"Avez!" my mother called to me from the grand kitchen, warm from the various sources of heat as they cooked the meats of that day's dinner. I ran in from the chill of the wintry outdoors, dragging Zeva along with me. My father came to the dining hall just as we all sat down, as usual.

"So, how was your day, children?" he asked as he sat.

Me and Zeva went over our adventures in the backyard, as we always did. She explained the epic stories we had come up with, and I told my own wonderful tale of how she stupidly fell down the little ladder on the side of the playhouse, again. Father scolded me for calling my sister stupid, and made the point that if she was as stupid as I would tell, I should be just as stupid, since we were twins. We all knew he wasn't entirely serious; he and Zeva always laughed it off as I lowered my head, bested by logic.

Then, he began , detailing the events he went through as king of our land. Me and Zeva fancied the stories about Adsev (Advisor) Kala, my father's best friend, and a great advisor to him as well. They had such good chemistry that stories involving them always came out to being the best of that day's dinner.

After dinner, Zeva and I went back out to straighten the backyard for the next day, and then headed off to bed. Father made the same prayer with us every night. I can't remember it exactly, but it had one particular line:

When I am taken by the holy star, I know that Kagume, our country, will look up and see my face in the empty night.

As I tried to fall asleep, I thought about the passage. What did Father mean, about a star taking people away?

I found out much too soon. Father died four years after that very night, and Mother followed him a year later. They had quite a few health conditions that foreshadowed their early deaths. Under Adsev Kala's direction, we became the new royalty. Traditionally, Zeva became the true ruler, as the gender of the king/queen alternated for generations of our family. She was only 12 and, likewise, I was too, so Adsev Kala was, for all intents and purposes, the temporary ruler of Kagume, at least until we turned 16.

That was about 2 months ago. I was given the position of Monota Adsev (Titular Advisor), which basically meant I did nothing and my title was there to please the people so they didn't question why I had no power. See, when there were siblings involved, the alternating gender rule chose the king or queen, and then the other royal children were just residents in the Grand Castle. But, the Kagumeans revolted, saying that if they had no power, they shouldn't live in the castle and reap those benefits. So whenever that happened, the king or queen at the time made up fake advisor positions to calm the people.

Honestly, I hate that sort of lying, but I didn't choose to do that nor did I want to be kicked out on the street, so I accepted my new position of Nothing-At-All Avez.

And that brings me to today. In my spare, well, in my time in general, I've become an unofficial researcher. My interest: stars.

Particularly, the one mentioned in the verse Father always told us.

I wondered, is it real? Is there a star out there that held the power and the souls of past Kagumeans? And that's what I worked on, for a good 2 months.

I want to get Zeva on board. But, she's a lot more of a realist nowadays...not much fun like when we were kids...though maybe this will rekindle that spark of wonder within her?

 . . .

December 27, 2012

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