1.41 Everyone’s Mother

“Wow! It’s beautiful here!” Cordelia exclaimed as they reached the main Puerto Llamante square. Morgyn had initially transported them straight to the hotel, but they didn’t linger for long after checking in – the sage wanted to head straight into the town centre.

It had only been a short walk, but everything looked so different from back home, down the trees wrapping around the town. Not as different as the magic realm, of course, but that was to be expected. This was just another place on Earth. Ordinary people lived here. Cordelia had once again been reminded of how small her world was. She intended to take in every single bit of Selvadorada on this trip.

“The sun seems stronger here than back at home,” she went on giddily. “And look how pretty the fairy lights are!”

“Cordelia, they’re lights.” Morgyn didn’t seem to share her enthusiasm levels. “You may want to set your benchmark a little higher.”

She was not deterred by the sage’s lukewarm reaction to their surroundings. Morgyn had probably already visited Selvadorada a dozen times, but she had not. “Yeah, yeah, I get it, you’ve seen it all already, it’s nothing compared to the magic realm, yada yada… I don’t care. Say what you want, it’s beautiful here!”

Morgyn looked up at the statue before them. “No, you’re right.” The sage told her, in spite of their underwhelmed expression. “You should enjoy yourself. I’m getting too focused on our goal here, but I did promise you a little fun.” They added with a soft grin.

“Good.” Cordelia beamed. “Can we take a closer look at the statue?”

“Of course we can.” Morgyn said with a light nod.

“Madre Cosecha.” Cordelia read the plaque under the statue once they got closer. “I’m probably pronouncing that wrong.”

“Means Mother Harvest,” Morgyn told her, although they weren’t really looking at the statue, their eyes on Cordelia instead.

“That makes sense – says here she was the founder of the place, helping people settle here at the time of a great famine… but you probably knew that already.” She stopped herself.

Morgyn didn’t acknowledge her assumption. “It is said she was a spellcaster.” They said instead.

“Was she?” Cordelia asked, her eyes lingering on the statue.

“Who knows… It was a very long time ago.” The sage replied. “I suppose in the people’s eyes then, anyone able to get them through the hardship would have appeared as if they had magical powers.”

“I like the idea that she was sort of like everyone’s mother.” Cordelia pondered out loud. “That way nobody was motherless, even the orphans. I guess that’s a stupid thing to say.”

Morgyn hesitated for a moment. “Not at all. It’s quite lovely, the way you think.” It seemed like the sage was going to add something else, but they must have changed their mind. “Let’s go have a look at the market, shall we?”

They turned around abruptly and headed towards the stalls.

Cordelia took a moment to relish in those words. The way she thought was quite lovely, according to Morgyn. They’d only arrived in Selvadorada that morning, and she was already starting to forget about the tangled web between them back at home.

And as much as she’d fought with herself before coming here, she didn’t really want to think about any of that now. Maybe she could make Morgyn forget too… It was just going to be the two of them for the next few days, after all.

She followed the spellcaster into the marketplace.

“Bargains! Supplies! And authentic souvenirs! You’ll not find better prices anywhere.” The vendor spouted all of his verious selling points all at once. “Perhaps one of the genuine Omniscan statuettes to remember your trip by?”

Morgyn glanced towards the idols – Cordelia could tell the sage was barely trying to suppress a smirk. “We’re headed into the jungle.” Morgyn avoided the subject of the dolls. “Any pointers you can give us?”

“Oh yes, it would be a great shame if anything happened to a beautiful young couple like you.” The vendor nodded eagerly.

“Exactly.” Morgyn confirmed, looking at the man expectantly.

Cordelia’s stomach filled with butterflies. The man called them a couple, and Morgyn did not object. Which of course didn’t mean anything. She knew that.

“I have ample supplies available – grilled cheese, ready to eat, to give you home comforts in the middlle of the jungle,” The vendor pointed to an unappealing blob. “Or shower in a can to freshen up when you’re far from amenities.”

“Hm. Thank you, most helpful.” The sage responded in a condescending tone. “Cordelia, perhaps we should sample some of the local cuisine at the other stall? It is nearly lunchtime…”

Cordelia’s eyes jumped from one time to the next as the passed the other displays. More statuettes. Hand-weaved baskets. Morgyn didn’t seem to be paying attention to any of them.

“You didn’t buy anything.” She pointed out once they were out of earshot of the merchants.

“It was all useless junk.” The sage shrugged. “To be expected on the main town square, I suppose.”

“The shower in a can could have been helpful.” Cordelia objected weakly.

“Do you think there are no bodies of water in the jungle? I’m sure skinny dipping would be a far more enjoyable way of freshening up.” The sage noted with a crooked smile.

Skinny dipping… her cheeks felt hot. Morgyn paused for a moment. They knew exactly what effect their words had on her, Cordelia knew. Seemed to enjoy it. Was that a good thing or a bad thing, Cordelia wondered?

“But if that’s not an option for whatever reason, a simple scruberoo spell would do the trick.” The spellcaster added finally.

Cordelia wasn’t sure what a scruberoo spell was, although the name sounded somewhat self-explanatory. Not that she didn’t hope for the skinny dipping option…

“I, uh… food?” She pointed towards the food merchant in the corner of the square.

“Sure.” Morgyn laughed.

None of the dishes at the stand were meals she recognised, although it all looked tasty, and smelled divine. She could barely keep her nose from diving right into the stall.

Thankfully, Morgyn seemed to know what they were doing and placed an order for both of them, even making small talk with the lady manning the stand. But Cordelia could barely hear a word of it. Everything was so distracting, from the beauty of Selvadorada, to all the delicious scents, and by far not least, Morgyn themself. If anything, she was thankful her surroundings made her focus on the mage less.

They found a table not too far from the stand – although by the looks of it, they had to share with a sleeping cat.

“Aww.” Cordelia couldn’t help but admire it as they sat down. “I know what you’re going to say. It’s just a cat. I know, I know. But it’s adorable. And everything’s so new here…”

“I wasn’t going to say that at all.” The sage told her.

Cordelia tore her eyes from the cat, taking a bite of the empanada, her mouth instantly on fire. “Oh, that’s spicy!”

The spellcaster continued to study her face, looking amused. “I suppose some things aren’t that easy to digest on your first try.”

“Have you been to Selvadorada many times?” She asked.

Morgyn didn’t answer straight away. “Not exactly.”

Before she could ponder what that meant, Cordelia got distracted by the cat waking up. It stretched its paws, showing off.

“Oh my goodness, look how cute it is!” She squealed. “Isn’t that the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?”

To her surprise, Morgyn’s reaction was simply to lean back and laugh. Come to think of it, she’d never seen the sage laugh like that.

Great. Now she was just laughing stock to them.

“I… I’ll just shut up.” She sighed, embarrassed. She looked at the cat instead to avoid the Morgyn’s eyes, but the cat decided this was the time to run off. Perfect.

“Don’t. I’m having too much fun,” the sage interjected. They sounded sincere, but she couldn’t help but pout, so they carried on. “Cordelia, you do realise you’re making it very hard to resist you, don’t you?”

Cordelia had not expected to hear those words. Hard to resist? Her head was spinning. Surely that meant… No, it meant nothing. But what if it did? She had to know.

“What makes you think you have to resist me?” She asked, cringing at herself. But she couldn’t not ask, whatever the answer would be…

Before Morgyn had a chance to respond, a woman’s voice interrupted them. “I just had to come over. You’re a spellcaster. A powerful one.”

It was the vendor from the food stall. Her words were clearly directed at Morgyn – she didn’t seem to acknowledge Cordelia at all.

“Takes one to know one.” Morgyn replied. To Cordelia’s disappointment, the sage’s attention seemed to be fully on this woman now.

“That’s right.” The woman nodded. “My family is one of the most established magical lineages in Selvadorada. Some say we date back all the way to Madre Cosecha, but I don’t know about that.”

“I bet you have intimate knowledge of the local area and its magical powers.” Morgyn flashed her a smile.

Cordelia couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy. Which was silly, of course. She had plenty of reasons to be jealous back at home, this unknown woman was hardly one in comparison.

“What would you like to know?” The woman asked.

“Do you know anything about the Omniscan ruins?” The sage got straight to the point.

“Oh, no one’s travelled that deep into the jungle for years.” The woman said quickly. “Those ancient powers are far too dangerous. Especially for those who aren’t local to the jungle.”

That sounded ominous, Cordelia thought. But Morgyn did not seem to pay any attention to the warning.

“I assure you it’s nothing I wouldn’t be able to handle.” The sage’s tone was silky, but there was something fiery looking in their eyes.

The woman seemed a little unsettled herself. “The forces at play in the jungle are strong. I haven’t been to the temples myself. But if you insist… La Calle Oscura would be the place to find out more about getting there. It’s just off the main square, take a left behind the taverna, and right at the water fountain. I… I hope you have a safe trip.”

She gave them one last concerned look before returning back to her stall.

But Morgyn had no regard for the mood. “Well then, I guess that’s our plan for the afternoon sorted.” The sage said brightly.

26 thoughts on “1.41 Everyone’s Mother

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  1. The chapter title should have been ‘Unappealing Blob’. 😂 That’s not a review of your writing; once again you have managed to wind me up in spectacular fashion.

    Morgyn trying, not trying. Cordelia falling for it, not falling for it. Same poop, different toilet. I am glad that my prediction about the cats in the square was correct. Hopefully snake pit will be too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got to say I didn’t really know what to call this, so it did come close to your suggestion of “Morgyn’s Stupid Face” 😀

      Hey, at least the toilet’s pretty! And yes, you were right about the cats, you’re clearly clairvoyant!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Cordelia’s unspoiled joy over all that is unknown and beautiful.
    She is really pure in heart and very hard to resist ❤
    The same is true of Morgyn’s intense energy, although their appeal is of a whole other caliber. Magical.

    Unlike Morgyn’s relationship with Micah, the relationship (can you say power?) with Cordelia is much more out of balance. It’s like an uncontrollable ride on a seesaw.
    Cordelia and Morgyn are both present in the moment, but their sensitivity is in two disguises.

    I’m having a hard time finding the right words, so I just think I’ll sit back and ponder the other comments until the next section…. Perhaps new unknown animals will appear on the horizon.

    PS. That cat looks like my male cat Loke. He is such a devoted and sweet soul 😽

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! She’s not particularly well-travelled (or lets face it, even travelled at all), so this is all very exciting to her. And yes, Morgyn is enjoying themself in their own way.

      Very true – Micah and Morgyn’s relationship is far more balanced, definitely. I like the way you’ve summed it up.

      Oh lordy, I’m hoping for no more animals, I have nowhere to put them all or properly care for them and don’t really want activists on my case for all this imaginary wildlife 😀

      Aww ❤ I bet he's lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow, Morgyn doesn’t waste time. Off to Selvadorada. 🙂

    I do love Cordelia’s outlook of Selvadorada and the sweet innocence about her that is hard to resist. Plus, she likes cats, so that’s always a good thing. 🙂 Morgyn on the other hand, seems a bit jaded about Selvadorada, like… eh, been here, done that, let’s go to the ruins. But maybe it’s good they don’t stick around town, Morgyn might get distracted by some Selvadoradan spellcaster or dancer.

    Morgyn has a lot of confidence in their abilities. And how are they going to keep their eyes on Cordelia the whole time? I actually don’t want anything bad to happen to Morgyn because if it does, that leaves Cordelia alone and defenseless. I fear for Cordelia; she is putting a lot of trust in the sage. This will be an adventure, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yes, Morgyn was all “take all the time you need to decide,” but as soon as Cordelia agreed it’s all go 😆

      Cordelia is definitely trying to make the most of the trip. It’s a lovely opportunity for her to explore the world, you know, minus the potential dangers of jungles and temples 😀

      Morgyn would never miss a chance to brag about their skills and brilliance, of course. But yes, you’re right, Cordelia is pretty reliant on them at the minute.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As usual, Morgyn playing around with Cordie’s heart. Dayum, she was just having a good time, and he had to bring attraction into it. Like ‘stop paying attention to the scenery and pay attention to me!’ /sigh

    Hm, I wonder if that lady from the market is to be trusted. I can imagine this turning sour very fast. She could be directing them right into a trap. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m wondering if we’ve met Madre Cosecha in your other chapters. The one whom Morgyn was fighting with before it panned to the temple in Selvadorada. That would be kinda cool, also interesting because that would mean Morgyn is a few hundred years old or something. Do we know how old are they?

    It’s nice to see Cordelia having fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting theory! We don’t really know how old Morgyn is, no, other than that they are older than they look because they keep themselves young with magic. Though one would hope if they’re centuries old they would know better lol.

      Yes, Cordelia is loving Slevadorada so far, for what it’s worth.


  6. HOW DARE THEY? Okay, listen, I’m Team Morgyn but this is some bullshit! Cordelia, darling, I need you to get your shit together. Stop letting Morgyn run you! Stop being at the whims of their emotions! You know, it just dawned on me that Micah knows more about Morgyn and their past than Cordelia does. She fancies herself smitten and runs around getting jealous but what does she really know about them?

    Also, Morgyn’s blatant disregard for her feelings was on full display! They laughed because they found Cordelia entertaining. A diversion. A shiny thing until another shiny thing shows up.

    Gah, my poor heart!

    I really, really cannot stress how much I love this. These characters refuse to stay in any box I try to put them in and I can’t wait to see what happens next.


    (okay, okay, but theory time now: MercuryFoam brought this up, but we really don’t know how old Morgyn is. They appear to have some unfinished business in Selvadorada. I feel like they’ve done something really reckless for selfish reasons. And I can’t stop thinking that it involved Dandy…somehow).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Micah has not only gone into the “relationship” with Morgyn with some healthy reservations, but also actually knows more about them – possibly more than anyone does, actually. And yes, for all of Cordelia’s infatuation, she doesn’t really know the sage that well.

      I was gonna say nobody puts Morgyn in a box, but then that just made me think of nobody puts Baby in the corner 😆 One of those days haha!

      No we don’t really confidently know what connection Morgyn has to Selvadorada, what they’ve done their on their first visit, or if they have even actually been there, and of course what their intentions are exactly – in Selvadorada or in general. Which probably doesn’t answer any of your speculations 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh jeez. I felt Cordelia being self-conscious about enjoying things. That feeling of your life being performative, your every move being observed and critiqued—maybe there’s something else with an authority figure, but now that I think about it, this particular baggage can be wholly sprite-induced.

    I do like the idea of Madre Cosecha being a spellcaster: very neat crossing of the streams.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mhm, that’s definitely how Cordelia thinks. As you say, it’s mostly the sprite conditioning, but you can definitely toss in the fact that none of her foster families kept her, or even go way back to her mother dying (or in a child’s perspective, “abandoning her”) as a perceived consequence of something she did… pile on that baggage 😅

      It made sense in my head that she would have been a spellcaster, she turned things around for people there, and Selvadorada just screams ancient magic.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love location changes and I thought Morgyn was foolin’ us. And now I think they have a death wish and should just ride a rollercoaster for that adrenaline rush if they have to. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Selvadorada is beautiful! Haha, indeed, what is Morgyn’s deal, exactly? Are they simply bored and after a bit of thrill? I suppose it’s tougher to find excitement in the little things when you are the sage of untamed magic 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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