A Day in the Life of a Red Sister
By Narell Sedai
Narell Sedai woke up at the crack of dawn, yawning she tried to ignore the cheery voice of Francesca, the Head of her Ajah, booming through the PA system installed in every bedchamber of the Red Ajah.
"Rise and shine my sweeties, it is yet another beautiful day for us to carry out our solemn but oh so vital duties of saving the world and getting no credit for it, not to mention yet another chance to get glared at, spat upon and generally despised by the general public. Now, donít forget that before breakfast we have self esteem classes, run by Salome Sedai. Iíve been myself and it does wonders for giving you that extra oomph of confidence to face the day. Also, tonight we are having a slumber party in the west wing to commemorate our newly raised sister Daelin. Make sure you bring your paddles for the ritual spanking, and a plate of food for the midnight feast. The Amyrlin herself has been invited to attend and has promised to supply two cases of Cloudberry wine. Iím sure it will be an event not to be missed..."
Narell let the voice drone on, ignoring the rest of the announcements. She looked through her wardrobe. Oh to wear silk again, she caressed her newest addition, a midnight blue number, slashed with cream, fitted at the bodice with a plunging neckline, not as daring as a domani dress but the Mayene seamstress had assured her it would catch the eye. She longed to try it on and see if it made Enderís eyes pop out again like they had when she had worn the filmy burgundy red silk. She chuckled at the memory, and moved to her day planner. Must remember to order another basket of those muscat grapes. Make that two. She scribbled a reminder in the planner. Turning back to the wardrobe she selected a drab wool dress, hardly cinched at the waist at all and pulled it on. The Dark take Francesca! Ever since that scandal with Ender and the grapes Fran had decreed that all Red sisters must wear wool in public. At least she hadnít ordered it for in private as well. When Francesca had walked in on Narell and Enderís little tete a tete she hadnít been offended, in fact she had asked Narell to pass her a bunch and unfortunately someone else had walked in and the rumours had spread like wildfire blossoms. The Greens had been particularly merciless in their comments and sniggers, and Francesca had tried to restore face by ordering a ban on filmy dresses. Well, Narell thought as she scratched her itchy back again, I hope Fran changes her mind soon. I hate wool and the ointment for my rash smells foul. She wrinkled her nose at the thought . I need to ask Therva if she has better smelling herbs. Oh and that concoction she gave me for hangovers does not work fast enough. She made a note in her planner; after all, tonightís party looked like it would be a smasher.
Then she went in search of breakfast, no dumb class on self esteem for her, she had more important things to do like supervising the Accepted and administering Enderís punishments.
As she walked towards the kitchens an overfed merchant came towards her, bowing and scraping in equal measure.
"Aes Sedai, I have the shipment you ordered. Both goods were hard to acquire but I managed to get the quantities you desired." The man looked fit to topple over he was bowing so deeply. Narell couldnít resist and said "boo!" very loudly. The merchant fell to his knees whimpering, mumbling about making no offence and about how he only lived to serve the Tower.
"That is for us to do, we live to serve; you are of no consequence, however if the pasta is fresh and extra moist, you will receive a bonus. I trust you got not only Spaghetti and Fettuccine but also the finest vermicelli?" The merchant nodded emphatically. "And the brandy is definitely from Two Rivers?"
"It is. I swear it, Aes Sedai."
Narell smiled benevolently and allowed the man to kiss her serpent ring. She made arrangements for the items to be delivered to the side door of her apartments, and watched as the little man scurried away.
She entered the kitchens definitely in a good mood, and the cook handed her a bowl of cloudberries and cream, her favorite dish. As she wolfed it down, she gave cook her orders for the day, detailing when and where she wished to have her meals and what she wanted to eat. She was glad it wasnít Thursday, that was the day that cook had off, and her cousin filled in. That day everyone had to put up with suet porridge and dumplings for every meal.
"Oh, and please could you deliver a serving of your famous butterscotch pudding to the Amyrlinís study tonight? Around nine-ish would be good. Make sure the card reads ĎEnjoy the pud, and donít forget I was first one to try and save your ass, and even though I was second to ask to be Head of the Reds, I think you are really cool and maybe if Francesca gets maimed by a freak accident or decides to join a convent, well, maybe I could be head? Regards Narell. P.S. -I think you are cool and thereís more pudding where that came from...í"
Narell hoped that this time the Amyrlin would be swayed to look upon her with favor. The cherry pudding, and the vanilla and raspberry puddings had failed. How hard was it to find out what flavor was the Motherís favorite? What good were the Red Ajah's Eyes and Ears if they couldnít find out such a simple fact? Narell grimaced at their incompetence and vowed to recruit some better operatives.
She walked down the corridor to where the Accepted were waiting. Although the Red Ajah was not as popular as the Greens, there were still girls interested in doing internships. Besides, the Outreach program of the all-girl singing sensations, the Red Hot Spicey Girlies, had done wonders for recruitment. Narell was in charge of making them worthy of wearing the red shawl. Today she was going to give them a lesson on how to control a man properly. Normally she wouldnít let others sit in on her private sessions, but this was an exception. She lead the girls to a chamber where Ashaíman were sent for their punishments, a not widely known secret, but a way to keep the Red Ajah off the Black Towerís case. Now, this was only when they had been really bad, and when normal penance had been ineffective. The girls filed into the room and Narell closed the door behind her. Ender was seated on a stool, looking decidedly peeked that they were not alone as usual. Narell looked at him apologetically but carried on with the lesson anyway.
"Now girls, there will come a time as a red sister when you will be required to punish men for being very very naughty. Nonchannelers need not concern you except for recreational purposes on your own time. However, due to covert arrangements with the Black Tower Administration, we are obligated to carry out the disciplining of Ashaíman who have gone astray. The first thing to do is to get them used to being in a lower status role. This can be achieved by slapping or pinching the buttocks, or sometimes making him kiss your shoes is effective. I prefer a more humiliating approach, which seems to cut down the time and effort needed in the treatment. Ender, you were very very bad werenít you."
Ender nodded sullenly. The girls giggled.
"And because you attacked a red and bonded a red what must you do? Tell the girls..."
Ender blushed. "I have to parade around in the filmy dresses you pick out for me, until I am sufficiently sorry for what I did."
Narell nodded and signaled for a servant to enter. A maid came in carrying a variety of fancy dresses, all silk, all very daring, some with flounces, others with lace. She smiled as the fashion parade began, even giggled. She vowed she would make it up to Ender later though, sighing she scribbled in her planner, another basket of grapes, and some altaran lilacs.
After lunch, she had a meeting with Francesca, her illustrious leader.
They practiced their fiddling; Franís timing was still a bit off. Narell fervently hoped she could try first bassoon soon. Fran went over the ajah objectives for the week.
"Most importantly, we have to have a Raffle. Not just any raffle, but one for the refurbishment of the retreat in Arad Doman. You know, the one where you can dress scandalously and get foot massages from musclebound eunuchs. The prize will be a chance to throw a cream pie at the Dragon Reborn during the Festival of Lights. And second prize is a years supply of antiwrinkle cream. I know, not much use, but weíve got a sponsor so what the heck..."
Narell nodded dutifully, and daydreamed of the day when she was running the Raffles.
"Oh, and by the way, check out my new paddle. I got it specially for tonightís ritual spanking. The merchant assured me that I wonít get tennis-elbow from frequent use. You like?"
Narell agreed it was a splendid paddle, and eventually she ended up back in her rooms. It was almost supper and all she needed to do was carry out her Devotions and then she was free to prepare for the slumber party.
She wondered if she would get to pin the tail on the Trolloc, or if anyone would suggest the bastardized Aiel game Tempting the Maiden. She just hoped no one suggested line dancing.
Going into her bedchamber, she walked to the cupboard dedicated to Devotions, and opened the door. Inside was the shrine to the only man the Red were officially allowed to drool over and to serve. The Dragon Reborn. So what if he was a channeler thus creating the paradox of their existence as an Ajah. He was to die for and if he couldnít be kept on a leash like all men should be, then he was a man to spurn all others for. She repeated the catechism ten times...
The Dragon Reborn is a studmuffin,
Even though he channels, he is still cool,
And we must do his bidding when Tarmon Gaidon comes.
Until then we can have fun calling him names like
BigBoy, and Sillytrollop.
The Dragon Rules
The Dragon Rocks
Blessed be his name
Narell made herself some mint tea, knowing it would calm her nerves. Ender was due to come visiting, and he was bound to be annoyed at his public humiliation. She hid her paddle out of sight; she didnít want to have to explain having a sore behind at the party if Ender found it. She sighed. Warder relationships were so complicated. She resolved to ask Matalina about them.
The mint tea worked wonders. By the time Ender arrived, Narell was enjoying a bubble bath and already ripping into the Two rivers brandy.
As he entered, she called out to him. "Come scrub my back, Sweetie."
"Arenít you going to the party? I know you like a good spanking."
"I have a different paddling in mind..."
Ender chuckled and produced a bunch of grapes from behind his back...
At Daelinís party the rumors flew at Narellís absence. The most popular rumor was that the Amyrlin had sent her to Illian for ice peppers due to a faux pas with a pudding.