Date: Nov. 7th, 2015 07:43 pm (UTC)
languir: (pic#9686984)
From: [personal profile] languir
Alcuin woke with little recollection of the dream that had him sweating in his sheets, only the unsettling feeling that there had been screaming. Sunlight had only just begun climbing the white gossamer curtains of his bedchamber, and all throughout was the familiar sound of birdsong and delicate wings. He dozed for a moment, his eyes slipping shut against the cool side of his pillow, and awoke once more to the sound of hoarse screaming from the courtyard below. Alcuin bolted upright with a gasp, galvanized into action by the hair raising racket, which he now recognized as the frightful din he'd heard in his dreams. His patron, long forgotten in the silence of his slumber, announced himself with an ungentlemanly expletive. “You didn't tell me you had a cockerel,” he complained.

“A cockerel?” Alcuin climbed out of the bed in a manner most inelegant and drew back one of the sheets to wrap about his waist. His patron groaned mournfully at both the loss of the view and the stolen sheet. “Don't be ridiculous,” Alcuin reproved him on the short journey to the balcony window, his bare feet slapping audibly along the cold stone floor. He arrived on the balcony in time to witness what had to have been the largest cockerel he'd ever seen charging across the courtyard toward one of the younger adepts, Margaux, in a flurry of feathers and sharp talons.

“What in the world?” Alcuin reeled back on his heels along with Margaux, who retreated across the courtyard with a shriek which petered off into a jubilant giggle. He could see that many other adepts had begun to clump round the stone pillars in varying stages of surprise and amiability. “A gift for you, Monsieur Delaunay!” Margaux called out to him, her tiny white hands spread across her heart like an ingénue. “A chicken?” Arsène opined incredulously from the bedside where he struggled into his trousers.

It took some doing to arrange himself for polite company with his patron underfoot. Arsène was young and charming and somewhat more importantly, utterly guileless when he wasn't negotiating. He departed with a kiss and a promise to have his father ship a crate of their finest wine to his estate. Alcuin believed him.

“Who here knows what all this is about, then?” Alcuin called out to the crowd upon entering the courtyard – barefoot but otherwise decent in his nightclothes. Margaux was the first to part from the crowd, clutching a crisp white missive in her hands. “I thought it was another shipment from your estate, but then the crate started crowing! I let it loose, the poor dear – who knows how long it'd been sitting there in that box.” Margaux pressed the missive into his hands with the eagerness of a child. “Another day, another admirer – but this one has imagination.”
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