The rise and fall of the sea, sailors at work, and strange creatures he’d never seen occupied much of his time over the first few days. But at the first harsh wind sweeping the deck as they passed Chathiel, Harun joined his brother below deck, sailors laughing as he left. Even with the layers he wore, that wind was unforgiving. When Mihran spent his time under layered blankets, Harun had lessons on the basic cultures of other kingdoms, the common language of the mainland, and plenty of well-meant advice by mentors and sailors alike.
But this morning, it was no mentor that waited for him or another meal with sailors, but a carriage to take him and his brother to meet their betrothed. His arms tensed beneath the sheets, bracing for cold. They saved the finest of his garments for today for the obvious reasons. This rising discomfort wasn’t like him.
But Harun’s concern about the marriage was for Mihran, not himself. Harun had always handled himself well, regardless of the situation. Yet it seemed like just days ago that Mihran demanded stories not only before bed, but after meals. Garede was known for its skill in combat and across from Harun was its youngest prince, curled up between a pile of long, overstuffed pillows and robes and blankets. He slept as if deaf to the sailors above. Harun breathed deep, earrings jangling as he shook his head.
«Brother,» he spoke in the language of sands, «we’ve arrived. The carriage is waiting.» He paused, waiting for a reaction. Mihran answered with the soft breath of sleep and faint chime of his jewelry. Harun reached to his shoulder and shook his brother gently. Expecting that to fail, he crouched to the sleeping prince’s level and shared the one fact he believed would convince his brother to move. «You may bring the blankets.»
[Copyrighted © August 14 2015, J.M. Blute]