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Marival finished her breakfast and stretched. This morning, nothing hurt too much. She smiled. She could walk across the village to visit her twin grandchildren, if she was careful.Author's Notes
She headed slowly away from the hearth, and settled onto the low bunk by the door. Her boots were set within reach, and she slowly bent to pull them on. The unicorn-fur coat was easier. It had been made loose, with large toggles, for ease in sliding over old bones.
Her daughter Kaival came by, tucking a scarf around her and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Going out?"
"I am. Where are my mittens?"
"Right here. Where are you headed?"
"Wherever I want."
Kaival smiled at her, and tucked her pants into her boots. "All right, then. Stay warm."
Marival stood stiffly, and went through the first curtain. She took the steps down slowly, and the ones up a little faster. Old knees were tricky. Sometimes the effort of going up was worse, but today it was harder to go down.
She got less stiff once she had walked a bit outside in the clear, cold day, but not enough to walk fast. But walking felt good, almost like dancing. She smiled.
When she got to the infant house, one of the raisers fussed over her, but she just pressed on in looking for the right group of toddlers--there, they were. They were listening to a story told by one of the raisers. He was tearing a piece of bread into shapes as he talked, and the kids begged for each meaningful shape.
She joined them, begging for the snow-unicorn shape, and he gave it to her.
"Maiva! Maiva!" Once the kids noticed her, they ran over to hug her knees and thighs. She walked to one of the low bunks and sat down.
The children climbed up next to her and one brave little girl climbed onto her lap. She petted the fur. "Unicorn?"
She laughed. "Yes, Jrilii, it's snow-unicorn fur."
The child smiled up at her. "Ride?"
She wiggled her legs, and the little girl cheered. "Ride fast!"
"Snow unicorns are steady, not fast," she said. But she moved her legs a little faster anyway. Her grandson, Ortein, climbed on too, and she stopped being able to bounce them. His twin, Orla, took her hat off and put it on her own head. "Hat!"
"Very good, Orla." Marival smiled, then a mischievous whim hit her, and she reached out and touched the girl's elbow. "A knee, a knee! A beautiful knee!"
They all laughed at her, and she laughed with them.
One of my friends posts a writing prompt every Thursday for a bit of short fiction. It comes with a target word count. This is my Thimbleful Thursday ficlet on the theme Young At Heart, with a target length of 400 words (plus or minus 10%).