Story for the Day: Tuismhuir Siaerla
The Frewyn equivalent of Mother's/Father's Day
The generous and somewhat reluctant funding the Den Asaan provided the orphan who came to the door of the commons bearing biscuits used to lure him from his den was placed in the donations bin at Church. Many similar young and affecting orphans were sent with comparable missions but none had been as successful as the one who braved the giant’s temper and lived to tell of her good fortune. Upon returning to the churchyard, the money she procured was collected with some surprise from her cohorts and the girl was assailed with an array of teeming questions as to what the Den Asaan was like, was she met with opposition and ferocious roars, and how she had survived so horrific ordeal with any semblance of success. The girl smiled, recanted her tale, and declared herself triumphant in vanquishing the beast’s foul temper, but her feelings of glorious achievement soon depreciated. She had nearly forgotten the reason why the money was to be collected.
It was a holiday this day, and one that not every orphan should like. Those standing in the churchyard with some of the Sisters were forced to recollect that the money they gathered was in honour of Tuismhuir Siaerla, the Frewyn observance kept to esteem one of the most important virtues in the Good Book of the Gods: the revering of parents. There was no passage in the old text to denote a need for such a commemorative day but the Church enjoyed creating holidays just as much as they enjoyed creating guilt, as feelings of innocence meant the emptying of pockets and the arrival of parishioners. Those without parents to adulate were deployed and meant to prey upon the sensibilities of young couples who wished to have a child in their home. In the spirit of the day, few newly united couples would come to the Church orphanage perhaps to adopt one who could praise them on such a holiday in future, but those who were overlooked did little else but collect money for their boarding and education and feel sorry that they should not be chosen. It was a mild exploitation, but one that benefited all parties involved for the small price of a child’s sensitivity.
Once the giant had done with his box of purchased biscuits, he made the proposal of an early patrol through the capital. His suggestion was met with some surprise until the empty box was discovered and his true wishes were then revealed. A venture to Diras Delights was in order to obtain more of the same treats he had just finished and though his intention was to shout and demand more of the equivalent be made in his honour, he soon found that such exertion would not be necessary.
The commander imparted that the rare delights could be purchased from the Church. When she was asked why the Frewyn institution would have dark chocolate biscuits in their possession when it was evident that something so delicious must be considered immoral to the Reverend Mother, she replied that this day was a holiday and the biscuits were baked in honour of the observance with the hopes of garnering charity from their exclusivity.
The Den Asaan gave his mate a pained sigh, feeling tricked into supporting a reprehensible adherence without forewarning.
“I knew you would be eventually ensnared by their practices,” the commander said, laughing at her mate’s sullen expression.
The Den Asaan glared at the commander’s smirking countenance and he dragged her out of the commons, down the winding stair and through the main hall, thundering with discontent in every step. “I will not be deceived by your Church again,” he said firmly.
“I daresay you won’t be. I have no doubt you’re planning a fitting retaliation. Will you be burning the bell tower or merely stopping by for a chat with the Reverend Mother?”
“I will not be speaking, Traala,” the giant’s voice rumbled as he placed a hand on the grip of his sword.
Rautu ushered the commander through the main gate and he proceeded his march, resolved to deliver his intended remonstrance by brandishing his blade, when upon storming toward the Church he observed a few young couples watching the orphaned children in the yard, whispering amongst themselves on the matter of which one to adopt. The scene was only made strange by the number of couples, far more than Rautu was accustomed to seeing frequent the orphanage during his scouting sessions from atop of castle battlements. He removed his hand from his weapon and drew his mate to his side, skulking into the shadows to survey the yard.
The commander noted the Den Asaan’s fervent interest in the event and she promised to explain if he would only continue crushing her beneath his trappings. “We have a few holidays in Frewyn that the Church deems important but the kingdom deems otherwise,” she began quietly, nestling into the bend of Rautu’s arm. “There are no services for these holidays, leaving the Churches empty and free to create other conniving designs. This day is called Tuismhuir Siaerla in Old Frewyn. It is a day upon which all children are forcibly made to honour their parents by listening to rants of how much is sacrificed for their sakes and by committing to demands of public appreciation.”
She pointed to a family passing by the square and smiled to hear the mother complaining to the daughter of how much pain she was in when giving birth. The mother demanded respect for her troubles and continued on the matter of how much in the ways of comfort and pleasure were forfeited to feed a child who had little idea of what to respond when such an accusation was made.
Rautu cast a few aspersions in secret, claiming the people of the mainland would do better for themselves by less complaining and more achievement to gain veneration and ended his acerbic discourse with, “Your people should honour each other every day. There is no need for a separate commemoration to honour Ambesari when their adulthood gives them reason enough to be revered.”
“I cannot disagree with you, Iimon Ghaala. As well, this particular holiday, though an old custom, was formed with insensitivity toward the many orphans in Frewyn who have no parents to admire because of the war.”
“What is the purpose of this observance?”
“To emulate the gods and honour ancestors, really. Over the years, however, the word became translated to parents and now we have the sad display you see before you.” The commander pointed to the family by the square and noted how the mother and father would not enter a shoppe without the door being opened for them. “Children are asked to spend their pennies on their parents, by them gifts and take them to dinner, obey their every command of the day- very much in the same manner as I treat you.”
The commander laughed at her own assertion but the Den Asaan only humphed and continued his scouting of the yard. She noted a look of confusion and distress pass over the giant’s stern countenance when he observed the orphans being asked to make cards for the Sisters who cared for them.
“These Mivaari are forced to give tribute to your Church guardians?” the giant said in misgiving tenor.
“Not exactly,” the commander said with a pert smirk, “but if they could contrive a manner in which such tribute would be permissible, they might. It is a nonsense holiday, Iimon Ghaala. My father never cared for this holiday but my mother insisted upon keeping it, mostly for herself of course. Any excuse she could make to demand a gift was one taken. She once fought with my father on the subject. He had not purchase anything for her and when she claimed he was dishonouring her service as a mother, he reminded her that this was a day for children to honour their parents, not husbands to honour their wives.”
“Your Ambesari forced you to observe this day?”
“Only for as long as my mother’s horrid nature would allow,” she assured him, rubbing her hand fondly along his chiseled chest. “Once I was old enough to refute this absurdity, I did, and much to my mother’s chagrin for the loss of a present.”
“Giving honour is enough,” the giant huffed.
“I daresay it should, but parents believe they are owed something of monetary value, as if that should be worth more than respect.”
“And when is the Mivaari equivalent of this observance?”
“There is none,” the commander said with a scoff. “When I asked my mother the very same question, she claimed that every day is children’s appreciation day.”
“That is because your Ambesari offer to be responsible for their young and then do not teach them correctly.”
“Yes, but you see children, the horrid source of aggravation and monsters they are, are meant to be subservient to parents because they know so little,” the commander snickered into her hand.
“Your Mivaari are you legacy,” Rautu sighed. “They are treated here as little more than an irritation.”
“You would agree to that definition.”
“Your Mivaari are a disturbance because they are raised by uncaring hands. Haanta Mivaari are taught to honour everyone in the collective equally, not only their Ambesari.” The giant folded his arms across his chest and fleered. “Your scriptures only promote exclusion and mistreatment of those who have little.”
As the Den Asaan spoke, his voice lowered in tone when he observed the young girl who had tricked him into purchasing the box of biscuits standing in the churchyard. He had made it his object to reprimand her for withholding certain information he would have deemed necessary for his refusal of the items she brought to his door and prepared for his disciplinary conversation with a tightening of his fists. He announced his intention to his mate but before he trundled over to the child, he stopped when he noted her forlorn expression. She was staring in the direction of one of the young couples who had come to choose a child for adoption. She made sweet faces and hopped with excitement for the prospect of being selected but when she was rejected for being too old, she was compelled to watch the couple choose one of the infants instead. Rautu’s mouth tensed to see the eager child disregarded. “This is a cruel practice,” he growled, and walked toward the young girl.
Many of the couples still around the churchyard fled at the sight of the livid monstrosity coming toward them. The Reverend Mother gathered her visitors inside the Church and away from the giant, leaving the child to watch the young couple leave with their new infant in their hands. The Sister in the yard attended to the other children, assisting them with finishing their tribute in honour of the day, and they attempted with all civility to greet the giant with bows and averted glances, knowing any misspoken word would mean his roaring censure.
Rautu growled at their attempts to appease him and his shadowed poured over the child, gaining her attention.
“Den Asaan?” the orphan said, the corners of her lips perking as she realized who was looming beside her.
“Look away, Mivaari,” Rautu commanded, obstructing the child’s view. “You will ignore this observance.”
The child looked back at the couple who refused her but her awareness was soon forced away by the giant pulling her toward the Church. “But the Gook Book says to honour parents today.”
“You do not have Ambesari therefore this rule does not apply to you. You will look elsewhere and you will not observe this practice again.” Rautu vehemently pointed toward the Church and with scowling expression ordered her to return to the aegis of the Church. She obeyed with lowered eyes, saddened for being rejected rather than for being reproached, and the Den Asaan made a few threatening glares and flexes of his massive arms to display to the Reverend Mother his disapproval. He shouted that in penitence of their crimes for using Mivaari in so ill a manner, he would confiscate every box of biscuits remaining in the Church and if the religious leader wished for him to leave, she would have to comply with his demands.
A few moments later, Rautu returned to the keep, his arms laden with innumerable boxes of unsold biscuits. He felt poorly for the small child and thanked her in silence for giving him the means to defile a Frewyn holiday in such a pleasurable manner.