The Day After the Slumber Party
Title: Silly Happenings in the Tower (my very first silly
Posted On:04/08/1999 18:16
The Novices grumbled as they picked up cushions, fruit rinds, paper wrappers and old lipsticks that littered the floor of the main hall of the White Tower. They were cleaning up the mess from yesterdayís slumber party, and the mess was CONSIDERABLE, what with all the Aes Sedai lolling around on huge cushions in their nighties and silk bed-robes peeling grapes and slicing peaches as they chatted. That had not been so bad yet. Someone had decided to bring in the Warders and give them make-overs, and then things had begun to get unruly. Then some Warder from the Black Tower had decided to invite a few friends who arrived via Gateway with a case of champagne.
So, when the Saldaen ambassador arrived, he had walked in through the front doors and stopped short at the sight of a conga-line weaving itself round the pillars and up and down the marble staircase. First in line had been the venerable head of the Green Ajah, (who, BTW, had looked rather fetching in a piece of green nothing, mules and a green feather boa) and all three of her Warders. Then, it was whispered, Francesca Sedai had been the one to snatch the pleasantly surprised man into the dancing. Of course, by then, Francesca had downed four glasses of champagne already.
Just when the pillars were beginning to shake with the noise, the Amyrlin Seat had come down in a temper because she had run out of chocolate pudding.
Imagine! whispered the Novices. Arik Korpin had been lolling with his head on Siuan Sedaiís lap, and they had been playing Hearts and Kisses. The Reds had discarded burlap bags in favour of their shifts (they said later that this was merely for coolness' sake), and some had been caught...peeling grapes! And Leane Sedai...well, it was not polite to speak of what she and Toman had been up to. The Greens had challenged the Reds to a contest to see who could pose more provocatively in a filmy dress, and the Browns had been doing naughty things with feather quills. (They said that it had been for research purposes.)
The Amyrlin had gotten very, very red in the face. And every Aes Sedai who walked the corridors this morning (there were very few), did so quietly.
The Novices (who were NPC, BTW) stopped talking immediately when Alanna Sedai stalked by in a very short, very flirty French maid's costume, trailed by a man wearing a filmy gown!
"We peeled a whole platter of grapes for you," protested Jon'atha, "But Kathana didn't like us in filmy dresses at all!"
"You forgot to wax your hairy legs, is why!" she snapped back, reaching up to adjust her lace cap and making two Guards' eyes pop out at the...interesting...view the short dress afforded. "The Mother wants chocolate pudding, Cookís down from one too many glasses of champagne, so Iím Cook for the day. Donít bother me!"
"If I help you cook, will you teach me how to wax my legs?" he wanted to know.
"I'm too busy going through the 4000 Warder applications I've received along with boxes of candy and teddy bears. Go ask Morgan to teach you."
At that moment, a scream of agony reverberated through the Tower, coming from the direction of the Green Ajah quarters.
"What was that?" asked a Novice. "Someone being tortured by Semirhage? Lanfir Sedai finding a pimple on her nose? Serafelle Sedai finding a mouse in the library..."
"That was Darksmoon having his back waxed by Morgan," answered another Novice, gathering up a red garter to add to the pile of slippery, filmy things the Aes Sedai had discarded as they escaped from the Amyrlinís wrath. She had barely turned a corner when she nearly bumped into a very tall man in a colour-shifting cloak who looked very downcast.
"The Amyrlin bonded another person instead of me," began Roland Broadcloak, then he stopped suddenly. Eyes aflamed, he grabbed for the Novice, who squealed and darted away in alarm.
"Stop!" He turned around earnestly, stumbling over the edge of his cloak. "Thatís the hallowed Amyrlinís little red garter belt! Be still my pounding heart! I must have that little red thing no matter what it takes! Iíve just been fed purple Kool-Aid by a very nice Aes Sedai in a filmy dress who looked very much like Narell, and I can run forever!" He takes off after the fleeing Novice, nearly crashing into Matalina who just emerged from Yvevaís study.
"What in the blazes is going on here?" she mutters at the sight of the running pair. Gauze nighties and satin slips and silks stockings are scattering all over the place as the Novice runs helter-skelter down the corridor. Then her eyes fall on an almost indecent sequinned thingy which very obviously belongs to Yveva. "Blood and bloody buttered onions! How in the Light did she manage to drop that? It would have left her wearing almost nothing..." She closes her mouth instantly as Arik rounds the corner followed by Sathinar, wearing very harassed expression on his face. Snatching the sequinned thingy up, she puts her hands behind her back and leans against a wall-hanging, looking nonchalant.
"I want another pigeon!" Sathinar whines. "The dovecotes are almost empty and the Amyrlin wonít restock them even though I did regurgitate all the message-canisters I accidentally swallowed onto her desk very obligingly..."
"I'm telling you I donít have any pigeons!" Now why does Arik have feathers all over him? "Oh, hello, Matalina."
"Are you hiding a pigeon there?" Saths eyes Matalina suspiciously.
"No, no pigeons here."
"Then why are your hands behind your back?"
"What underwear fetishist redecorated the hall?" Arik asks, eyeing the undergarments festooning the place. "He does have rather nice taste, though. I'd swear Siuan has something exactly like that..."
"How is Siuan?" asks Matalina before he can take a closer look.
"You're hiding a pigeon," Saths accuses Arik. "You're covered with feathers."
"It's the CHICKENS!" Arik screams. "The chickens, you mad half-wit! The Black Tower is full of chickens; they're driving me crazy!"
"I AM crazy," says Saths solemnly. "I'm a trained madman. Want to hear my all-natural crazy laugh? I've been practising the twitching eye and the hand-washing...MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!"
"Itís been nice talking to you," Matalina edges away. "Iíve got to go now..."
Saths pounces, and snatches the sequinned thingy out of her hands. "Aha! Gotcha...but this isnít a pigeon!" He shakes it out and both he and Arik fall silent for a moment.
Arik clears his throat. "Gee, Matalina, I always thought you were pretty but I never expected you to be...feminine."
"It's NOT mine!" she goes the same red as a tomato.
"Itís pretty," Saths says. "If it's not yours, can I have it?"
"Aww, don't be selfish..." Saths yelps and scuttles down the hall with Matalina on his heels.
Meanwhile, the breathless Novice has outrun Roland and reached the Amyrlinís study. She enters after knocking.
"Mother," she begins after her curtsy. "Iíve come to return you your garter..."
The huge armchair swivels around and the Amyrlinís face comes into view. She looks terrible, with creased skin, reddened eyes, dark shadows under her eyes and a nervous twitch. Her fingers tremble and her hair is a wild tangle. Uh-oh, thinks the Novice, symptoms of chocolate pudding withdrawal. Sheíll probably have a temper as mean as a biteme-ridden bull to match...
"Six weeks," rasps the Amyrlin.
"I said, SIX WEEKS in the kitchens!" the Amyrlin tries to shout but does not quite succeed, sounding more like someone trying to cough out her lungs. "Alanna is taking too long already with the pudding, and I...NEED...MY...PUDDING!!! If I have to set the entire Tower in the kitchens doing penance I will do so!" She stops short. "Hey, that's a good idea. I continuously surprise myself with my good ideas, I think Iíll go for a walk around the Tower to see which sisters have too little work on their hands..."
The Novice quickly escapes before Kathana takes it into her head to do any worse.
"Bother, six weeks in the kitchens," she grumbles to herself, mentally cursing the Amyrlin with boils, piles, toothache, obesity and anything else she can think of. "At least Cook isnít there with he horrid long spoon anymore, but itís nothing much to look forward to..."
As she descends the long spiral stairs, though, she hears laughter, and masculine voices. What?!
There are, apparently, men in the kitchen. Men of all shapes and sizes. Singing the chorus of 'The Domani Dancing Girl'. Alanna is apparently engaged in conducting their performance with a long wooden spoon while sitting on a counter. A huge pot is simmering over a saidar controlled fire, full of soon-to-be chocolate pudding.
"And a one two three..."
"Youíll bond the best singer?" asks one sinfully handsome hunk.
"The best cook?" says another, looking adoringly at her.
"The best swordsman?" One reaches for her spoon and gets rapped on the knuckles.
"None of you," she says tartly. "You were all wanting to be bonded to the Amyrlin yesterday, and now you want me as second prize? I donít come that cheaply!"
"Alanna Sedai," says the awed Novice, making up her mind on the spot to choose the Green Ajah when she's raised, "The Amyrlin wants to know why her chocolate pudding is taking so long."
"I'm busy, child."
"But sheís walking around the Tower now."
"Yes, child. Now..."
"She could come here..."
"Don't bother me now, child. Another time, boys, from the top."
"Chocolate pudding will take it's own time! You can't rush things like that!"
"Says who?" rasps a horribly familiar voice. The Amyrlin stands in the shadows of the stairwell, peering in tightmouthed, holding the flame-topped staff the Keeper normally carries. Striding across the kitchen and pushing through the ranks of sinfully handsome hunks, she raps Alanna hard on the head with it...
And Alanna jerks up in her bed, sweating.
"What a horrid dream!" It's already light outside the windows of the treehouse. "I think I'd better get dressed and go to the kitchens for a cup of tea to steady my nerves."
Minutes later, she's gliding through the corridors, nodding to Novices who curtsy as they pass her, arms laden with things as usual...Rounding a corner, she sees...
Sathinar being chased by a furious Matalina.
"Give that back!"
"No, I won't! I'll pin it on the Notice Board for everyone to see unless you get me ten pigeons. MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!"
Alanna put her hand to her head. It was going to be a long day.
(I've just used names left and right, but bear in mind that none of this really happened, or did it?)