I’ve lived my entire life on Kleptha IV, on my family’s elmgern ranch.

When the raids begin, it becomes obvious that war is on the horizon. My only parent is recalled to active duty, to fly one of the great warships of the Kordolian Empire. I’m twenty-three and like my age-peers, the next year should have been filled with chaperoned parties, short-term internships, and social introductions, called the Year of Seeking.  At the end, my twenty-fourth natal day party would have seen two announcements. One, which of the internships piqued my interest enough for me to pursue it as my specialty. The second, a betrothal to a social and, hopefully, romantic match.

 

With my davatir away serving the Empire, I will have no one to preside over my Year of Seeking.

But Davati is as devoted to my care as always. He’s brought me to Jorah, homeworld of our race and seat of the Kordolian Empire. A special school has been set up by a human who traveled halfway across the known galaxy just to open it. Called Miss Pinch’s Finishing School for the Discerning Matis Jorahnian, it even sounds prestigious. There I will not only partake of all the usual Year of Seeking activities, but learn human culture and language. It is a rare opportunity and I am looking forward to it. It will be an adventure, one I can share with Davati once he returns from his battles. We’ll both have tales to tell, my wedding to plan, and a future as a family to look forward to once our dark days are over.

Just how dark they would become, I had no way of knowing.

But light cannot shine without darkness. I find myself benefiting from kindnesses from a mysterious Jorahnian that in better times I would believe to be acts of courtship. Dare I to hope? Is this my knight in shining armor, or another snare I’ve fallen into? I wish Davati were here to guide me through this maze of the heart.

© 2020 Grim and Sinister Delights