Solo Stargazing

Ambrosia relaxes with her sisters after a rough night at the Rear

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Considered one of the most mysterious cities in Mizahar, Alvadas is called The City of Illusions. It is the home of Ionu and the notorious Inverted. This city sits on one of the main crossroads through The Region of Kalea.

Stargazing

Postby Ambrosia Alar on August 7th, 2017, 3:36 pm

Stargazing

70th of Summer, 517 AV

Thud. Thud. Thud.

At every pound of Cordon’s fist against the door to her home, Ambrosia winced. The reverberation of sound was enough to aggravate the throbbing pain in her left temple. She had to admit that everyone’s whispered tones on their way home had been much appreciated.

Winnie’s voice, low and smooth, barely cut through the stillness of the night. “I’m pretty sure Ambrosia has her key. Shouldn’t we just let her in and get her tucked in for the night?”

Ambrosia could feel the rumble of Cordon’s voice through his shoulder as he responded. “No. She lives with her sister, and I’d hate to barge in on her. Bethany should answer the door pretty soon.”

Briefly, Ambrosia wondered how he knew that Bethany and Ambrosia lived together but chalked it up to having arisen in one of their conversations at the Rear. She had less faith in Bethany than Cordon did. Having lived with her sister, Ambrosia knew that Bethany was an early riser and didn’t function well at night. Furthermore, Bethany was a heavy sleeper. Ambrosia was about to tell Cordon to try knocking again when she heard the door open.

“Cordon?” Bethany’s voice sounded far too chipper for this time of night. “What are you doing he-? Ambrosia?”

In a moment, Ambrosia could feel her sister’s hand on her chin and then her other hand on Ambrosia’s that was holding the drying cloth to her face. The hands against hers were warm. Ambrosia didn’t understand it, but Bethany was always warm. It didn’t matter if it was freezing outside or not; she always managed to be warm. Those warm hands that always seemed to be a comfort pulled Ambrosia’s hand away from her eye.

“By the Goddesses, what happened?” Bethany didn’t often get violent, but she considered any slight or threat or injury to her sisters to be a reasonable enough inciting factor to get that way.

Ambrosia tried to move Bethany’s focus elsewhere. “What are you still doing awake?”

“Don’t change the subject,” Bethany snapped. “What in the Hai happened?”

Sighing, Ambrosia let her hands drop to her side. “I got on the wrong side of a fist.”

Everything Ambrosia was saying was only making Bethany more and more furious. “Why would anyone punch you? No, never mind. I don’t wanna know.” Bethany’s warm hands curled into fists. Ambrosia couldn’t imagine those fists hurting anyone. “What I wanna know is who did this. I’ll kill them.”

With the severe swelling in her eye, Ambrosia had to strain to open her eyes to focus on Bethany. All her life, Ambrosia had never considered her big sister capable of hurting anyone or anything, but she didn’t like the look that was in Bethany’s eyes. Reaching out, Ambrosia caught her big sister by the shoulders and embraced her. The familiar warmth seeped into Ambrosia as Bethany wrapped her arms protectively around her. “I don’t need you to kill anyone, Bethany. I just need you to look after me tonight. Besides, it wasn’t really his fault. It was a brawl. He was throwing a blow as he spun, and I just happened to be the one who was there. He paid for it already anyhow. He got a beating.”

Bethany’s arms tightened. “I’ll always look after you.” When the oldest Alar sister released the middle sister, she thanked the three tavern patrons who had walked her home. “Thank you for looking after my sister and making sure she got home safely.” She paused. “I don’t think I’ve met you two yet.”

“Bethany, this is Winnie and Paul. Winnie, Paul, this is Bethany, my big sister.” Ambrosia rushed through introductions. “You can get to know them at the tavern sometime, but I’m sure they want to call it a night.”

“We do,” Winnie admitted. “I’ve had far too much for one night. It was nice to meet you, Bethany. Look after our Ambrosia.” She put a hand on Ambrosia’s cheek and took one last look at the wound and her slowly darkening eye. “You rest and make sure you look after that well.”

Cordon left with them after leaving brief, whispered instructions with Bethany. “Keep your eye on her tonight. Make sure she’s all there in the head.”

“I heard that,” Ambrosia grumbled.

“I’m serious. Head wounds are nothing to take lightly. You listen to your sister.”

Ambrosia smiled as she slipped into their home, ignoring whatever else he had to say with a cheery “Good night.” Though the pain hardly made it worth it, she had to admit she enjoyed having everyone concerned about her, especially Winnie and Cordon. This thought (and her pain) distracted Ambrosia so much that she didn’t notice the other young woman in the house for several ticks. When she did, it was only due to the movement of the woman’s raven black hair against the backdrop of the fire in the hearth.

She recognized her little sister right away, even with only one good eye. “Tessa! You’re why Bethany’s still awake.”

Tessa turned around from where she had been watching the flames and beamed a smile at Ambrosia. It was difficult to recognize but if one really watched Tessa, they could see that every gesture she made was made to manipulate others. Her smile always seemed to be trying to make others feel important. When she was around her sisters though, any hint of that dropped. Tessa knew she didn’t need to manipulate her sisters to get what she wanted from them. Usually all she had to do was ask, and they’d give her whatever she wanted. The youngest Alar sister jumped up out of her seat and crossed the room to her sister’s side.

“Rosie! I wasn’t expecting you for another few bells. Beth and I have be-” Tessa gasped when she saw Ambrosia’s eye. “By the Goddesses, I can’t believe it. Someone actually figured out a way to make you look not pretty.”

“Thanks.”

Taking the nearly dry towel from Ambrosia’s hand, Tessa took it to the wash basin, dunked it in, and wringed it out. “I bet they did it, because they were mad that you’re prettier than them.”

Smirking hurt as it put pressure on her already swollen face, so Ambrosia stopped almost as quickly as she had started. “Yeah. That’s absolutely the reason.”

Coming back to her side, Tessa placed the now damp and cool towel to Ambrosia’s eye once more. “You know what? I bet you’re still prettier.”

Ambrosia smiled and held the smile through the pain. Compliments like that, from the people she loved, were the ones that mattered the most. “Thanks.” This time, she meant it.

Bethany had just finished talking with Cordon and was closing the door behind her. “Shall we get you to bed, Ambrosia?”

“No.”

“No?”

“I wanna look at the stars tonight. When I was out earlier, the skies were completely clear, and the night air’s warm. Now’s the perfect time.”

Bethany was about to object, but seeing the excitement in her sisters’ three good eyes, she gave in. “Fine. Help me with the table.”

The table in their simple home wasn’t large, but it was made of solid wood. As the three of them lifted it over to the door and tried to manipulate it through, Ambrosia could feel the muscles in her arms and legs and back straining against its weight. Even with the three of them working together, they had to set it down a few times along the way. Soon though, they had managed to tip it on its side and slide it out on to the street. Once it was back on its legs, Tessa brought a chair from inside and set it on top.

All three climbed on top of the table and proceeded to make their way to the roof. Ambrosia went first. With Tessa and Bethany holding the chair stable, she stepped first on to the seat and then up on to its back while her sisters held her legs steady. From here, she could grab the edge of their roof and pull herself up while her sisters pushed her up from below. Next, came Bethany with Ambrosia pulling her up while Tessa pushed from below. Being the lightest of the three, Tessa came last, her two sisters catching her wrists and pulling her up to the rooftop.

Once they were all up, they laid on their back, trying to catch their breath. As exhausted as Ambrosia was, she didn’t even think about her breathing. It would come on its own in its own time. Not to mention, the more she thought about breathing, the more she could feel the blood pounding in her temple from her exertion and the pain worsening around her eye. Instead, her attention went to the stars. Fortunately, the houses to either side of them weren’t tall, and she had an unobstructed view of the hundreds of stars that littered the sky with their unobtrusive light.

Scanning the heavens quickly, she searched for the brightest star first. Ambrosia always found it easiest to find a constellation she knew well and orient herself to find others from there. It didn’t take her long. Priskil’s Light, better known as the Watchstar, was brighter than even the second brightest star by a magnitude of three. It sat atop the Aquiras Gate, a constellation that was a likeness of the Watchtowers that dotted Mizahar, and like the Watchstones, the Watchstar burned brightly.

Ambrosia sighed contentedly. “I found it first.”
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Ambrosia Alar
"The kid's got smiles for days."
 
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