Saturday, 10 April 2010
06:50:42 AM (GMT)
I'm practicing using an individual to give the reader a nice view of what their
society is like.
Guess what? This story is fantasy fiction.
This story is about a boy named Gren.
Children of Nobles part I
Gren trotted across the slopping lawn, heading for the more unkempt back area
of the palace grounds. Getting out was never very hard near dusk.
Gren was born in a palace, along with all noble children including the heir to
the throne, although it was possible that Gren was the heir. It was a practice that
had begun little over a century before, to help ease the injustice of a monarchy.
He lifted short legs through grass nearly as tall as he was, cloth shoes wet
with warm muddy water, breathing in summer evening air and listening to the wind.
Gren spent every moment he could listen to the wind, but he knew these moments would
become all the more precious soon.
There were many things Gren didn't know about his birth. He had didn't know
where the chambers noble children were born in was. But he did know that today was
the anniversary of his conception. It was the fourth day of the sixth month of the
He sat down cross legged. The grass reached over his head now, and it itched. A
bit of breeze played with his hair, whispering through the grass. Gren cocked an ear
Time to get up.
Gren placed his hands on his lap and thought that he wanted to get up. He
really wanted to. The grass brushed him as he floated, but soon he was high above it,
not bothering to look down. A small lone figure sitting in the air, aware of the
world, as the wind explained it to him.
There was a person approaching the lawn from the murky light.
He is calling you.
"How strange. Why can't I hear him?" Gren tried harder to listen, wondered if
he should go down.
He should come up.
"Can you come up?" he called down. On the lawn, the stranger didn't seem to know how
to respond. Then he sat in the grass and came bobbing up to Grens’ level.
"What are you doing up here?" he asked Gren. His voice was unusually deep,
his hair a richer black then Grens’. The two shared the same day of conception.
They were six.
"I was just listening." "To what?" A breeze swirled around them and Gren
"The wind, mostly." His companion looked around them nervously.
"What's it saying?" he asked Gren. "How'd you know it says things?"
rebutted Gren. "Something about your tone I guess,"
He’s never been able to learn what he can do. Don’t be rash.
"The wind tells me things. It says you're important, and that you don't know
all the things you can do. I'm Gren."
He is Eji. "And you are Eji, right?"
The boy nodded. Eji was the name most people knew him by. His real name was rather
long, and too hard for anyone their age to say.
They sat suspended in silence for awhile. Eji, who had never realized he
could levitate before, was getting tired from it.
"Do you think we should tell our tutor we can do this?" Eji asked at last.
After the noble women gave birth, their child was carried off to be cleaned and named
by midwives. When all the children were born, the women returned to their husbands.
The midwives raised the children of nobles until they could walk, after which point
they were raised by everyone in the castle. On June fifth, in their sixth year, the
children began receiving education.
"I don't think we should... Not yet. Someone we're going to be learning with
is ganna be king. We learn together to make sure we all know the same amount."
Past monarchies had collapsed because King fearfully denied other nobles education so
that his line were the only ones fit to rule. Then when illness or war killed the
heir, things fell apart.
This last problem is what gave rise to the modern social structure, or so the
wind told Gren when he was young. The resentment between classes and generations
might have been enough, but lack of education was the tipping point.
In order to create a stable kingdom, peasants had rights to family life that
nobles were denied. Nobles did not live with their specific child, but helped to
communally raise all noble children, never knowing which their child was and which
would command their child. These children were all taught to the point where any
would be fit to become king or queen.
"Maybe... Maybe when we move to our new rooms with the other kids, we can teach
them!" Eji suggested excitedly.
"So as soon as we can all float, we show the teachers?" Gren asked. Magic
usually was taught much later than more academic pursuits, for even though it was
part of all major ceremonies, not many were able to justify the energy using it took
when they were doing trivial things.
The wind tried to say something, which Gren didn't hear.
"Wait, the wind is whispering again," he stalled, aware of Eji's doubt.
Don't show adults any time soon. Pass and receive magical learning
"... Eji, what if we taught each other magic first? In secret?" Gren
suggested. Shiny green eyes disappeared as Eji blinked; darkness was hiding almost
"I know how to do loads! It's just that grownups stop me from practicing, in
case it tires makes me collapse," Eji said with disdain, more for the adults than for
"Oh... I really only know how to do this. But you could teach everyone!" The
prospect of doing something special with the other people their age was less
terrifying than whatever scholars and educators wanted from them during the day.
Calmed a bit, Gren listened once more.
He needs to get down now.
"I-I guess we could. Yeah! But I need more practice to get my
endur...whoa-" Eji was wobbling dangerously. Gren grabbed the other boys’ knee to
steady him and silently pushed them towards the ground.
"Ah, thanks," Eji said, only a little embarrassed. They pushed their way
through grass back to the castle, working out ways to meet up after they should be
asleep in whispers.
-To be continued.