Story for the day: The Post

Here is an older piece but one of my favorites. The mail man was never late again. 

The Post

The commander was in the training yard overseeing the Frewyn armed forces target practice for the evening. Although the men had already finished for the day, the commander had chosen a few worthy recruits to fulfill their duties of added exercise due to the Den Asaan recommendation that they could lose the meager excessive weight around their frames. Upon examination, the commander remarked that they were lean enough for soldiers but certainly not as powerful or fit as the raging giant she kept for a mate and therefore were inadequate by the Haanta warrior standards.
       However, the commander's watch of their target practices was disturbed when she overheard Captain Connors expressing concern over the matter of a parcel he had sent to his mother. It had been two weeks since his sending of the article and though he had received her letters in the interim, she had supposedly received nothing in reply. The commander thought the notion odd as she had always received every one of her letters in a timely fashion but she recalled that those in the keep were fortunate to have the royal herald at their disposal for correspondence and delivery rather than the notoriously poor service of the Frewyn public post. 
       When the commander called for the men to take their evening meal and rest, she returned to the keep to find King Alasdair sitting at the small private table in the kitchen enjoying a solitary cup of tea. She sat in the chair beside him and sighed happily that the work for the day was over.
       "Did you see the post today?" the king asked between sips.
       "No, I never bother myself with reading such nonsense unless I'm in the mood for a laugh," the woman said with grin. "Why? Was there something printed about you marrying a fat Sethshire woman who resembles a cow, because if it doesn't I shall be frightfully disappointed."
       Alasdair nearly choked on his tea and placed his cup down, spilling a bit on the table as he laughed. "I wish the Frewyn Post was that interesting. I meant that I haven't seen it at all today. Usually one of the nobles is waving it around during the recess at court and there's a fight over who reads it next. The fight didn't happen and my entertainment for the recession was ruined."
       "I see," the commander simpered. "I should have thought you'd be happy at its disappearance but now I can see how such a thing would cause you much distress. You're not the only one complaining of missing mail. Perhaps the herald is ill."
       The king hummed his agreement to the supposition through his sips of tea and when he had finished, he agreed to look into the matter to make certain the castle keep's precious messenger was well. Alasdair walked with the commander to the winding stair where they parted, the commander ascending to her quarters and the king continuing on to the servant's quarter. 
       The commander opened the door to the commons to find the Den Asaan pacing back and forth before the fires of the wide hearth. She approached her thundering mate with caution and noted he was not at his table writing his reports has he usually would have this time in the early evening. "May I ask why you seem so anxious?" she warily asked.
       "I have not received correspondence from my brothers in two days," the giant growled, continuing his impatient strides. 
       "Perhaps they have not had occasion to write. I know that cannot be the case and therefore something must have gone dreadfully wrong on their account." The commander's lips curled into a wicked smile and the giant finally ceased his pacing, succumbing to frustrated sighs instead. 
       "Anonnaa who are parted write every day to make their separation more bearable," the giant
      explained. "My brothers make certain their letters reach me always, regardless of our current position."
       "Perhaps your letters are merely misplaced."
       "Ashan do not lose reports, woman," Rautu demanded. "They are not are careless as your messengers."
       The commander was at least pleased to see her mate return to his natural state of disapproval and fondly rubbed his arm to sooth his worry. "I am surprised at the efficiency of your informants considering they travel by foot and ours travel by horse. Sacks of letters at a time can go missing and if there's a package involved, you can be certain it will disappear into the same place mystical place that wayward stockings do," she laughed. "We're fortunate we have the herald to bring us worthless news and deliver our messages throughout the keep. If we didn't, I daresay nothing would ever be conveyed from one side of the castle to the other without traveling through the gossiping mouths of heady royals."
       The Den Asaan hummed in deliberation and considered the castle herald and his position in the keep.  "Is the herald chosen from one of your nobles?" the giant inquired in thought. 
       "I believe he is from one of the Frewyn houses but the man is so unconscionably conceited I have never bothered to ask his name for fear of receiving an explanation of it afterword."
       "Where are his services conducted?"
       "He has a small room for his workplace in the servant's quarters. Alasdair was on his way there when I returned."
       Upon hearing of the king's mission, the giant knew the true reason for his visiting the servant's quarters and supposed the excuse of the herald was on enough to see the object of his desire. The giant grunted, knowing that nothing would be correctly without his direct involvement, and donned his trappings as he moved to the door. "Remain here, Traala," the giant ordered his woman. "If your messenger comes with reports, detain him until I return."
       The commander knew better than to dissuade the giant from his quest and hoped that the herald was ill for if he was merely being careless in his deliveries, the Den Asaan was one to make certain the post would never be late again.   
       Rautu skulked down the winding steps and toward the servant's quarters, searching room to room for the herald's office. He found many of the keep's workers toiling industriously away and continued his hunt for the messenger until he came to a small chamber along the outer edge of the southern wall. He peered inside to find the herald sitting in his chair with his feet upon his desk, employed with the task of digging his long fingers into his nose, presumably to find a treasure that would save him from his seemingly dull work for the day. The giant simmered in growing ire for the sight of the herald eating what he had found in his hidden crevices and a stack of undelivered messages sitting at his raised feet.
       Moments later, the commander heard the telling sounds of the giant's brutal reprimand emanating from outside of her room and she hurried to the entrance of the commons to open the door and gain a better look at her mate's violent retrieval of his reports. When she opened the door, she found the Den Asaan standing before her, holding the herald upside down by the ankle and jostling his dangling body to make him drop his letters at the foot of the door. 
       "You will hear me, messenger," the giant roared down at his prey. "This is where my correspondence is to be delivered every evening. You will not come when I am not here so that I may watch you closely. If you fail in your duties, I will take your legs from you in payment for your disreputable service since you do not use them to fulfill your daily tasks."
       The herald made a few indistinct snivels and between them swore he would never tarry in his duties again. He begged to be released and he was swiftly obliged as the Den Asaan had tossed him down the winding steps. He landed with w few bruises for his troubles and fled, swearing to the gods that he was never treat thus before the giant was permitted residence in the keep.
       Rautu took his letters from the ground and sat at his table to begin the reports he should have started when his training for the day had ended hours before. He reached behind him and took the commander by the hand, pulling her close for warmth and comfort while he opened the distinctive Haanta parcels.
       "Between the ponies of Frewyn and the heralds of Diras, one Haanta delivers what two services cannot," the commander murmured, smiling at the giant with a certain pleasant pride.