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Old Nov 20 2011, 11:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: St. Louis

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This is my explanation for one of the mysteries that has long plagued nitpicky Pern fans...

Post feedback here, please!

* * * * *

Menolly hurried through the storage caves, her arms full of sleeping furs. She entered the last room and closed the door behind her, nearly dropping the glowbasket. Hastily setting it on the stand by the door, she breathed a sigh of relief.

Surely no one would come all the way down here to look for her. Mavi would still be angry, she knew, but not enough to spend the rest of the evening searching the Seahold when she found Menolly was not in her cubicle. And Menolly had been careful to leave the top furs in place on her bed, so Sella would not realize that she was not coming to bed until it was very late, and would not want to leave hers.

Menolly began arranging the furs on the floor. She hadn’t had a single moment to herself all day, and then being trapped in the Hall… She was sure everyone had been staring at her as she crept out. She didn’t want to have to face anyone else tonight.

She sighed again and settled down against a wooden chest, still fuming over what had happened. It was bad enough she couldn’t play anymore, but to not even be allowed to sing with everyone else? It was so unfair.

She never had understood what was so terrible about a girl playing music, because Petiron had always been there encouraging her. If it was so shameful for her to play, why had her parents allowed it then? They were acting as if they had only been humoring an old man, but he had been teaching her for Turns before his mind started going. If the Harper saw nothing wrong with it, why should they?

And even if it was shameful for them to admit that they had been forced to rely on a girl to teach the children after Petiron died, wasn’t it ever so much more shameful to flat-out lie to the new Harper about it? Making up stories about a fosterling who left just as the new Harper arrived, and telling all of the children to lie to him about who had been teaching them all this time… Surely all of that was far worse than her playing had been!

But all Yanus seemed to care about was whether the new Harper might hear her sing. As if singing along with the group would reveal the whole thing. Now she couldn’t even share in the music like everyone else.

Thank goodness the storm had cleared. She wasn’t sure she could have stood another day stuck working inside with her mother. She would get up early, earlier than ever, and be halfway to the Dragon Stones while they were still brewing the morning klah.

Her thoughts turned to the fire lizards. Were the eggs all right in that cold cave? Would they be able to fly right away when they hatched or would they be trapped there? And when would the Hatching be? The eggs had seemed hard, but the ones that had broken on the rocks hadn’t moved at all. Was it just the force of the fall or was there still a lot of time left?

She only knew what the teaching songs told about dragon Hatchings. How much were fire lizards like dragons, when it came to that? These eggs were so very tiny...

Oh, if she could only be there for the Hatching! Even if only to watch from a distance... Would the fire lizards remember her, or would they drive her away?

Well, anyway, she could at least go and see them tomorrow. Maybe she could bring them some spiderclaws. Surely they’d like that! She thought back to the day of the mating flight, trying to remember what they had been feeding on. There hadn’t been any spiderclaws, but some of the lizards had been catching the smaller crustaceans that lived in the rock pools, and spiderclaws weren’t all that much bigger... Surely food would be a good peace offering!

She smiled, remembering that first sight of them flying. Tiny dragons, wheeling about in the air...

She found herself humming and realized it was a bit of the little tune she’d played on the reed pipe that day. She had forgotten about that – she’d never even had a chance to jot it down, with the new Harper arriving and then being so sick after she cut her hand...

She kept humming, trying to remember more of the tune, and found the rhythm changing. The melody was still there, but now there was more of a steady rhythm, a cadence – more like a real song than just a tune... A song?

A fire lizard song?

Well, why not?

There was certainly a dramatic story she could tell, now! Imagine, a Seaholder girl not only discovering real, living fire lizards, but rescuing their eggs after the little queen all but asked for help!

Oh, but she should start at the beginning! Maybe not all the way back to the mating flight, but her first sight of the fire lizards yesterday – was it just yesterday?! – and watching the little queen trying to push the waves back...

The little queen all golden
Flew hissing at the sea
To keep it back... to turn it back...

* * * * *

Menolly woke, cold and stiff. For a moment she couldn’t think where she was, then the hard stone floor reminded her. The storage room. She woke up all the way, then, remembering about the night before. She hoped it was still early enough to get outside before anyone saw her. She folded the sleeping furs and laid them on a shelf, then took the glow and carefully opened the door. There was no one about.

She walked quickly and quietly through the storage rooms and down the corridor to the kitchen, and was surprised to see how dark it was. Despite her plans the night before, she had never actually been the first one in the kitchen before – there was always someone brewing klah or setting dishes out. Except for the faint glow coming from the banked fires, everything was quite dark – and absolutely silent.

She hurriedly grabbed some food, chewing on a dried fishroll and stowing some bread and cheese in her belt pouch, and took a carry-sack from the bin, then pushed open the doors into the Great Hall. It seemed bigger and darker than ever, with that same deathly silence.

She was almost to the door and was starting to walk past the entrance to the Little Hall when she stopped. The fire lizard song was louder than ever in her head.

Did she dare?

She stopped to look around and listen one more time. Nothing.

Slowly, she entered the Little Hall and closed the door behind her, then walked straight to the archive racks at the back. The writing utensils were still on their shelf, even though the table was now spread with record hides. She carefully moved one of the stacks to make a space on the table, and began to write.

It was a relief to get the melody down onto the page. She found herself wanting to change bits here and there, but finally forced herself to stop writing. She didn’t feel it was finished – some of the words didn’t seem to fit into place quite right – and Petiron would have scolded her for such a sloppy writing job, but it was surely getting late. The last thing she needed now was to be caught here, of all places...

Anxious now, she hurried over to the racks of music. Where had she put those other scraps she had written? No matter... she quickly slipped the hide into a space at the back. She turned to go, then remembered to replace the records she had removed from the table.

She almost ran back out into the Great Hall. It was still quiet. Letting out the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding, she rushed over to the big doors in the outer wall. It took only a moment to lift the heavy bars, and then she was outside. She strode off down the beach, humming as she went.

Last edited by Brenda; Nov 27 2011 at 07:00 PM.
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Old Nov 10 2013, 06:29 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: OKlahoma

Fan of: Dragonriders of Pern
Now Reading: Dragon Drum
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Well done, Brenda
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