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A Threat of Dismemberment

Writers: AmajoS, Paula
Date Posted: 9th October 2018

Characters: Corofel, Rothen, Zelanka
Description: After a prank, Corofel is caught by Rothen. Will Zelanka really take his head off?
Location: Amber Hills Hold
Date: month 6, day 26 of Turn 9


So, the bucket full of slime and other disgusting things wasn't such a
good idea after all, not if it got him chased. Corofel was surprised
how fast those angry drudges could ran. He had a hard time outpacing
and shaking them off. Luckily, he had learned to know every nook and
canny at the Hold. He slipped in to a small room, thinking it was
empty. It usually was, when he hid there.

Rothen jumped in surprise as the door behind him open and then close
again closed quickly. The small room, more of a storage closet than an
actual room, was usually quiet and one of the last places he stopped
on his rounds. He didn't usually linger after checking to be sure that
all was as it should be, but it had been a trying day and a few
moments of solitude was just the thing. Or, it had been. He turned to
see who had entered so quickly, even as the muffled sound of running
feet and frustrated curses passed by the now closed door. The boy by
the door was familiar, by reputation as much as by sight.

"Here now, lad. What did you do this time?"

"Nothing," Corofel replied as innocently as fifteen turns old, known
prankster could. On hidsight, making a mess in a Hold where Headwoman
was know to be obsessed with cleaniness wasn't such a great idea. He
did recognized the man as one of the guards, a face he's seen around.

Listening to the fading sound of pursuit as whoever was giving chase
must have turned the corner at the end of the hallway outside, Rothen
snorted. "Nothing, sure." He eyed the boy a moment and tried to recall
what the lad's name was. The guard was sure he knew it. For one thing
the boy matched the description he'd heard often enough from his
fellows of a youngster given to mostly harmless mischief about the
Hold. For another, he was sure he'd seen the boy around, even if he
hadn't had the dubious honor of catching him at anything. Until now.

It came to him then, "Corofel, isn't it? Your name?"

"Yeah, that's it," Corofel confirmed, no sense to deny it. "Uh, could
you just, kind of, like, forget you saw me?" he asked and gave his
best puppy look.

Rothen chuckled, "Afraid not, lad. Besides, it doesn't sound like you
got away clean anyway. Eventually, whoever it was chasing you is going
to catch up to you and it'll probably go worse for you if they do." He
paused then, regarding the boy with a slight grin, "What did you do
anyway?"

Corofel squirmed but he had not learned his father's way of lie his
way out of trouble. "There might been bucket full of slime and other
icky stuff that's now spread all over dining hall. Please, don't let
the Headwoman know it was me, she'll rip my head off and feed it to
the watch-wher!"

The guard shook his head, "Don't you think the people who were just
chasing you will give up and go to her sooner rather than later
anyway? You won't get away with this either way, even if I did let you
go. Which, I'm not. But, if you come along willingly, without trying
to give me the slip or anything, I might tell her how much you seemed
to realize the error of your ways. Maybe she'll settle for having you
clean up the mess, do a few extra chores, instead of actually ripping
off any body parts." This last bit was accompanied by an amused twitch
of the lips.

"Fine," Corofel gave resigned sigh and hung his head.

Rothen really couldn't help the snort of amusement as he reached out
to clasp the boy on the shoulder lightly, "Alright then, let's go. And
don't look so glum. I promise, no dismemberment."

Corofel followed him meekly, what choice he had.
When they reached Zelanka's office, the coldness in her hazel eyes
told them she had already heard of Corofel's latest misadventure.

"Ah, Corofel, so nice of you to drop by," her tone was as cold as her
eyes. "Rothen, thank you for delivering him."

"Headwoman," Rothen greeted the older woman with a nod. "He didn't
give me any trouble on the way here." The guard gave the boy a slight
nudge with his elbow, and a significant look, encouraging Corofel to
speak up.

"I'msorryImadeamessatthedininghall," Corofel mumbled, the words all
jumbling together.

"Excuse me, I didn't catch that," Zelanka stared him sternly.

Corofel sighed, took a deep breath and said with more clearly: "I'm
sorry I made a mess at the dining hall." He looked contrite. "I clean
it up, I promise."

"Yes, you will and then some. Do you have any idea how hard it is to
get that slime out of table clothes?" Zelanka asked and the boy
winced.

Rothen bit back a grin, not envying the lad his chore at all. "It
looks like you have this well in hand, Headwoman," he gave a slight
bow before turning his attention to Corofel. "Try to stay out of
trouble, lad."

Zelanka nodded at Rothen, making a mental note of serving him extra
helping of dessert on next meal. Then she turned her attention back to
Corofel.

Last updated on the October 11th 2018


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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.