Playing Zidi

in #fiction6 months ago

Villa De Karkaldwin, The Farmlands, Pryldahn, 1438 ATC

In the cozy warmth of the family room, Alex watched the pile of blocks on the table dwindle as Sanna and Venser began to construct the tower, the twins were nearby playing with their own copy of the game building their own little worlds with their younger siblings. Despite the golden gypsy's explanation of the game, the rough woman was quite skeptical. Though this wasn't a simple spar, or even a game of chess, she would have to see this game in action to understand it. Venser sat directly beside Alex as she recovered, glass of whiskey in hand to calm her nerves. Over the past few days the rough woman had done nothing but brood and remain unfocused. Trapped inside her own thoughts.

“Do you guys play this game often?” Alex asked, a resting scowl on her face. “It seems rather dull.” Her mind was elsewhere, flashes of battle and her terrible father appeared before the rough woman, and she blinked it away and attempted to focus on the life in front of her face.

“Sort of... Not physical enough for you? I mean, this is kind of supposed to be theroputic.” Venser asked glancing over at Soarin and Lucinda, who were nearby on the carpet in front of a pile of stuffed animals. He had watched the two play with them, making fantastic stories about the adventures they would have. Little Rowena had a phoenix plush, Lucinda had a rabbit plush, Soarin had a stag plush, Elanaea her beloved stuffed raven named Floppy, and little Asher was pre-occupied by a cute bear plush that didn’t seem at all vicious in it’s design. But the redheaded boy was more interested in holding the bear by the arm and slamming it into the ground than anything else.

“Yes, that’s the point." Sanna explained with a smile letting the children finish the tower. “Concentration without the fight or flight instinct. Relaxation. Helps you focus.”

Alex noticed that Venser's fingers brushed against Sanna’s often as they picked up the narrow wooden blocks and added them to the tower. He nodded, thinking that, if their focus was so poor that their hands were colliding frequently in this manner, perhaps this sport was indeed worthwhile. All before Alex was distracted by her child again, on the edge of the soft carpet floor knocking over a bunch of toys and being loud.

“Play nicely, little one." Asher's new caretaker, Timberlee said in a cheery voice entering the room to help tend to the children, specifically dealing with the redheaded infant first.

"Thank you for helping take care of Asher, Timberlee. So what are the rules again? And I already forgot what this is called.” She asked, gesturing at the tower.

“Zidi. Which means, 'to build' in Krineakhetan. The object is to try not to destroy it. Here, watch." Sanna explained.

The golden gypsy reached for a block at the same time her husband and the touch seemed to linger longer than was necessary, as expected for lovers.

“The person who destroys the tower loses the game." Sanna added as Venser scooted a bit closer to her in his chair. "Even though that’s the fun part.”

"Yeah, it can get pretty tense actually. You gotta be delicate." The handsome bearded man said with a nod, sipping his cup of cider.

“Ah. Zidi." said Alex, beginning to understand. “It is a sport of perseverance, of delaying the inevitable gratification of witnessing the building’s destruction.”

Everyone took their attention away from the tower and looked at Alex, before Sanna gave her a nod.

“Yes, that’s right." She agreed.

"Uhhhh?" Young Soarin didn't understand a single word she said.

"Yeah!" Lucinda pipped up, followed by a bunch of happy coos from her younger half siblings.

"A very thoughtful way of putting it." Ven said as he cleared his throat, and then placed the last block on the very top of the tower and pulled his hands away. The man smiled softly watching everyone. This was life. Not one long narrative. Simply life, a bunch of happy moments that just happened to be connected. Venser relaxed back in his seat and watched everyone, letting out a soft sigh.

The family room was quite big, filled with various chairs and tables, a comfortable couch, book shelves were filled with children books, ranging from simple picture books to books of history and books of legends. The floor was draped with bright and vibrant rugs. and there was still plenty of decorating to do.

“You start again, Sanna. Since you're introducing us to the game. I understand it already.” Venser said a minute later, nodding at the tower.

“Take a block from somewhere and move it to the top, Alex." The golden gypsy instructed. “Remember, you don’t want to make the tower fall.”

The rough woman carefully worked one narrow block out of the middle of the tower. It felt tiny and smooth between her calloused fingers. She placed it delicately atop the tower and exhaled a small sigh of relief.

“There." Alex announced. “Whose turn now?”

“I'll go next ” said Venser and Alex watched with some fascination as he repeated the process much more quickly than he herself had. Letting out a sigh of relief, the handsome bearded man shrugged.

"Ta da."

“Oh, so dextrous as you, Ven, you must win often at games of this sort " She noted.

“Oh, you know I'm good with my fingers, Alex." Vensee said, letting out a low seductive growl. “Sanna's go, and then we'll let the kids play."

They played the game in talking to themselves for several minutes. With every turn, Alex watched the tower for signs of structural weakness. Venser seemed intent in his focus as well, biting his bottom lip and sitting almost unnaturally still. Only Sanna seemed to be relaxed, the golden gypsy's smile widening slightly every time she pulled her hand out from the under the table and reached for the tower.

''Its amazing how quiet it got." Venser noted, picking up his cup of cider and taking a heavy swig, looking beside the rough woman and finally seeing that she was actually starting to relax, and here he was wanting to win. They really had switched places.

"What should we all do after this? Maybe some painting or a game of darts?" Venser asked them.

"Both of those sound nice." Sanna said with a warm smile. The older children were learning simple math by playing darts and adding up the numbers that the darts landed on.

Alex didn’t hear him; she was too focused on the tower. Her eyes widened as she inched her shaking hand towards the unsteady obelisk.

“Don’t you fall down now…” She mumbled before moving towards the tower. A bead of sweat formed on her forehead and began to fall down her face.

"Just focus... You've got this Alex, we believe I'm you."

Carefully, the rough woman used a single finger to push one of the middle blocks out ever so slowly.

"Focus..."

Alex felt the warmth of Venser’s breath in her ear as the handsome bearded man chuckled, gently nipping at the ear in question, resulting in the rough woman shuddering a bit.

"I will punch you out if you make me destroy the tower you cocksucker..." Alex murmured trying her best to simply focus on the block and not think of anything else.

A few more nibbles and soft kisses rewarded Venser with several breaths of pleasure from Alex “How is your focus?”

Maneuvering herself a bit to grab the other side and place it at the very top of the tower. Alex smirked and sat tall in her seat, grabbing her glass of whiskey and chugging it down in one swig.

"I'm not going to lose this one. I am going to play Zidi like a sword, and not a hammer." She said proudly.

"Well then, we'll just have to keep playing and see huh?" Venser said coyly, lowering his gaze to her and letting out a seductive growl, his slitted emerald orbs meeting her brown.

"Oh it is on, Weird Nipples..." Alex's confidence was restored, her shoulders relaxed and she lived in the moment.

Seeing this, he flashed a broad smile, and then Venser's smile only grew as he scanned over the small crowd of his lovers and children that occupied the family room

Everything was great. He was married to multiple women and they had a beautiful home, he had plenty of coin coming in.

And a man didn't get any luckier than that.

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