Morganzer sat curled in the corner of her sleep ledge, wrapped in the robe and two towels and drinking rose hip tea. Daisy and Kholack were each sitting on their ledges, doing hand work. Their sounds were small enough to let in other, muffled sounds from down the hall. Morganzer heard steps and voices and the occasional scraping of a chair on the floor or box on a table. Mackah was back in the library.
The scrying had been frightening at first, which wasn’t surprising. It had ended on a contented note, which she hadn’t expected. She had seen herself lose skin after skin, like an onion. The skins were thicker than she knew human skin would be. In keeping with her beginning thoughts about onions, the skins were thick layers as full of thoughts and ideas as an onion layer was of tears.
She was loosing her thoughts and ideas, her way of seeing the world, and yet she was not diminished. She got no smaller. No sadder, either. She was going to go out into the world and would have to change her mind about a lot of things. But she would be all right.
She would not be comfortable, she knew that. Not while it was happening. The onion meant that, too. The first images after looking into the bowl and thinking of an onion had been disjointed and disturbing. There were many faces frowning and screaming at her. Her brother screamed and tore off a chunk of meat from her shoulder. Only long experience with this sort of clearing let her keep her concentration and relax further into the images.
So she would argue with her brother and he would win and she would agree with him and hate it and that would feel like he had torn a piece off of her. That was the way she was. She didn’t like to be wrong. And she was young and there were things that she hadn’t seen or hadn’t noticed and she could be wrong about many things.
Lillibell smiled and carefully removed bits from her stomach and the backs of her arms. Other aunts pulled less carefully but their grabbing came away with less. Daffak’s stupid cub got a piece of her foot lacings. And then she was flying. Agemates grabbed bits as she slid by. The end of the valley flashed past and there was nothing but snow, snow and the flash of hands.
It hadn’t happened smoothly. At each new image, she had to relax and accept the import of the image and ask it if it had anything else to teach before it left. Some images played over and over. Some paused and then lurched past. Lillibell was almost gone before she was recognized.
“I guess I don’t mind the thought of listening to Lillibell,” she thought. “But the rest is not going to go smoothly. It’s going to be my fault that it doesn’t. My fault that I don’t change my mind easily. I have to accept that about myself. If I don’t, my scrying is going to twist off into the vague and untruthful.”
She sipped the tea, which had a pleasant dollop of honey in it and thought. Or rather, she let her thoughts wander without pushing them.
“Tomorrow I’ll look at what I need to say and do to get out of the valley alive. I’ll talk to the aunts and tell them what I see. I’ll listen to them and let them pack for me. Then I’ll do what I need to do, no matter what they say. I’ll argue with Daffak, because we always argue. I’ll win and we’ll leave. Then on the trail we’ll argue again and I’ll hate it. He’ll be right and I won’t admit it. But I’ll deal with that then, not now.”
She smiled at the thought of Daffak not knowing that he’d won the argument, because she’d never let him know it. It seemed amusing that she might not even let herself know, when it happened. She chuckled inwardly, feeling fond of the stubborn, unreasonable child that she was.
She’d wait until she was out of the valley to scry about the prophecy. First things first. The first thing was keeping people alive.