Chapter Nineteen, Part One: Breakfast EpiphaniesMature

“Ah, stone seats and gardens! No birds though,” the Valeyard says softly, eyeing the many slim stone perches which line the monks’ eating hall. He moves to stand in front of one of them, tapping the pitted stone with his finger. “… Oi!” 

Then he settles himself on the bench below the icy perch and slides down the length, all the way to the big stew pot at the end of the long table. 

As his face whizzes by the rows and rows of stone pedestals bearing the bird perches, he notices something. 

One of the perches is covered in a sheath of ice taller than he is. 

Lifting midway between the height of a nearby tree and the top of the perch, there is a small winged creature with a bit of mane around its face, frozen in midair. A greenish bluish lion bird. Its little furry face, with dangling red tendrils on either side, stares out of the whitish column of cerulean-tinted ice at him. Waiting and still. 

He pats his stomach and sighs, darting bright eyes back and forth like a caught thief. 

“Did you do that, my little pudding?” he murmurs, caressing his belly again absently as he stares into the bird’s one visible eye; he shoves a finger at it, projecting nonchalance. “…do you think the stew is still warm? Well, let’s us just go and see, shall we then? Hrm?” 

He wraps his fingers around the heavy black iron ladle and pulls it around as if to stir, testing.

The End

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