Cage of Glass – Chapter 11

She was not looking directly at him, but the Zalethi felt Thesanthei stand up from his seat to walk towards her. She held her left hand raised in a blessing sign as the carriage carried her over to the city centre. They would soon approach the makeshift area they had built for the occasion, then it would be just a matter of a couple hours to reach the castle and end the day on what would hopefully be a happy note. 

With her twelfth slavegirl safe and sound. She would probably leave the others in the care of Thana and Nives in the Birdcage so that she could enjoy a peaceful and relaxing night… and not alone.

Thesantei reached her and waved at the crowd, which replied with cheers and cries – he was a familiar face, much more present than she was, in a way. 

The last few decades had seen her withdraw into her spire and trying to put together a semblance of plan for the future. 

The chalk-illness kept spreading.

Sabja children were born with malformations, and even the Apua people was starting to decline. 

Some sort of hidden deficiency in their makeup, perhaps. The information that had carried over through the millennia, the lost instructions she has so painstakingly spread over the population were lost, faded from her memory like a half-remembered dream. 

In the end, this had been just another failure.

“There has been some trouble in the forest,” Thesanthei murmured, his wizened eyes moving past the city and towards the line of the hills, where the trees grew thicker and the shadows deeper. “I have heard rumours of unfair treatment and injustice, even. I would suggest a sharp and swift action.”

The Zalethi leaned back, withdrawing from the crowd and into the worrisome space her best advisor was drawing her towards. 

But that was not the place she wanted to be. Not today.

“Let’s given them a few days,” she replied. “You give them a nail, they end up biting up to your shoulder.”

“So it may happen, but the illness that’s ignored often grows bolder.”

She chuckled.

“You are so keen on lathering more worry over my shoulders.” He did care about them. Of course he did. He could still allow himself to think of the Rasena as people, and not as yet another cycle.

“I merely try to press onto the issues I find most important before my time runs short. The Twelve knows you will run this Dominion into the ground the moment I am gone.”

“Right away? That is a large amount of trust you have in me,” she replied, feigning hurt.

“Perhaps a cycle, then.”

“Perhaps.” She laughed softly, setting her hand atop the old Loukomon’s. 

“I have prepared notes. On the Council, on the dignitaries. Diplomacy, finances. You will find everything perfectly explained. For the future.”

She went back to her half-forgotten mosaic – not one made of names but of the hidden rules of nature, one she had been trying to rebuild for the better part of a century now. 

He had the same idea as her: write it all down. They just used different pencils. 

And, even if she loathed to admit it, she had never been nearly as tidy as her old friend. 

“The future might never come,” she whispered. “Perhaps tomorrow we will wake up and it will be just like today.”

“I wouldn’t want that!” He chortled and his laughter turned into a cough. “I want to meet the Twelve one day! Get some rest for all the hard work I have done.”

“Yes,” she agreed. “Yes, some rest sounds like such a good idea.”


No matter how many people had remained around the arena, Eteri knew they had the best place in the world just besides the stand.

She pulled ati and her sister and Barnabas from that area to the Withepath and from there to their stand, which she found pleasantly empty. 

“Took you long enough,” her father waved at them, smiling from his seat. “Everything went. Most of your wares did not, but we are going to keep them in store,” he explained with a knowing grin. 

“Just wait for the word to spread,” Eteri completed.

He stood up and went to share pleasantries with Barnabas and a hug with Tatia, who looked even more beautiful as the sunlight veered towards gold and the afternoon began to pick up its stuff and leave room for the evening. Already the sky to the west was growing duller, the sun approaching the lowest level of the clouds. 

Eteri picked up one of the olive branches her father had bought for all of them. She waved it back and forth, thinking about the last time she had done that.

Back then she had been sitting on her father’s shoulders, straining her thin arms to try and reach out to the Zalethi’s hand as if she could touch it. She had felt a connection with the woman made of stars, and since then, the chance to finally meet her again had been a keen desire etched in her mind, just as starkly as the patterns and decorations she had created on her plates. 

She withdrew the branch and collected the rest of her family as they helped her father close the stand and they got ready for the actual start of the procession. 

As Eteri was folding the wooden panels she heard a faint sound of flutes and tambourines. She stopped, lifting her head from her work, turning to her left, where the sound was coming, stronger and stronger – and echoed by the shouts and chants and chattering of the crowd. 

“Oh, Twelve above,” she shuddered. Her sister beckoned her to come closer. She hugged her as they both raised their olive branches, waiting for the first carriages to reach their spot. 

“You are so excited!” Tatia beamed. “You were right, though: this is a far better place! i have my lover, my family, and my little sister by my side!”

“Would you say that this parade might get exciting at the end?”

“I would not go as far,” she rolled her eyes, “but I am still going to enjoy it as much as I can. With my little sister by my side.”

Author’s Notes: This novel has required a long time to get all the pieces in order. I hope you had fun meeting Eteri’s family and friends. I also hope you will enjoy it even more as we are about to put the set pieces together.

Thanks for reading.


Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un’icona per effettuare l’accesso:

Logo di

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s…

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: