympathetically. Still, though he wished her no ill, he felt elated. He could see that going from princess to ghost was rather a comedown, but the arc of his career was definitely upwards. Not long ago, he’d been a lump of clay, not even dreaming of having any ambitions, for dreams and ambitions make clay unfit for its important job of lying in the earth until someone feels the need to make a pot. Now he had arms and legs, and a serviceable, if rather stocky body. He had two dark eyes, a straight nose, two ears. He wore a suit of leather armor and had a curved sword hanging at his hip. He had half a mustache, for the hour was late when he was molded, and the potter was tired.

          “Drugashvilli,” he said suddenly.

          “No; I was talking about Ravstasha. I don’t have a brother named Drugashvilli. I’ve never heard of anyone called Drugashvilli.”

          “I just thought of it. It’s my name.”

          “What does it mean?”

          “I don’t know.”

          “It has to mean something. All names mean something.”

          “What does yours mean?”

          “Slightly intoxicated spider, dancing.”

          “All that in ‘Davadina?’”

          “No; I have several more syllables, but I keep them for emergencies.”

          “What does ‘Ravstasha’ mean?”

          “Sword with a few rust spots on it.”

          “And Pranyanbattishur?”

          “Conquering spirit.”

          “Him? That name doesn’t seem to fit at all.”

          “Perhaps it was meant to be ironic.”

          “What’s ‘ironic?’”

          If they’d still been alive, the scene would have been clichéd. They were by a riverbank, under a full moon. She was passably pretty, for a princess, and he looked fierce and handsome, in a too-regularly featured way, though he wasn’t sure if the sword by his side could come out of the scabbard, or if there was really a blade attached to the hilt on which he rested his hand. Too, while the princess had lived she had often walked by moonlight, and she was fairly sure that the moon didn’t usually keep up a continual, urgent muttering in an unknown language.

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