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Caylis and the Pea


by the_lady_j

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The first thing you should know?

     The pea was innocent.

     LONG AGO, for reasons that remain unclear, the Dark Water Faeries of the Deep, those nefarious sisters that call themselves The Drenched, came to have their eye upon King Kelpbeard's wards from Old Maraqua, the sisters Isca and Caylis. Whether they were looking to add to their number, or perhaps motivated by jealousy, no one can be certain, but let us not linger where the water remains murky.

     Some say Isca and Caylis were naturally born with the blessing of foresight. Others say The Drenched had an evil hand in the nature of their foretellings. No matter, for one thing is true -- the pea wanted no part in it.

     As luck would have it, one day while minding its own affairs, the pea was snatched up, placed into a sack, and whisked away to it knew not where.

     The next thing it knew, it was sitting in a dank cave with the three Drenched sisters staring down at it in a manner which one could only say was anticipatory. It could only tell them apart by the colors they wore; one teal, one violet, one blue. The pea was certain it was about to become part of someone's dinnertime meal.

     But no.

     Do not fear for the fate of the pea just yet. This is not where its story ends.

     "It's nearly ready," the sister in teal said.

     The one wearing blue declared, "It's time to put it where it belongs."

     "It will grow stronger by the day," said the violet sister. She sounded a bit too eager for the pea's liking.

     It was placed into a sack once more and carried away. It was pretty sure it changed hands at least twice before arriving somewhere within King Kelpbeard's palace. It was removed from the sack by it knew not who, and the pea had just long enough to see a bedroom before being roughly shoved under the mattress. All in all, very rudely, thought the pea, who was certain it had met it's end being squashed by royal bedding.

     It came to pass that this was not to be the case. The pea had become strong enough to withstand the weight of the royal mattress and so, with no one there to tell it otherwise, endeavored to make its escape.

     Meanwhile --

     Caylis was having a rough time sleeping.

     First, it started with a restless night. No matter which way she tossed or turned, she simply could not get comfortable. So the very next day, she requested another mattress be placed upon her bed. She was readily accommodated, being a ward of the king, and no one took notice of the matter.

     The next night she settled in to get some much needed rest. She wasn't certain at first, but as the night wore on, could only conclude that this second mattress was even lumpier than the one beneath it. She tossed and she turned and she had fitful dreams.

     The following morning she requested yet another mattress be placed upon her bed. This raised an eyebrow or two, but the request was carried out and a third mattress went onto her bed.

     Caylis had to jump up to get into her bed that night, but she was so tired, she barely took notice and fell into an exhausted sleep. The dreams she had that night were horrible.

     She tried to confide in her sister, but Isca was dealing with her own sort of dreams.

     "We should go together to tell King Kelpbeard," Isca said after hearing of her sister's bad dreams.

     "Do you think our dreams are trying to tell us something?" Caylis asked. "Warn us in some way, perhaps?"

     "I think that this is a matter best left for the king to decide," Isca answered.

     So they both agreed to go and speak with King Kelpbeard.

     It didn't go so well for Caylis. While King Kelpbeard's interest was keen to Isca's dreams, his reaction to her own horrible dreams dismayed her. She didn't mean to dream them. She didn't want to dream them. So what was she to do?

     She called for a fourth mattress to be place on her bed. She could hear the palace staff's whispers and giggles when they thought she wasn't listening and it made her angry. She knew much of her anger was because she was so tired, but she couldn't help it.

     That night as she went to her room, she heard snickering behind her. She slammed the door to her chamber shut behind her and turned to find that a footstool had been placed next to her ever-growing bed. She was so angry, she stomped over to the stool and kicked it across the room. "Very funny!" she yelled out to no one in particular, but there was no one there to hear her.

     She readied herself for bed and found that she would need the stool to assist her after all. This only made her more grumpy as she climbed up onto the bed with some effort.

     With four mattresses, I should surely be able to sleep well tonight, she thought. And with some good rest and a new day, I will be able to attend to all of that awful gossip!

     Unfortunately for Caylis, it was not to be. Her dreams were more horrible than the night before and she found herself waking up in tears.

     Her sister was of no help, for she now had the attentive ear of the King. And the King was no help because he didn't like hearing about what Caylis had dreamed.

     Another day, another mattress and more nightmares. So it went until there were eight mattresses piled high on her bed. People spoke aloud about her now, even where she could hear them. They believed that her dreams were somehow responsible for all the bad things that were happening in Maraqua. She became moody and sullen and no one wished to be around her. She took to stomping off to be alone, away from the constant stares and snickers.

     She called for another mattress, but there were no more to be had throughout all of the palace. So eiderdown quilts were placed on top of the mattresses. She now had to use a ladder to climb atop the bed.

     It was no use. At night, the dreams grew more vivid and more terrible, and during the day, the gossip grew louder and more direct. She was weary from lack of sleep, weary from nightmares when she did sleep, and weary from the finger-pointing and rudeness when she walked the palace grounds. She grew angry, mean, and withdrawn and no one, not even Isca, wanted to spend any time with her. They feared her dreams and came to distrust her for having them.

     Eight mattresses and eight eiderdown quilts later, the king had had enough. It was his wish that she should go, and her desire to no longer be where she was not welcome. So she left King Kelpbeard's palace and her towering bed of mattresses never to return to live there again. And while this is not the end of her tale, the rest is a story for another time.

     So now, you may wonder, whatever happened to the poor little, very innocent, not-necessarily-squashed pea? And was it the cause of Caylis being unable to sleep comfortably?

     To the latter question, the pea would say 'most definitely not'. It was innocent of any wrong-doing and not responsible for its circumstance. It would have us believe quite the opposite to be true.

     You see, our friend, the pea, grew stronger each day just as The Drenched sisters had predicted. The pea was not only able to withstand the weight of the many mattresses, but also able to continue working towards its escape. It took many a day, and lots of effort, but eventually it found its way free. It secretly left the confines of King Kelpbeard's palace and narrowly avoided capture by the pirates of Smuggler's Cove.

     But what is a nearly indestructible pea to do? How is it to live out its days?

     Feeling it wasn't left with many choices, it went back into hiding to live a reclusive life in disguise. Occasionally it dons its notorious red cape and becomes the pea we've all come to know and love -- the Super Attack Pea.

     Though it really doesn't like to attack anybody.

     And that, my friend, is a true story.

The End

 
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