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Hi there! It is time once again to share a little more of The Queen of Bears. Last week the High Elder’s mother bullied her son in front of every one in the kingdom until he agreed to do what she wanted. Here are the next 8 paragraphs. (8 for August.)


Master scanned the crowd until his wife put her hand on his shoulder. Ouida pointed directly at Oya. Oya’s lips pulled into the tight smile that fooled most people into thinking she was happy. Arvid knew better. She reached over to give Oya’s arm a comforting squeeze. Oya shifted her arm back unexpectedly to link it tightly around Arvid’s. Without spoiling her smile or moving her lips, she whispered, “Oh no you don’t. You’re coming with me.” She dragged Arvid through the crowd.

Arvid parted her lips in what she hoped looked like a natural smile. She couldn’t quite mimic Oya’s ventriloquism, so she clenched her teeth and spoke through them, “Are you crazy? Master is already going to punish me for staring at his wife. I don’t want to add impertinence to his list of reasons he should beat me.”

“He won’t beat you. You’re with me. Besides, it’ll give the men a chance to notice you.”

“I’m not on the market.”

“You are now.”

They reached the ring of Elders. Master stepped toward them, his eyes flicking between them. Arvid bowed without unlinking her arm from Oya’s, yanking her friend into a reasonable semblance of respect. Dried, red mud from the riverbank spotted Master’s feet in cracked patches, looking almost like an itchleaf rash. He smelled of sweat, nut oil, and khali flowers, not the bitterwood soap he favored.

“I hope your meditation gave the wisdom you sought, Master.”

Master gave a low, throaty, “hmm,” in response.


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I think this one is called Un Jour de Spectacle Gratuit  Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1830

I think this one is called Un Jour de Spectacle Gratuit
Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1830