“And this,” proclaimed Pelleas Pescheour grandly, “is a loop-de-loop.”
The children watched and then began to applaud.
“See?” said Malina Cthonique proudly. “Isn’t King Pelican NEAT?”
Euphrosyne le Fidelé
gasped in wonder. “He makes it fly!”
“On, no,” said Pelleas. “The wind does that. I merely make it do tricks.”
“Amazing tricks!” said Thalia le Fidelé
“Trust me, my dear, I am a rank amateur,” said Pelleas, drawing his kite back in. “You’ll see when you get your kites for the festival. I’m certain you will all leave me in the dust.”
“Your Highness, my apologies if I--” said Justinian, as he walked up the stairway of the Tower of Melancholy towards the King of Leonais and the small knot of children around him. He blinked as he saw the king’s kite. “Sir… I have to ask, have you been flying that thing… on a regular basis?”
“Oh, yes,” said Pelleas, holding the kite before him. “Weather permitting. Why do you ask?”
“No real reason,” said Justinian. “May I state that your kite is a MOST accurate representation of a butterfly…”
“You may, but you’d be wrong,” said Pelleas, hefting the kite by a painted wing, and gesturing to its head. “It’s a moth. See the antennae?”
Justinian nodded. “Ahh. Correct.”
Pelleas stared at the young man quizzically. “Why do I feel there is something reason for your questions you are not telling me?”
“Because there is, sir, and I will share it with you at some later time,” answered Justinian.
Pelleas nodded. “Very well, then. Now, I need you to help me assembling the Fidelé
sisters kites. Thalia hasn’t indicated she’d like a bird, Agalia would like a flickering flame, and Euphrosyne would like a flower…”
Justinian regarded the trio for a moment. “Does Eurydice know you’re here?”
The response to this was a simultaneous ‘yes’ that was delivered while trying to avoid looking Justinian in the eye. The Milesian looked at Pelleas. “Well?” said the King of Leonais. “You have your answer. Let’s get cracking! We have kites to make!”
Justinian sighed, and followed the King to the little workbench he’d set up.