Part 4 of the Revised Nomorims


Reluctantly, she turned from the picture and followed Peebles upstairs. She took each step slowly, contemplating her parents, the picture, and the strange house to which she had been brought. When she reached the top of the stairs, her jaw dropped again and all thoughts cleared from her mind. Before her was a maze of sorts. There was a large circle, a foyer-type of area, out of which were six distinct hallways. Some turned, so one could not see where they went, others went straight a long way, so that the door seemed incredibly small.
“How?” she breathed.
“What?” Peebs turned to face her.
“It looks so small from the outside.”
“Oh, the house is magical. One of the first Nomorees, Olan, built it and infused it with magic. Over time it’s gained a mind of its own and, for now, has agreed to help us. Although, if Karstrel continues her fits she will be the first and only Nomoree to sleep outside.” Peebles added softly, a smile touching his face. Korle smiled.
“This way.” Peebles led her down a brighter hallway. They walked for a short way and then he stopped before a yellow door. “This is it.” He opened the door for her and motioned her through it. Korle stepped inside and faced a huge room decorated in different shades of yellow. There was a gigantic bed in one corner, opposite of the small table that was set with a couple of plates and a gorgeous tea set. Korle gasped in awe of the beautiful room. Behind her Peebs softly shut the door and walked back downstairs, leaving her to explore her new room on her own.
By the time he reached the bottom of the staircase, he had transformed back in to a panther. A clamor arose from the kitchen, and the large cat stalked in, to see what the trouble was. There were pots and pans everywhere. Some foreign gray substance, slightly resembling porridge, was splattered everywhere. Burn marks adorned the walls and the ceiling. The one responsible for the mess was in the middle of it all, covered in the sticky gray mass on the ground and crying. Carefully, Peebles made his way through the mess toward Karstrel. He gently butted her with his head. She rose her head quickly and unsuccessfully dried her tears.
“I was just making breakfast.” She explained, as dignified as possible.
He snickered.
She stood up and straightened her spine. “I was doing fine, until the stove EXPLODED!” She pointed at the charred contraption in the corner. “I did everything I was supposed to do.” She whispered. Then she burst into tears and ran out to the garden.
Peebles was shocked that she allowed herself to cry in his presence. He shifted back in to human form.
“That wasn’t nice.” He whispered. The house moaned. “We need her. So be nice. A bath, I’m sure, would be welcome. I doubt she’s washed since she arrived. I know that she’s unpleasant to deal with, but for the time being we should all do our best to get along.” A breeze swept through the kitchen, surrounding Peebles. He laughed. “I know. We’ll have to teach her how to cook, I suppose.” He glanced out the window at the figure huddled over on the bench. “It’s best to leave her alone for now, I think. Just make sure her room is nice when she goes back up.” He walked out of the room and instantly it was clean. There was no sign of the chaos that Karstrel had created.
Outside Karstrel sobbed for a while, the grief of all her loss finally setting in. Her father, her friends, or the only people she could call friends, were all gone. Dead in the wreckage of the house. The fact that she had survived was a miracle, and it was clear that she wasn’t meant to live through it. Tears flowed unchecked as she mourned the deaths of the ones she had loved most in the world. She didn’t know how much time had passed when she stopped. She glanced around and saw Amikol watching her through the kitchen window. Her pride returned and she instantly sat straighter and glared at him. People in the Queen’s court had often called her the Lady of Ice because of her cold demeanor to those who had the misfortune to earn her contempt and for her icy gaze that turned many a noble to stone until it was turned elsewhere. Amikol was no exception. The glare forced him to look away and leave her in her solitude again. As soon as he was gone she slumped down again, exhaustion shaking her. She rose and wearily walked inside, drawing herself up, in case the others saw her, and ascended the stairs to her room. When she had first arrived, the room was a dark hole with a small pallet on the ground and a thread-bare blanket. No matter how she had railed, nothing else had appeared. She opened her door to find a bigger room, well-lit. A bed was there now and in the corner was a hot bath. Tears filled her eyes once more as a breeze filled the room. She heard the whisper, I am sorry for your loss noble-girl.
“Thank you.” She whispered back. And closing the door she dropped her mask of arrogance.

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