Among the Stars

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Chapter 2

The King’s servants immediately joined Amazi after she walked through the city gates. One was male with beautiful yellow scales and a golden belly. The female was orange and rather plain. They swam on either side of her and weren’t much for conversation except for a short greeting. The pathway to the castle was long and cut through the middle of the city. One black scallion tended to the seaweed and anemone blooms that decorated the pathways. Scallions of every color swam into the doors of the temple for the nightly worship. Others scurried from store to store across the square.

After they passed under the coral archways they saw no other Scallion people. Once they reached the palace the doors swung open by themselves in front of them. Her two escorts swam away, leaving her alone in the entryway without so much as a goodbye.

“It was nice to meet the both of you too, great indeed.” Amazi said to empty water. “I guess I’ll find the throne room myself, all alone to wander the castle…”

Amazi scanned the room she was in. It had a high vaulted ceiling painted with images of the night stars, the actual stars rarely saw by most of her kind. White cursive script labeled each of the constellations. A few of them she recognized like the Great Chief and Marabella’s Chase. Amazi thought that as talented as the artist had been it didn’t capture the glow and beauty of the stars quite right.

Elegant white furniture made of sea foam filled the room. A large sofa, facing two plush chairs, divided by a large coffee table sat in the middle of the room. In the corner of the room was an enchanted fireplace with blazing flames. In front of it were two plush white chairs angled towards it, meant to be a cozy place for someone to warm up. Water hydrangeas, Amazi’s favorite flower, sat in many vases around the room. The sweet smell filled Amazi head to toe as her scales sucked in the heavenly scent. At the far end of the room a large golden door with a handle made of bubbles dominated the wall. Of all the doors in the room Amazi thought that it looked the most important. Amazi swam towards the door and pulled it open, hoping that it would be the throne room.

Behind the door, a long royal blue carpet led up a small set of stairs where a throne sat. Sitting on the throne was a rainbow-colored fish. His head started red, fading into orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and finally purple. A white crown made of bubbles and foam rested on top of his head. He was the most incredible being Amazi had ever seen. She knelt before him and bowed her head.

“Your highness, such an honor to meet you, the highest of

all.”

King Amando laughed and motioned for her to stand. “Rise Amazi. I never was one for watching people fall at my feet. Besides we are past the whole Your Highness thing, little sister.”

Amanzi stood and stumbled backward. “You do me an extreme kindness my King, but I think you are mistaken. You have to be mistaken to think such a thing.”

The king shook his head. “It is no accident that I believe you to be my relation Amazi. Your parents were my parents. I know such a thing is hard to comprehend or know in such a society. Few are aware who their parents are, let alone if they have any siblings. It is such an isolated way of living. A lot of your life passes by without feeling you belong anywhere.”

Amazi knew that feeling well, but that didn’t make her think that they were related. Though she saw no reason for the King to lie, she also knew he did not have proof. As nice as it would be to believe she was royalty she couldn’t. She was much too plain for that. They also looked nothing alike.

“Say it is true and we are siblings. If it is true, why have you waited so long to tell me?” Amazi wondered. “It doesn’t make sense.” If Amazi had ever known she had a sibling, the first thing she would have done was search them out.

Amando smiled. “I only discovered that I had a sister, but not who she was. My new status and achieved power let me do some investigating. Alas, I have finally found you. My sister, Amazi.”

“If you didn’t know who I was then how did you find me, Your Highness?” Amazi asked doubtfully.

King Amando smirked. “I have my ways.”

“So that’s why you asked me here? To say hey and tell me we’re related? I’d like to know why I came all this way.” Amazi gestured to the throne room and looked at Amando with skepticism in her eyes.

A mischievous glint sparkled in Amando’s black eyes. “That would be quite silly, wouldn’t it? No, the reason I asked you here is much more complex than that. It’s not something that I will discuss in the openness of a throne room. I’ll have one of my servants show you to your room and you can meet me soon for something to eat in the dining hall. Until then I will talk no more of the matter.”

The orange Scallion from before looped her arm in Amazi’s and began to drag her from the throne room. “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” The orange lady did not reply and continued to pull her. “I won’t just go along with this you know.” Amazi batted at the Scallion’s grip on her arm.

“It was a pleasure meeting you my sister. I have a feeling we are going to get along marvelous.” King Amando called.

Amazi stopped trying to fight off the orange lady when she realized it was only going to slow them down. They swam up a set of stairs and down a long hallway. Doors lined the hallway on both sides. Amazi and the orange lady stopped at the last door of the hallway.

“Go in. Dinner is in one hour.” The orange lady said. Amazi opened the door.

“Anything expected of me at dinner? Should I show up early? Would it be smart to clean up?” Amazi asked. When she got no answer, she spun around. The orange lady was already gone.

Amazi sighed and shut the door behind her. A large canopy bed with blue covers dominated the room. Tapestries clung to the walls, depicting constellations and the other planets. Vento from the viewpoint of outer space looked like a glittering gemstone itself. Her favorite was Terra. It was so green and there was very little water in sight. Only the occasional river or pond. Amazi wanted to visit there someday to see what it was like to feel the warmth of the sun. She wanted grass to be something more than an idea to her. She wanted to know the feel and the fresh scent of it… she wanted so to experience it for herself.

In the corner of the room was a fire place. Amazi swam over to it and rubbed her hands by the flame. It was almost like being on the surface, bathing in the sun. Almost… but still not the same. It didn’t warm all her, not quite.

A loud rap on her door snapped her out of her daydream. “The king is ready for you in the dining hall.”

Amazi made her way back down the hall and down the stairs. The throne was now completely empty. Another double set of doors to her right were open and a mass of voices came from the room. Inside was a ginormous ebony table that covered the length of the room. Scallion of every color sat around the length of it. King Amando didn’t sit at the head of the table, but rather amongst the others. The one thing setting him apart was his brilliant coloring. Somehow through all the chaos, the king saw her. He motioned for her to come to sit on the bench next to him. Amazi swam over and took her seat. Amando leaned in close, his mouth just inches from her ear.

“I apologize for the noise and chaos. I make sure to dine with assorted groups of my subjects each night. I understand their issues better this way. As you can tell, they often have much to verbalize.” A large outburst came from the end of the table. King Amando smiled and turned his attention towards the angry red Scallion shouting about the transportation schedule.

Amazi tried her best to drown out the noise and focus on her food. It was delectable, unlike anything she had ever eaten before. The fruit was purple and very tart, but with an aftertaste of something rich and creamy. Her taste buds were both confused and delighted.

“Do you appreciate it? It’s something newfangled I had shipped in from Terra. The Exis have an odd name for it. It’s called a grappa melon.” King Amando poked at his own melon.

“It’s delicious. In fact, it might be the best thing I’ve ever eaten.” Amazi replied.

“I was hoping you might say that. How would you like to try one that is ripe from a tree?” King Amando asked.

Amazi stared at Amando, confused. “Do you mean like from a tree you had brought here? Do you have a tree of this nature here?”

The King shook his head. “No Amazi, I want you to travel to Terra for me.”

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