The Desert Crystals – Part 38: Love Letters

Part 38 – Love Letters

Last episode (for these characters)


3rd Toothember, Embrachon

My darling Mehlion,

I found your l second letter, at last, hidden from view. It’s fortunate that I had occasion to visit the university and pay some mind to my poor abandoned office, else I’d never have spotted it through the mirror. When did you find the time to sneak into my office? The twins found theirs much earlier, and were suitably shocked to discover them!

What can I tell you, that you won’t already know by the time we see you?

Well, Chilai has lost two teeth and is presently sparring with Erlaigh in hopes of losing more. I’ve tried to tell them that there’s no haste, but you know the pair as well as I – it seems they must lose them at a matching rate else they’ll be twins no more. It seems a touch drastic, but I’ve no wish to place myself in the midst of their twinhood. Either way, I’ve a store of purple belleen flowers to reward their increasing toothlessness. I’ve no doubt they’ll be thrilled to show you their gapped grins and the frightful whistles they can now emit.

Erlaigh’s developed a charming habit of offering teas at all occasions. I suppose he takes after you my dear, in believing that all events are made better with tea. The flower-bedecked tea set you brought back from the Far Colony has been in constant use this week, with cups and saucers offered to all visitors, and even set out for the odd-weasels which still hide in the garden. It’s become a task of its own to simply gather the crockery, since it’s shared with all and sundry. I for one am keen to enjoy a Mehlion-brewed pot; Erlaigh’s a bit too keen on her own recipes gathered from the garden’s fruits. I’ve had to be rather stern with her botanical choices – can you imagine, she offered your father a draught of mulled picklenuts! It was only the scent that tipped her hand. I’ll begin a stricter regime with them tomorrow. They spend all of their time outdoors, at least that which is not at the university sub-school at least. It makes one wonder what they’re teaching them at all – perhaps I should interrogate their teachers next time I’m near the juvenile quadrant.

Oh! And I must recount to you Chilai’s other obsession that’s arisen of late. Never mind the teeth for a moment (though their ejected state and consequent riches do prey on the boy’s mind). He’s got a mind for adventure (and mischief – knowing you I gather they’re much the same thing). I’m sure you remember the fakemice that infest the garden, and endlessly chew at the thorn grass you spent those weeks planting and watering… Well, Chilai’s been teasing them out of the grasses with tiny tumblers of gortch essence. Did you know they like that stuff? I had no idea. I’ve looked it up at work, and as far as I can see, Chilai’s hit upon something new! We’re bringing up tiny scientists! I can’t help but encourage him to keep notes and despite his ghastly handscrawling I really think he might have found something new. I’ve not the heart to discourage him, so we’ve got a little cage of gortch addicted fakemice in the kitchen. Don’t worry – it’s nowhere near the pantry. The twins have established an experimental protocol and are busy domesticating the little brutes. I’m not sure I’ll ever consent to them being outside the cage, but they don’t seem to be stinging as much…

Well, that’s the twins – apart from their innate cuddleability of course! But you hardly need reminding of that. They are terribly proud of you, you know, all the way up in the air, exploring new places and finding new things. I showed them a picture of Rosenhatch Traverstorm (he’s a handsome devil – you’d best be behaving yourself up there!) and they’ve apparently been getting some attention at subschool for your antics. But what have I been doing? I hear you ask. The paper is going well but I think Professor Ryme is going to drive me mad. The endless nitpicking and questions… It’s not even a subject he’s well versed in. I’m confident in my conclusions however: the sudden evolution and rapid response to pressure is easily and clearly seen in the monkrats and char leaves. I just need to find another professor to endorse the research.

What am I thinking – you won’t have heard the latest news! Ryme is missing – presumed gone after Traverstorm! The madness. It should make it easier to find a fresh sponsor for my work. There’s that, which is proving controversial enough – he’s left without funding, and has left no travel plans. There’s also been a fresh uproar (though they’re trying to keep it quiet) – the poison vault has been raided. I know, impossible! And yet… The university is a-buzz nonetheless. Can you believe Vile Teeth and cherxen vanes are missing? I’ve always thought it a bad idea to retain the things. I mean, what could one usefully do with a substance that shreds the skin of Chiverlys? A baffling mystery. I did bump into that odd fellow who directs the annual plays , you know – the one who the say is a hermit beetle. He was conducting a rehearsal and he had an awfully good voice. I’m not so sure about his case though. I suppose I’ll have to go, but I’ll enlist your father to look after the twins. I don’t think they deserve to suffer through the show.

I’ve teased you with news enough my love. What can I say that you don’t already know? You have my heart, my beloved Mehlion. And you have the hearts of your beautiful children, who only blossom further, the better to present their adorable petals when you return. Our bed is chillier without you in it. I’ve every confidence that you’re having a fine time in the sky, but don’t forget to come back to us.

Your love,


Coming Soon: Part 39 – Desert Blades