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Triple Triplets (scene 5)
“Catch me if you can,” Sile shouted, jumped into the air, and pictured a bird in her mind. Kiven glanced up quickly from his book to see his sister's transformation. One moment she was plummeting toward the ground, the next her body glowed softly, and suddenly a bird took her place. Kiven fought back a whoop as the bird circled the little courtyard triumphantly and returned quickly to his book.
Lore crouched in her cat form and yowled, then suddenly, her human head appeared on the cat.
“No fair! No fair!” she yelled. The bird trilled louder and dive-bombed the cat. Kiven, despite himself, looked up from his book again.
The cat struck out at the bird, but missed. Lore's eyes darkened and she pouted, then her face turned stoic and she closed her eyes. Kiven blinked, surprised to find her turned to stone.
Sile circled around her wearily, then landed on the cat's shoulder and pecked at Lore's head, thinking she'd won. Kiven realized Sile's danger, but bit back a warned and jumped slightly when Lore suddenly turned back to flesh and then to her human form, pinning Sile.
Sile turned back to her human form and struggled halfheartedly, knowing that Lore had her.
“Ow!” she gasped as Lord put more weight on her stomach.
Kiven sighed loudly as if they'd interrupted his reading. He sighed again, drawing it out. He really didn't want to get out of his hammock. He'd hung it in the shady corner of their private courtyard, hoping to study his books in peace, but his sisters had other ideas.
Lore released the pressure on Sile's stomach, but didn't let her up. She stared at Kiven as if daring him to pounce on her. Kiven looked away as if bored, but in his mind he grabbed desperately for the monster, the monster face he'd made years ago to scare fher. He pulled it out of his memory and placed it on Sile's face, willing it to take shape.
Lore felt a ripple in the air which meant one of her siblings was working their magic. She looked down, expecting to see Sile changing and jumped back when she saw the face Kiven had conjured up.
Kiven laughed softly at her reaction and Lore turned to glare at him. Sile sat up and waved at the air before her face, dissolving Kiven's image. She laughed and Lore turned on her. Sile stood and offered her hand to her. Lore took it cautiously, wary of a change in her sister's form, but when she stood, the two embraced and Lore joined in their laugher. They walked over to join Kiven.
He moved over in his hammock and Lore sat on the edge of it and half leaned against him, closing her eyes and calming her breath. Sile sat on the ground and leaned against their legs. She took a book from KIven's stack and opened it to a random page, focusing on a word and using it to calm her. Kiven half closed his eyes as well, relaxing between his sisters.
Soon the three were half asleep, rooted in their meditation and breathing as one. Kiven felt himself slipping; he would change soon.
But before he did, the ___ walked into the courtyard.
“Ah, I see my triplets are calm today.” He stopped in the middle of the area and smiled at them.
The three shot guilty looks at each other and Kiven opened his mouth to speak, but closed it quickly.
“Kiven, son,” the ___ said and turned to smile specifically at him. He was their legal guardian, not their father, but he insisted the he treated them as his own children. Kiven looked back at him impassive and not moved by the man's stressed warmth, the ___'s smile was always too wide and misplaced on his face.
The ___ waited a moment, then spoke to him again. “You're needed in the receiving room at once.”
“But I was there this morning.”
“As was I,” Lore whispered, and grabbed his arm when he stood.
“Yes, but you're needed again,” the ___ said.
“Can't Sile come with me. Every knows that I have a sister.” His sisters stood beside him and Sile took his other arm and nodded. “And she's the best image capture,” he added, lowering his voice under the ___'s gaze.
“Yes, but you're the eldest, we tell everyone that you're a year older then your sister, so its only right that you are present more then her…either of them. Have you forgotten that the Mien ___ and his niece, the ___, are coming today?” Beside his head a picture appeared and he played his thoughts out for them to see. The Mien ___ approached him and he bowed respectively and offered him a seat. A small female figure appeared next and Kiven came and bowed to her and showed her to her seat. Then, suddenly, Kiven disappeared, and the eyes of the Mien ___ and ___ narrowed and they stalked out, offended. “You must play your part.”
KIven sighed, then bowed, fist clenched tightly against his palm, to the ___ and walked after him to the door.
The ___ paused one more time and turned back to Lore and Sile. “Kiven's right, you both copy the images that he recreates. He'll bring his notes and images to you later and you'll draw them for the records.” The two bowed as the ___ left.
Kiven looked back before he followed and quickly transformed his head into a fish's and back before the ___ could see. He was rewarded by walking away to his sister's delighted laugher.