Not Far From the Tree
Like Wiebke, Mercredi got really wrapped up in the world created in Breeding Discontent, so much so that she kept on writing, putting together some sequels. Mercredi was particularly keen on following up on some of the minor characters in the story and seeing how things turned out for them. In Not Far From the Tree, she focuses on harlings.
Alternate Universe Note
This story was written when Breeding Discontent existed as an online fan fiction novel, essentially a draft. It was also written prior to the publication of Wraiths of Will and Pleasure and any new Wraeththu novels. Because of this, it’s become an “alternate universe” fic that’s not entirely consistent, and in fact contradicts, what is now “canon.”
Pansea and Lisia (original characters from BD), Ivy (original character who also shows up in Contentment) various other hara at Harling Gardens, harlings at .
Containers spoilers for Bewitchments of Love and Hate (Book 2) and Fulfilments of Fate and Desire (Book 3) in the Wraeththu trilogy. The story stands on its own but somewhat presupposes that you’ve read Breeding Discontent; it also has a nice tie-in with Contentment.
To reach Mercredi, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hate it when Lis and I fight. But he really brought it on himself this time. There’s some big shot, stupid rich har coming here next month looking for a consort and Lis put my name at the top of the list to meet with him! I can’t believe that Lis has gone and done something so controlling and insensitive.
I know he thought it’s what I want, but why can’t he see that I’ve changed. I’m not a harling anymore. I want different things. But Lis just seems to see me as the same old Pansea. Yes, I still want to take care of harlings and have my own one day, but now that I know more, being a consort just seems so boring and pointless. I admit that I haven’t exactly come out and talked to him about what I want, but it should be obvious. I haven’t said anything about being a consort since the Gelaming came – well maybe once or twice, but definitely not since my Feybraiah.
Lis said he honestly didn’t know how I felt. In a way that makes me feel almost as bad as anything else. I always felt like Lis really understood me – like we were close in a special sort of way. I understand that he’s had to be hostling to all of us and I’m glad for the others. I try not to get jealous, but I have to admit that I don’t like feeling like just another one of the harlings. Lis should be able to see that I’ve changed. Even if he can’t be bothered to see it, he should assume it. I’m twelve years old now; it’s really insulting that he thinks I have the same dreams as when I was seven.
I guess he does think I’m still immature. Of all the hara accepted to study high academics in Immanion, I’m the only one who opted to come back to Harling Gardens to complete my caste training. I know everyone thought I was crazy. I guess I can’t blame them. I really, really love Immanion and I’d love to go back one day and maybe even travel more. But I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. Even though I was just a harling, I know that I helped Lis a lot back when we were all alone out here and struggling. Lis is special because he became hostling to everyone, but I feel a connection here too. I feel like I need to stay here and see everything running according to plan. And I know I can really do a good job. I’ve already got so many great ideas. I just wish that the hara would pay attention to me instead of worrying that they need to send me off and away to some brighter future.
I almost feel like it’s wrong for me to write this down, but I just have to tell someone even if it’s just a journal. Lisia is my hostling!!!!
I just couldn’t believe it when I saw the codes. I think I checked it over about five times to be sure I was reading it right. But it was Lis all right. And then I thought about how Lis has green eyes too and I figured it was probably really true.
Sure it crossed my mind before but I never, ever thought that he would be the one. I’m not even sure if I still would have asked to see the records if I’d known it would be him. I’m really glad to know, but at the same time I feel like I’m going to burst from being around him and not being able to say anything.
I haven’t been able to think about anything else all day. My Feybraiah celebration is next week and even though I’m supposed to be picking out the har to lead me through my first aruna, it just isn’t as important as it was before. I keep replaying every little thing that I know about Lis. It’s kind of sad that I really haven’t spent all that much time with him – not like in a personal way. There have always been lots of harlings here who are my age and so Lis would usually come and check up on a whole group of us at once.
Even if I did see Lis alone in the hall or something, I never thought to say anything important to him. Well, why would I. He was just Lis. He was my hostling but then he was everybody’s hostling. It was like his job, not personal. I’ve always loved Lis, but now I feel like I should have been loving him more all this time and I missed my chance.
But, it’s not too late. I still have as many as four more years here to do my training. And I can even come back and visit after that. From now on I’m going to be around Lis as much as I can and try to learn whatever I can about him. I guess I should have felt this way even before I knew the real truth about us. But it’s like this news bonked me on the head and got my attention. I’m not going to take Lisia for granted again.