Mattress Surfing at Mire Hold

Continued from Splashing Through the Mud and the Muck


Xanadu Weyr - Mire Hold

Surrounded by mountains on three sides and an expansive swamp on the other, Mire Hold is a combination of wet and dry land. Channels have been built to guide the water from the swamp in slow moving streams, while land space has been built up to support people, crops and animals alike. Bridges and pathways criss-cross across the area, giving solid ground upon which to walk. In larger open areas gray trees stand like sentinels in the water with long moss hanging from their limbs. In other areas, tall pines or deciduous trees stand in small copses. Fruit trees have been planted in many areas and terraced gardens have been built. A wall surrounds many of the residences, though several stone cottages can be found on the outskirts as well. Wooden fences breakup pasture land for herdbeasts and runners as well as other small livestock. Very few places are sturdy enough to support a dragon.

In the midst of the great wall can be found a rather thick bodied tree with thick branches and odd aerial roots that hang vertically down to the ground around the trunk and off of branches in spots. Stone pavers surround the tree and around the areas that have grown back into the ground, creating an almost park like atmosphere. Benches have been placed for seating and the shaded cover provided by the thick and broad oval leaves keeps things cool. Surrounding the tree are three one story buildings. These seem to be fairly new and look a little out of place in comparison to the other buildings. Two have no windows at all, while the third has plenty of windows but is only about half the size. The two windowless ones are storage and the third small one has been built as a place of learning. There are no desks, but there are several pillows that are stacked neatly along the sides, though in general they look unused. Maps and anatomical drawings of cattle and runners and even dragons line the walls, along with charts of the stars and the seas.

It's nearing on to evening as Keziah and Matrin come through the swamps and find themselves at the small holding. Of course there is the scent of the swamp, ubt there is also the scents of flower blossoms and vegetation and critters. It's a little cooler here, though there is still enough heat to make the swamps smell even lovelier to those not used to them. The sounds of loing from the herdbeasts drift across and various others sounds can be heard. The sounds of a hammer striking metal, a stone being used to sharpen something. Laughter from children and canines barking in distance. It's a hold that is alive, even if bried deep into the middle of nowhere.

And though the hold looks unsuspecting, the arrival of two people has not gone unnoticed and it's quite likely that their progress has been observed for some time now. As they step out into the open, a voice speaks, the words drawled, heavily accented and slightly sarcastic, "Well lookie here. Company come to call." A young man appearing to be in his late teens steps out from behind a moss-draped tree behind the pair. He's unarmed, if one can call the ten foot-long staff he's holding in sensitive fingers unarmed. Without taking his eyes off them, "Da!" His voice is raised to carry but otherwise he seems unruffled even though a smile is lacking in his greeting. With a chin-point at Matrin, he asks Keziah, "Who's 'e?"

Matrin is hot, damp with sweat and humidity, his boots and the cuffs of his cargo pants are muddy. And yet he manages to straighten up when they step into the hold's territory and to pull a bit of a smile on to his lips. The voice suddenly coming from behind them is of course something he's going to notice, but he just slowly turns toward the teen. His hands were already tucked into the dual straps of the pack on his back and he leaves one there. The other he slowly stretches out. See, both are occupied and empty. "Name's Matrin."

Keziah gives a simple little nod "This is, as he says, Matrin. He's a Harper from Xanadu Weyr." she doesn't go into too much detail, she'll let Matrin do that. "He's okay. And he certainly doesn't complain as much as the other did." With that she smirks a bit. She looks around a little as if looking for others, but she's otherwised unconcerend at the appearance of the young man. Course, she's more used to their ways than Matrin would be. "Has the hunting been good? Any sign of felines out this way?" A typical question from her. She's always concerned about the appearance of felines.

For a long moment the teen just stares skeptically at the hand. His hair is badly in need of a trim, his loosely fitting clothes breathe, flopping in what little breeze there is, though worn and of a rough weave, are sewn by an expert hand. Drab brown trouser legs and grey-green shirtsleeves both rolled up, soft hide boots are slightly moss-stained but for the most part, unmuddied. Grey eyes squint at Keziah, then shift back to Matrin, narrowed slightly more. "Well, pal. Y'came through a lot of mud to get a look at… a lot of mud, huh?" His staff swings suddenly, neatly snaps a leaf off a low-hanging branch with a sharp 'pop!' and then the end is planted back on the ground, a tiny, amused smirk on his mouth, "That answer your question, Miss Kezi?" Cryptic as always. And then, though there's no return shout from the buildings, and he hasn't so much as glanced away, he states, "Da says c'mon inta the hold."

A particular blue and white knot is still tucked away in the sturdy pack Matrin carries, but he makes no effort to deny his Craft or posting. Instead he just nods, confirming what she said, and then awaits the lad's answer to her questions about hunting and felines. When his hand just hangs there without any reply, his friendly smile tips into something more like a smirk and he gives his head half a shake - more a turn to one side as he loops his thumb back into the strap of his pack. "A little mud never hurt anyone, unless it sucks you under right?" It's not the sort of statement that really means much, but it gives him something to say in the silence after that pop, and though his sharp blue eyes followed the staff he manages not to flinch. For the teen's last he simply nods and the curve of his smie goes deeper again. "Thanks."

Keziah glances over at Matrin. Oops? Or maybe she did mean to let slip his craft. Never know with Kezi. She does smile though "Aye, that answers it. Any feline be dead, and plenty food." At that latter bit she smiles more. She does like her food. "Too true Matrin, but I didnae have to rescue ya outta the swamp, so yer doin' good." And with that she heads off towards the main part of the holding. "I'm impressed." she says simply to Matrin and seems a little more pleasant than she had been.

"Unless ya got an open sore. Then the sepsis gets ya 'sted o' the mud," is the laconic answer to Matrin. Gabit hangs back as Keziah steps forward, choosing to fall in beside Matrin. Treading with an easy grace, footfalls made lightly in that automatic way one does when it's become unthinking habit, the lad keeps pace with the harper. His eyes appear affixed to the back of Keziah's head, but there's a sly sidelong ever-so-slight watchfulness in Matrin's direction. Out of the corner of his mouth, he asks, "Ma-trin-the-harper, are ya here to tame the swamp-rabble?"

Kezia's compliment, especially the latter, blunter one has Matrin's eyebrows briefly jumping upward. He squelches it quickly enough though, clearing his throat softly and replying with, "Eh, I had a good guide, that's all." His thoughtlessly smooth steps are of an altogether different character than Gabit's - more schooled, like a dance rather than a hunt. They don't fit here quite as well, but they are graceful just the same. He arches a brow at the words spoken by the teen, then easily shakes his head. "I haven't seen any swamp rabble yet, so I think I'll withhold my answer until you show me some." There's no smirk here, it's just stated. "Keziah made it sound too interesting to pass up a visit, actually."

Keziah is enjoying herself indeed as they head for the wall taking them on over the paved pathways that wind through trees and pretty flowers. She does snort a bit at Matrin. As if she had a choice. But she doesn't say anything of the like. Nope. She's enjoying watching the interaction. "So your Da's made it back?" she asks after a moment as her eyes shift a little to watch as some of the holder folk take a look at them as they get in closer. Though no one really stops there work. The children, however, have disappeard. "Anything good on the menu tonight that you know of?" Just inside the wall, a man that looks similar to Gabit, but older stands silently.

There's a little blink, a more direct to that sidelong look Matrin's getting, but that's all the surprise Gabit shows, although he looks thoughtful as they draw up into the shade of the outbuildings. "Interesting." It could be an echo or a comment but it's left there to hang, undefined. There's a non-committal shrug of lean shoulders in response to Keziah's question, which coupled with the head-tilt towards the barn could mean yes or no. "Ma's got crawly-critters in the pot." Yummmm. Matrin are you in for a treat.

Though Gabit's 'interesting' could be a comment of his own, Matrin simply dips his chin in something approaching a nod. "Fascinating even. People able to survive and even thrive in an environment like this have to be hardy, smart, resourceful." It's casual, and he shrugs, taking a beat to look around the buildings grouped around them. "T'be honest I was hoping to learn something from you, not the other way around. But I'd be happy to make it reciprocal if there's anything I can do." The mention of crawlies makes his grin grow a little and he pushes a hand through his hair. "Any of the long legged amphibians Keziah mentioned? I can't see a chance to try them anywhere else, so see if you can get those on the menu." One more beat and he arches a brow. "Your da being back… does that make you Chalm's son?"

Keziah eyes Matrin a moment and the rolls her eyes as he waxes verbose and murmurs something under her breath about Harpers. Couldn't expect her to stay amiable. Right?" And then she's greeting Chalm, who's foot is still wrapped up a bit, but he's seeming to bear the weight quite well. "Trust you found what you needed?" Chalm himself gives a nod. "Well enough." He's looking Matrin over, and though he doesn't seem to find him lacking, he doesn't find him interesting enough yet to pay him any more mind "See you brought another here." Kezi shrugs a little "Yeah, well. What canni say? He followed me." A cute look.

Gabit half-turns, ignoring the bite of the roughened wood as he leans one shoulder against the side of the building. As Matrin speaks, he jams both hands into his pockets and tilts the harper a wary look. "Smart. Huh." Accompanied by a gentle snort and a baffled sort of quirk to his mouth he takes Matrin's measure in silence while his father approaches. With a slight nod, he greets the man, "Da." Which ought to answer Matrin's question without him really having to answer directly. Obstinate boy! And while he's smirking over Keziah's cute look his eyes wander over her form… "Ow!!!" His head sways forward sharply as someone from behind whaps the back of it. "Git back to work, Gabit." The words, longsuffering and fond at the same time, carry the same twang Gabit's did. She's given a glare and the teen slips into the building, with a frankly curious look over his shoulder at Matrin.

Keziah's murmur doesn't go unnoticed, or unremarked for that matter. Matrin arches one of those dark brows and quirks a grin at her. It encompasses that cutely feigned innocence and he gives a small, indulgent shake of his head. Then his eyes dart back over to Chalm and he gives the man a nod and a brief, "Sir." After that it's back to the closer, younger man and logically the woman who takes his place after that well-placed swat. She just gets the full benefit of an easy smile and an inclination of his head somewhere between a small bow and a nod. "Ma'am." Even if 'Miss' might fit better.

Chalm continues to watch the younger fork for a few moments. "Dunna be late fer supper." he finally says before turning and heading in. Course there was a twitch to his lips as he shakes his head a bit at his son as he heads in. There is then a look at Matrin, a bit sterner perhaps and then he's gone. Just sorta of slid into the landscape perhaps.

Keziah rolls her eyes again at Matrin, but at the mention of supper, there's an answer gurgle from Kezi's mid-region. A half-sheepish smile and she smiles at Matrin "Maybe. Maybe I should leave ya ta do yer business. Hmm?"

"miah," the woman corrects briskly but without the mistrust Gabit showed. She could be Matrin's age, not much than a turn or two older or younger. Her thick hair is done up in a casual twist, coppery-glints of gently curling wisps catching the sun where they fall down around her face and the back of her neck. Her dress, spattered with water-darkened spots is of the same rough-weave, hand-sewn but whereas Gabit's were loose-fitting, hers is form-fitting to bodice and waist, falling in graceful folds about hips and calves. "Hey Kezi, good ta see ya," she drawls lips curving in a genuine smile of welcome. A smile which dims to polite in spite of the bright curiosity she turns on Matrin. Intelligence is in the grey eyes that give him a frank, unapologetic sizing-up, her hand extended to him. "Harper." She decides after a few ticks, one brow lifting in a silent, 'yes?' query.

Matrin withstands Chalm's stern look with grace, dipping a nod as the man slips away. Keziah's upcoming departure is more concerning, at least a little, and he clears his throat. "You're welcome to stay far as I'm concerned. Make sure I don't tumble into any of those mudholes?" The figurative kind. Reagardless, when it comes to their newer companion, he is good with a name instead of a stuffy form of address, and though the woman is brisk he lets his smile linger as his bright eyes dart a quick once-over. "Mishkia then, nice to meet you." He takes her hand as easily as she extends it, and his shake is firm even if his hands lack the telltale callouses of hard labor and bear the sort that come from holding a pen instead. "Matrin," he offers not as a correction but as something additional, then dips a nod to her assumption. "Is it so obvious?" He asks it with the faintest bit of sheepishness to his smile.

There's a bright laugh "Oh, I'm sure ya can keep yer footin' well enough. You did on the way out here." Keziah notes ever so sweetly "Besides, I'm starving, and fresh meat helps puts things off a little longer, so. I'm going to go eat, and besides." She just smiles then. Who knows if she had something else to say and just then a fairly plump sized older woman comes down the path and sweeps Kezi up into a hug, feet off the floor and the greenie squeaking a bit "Mama AShki" And whether or not she was going to stay or not is now mute as greenrider is bundled off.

"As a sore thumb," Mishkia replies without hesitating a beat while they're shaking hands. While hers aren't calloused by any means, well-shaped, long fingers are strong when they curl 'round his, her damp hand having been recently in the washtub most likely. Releasing his hand, the welcome warm but brief, she clarifies, "Purty words like recip-rocal," there's a slight hitch as she hangs up on the word, though it's pronounced correctly, "ain't used by normal folks." There's the barest glimmer of a tease in her eyes as she uses the word 'normal'. As Ashki absconds with Keziah, she merely shakes her head tolerantly, a soft chuckle following their departure. With a headtilt towards the door, "Table's clear if y'wanna sit? Tea's brewin' or if y'don't wanta wait there's some of Da's liquid sunshine."

An inward hiss of breath and Matrin shakes his head like he's receiving the worst of news with a wince. "That bad, huh? I guess I shouldn't have bothered leaving off the knot." But he hasn't lost his boyish grin when he lets her hand go, nor does he wipe any residual dampness from his own own narrow fingers. "Good for good's all I meant," he clarifies the word he used. "I didn't always have this much book learning myself," he offers lightly. His feet follow the line her headtilt offers, and he settles himself easily at the table, dropping into a chair and dragging the pack of his shoulders with a sigh. "Tea sounds great, thank you. I don't think I'm man enough to not be blinded by the sunshine after so many hours under the jungle canopy." Tired + hungry + booze = nothing good, in words that are less purty.

Goods for goods. A coppery brow lifts at that, but for now Mishkia doesn't remark upon it. As if it's a consolation prize of some sort, she offers a dry, "Gabit mighta thought ya were a healer or somethin'." This over her shoulder as she leads the way indoors, that silent laughter still dancing in her glance. Once inside she heads to the cupboard, taking out a few heavy clay mugs, places them on the table, setting one in front of Matrin, the other opposite and a third - for Keziah, most likely, should she manage to escape from Ashki - then with swift efficiency gathers faded cloth napkins, a tin of tea, spoons, sweetner all in one arm, the steaming pot in the other before turning back. While these are set on the table and tea leaves shaken into the pot, she asks, "So, how long did ya take hiking in?"

Well, good for good. Like a benefit for a benefit. But as she doesn't remark out loud there's no chance for Matrin to clarify. Instead he just arches his brows at what Mishkia does say, and slowly shakes his head. "Keziah introduced me to him as a harper for one. But Tarmin's your healer anyway right?" He admires her efficient hospitality and then the mug in front of him, taking a deep breath as the clean herbal scent of the steeping leaves wafts his way. "Mmm, smells great," he says even as he tips his head to get a peek out the window, but he can't see the sun. "Well, we left this morning. Not as long as it seemed, I'd wager. Pretty though, when I could get my mind off all the dangers Keziah kept reminding me of." He says it with a fond smirk, then shakes his head.

There's an amused, "She took ya the long way, huh?" from Mishkia as she settles gracefully in the seat opposite. See? No comments about them getting lost or him slowing Keziah down. She's behaving. For now. There's a negligent handwave in response to his reference to Gabit, "Gabit don't listen to nothin' but the fancies in his own head and the song of the swamp. But b'fore that I meant." Her reach to lift the lid on the teapot stalls with a blink at him. "Cousin Tarmin? Well, heh, sorta. He uses swampfolk remedies the 'hall don't know about for most things." She peeks in the pot nodding in satisfaction at the color, the lid clinks back down and she lifts it, pouring his first, then hers. As she sets the pot down, there's a glance towards the door, then down at the pack he'd set down. "So. What did ya want and what did ya bring in trade?" She understood, the tease. "Tho a harper tradin'-" she tsks a little, "is cross-craftin' and if Chalm gets wind of that… she lets it hang with a dire headshake but the lingering glance at the three-foot blade hanging over the door, then at his neck completes the thought.

Up go dark brows and Matrin leans back, letting the proper alignment of his spine relax into a slouch against the rough back of the chair. "Did she?" Irritation glimmers in the silver flecks of his blue eyes, but then he just chuckles and drags his hand through already mussed hair. "Well shells." An amused breath is his first response to trading, and he flicks a glance at his pack. "Um, clean underwear, a change of clothes and some fresh water and rations in case I got lost in the swamp?" It means that he barely spares the blade a glance, leaning forward into the prop of his laced hands on the tabletop. "Maybe we could trade knowledge though, which wouldn't be cross-craft at all." A pause, and his brows draw down, those impossibly long dark lashes narrowing over the bright of his gaze. "Not sure I have any you want or need though, unfortunately."

There's some laughter and Kezi pops on in. She has in hand a steaming loaf of bread with fresh churned butter dripping down the sides. Okay, there is no shame in the starving Kezi's face as she bites into the loaf, and even better, nice bits of rare sliced meat within. Kezi is in heaven. Aye. "You shouldn't be showin her yer underwear." she says around mouthfuls as she sits at the table and then mutters. "Couldn't lose him, insisted on stayin' on my heals. Which is better than some." she notes with a smile and then takes another bite. Mmmm yeasty.

Mishkia lowers her lashes hiding the laughter in them as she lifts her mug and blows on it. She's totally messing with him, the minx. "If y'got lost in these swamps come nightfall, clean underwear ain't gonna stay clean," she points out in a practical whimsy, then sips her tea. Keziah's laughter draws her attention doorwards, "He ain't." Totally disappointed-sounding. Too much so. And her mouth? Pouts. "Have some tea with that?" And she lowers her mug while one hand slides the pot towards the mug she'd set out. Back to Matrin, she mmms skeptically. His knowledge? She'll wait and see. "What sort of knowledge we talkin' about?" Genuine perplexity there. "Gabit can show ya how to walk through the swamp without makin' a sound, where to put your feet so they stay dry, catch just about anything that breathes. Tarmin can help ya know herbs and what weeds are edible and which will kill ya." Shoulder rise and fall in a shrug.

When Keziah enters, Matrin straightens up out of his slouch a bit, eyeing the little bit of paradise she's gnawing on with an audible little rumble from his stomach. It's enough to make him sheepish and he takes a slow sip of his tea to (unsuccessfully) cover it. "Aww now, I'd be happy to show you my underpants if you ask nicely, Mishkia. No need to pout." It's nothing but tease tossed in the face of her little minxy pout, and he rolls his eyes toward the ceiling like he might find some help up there. "You're too good a guide to lose me in the swamp, Wingleader," he tacks on with a grin, then shifts his eyes and focus back to the holder girl across from him. A thoughtful nod greets each bit of backwoods wisdom offered, then he sets his mug down, letting his fingers linger on the clay. "And you?"

"Honestly, keep it in your pants Harper Boy." Keziah snorts and then quite delibertly takes a bit and mmmm's softly and quite openly savors the food. She does pour herself some tea and just rolls her eyes a bit. "You gonna get to business, or shall I leave ya two to a little privacy. Other things I can be doing while you 'integrate' yourself." she notes as she grabs mug and starts to rise. She wouldn't really leave him in a huff now, would she?

With a twinkle and a flicker of lash, "How nice?" Mishkia shoots back without missing a beat until Keziah's growled comment elicits a long sigh of disappointment from her followed by a muttered, "Underwear. Ain't all that when ya wash the drawers of all the menfolk 'round here." Huff. She reclaims her mug, sips then gives the Rider a quizzical look over the rim at the mention of business. But as the woman starts to rise, she reaches a hand to her forearm, hopefully forestalling her. "Dinner's almost ready." Her tone turns coaxing, "Your favorite." Her chin-point indicates a huge pot on the stove simmering gently. Then there's naught but a slow smile for the harper's last question. "I can teach ya how to mattress surf."

Matrin can only laugh at Keziah, then give his very secure belt a reassuring little pat. "Yes ma'am." For Mishkia there is just a wink and that broad, boyish grin that offers mischief and innocence in one sparkling flash of too-white teeth. He'll leave that sort of teasing behind though as Keziah starts to rise, shaking his head instead of bodily stalling her since Mishkia has that covered. "We're only teasing, Keziah. Please stay." The mention of mattress surfing makes him lean his weight back into the splay of one forearm across the table and he shakes his head. "Stuff I don't already know, woman." That is more teasing still - both the suggestive bent and the slightly derogatory 'pet name' at the end. Then he sobers some and tips his head to the side. "History. It's one of the things us annoying harpers gather. Weyrs in the past have been known to twist things some so they come out on top, or lose inconvenient bits. I'd like to know what you all pass down to the next about this area."

Where most others would likely have their head bit off for trying to stop her, Kezi just nods a little at Mishkia. It's all about family ya know. Course, there's the mention of dinner and her favorite and Kezi perks "It is? Really?" she rubs her hands gleefully at the fare that she finds quite fair. Who knows ath Matrin will thing. She then eyes Mishkia and then rolls her eyes. "You so need to get out more. Better than him to tag." she mutters under her breath. Keziah then eyes Matrin. Fine. Just so I know where all the pieces are when they're done with ya."

Slowly, deliberately Mishkia pronounces, "Bet you all the history of Mire Hold that you ain't learned how to mattress surf." For someone she's just met, she sounds completely sure of that. Her hand extends across the tabletop, rests there on the surface in front of the harper with her palm upturned, mouth fighting off a grin and eyebright of challenge. For Keziah, as she waits for the bet to be struck, she nods, "Steamed mudbugs. With the herbs ya like in 'em. Though we've got a bit of time for the surfin' lesson."

Matrin runs a hand down the shirt into which wrinkles have set too firmly to be dissuaded by such a simple gesture. Still, it shows that at least for now the 'pieces' are still all in one place. "I appreciate your support, Keziah," and the Bitran drawl he has hidden beneath his cultured tones peeks out from under the near sarcasm. To Mishkia he arches a brow and casts a slow, deliberate look down at that outstretched hand. "How about…" he says with equal slowness. "I agree to give it a try, and follow any direction you give, if you'll take equal time telling me about that history?" A brow goes up, because her bright eyes have made him realize 'mattress surfing' probably doesn't mean at all what he thinks. At least he's not blushing? "Mudbugs, huh? Sounds delightful."

Currently just watching the display, Keziah sits back afte rhaving finished off her loaf. She just eyes Matrin, as if to say, what else did ya expect? After all, his life ain't in danger. Sanity maybe, but he's a Harper so that's suspect to begin with. "They are delightful, very juicy and quite succulent. And the seasoning's they use. It's devine. Ain't nothin like it at the Weyr, no matter how I try to convinve Belly." she remarks. She just smirks a little at the surfin' lesson bit, but no. She say's nothin'

Mishkia wouldn't know a Bitran drawl if it bit her in the butt. Still, the harper's composure and calculation are not lost on her. "Alright," she agrees smoothly, although there's a hint of doubt in there as to what he'd even want history-wise from their back-of-nowhere hold. Her hand is still there, waiting. "First, we surf. Then I'll play harper an' give ya that history lesson." All innocence now, this one. She gives Keziah a side-long look, "You too. Since you brought 'im." The scent wafting from that pot, similar to something one might smell at a seaside port may or may not be reassuring, but the holder lass agrees with the rider's summary with an easy nod of her head and a completely guileless assurance for Matrin, "Oh they are."

There's not a whit of incredulity on Matrin's face as Keziah speaks and he nods along. "I'm just saying you might want a name that sounds more appetizing. It actually smells amazing." Enough so that there's another one of those little grumbles from his stomach and he shakes his head. "But surfing first." He drops his hand down into Mishkia's and gives it the firmest of shakes. "I don't have much reason to trust you, lass, as we just met. But from all Keziah tells me, I think you Mire Holders are the truest sort of honorable and I'm holding you to that." Serious up to his eyes right until the end, then his grin breaks back out again, rays of sun piercing somber clouds. "Now let's see if I can keep from totally embarrassing myself, shall we?"

Keziah glances at Matrin "Whyever for?" she asks simply. "Offend yer sensibilities perhaps?" There's a grin at Mishkia "And I ain't goin' nowhere till I eat." That breat filled with meat? Just a snack. However, does she stay so tiny? "Side's you may need all the umm, help ya can get." she notes with a smirk "You're in for a, well. What can I say. You'll need yer strength."

She… told him about them? There's a little flash of astonished glance from Mishkia over Keziah's way during the handshake. That grin the rider sends along with her refusal to join them is met lacking the usual saucy challenge. Flickering them both a confused back and forth look, "Uh…huh. Riiiight." Rather than flounder in the mire of perplexity, she merely presses palms to the table, pushes on them to stand. "Be right back." She's gone for several minutes, sounds of clop-clop-clop and the jingle of chain heralds her return. Her voice floats in the door, but she remains without. "Ma won't let us do this in her house." Before the door is a team of runners, Gabit astride one of them, both harnessed to a heavy pull-chain attached to a wide and very beat up mattress. "Get a good hold on that bar," she warns while her hand lifts to swat the nearest runner rump.

Keziah's mention of Matrin's sensibilities just makes him roll his eyes, and in rising he scoots his chair out, all in one smooth motion. "I didn't say I wouldn't eat them, did I? I'm just saying, words are powerful. Use them." His grin says he's not really put out though, and his brows go up. "You're missin' out," he warns, but the clop clop of hooves has the grin sliding clean off his face. He mouths something that could be vulgar, a curse that he doesn't back with actual sound, and he plants a hand on the doorframe to lean his head out. "Yeah, this'll be interesting." Mattress. Surfing. So literal. Keziah gets a quick pleading glance cast over his shoulder, but he climbs on up anyway and grabs the bar. "On my knees, on my feet?" His tone makes it ever so slightly suggestive, but he is asking Mishkia how he wants him on her mattress, after all.

A hmmph "And sometimes, actions speak louder than all the fancy words in the world." Keziah notes as she gets up to help herself to some food. Oh yeah, look at the them. Big mean nasty looking things that have been split open. Huge claws too. Imagine one of them snagging onto boot or foot… or other part. "On your tail for all I care." she mutters. Then there's a pause and she cants her head to one side. "Just not on yer head. I'd hate ta see you do too much damage. Least the grounds fairly soft? "I'd join, but Alosynth seems to have something against the whole thing, and this isn't the time to really antagoize her." She purses her lips a little in worry.

Mishkia's hand remains paused on the downsweep, she considers the mattress. She considers Matrin. There's a look passed between Gabit and herself. A long pause. "Better lie on your belly." There's a laughter-bright look sent Keziah's way. "Well we wouldn't want to make Alo mad, would we?" But Matrin. He has no dragon insurance, does he? "Hang on tight," she warns, her hand swinging down to give the runner a sharp smack while Gabit uses his switch to get them going. Mishkia? She's just going to give surfing pointers from the sidelines, right?

Matrin can barely spare a glance for the creature Keziah is lifting from the pot. He had himself all steeled - psyched up even - for frog legs. "Not that different from spiderclaws," he murmurs like he's encouraging himself more than he is asking for confirmation. Then Keziah purses her lips and concern flickers in his eyes. Unfortunately, that'll have to wait, because Mishkia's suggesting he lie flat and some boastful, flirty rejoinder springs to his lips and dies just as quickly as the concern did. It's a lot for one man, even a Harper, to parse. But the important bit is that he drops down and grabs that bar just in time to save him from getting tossed clean off when those runners go from standing to speeding.

Mudbugs? Apparently they're mudmonsters. Does Gabit know how to trap or what? Mishkia's lips open to ask, "What's a sp-" she gets no further than that as the runners leap forward faster than she apparently was prepared for. As the mattress slides by, she throws herself on beside Matrin, grabbing the bar, her shouted, "Keep your head down!" barely heard over the thunder of hooves. The ground is soft, the runners hooves tossing chunks of it back their way as they go, but do they remain in the open? Not exactly. They've done this before - enough so that they've worn a track, as it were, winding through the underbrush, over little hillocks, around trees, veering off-course so that the mattress crashes through clumps of bushes every now and then. The mattress swings precariously around each turn, all the while Mishkia is laughing wildly. At least she isn't standing safely beside Keziah while pointing and laughing at Matrin?

Keziah smirks a little at the idea that they're like spiderclaws. "More like a shell fish, just a little mushier." she notes to the buggies as Matrin goes surfing off into the distance. "Least it's summer time and it stays lighter longer. Hate to see how he'd fair in the darkness." she murmurs to herself as she slurps the 'meat' off the half shell. She does wander off towards the door to watch though. Then there's a thoughful look. "Hope he doesn't get killed. Thea won't be none to happy." Chalm has come from around the corner and comes to stand next to Kezi "He seems ta be takin' things better'n the others. The last one wouldnae touch the mattress." Kezi chuckles "Well, we'll be seein' how he does. Who knows. He may want to willingly come back." Chalm snorts and shakes his head. He doesn't belive that yet and then heads back off again.

Yeaahh… so Matrin is usually a verbose kinda guy, as everyone has already undoubtedly mentioned. At this point though? There's really nothing to say, and no time to say it. He manages to blink wide eyes at Mishkia as she flops down beside him, and to mutely nod at her cautionary directions before ducking his head down. He's a little pale, and if she could hear him over the sound of thundering hooves and crashing shrubbery, there's the occasional hitch of breath or choked out curse. His knuckles may be white, but he keeps a grip on the bar, and manages not to lose his hold /or/ his lunch as they go whipping around. Willingly coming back may be a bit of a stretch at this point, but maybe he is just that stubborn, and agreed to get on the mattress because he knows his head is hard?

Thea, most likely, would have a holder lass to flay if Matrin met his end out here. Mishkia knows when to duck and when she can spare a glance at the harper beside her, though his poor ears! Every now and then Gabit guides the runners sharply off-course so that the ride is unpredictable, even for her. Enough so that her laughter is interspersed with short spurts of screams. They're using Chalm's heavy plow-runners, the muscled animals snorting at the ease of pulling something so light as a mattress behind them. They're used to going all day if they have to, but at a much slower pace, so it isn't long before their pace slows and they pull up before the door once more, sweating and blowing. Mishkia's twist was never secured all that carefully. Now? Her hair is completely fallen down about her shoulders, covering her face. They stop and she's just laughing too hard to get up. Does she need to get out more? Oh most definitely!

Keziah has gone back inside to sit. Presumably to eat more. Or maybe she just didn't want to be witness to Matrin demise. Whichver the reason is though, she is getting back up again as the runners come back to a stop outside. She looks down at the pair. "Well, you look like you put him through his paces." she notes to Mishkia. There's a glance up at Gabit and she shakes her head a little and then she's looking at Matrin. At least she doesn't prod him with the toe of her boot to see if he's alive.

Luckily, it looks like they'll all be keeping their skins, at least for one more day. Half way through, even if Matrin can't predict the jarring bouncing path he manages to get used to it a little. Eventually when she's screaming he's silently squeezing his eyes shut, and when she's shouting laughter he manages a weak grin paired with sidelong looks of his own. They finally skid to a halt and he stays laying where he is, peeling his fingers off of the bar and flexing hands that are on the way to numb with a soft chuckle that is more shaking shoulders than sound. "No wonder you people are so tough, if that's what you do for fun," he practically croaks, then flops over on his back for a louder bit of chuckling. His voice lifts then, to reach Gabit's ears as he says, "You need driving lessons, boy. I'm telling your Da not to let you anywhere near the fields if he wants a single straight row." Keziah just gets a shake of his head and a smirk, and his eyes are bright even if the color is slow to find its way back into his face.

The comment from Keziah sends Mishkia's brows waggling a few times, returning naught but a smirk in reply. When she gets breath enough to speak, she informs Matrin, "It's one of the things we do for fun!" From the runner's back, Gabit chimes in, "Y'should try it in the wintertime." Mishkia sweeps her hair off her face, sits up and just gives the harper a look, eyes dancing in merriment for his comment about the fields, "Ya do that'n Gab'll owe ya for the rest of his life." Gabit growls, doesn't bother waiting for them to get off the mattress before he clucks at the runners to start them walking back towards the barn. As the mattress lurches, she swings her feet off, dances a few steps to keep her balance, a hand out in offer to help the harper up if he needs it. "Did ya save us any mudbugs, Kezi?"

"Oh yes, plenty of mudbugs to go around." she grins "Course if ya were gone much longer I mighta eaten them all." Not really, but she does enjoy them. Better than anything that she can cook on her own. "Oh yes, wintertime. Just hope they don't splash ya through any slush.' she notes with a smirk. "Glad to see you survived, but in some ways I suppose it's no different than high divin' off a dragon. Now that's fun." Keziah serves up some of the mudbugs to the both of them.

Matrin will indeed make use of that hand, careful not to drag Mishkia down instead of pulling himself up, and using the other hand to steady himself a bit on her shoulder as his feet compensate for the difference between moving mattress and still ground. He grins down at her for a single beat before stepping back and tucking his hands in his pocket. "Survived? It's the most fun I've had on a mattress in /months/," he quips without a hint of blush and easily goes on. "Dinner before demonstrations of any other fun things though, I'm starving." He blinks at the mention of diving off a dragon, but he takes his plate just the same, and with a chuckle. "And I thought Bitrans were a ballsy bunch."

Continues in Avoiding Pitfalls and finding Treasure

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