We arrived in the World of Ezarco with much more peace than we had done in the World of Scorpio. The world was still. The folk below us look tiny. The World is golden and plainly laid with sand and stone. And like Earth, it’s flat and stretches out for miles. This is a world where the Stars, Moons and Suns can drift off into the further reaches of the universe, without ever returning or being traced.
Barte tells me Ezarco has pyramids as tall as the tallest giants in various locations.
And Buckly informs me that travellers can only travel so far in either direction before halting at a wall taller than all of the pyramids combined.
Gweyne was the one to warn me that this is a world where slaves labour all day and night with hardly any rest. “There are whip masters, kidnappers, thieves, terrorists and pirates plaguing this world, and you do not want to cross any of their paths. Ezarco is a distant world from the Communion and our laws.”
“But we are welcome here, nonetheless.” Buckly reassured me.
Barte Bee explained why: “We often trade with the people of Ezarco. We buy slaves into freedom. The folk of Galaxy purchase fine cloaks, cloth and jewellery. And some of the more adventurous folk buy bizarre foods here.” Barte approached the master of Galaxy. “Lord Lexus, shall we have leave to attend the markets?”
“Yes. For the rest of todays sun and tonights moon. Tomorrow we fly to Shanahan.”
“Oh splendid! I’ve to get my purse.” Says Gweyne. “Little Bee, would you like to accompany me?”
“Well hurry.” Lexus anticipated. “Galaxy shall be flying over the City of Kane soon. Zector, let the citizens of Galaxy be aware of our destination. Anyone who wishes to land may make their way towards the FlutterBee Platforms. And make them aware that all flutterbees will be leaving Kane at moon-down tomorrow.”
Zector had the tree faces speak the announcement throughout the whale. Gweyne and I heard all about it, again and again, throughout our journey back to the Coloured Glass Castle.
There are two trees faces planted on the walls of every common hallway.
All the way from the colored castle to the FlutterBee Platforms, Gweyne told me of the eight pyramids and their history, but… I only ended up remembering their names.
The City of Kane is a colossal structure, half man made and half carved into the rock it sits against. Tall and wide, the Heirophants tell me its the strongest city in the whole of Ezarco. Thousands of village communities with millions of little clay made houses stretch out from the City and spread wide and far across the desert, all the way over and past the dozens of little lakes and long rivers.
“Little Bee, you will hold my hand at all times.” Gweyne told me as we approached the flutterbee platforms. “You will not let go. No little girl or boy is safe in this city.”
The flutterbees loaded up quickly enough, and off we went to the city. It took a hundred trips by each flutterbee, to bring all the shopping citizens of Galaxy to the ground.
Gweyne and I headed straight to the market, with four mermen guarding us the whole trip.
Several thieves did try and take off with Gweyne’s purse, but wow did the mermen sort them out. They had to chase the last thief five blocks through the city until the man tripped over a barrel of spices. After that the guards beat him bloody.
Eventually we reached the markets and Gweyne had a good shop. She bought herself a bagful of jewellery and purchased me a golden chained necklace with a green and blue scarab charm.
When the Sun went down, we went to a bar to catch up with Barte and Buckly. Buckly was sober. Barte wasn’t, as per usual, and had a pretty little slave maid on his lap. He bought her by the end of the night and filled her purse with enough gold for her to buy herself a palace, her own slave child, enough dresses to last her thirty years and a chest full of jewels.
After the pub, Gweyne, Barte, Buckly (and Barte’s slave maid) took me to see the fire twirlers who were dare-devil dancers. They swung sticks of fire high and far up in the sky, and around their bodies like it was a blanket. Eventually, one of them caught fire and rolled along the ground in agony until one of the others stopped and put the man-on-fire out.
And when moon-down fell upon us, we headed back, waited in line for ages and then boarded a flutterbee back to Galaxy. We had the pleasure of waving to the Moon as we passed. We were going up and she was floating down.
When the Sun rose high and past us, the whole of the Whale’s Eye waved to him. He was a dashing-looking man with black shaggy hair. Mmm…
When the entire council returned to the Whale’s Eye, Phrancis fed us the roll reports, reporting that one thousand, two hundred and sixty citizens were to be left behind in Kane, as they hadn’t returned to the flutterbees by the departure dead line.
Gweyne said a prayer for them in the corner, wishing them well health and good fortune.
Zector told all the tree faces, to tell the trees of Ezarco, to inform the citizens left behind: “The Communion will soon be returning for another stop after our trip to Shanahan” and that “If a citizen wishes to re-board Galaxy, then all you’d need do is await upon Galaxy’s return and have your book of shadows at the ready, for identification.”
Lexus then gave the order. “Let us travel,” he gave a hearty laugh from his throne and took a sip of wine as the whale began to move.
A hole in the world opened and through it we travelled again, this time heading for the Farming Land Of Shanahan.