Delya Pasinia - Part VI
Delya sat in her room for several hours trying to figure out how she would get out to see her father again. She had tried to leave a short while after Drivet had left, but the guards refused to let her out. "Drivet doesn't want you at the fridona," was all they would tell her. What did 'fridona' mean? She had never heard the word. Was she a prisoner after all? The windows wouldn't open and the only door was guarded. She checked the door several times over the next hour and never found it unguarded.
After awhile the guards feed her, though it still wasn't enough to fill her up. Moping about the room she came upon her box of frena and ate two of the remaining pieces. Feeling her spirits lift she looked about the room and tried to figure out how to get free. Spotting the wand on the floor she walked over and picked it up. Stupid thing did nothing but sparkle, glow or make a small flame. Drivet had claimed that it could do much more, but he hadn't shown her how.
As she tried to get the toy to do more Delya realized she was getting very tired again. Why was she so sleepy recently? She would close her eyes just for a minute. She laid down on the bed with the wand in her hand and looked at the box of frena. She wanted another piece. Once she rested for a few.
Delya woke up and looked around in surprise. It was already dark. Had they already hurt her Papa? She realized she was still holding the wand in her hand and she made it create a glow like a lantern. She still didn't have a plan, but she had to get to see Papa. Her stomach growled and she realized that she hadn't eaten since the small morning meal. She grabbed her box of frena, ate one piece and stuck the last one in her pocket before going out to check on the guards.
Delya opened the door and found two new guards she had never meet. "Excuse me I need to go to see my father. And I am so hungry. Can you have someone bring me something to eat in his room?"
The guard on the left laughed at her. He was a big burly Trevvan with a mean face. "We'll have someone bring you some food when we are ready to little girl. And it will be brought here. Your father has already been taken to his fridona." Unlike Drivet and the other guards she had spoken to, this man spoke Trevvan and he had a funny way of talking that made it hard to understand. Still she understood most of it except the last word. She had never heard that one before, but assumed it must be something like jail.
"Wait a minute Vega. I heard that the girls mother had refused to go." The other guard had a much friendlier face Delya thought.
"Yeah, she won't attend the fridona. What of it? She had the choice."
The second guard turned on the one named Vega. "What of it? If the mother won't attend then the duty falls on this little girl, unless we have an older family member about. If she wants to go then that's her right. You gonna tell me we ain't gonna let her go or you know of someone else in her family I don't?"
Vega poked a finger in the other mans chest. "Drivet said she isn't gonna leave, so she isn't gonna leave! What does her families honor mean anyways. She's to be choka so it don't matter."
"Honor always matters! I won't stand by and let someone be refused the right of attending fridona. Or do you want me to mention to Drivet what happened with her sister?"
Vega growled, "Daltan! You drailing wouldn't! Yes. Yes, you would. You daltan fool! When Drivet asks how she got out I'm going to tell him I was in the bathroom understand me Sinsa? I'm not taking the rap for this one!"
What about her sister? These men knew something about Gill! She was about to ask when Sinsa turned to her. "The fridona is starting any minute. You'll need to run to get there in time. Do you know the way out?"
Delya shook her head and the man yelled for her to follow as he was already striding down the corridor. The mans long paces carried him at such a speed that Delya had to run as fast as she could just to keep him in sight. She couldn't ask about Gill and still keep her breath as much as she wanted to. After several twists and turns he stopped in a doorway and pointed out. When Delya caught up to Sinsa she saw that he was pointing at her father, in chains, being lead across the courtyard to a stage.
Delya forgot all about asking Sinsa about Gill and ran as fast as she could to the stage where her father was being led. Halfway across the distance she began calling out, "Papa! Papa! Wait for me Papa!"
Papa turned to Delya, but was grabbed by two of the men with him and forced forward. Delya saw Drivet break away from the group and waited for her to reach him. She tried to run past him to her father, but Drivet swept her off her feet with ease. "What are you doing here?" He shouted at her.
Delya beat her fists against him and tried to wiggle free. "Let me go! I want to be with my Papa! I don't care about your fridona! Just let me be with my Papa! Please!"
Drivet set her down allowing her to face her father, but kept his arms wrapped around her pinning her to him. She felt the hilt of his belt knife pressed into the back of her neck as he held her tight. "Delya, I think you would thank me later if I sent you back to your room this instant. I will give you one last chance. Are you sure you wish to be present for this? Once you go onto the dais there is no turning back."
"Yes. Let me to my Papa!" Delya lunged forward and nearly fell to her knees as Drivet let her free. She ran the few dozen remaining paces and climbed up onto the platform wrapping her arms around her Papa.
Her father went rigged when she hugged him. She gave him a searching glance and his guards allowed him to bend down to her. "You should not be here sweet one. You go back to your room right now!"Why wasn't he glad to see her? She had gone through so much to get here.
Drivet got up on the podium and began to speak to those gathered around. She began to shake and realized she was so hungry. She hadn't eaten in hours and all this excitement was making her dizzy. Her head was spinning so much she could not hear Papa or Drivet. She had nothing to eat but her candy. She pulled out the last piece of frena and her father tried to smack it from her hand. She had to eat something and slipped it in her mouth before her could stop her.
Through the spinning of her head she heard Drivet saying something about the fridona. "She was advised repeatedly not to come and has done so under her own free will."
Her father was speaking too. "Don't you understand what that was?"
Her head spun more after the candy, not less. Drivet was speaking, "By the long held traditions of our people..."
Her father grabbed her and shook her, "Listen to me! Don't you understand what you have done?"
"Delya has agreed to take her mothers place in the fridona."
"Run before it is too late!" Her father pushed her away.
"By her own choice she will join me in performing the fridona."
"It means execution! Fridona is Trevvan for execution Delya! You just asked to participate! Run while you still can!" Her father pushed her again with those words and her head swam. Falling to her knees she tried to shake her head clear.
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