Enjoy reading another section of my book! It connects with the post titled “Right back in the writing saddle” following Frida on her journey.
Back at Schavles, the guard came out and ushered the waiting Frida into the cave. He pulled a lever made of bone, which triggered the stone door to close and the elevator to rise. This stone door is crucial to the ducks staying in hiding as it camouflages the cave back into the mountain. As Frida rode the elevator deep into the mountain (554 levels to be exact), she thought about how she would approach Pappulus T, the all-knnowing and most specialest of ducks and of the whole bird species.
She had never tried to make conflict with him or the ancestors. And within a few minutes, she would need to make a case for why she wished to contradict his decision. It was a good thing Leroy was an avid reader of law books from the library and a watcher of cop shows. Frida felt confident. She could be the proseducktor and Pappulus T would be the disduckt attorney. They would give opening statements and closing arguments with the ancestors listening – wait a minute. She is the only one arguing and he is making a decision on reversing his own plan for someone’s destiny. Frida realized she was probably going to get scrambled. The elevator dinged and the door opened up to this fortress of feathers, shining like silver, covering the floors and ceilings so it looked and felt like you were inside a pillow. Frida gulped as she waddled out of the elevator and heard this booming squawk and gust of feathers flapping,
“WHO GOES THERE? WHY ARE YOU DISTURBING MY SLUMBER?”
Frida cautiously flapped her name.
“WHY ARE YOU AWAY FROM LEROY?”
Frida quivered as she flapped, “I have a question.”
“A concern actually.” She knew this would be bad.
Pappulus T jumped down fom his nest at the edge of the wall, probably ten feet above Frida, and his shiny silver feet landed right in front of her.
(For perspective, Frida is about the size of one of Pappulus T’s legs. The ducks at Schavles eat very well and grow at an insane rate)
Frida’s body flew about five feet in the air from the vibrations after his weight hit the cave floor. Pappulus T opened his mouth wide as if to eat her, but closed his mouth so she would hit the floor hard instead. He wanted her scared, but not gone. He also wanted to hear what she had to say. Part of it all was for show. He had to seem tough as the leader.
Frida had to get her nerves in check. She thought to herself, “you’re the proseducktor remember? Time to state your case, argue, and win.”
Frida puffed up her arms and chest and feathers to look confident, and flapped,
“Why did you choose Jeremiah Stane’s destiny to be melancholy?”
She waited, and then continued, “his wife is already so broken and now she can barely be herself, and his daughter has yet to turn fourteen, which is quite young to be without a father.”
Pappulus T thought this over for many deep breaths. Most ducks came to him to give him gifts or congratulate him, so this was a new way to be approached: with a query as well as a concern.
“The destinies of Vicanosian citizens are like dreams. I see visions and the very details painted on the pages of my mind are what must come to be. Some are hard to swallow and others are wonderous beyond belief. I cannot say why Jeremiah Stane and his family were chosen to endure the tragedy, but it had to be done with my foreseeing powers.”