“Ah Cher, where you been ma douce?” I smile hearing the familiar cadence in the speaker’s voice. It has been too long since I’ve come to visit just to speak with one who knows me better than I know myself.”Here and there”,I shrug as I answer. My travels don’t amount to much. No real significance to anyone but myself. In return for that answer, I receive an arched eyebrow and a short laugh.” Eau est encore et profunde eh”? She nods. “Tres bien”. I smile and sit in my favorite rocker by the fire and Maman brings me a mug of her special coffee. I sip and inhale the smell of the herbs drying, the jasmine blowing in the breeze. This is home. I can’t explain the reason it is, but that it always has been. I sit in silence as Maman goes about her chores, understanding that it’s the silence I need to rejuvenate the spirit.”I almost forgot Cher, there was something left for you.”I sit up. Who would leave me something here? Who would dare brave all the defenses even? Maman hands me a long package. It is wrapped in what appears to look like parchment paper. Almost translucent. I don’t see any markings to identify the sender. I shrug and begin to open the package. There is a card, which reads
LA piqure des triomphes lame or volontairement ignorants.
I smile as the wording is familiar. I continue unwrapping and there within the paper is the sharpest blade. It resembles a stinger, pointed and long. The hilt holds my colors and sigil. This was created just for me. The artist who handcrafted it took kir time and made it perfectly balanced. Also with this perfect creation is a scabbard that fits close to the body and can be concealed under my cloak.”C’est beau”, says Maman as she peers over my shoulder. I nod in agreement and think on who sent this. It would have to be someone who can come and go through the area without becoming a feast for the inhabitants and also had the skill to create such a personal gift. Apparently the gifter feels I need more protection as I travel. I probably do. Things can get a little weird in the elsewhere. I place my gift in my bag, gather my cloak and kiss Maman good-by.”Don’t stay away so long next time”, she admonishes me as I climb into the boat.”I won’t”I tell her as I set off for home. I could have just flashed home, but the trip by boat allows me time to think. Perhaps things are finally falling into place. Attendus sont les meilleurs.