Today's story takes us back to the Yekara Universe, about halfway through the summer following Right of Succession. While you don't have to have read the book for the flash fiction to make sense, it's perhaps a bit more fun if you have.
You can also click here to listen to the audio version of today's story. Or you can listen to a playlist of all the Yekara Universe Audios, in chronological order.
“But I didn’t ask for this,” Chantal protested as she peered into the spacious room. “Aren’t all of the students, no matter their background, housed in dormitories? That’s what it said in everything I read these last few months.”
“That is true, Lady Virchow,” Madam Toribio answered. “However, most students come to use as young children. You are a young woman old enough to have duties and concerns outside your studies here in need of tending, and therefore require a bit of privacy.”
Chantal turned to find the elderly telekinetic watching her with an almost grandmotherly grin.
“It’s not much,” continued Madam Toribio, “just a vacant set of staff quarters.”
“It’s more than enough,” Chantal said. She squeezed the handle of her bags, not daring to set them down.
“Tembar is under the care of a qualified regent, who has my full trust,” she continued. “I’ve come prepared to give the training my full focus. I am grateful for the consideration, but I can stay in the dorms, the same as any other trainee.”
Madam Toribio chuckled. “I’m sure you could, but, my dear Lady Virchow, I’m afraid you’d find them terribly uncomfortable.” She smiled, and fine lines creased around her dark eyes. “The beds in them are meant for children between the ages of four and twelve, and you’re no short thing. Your feet would dangle off the end!”
The image shocked a laugh out of Chantal, and she felt the heat of a blush spread over her cheeks. “Oh, that would be a bit odd and uncomfortable, wouldn’t it?”
“Indeed it would, dear,” Toribio agreed with another grin before her expression shifted into a more somber one. “Please make these rooms your home,” she said. “But this is the only bit of ‘special treatment’ you’ll enjoy.”
“Yes, Madam Toribio,” Chantal agreed with a nod.
“Very good, Miss Virchow,” Toribio said. “Dinner is served in the dining hall at seven. You’re to be seated with the new trainees at the far end of the hall, so I do hope you enjoy the company of little ones. Lights out is at eleven, and you will find the rest of the information you’ll need in your welcome packet waiting for you on the desk.”
“Yes, Madam Toribio.”
“Very good.” The woman gave Chantal a thin lipped grin and a sharp nod. “I’ll see you at dinner then, and remember, punctuality is a virtue. Tardiness will not be tolerated.”
“Yes, Madam Troibio!”
Each story in this series is 700 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first prompt like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me" and "Culture Shock." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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