Monday, April 11, 2011

The Man with No Face

At which the sandals of FVMMA began to pedal feverishly up the walls of the serene garden, as he grasped a terra-cotta shingle atop the wall, which crashed to the ground, and then another. At long last he scrambled over the top of the wall and disappeared.

"What's wong wif that man?"

"Nothing, Bella. He's a godly fellow and an earnest friend. Pray for his safety."

Olga and Bella prayed for Fivim's safety, then Olga arranged Bella's curls behind her ear and they moved back into the Kreml proper. Past a mound of brass artillery shells, stacks of cordwood, and sacks of flour they moved, enjoying the smells of the stone halls of the Kreml.

"Miss Olga?"

"Yes Princess Isabella."

"What is a spy?"

"A spy is someone who needs to find out all about what goes on here in the Kreml, and then tells all about us to people who want to take the Kreml away from us. Do you know Dmitri Shemyaka?"

"Is he the guy in the woods with the wolf eyes and the claws?"

"No, love, that's Prince Vseslav. He's a good and godly man, when his claws are gone. Dmitri Shemyaka is a man with no face."

"I'm scared of that."

"Yes, well we're all a bit put off by him. He has a face, of course, but it's made of bass-wood, and his eyes are pewter."

"What's pewter?"

""Shiny metal, like a coin." They were passing a kitchen, where heavy women labored over a stove the size of a large plot of land. The air rang with the smell of potatoes and onions, butter and meat.

"What does the coin eyes man want?"

"He is Grand Prince Ivan's cousin, and he thinks the Kreml should be his. If he takes the Kreml, he'll probably feed us to the Ghugguk."

"I don't like vat. What's the Ghugguk?"

"The three-headed dragon. Baba Yaga's. Don't worry about Baba Yaga. She doesn't eat children so much anymore."

"I want to go back to Castile. Nobody eats children in Castile."

"You'll only be here until the end of summer, sweetheart. Probably nobody will eat you before then."

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