Yotej soaked in a hot bath for as long as he could. He had to ease the pain. He was grateful that his arm was not dislocated as he had first thought, it was merely bruised to the bone. Which did not feel merely at all. He would say nothing to no one. He would force himself to fulfill his duties as usual, he had no choice if he wanted to remain a Golden Messenger.
The previous day was not easy, how he managed he did not know, but now he hurt more than before. At the evening banquet he accepted an extra goblet of wine or two it only helped dull the pain a bit. He was restless as he slept. His dreams were haunted with Gaquliv’s taunts, he dreamt of sturdy shoes that were heavy and hard, he couldn’t walk because they weighed him down, in truth he had never really seen the sturdy shoes of the Lowveldians, and if he had he hadn’t paid any attention to them. He woke up startled. He couldn’t sleep anymore. He paced in his room and looked out on the dark sky, he felt a chill that did not come from the night. Oddly he looked down at the city below. Strange noises, barely audible from this distance touched his ears. He looked towards home, Crimson mountain, he should have felt comfort but he did not. He poured himself a goblet of wine.
He would not be able to do his duties when the sun would rise, his injury would be discovered and he would loose his rank. He was not ready to face that, not yet anyway. Another goblet of wine and the night passed.
A loud clap that sounded like thunder broke his thoughts. A messenger, a Golden Messenger was arriving, but why at this hour? Yotej made his way silently through the quiet corridors of the Holding, The messenger would by protocol arrive at the entrance platform, Yotej hid behind a massive pillar that overlooked the courtyard of the platform.
An audible groan escaped his lips as he saw the messenger that was landing, it was none other that the horrid Gaquliv. No! Why did it have to be him? Now for certain he could not face the days task, the thoughts that beat in his mind were cowardly and insulting even to him who was the thinker of such thoughts. He would not run and hide as his thoughts demanded he do. He would face the consequences as soon as Gaquliv was not there. He balled his fist ready to fight the thoughts away.
Gaquliv, handed the satchel he carried to one of the two guards that had met him, they left the platform. With his duty done, at least for now, he would turn his attention to his amusement.
Yotej stepped back somewhat startled, Gaquliv looked directly towards the piller he was behind like he knew he was there. With a flutter of his wings Gaquliv rose from the ground, Yotej stepped backwards towards the morning shadows. He felt his way along the wall behind him until he found the doorway. Gaquliv approached slowly, tauntingly. Yotej cursed himself for his actions as he quickly made his way down the corridor towards his room before Gaquliv came around the corner. He stood just inside his room with his back to the wall close to the doorway willing Gaquliv to go else where or to pass by, but Gaquliv continued to approach. It was clear he was coming to taunt him.
Yotej went to the balcony had stood on the other side of wall that jutted out a bit. Maybe if Gaquliv didn’t find him in his room he would just leave, than it would be over. Yotej would go and speak to Lady Bewhrom, he would let her know of his injury and his inability to perform his duties today. There will be consequences, but at least Gaquliv would not be there.
Yotej sucked in his breath, he so wanted to be a Golden Messenger. He wanted to please his family, he wanted to stand proud in the High Council chambers. That was what was important to him, not what Gaquliv thought about him, not what he said. He wasn’t going to hide, he was going to go before Lady Bewhrom now, it didn’t matter that Gaquliv was there. As he stepped out from behind the wall there was a clang. The solid doors of the balcony closed, they were never closed, he had almost forgot the balconies had doors. He pulled on the handles, they were locked. Gaquliv had locked him out. Well at least that way. But there were many other doors. He would just go to another. He stretched his wing and prepared to fly to the balcony above him and to the right.
“Arrgh!” he winced in pain, but pushed himself, he flapped his wing closing his eyes against the sharpness stabbing him to the bone. He rose from his platform and moved towards the upper balcony. Too much, too much pain, a cramp he pulled his wing in as he grabbed for the upper platform he fell only being able to slow his decent with his one wing. The Holding out of reach, falling past one floor of the tall building after another. Nothing to grab on to.