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Bonds of Sisterhood

- By Fiha

“Do you think it’s fair?” Ismena groused “That I should go to bed with no supper wile you sit there and eat roast quail…in front of me!”

“You broke Mother’s vase” Canta said simply, placing her fork down with gentle indignation.

“…it was ugly!”

“It was her Great Grandmother’s!”

“…and old!”

Canta closed her eyes and rubbed her aching brow “so you think you shouldn’t be punished”

“Well no!” Ismena spat with trademark indignation “I was doing them a favor! Now she can ask father for a new one!”

“You really have, no idea do you?” said Canta, quite plainly. Ismena cast another longing glance across the table from her hunk of bread spread thick with butter at the steaming roast quail, Canta shifted uneasily in her seat

“oh for pity’s sake, here!” she said, savagely hacking the dainty bird in half. Canta shoved the portion across to her sister and dabbed her mouth with her napkin, looking up expectantly for a ‘thank you’, her otherwise passive, pleasant expression faltered slightly at the sight of Ismena, mouth bulging with bread and quail, grinning stupidly at her. With a huff Canta pushed away from the table and strode across the room

“ ‘at ‘ow ‘an’a ?” Ismena said thickly, Canta clicked her tongue and sat on the window sill. Swallowing hard Ismena wiped her hands on her robe and wandered over to her sister, picking at her teeth, she followed Canta’s wistful gaze out into the city square. Across the crowded square stood a large stone cathedral, young men and women were sitting on the steps leading up to its great wooden doors. They had books on their laps, maces and staves lay in idle fashion about them.

“One day,” Canta said for what must have been the 100th time “One day I’ll study there, with the bishops and the abbots and the priests and the brothers. I know it’s unkind to our father but, I don’t want to work in the shop…is it wrong to want something so much that you would defy your own father?” Canta looked up at her sister, her brow creased with worry. Ismena opened her mouth with snide intent but closed it again. Instead she placed a hand on Canta’s shoulder and smiled

“Not if it is your calling, Canta.” Ismena smiles sadly at her, knowing if either of them were to defy their father it would take more than a calling to convince him. Canta turned her gaze back to the cathedral and sighed happily. One day, that would be her home.

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