Chairdogs of Dune

(a little story I wrote way back in 2006. Completely forgot about it. Yeah I called myself Coconut Ent.)

http://www.sf-fandom.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?21806-Chairdogs-of-Dune

Chairdogs of Dune

“Stil , why are there no chairdogs on Dune ?” Little Leto’ s voice was a bit lispy from the soft palate and still imperfect control of his tongue .

Stilgar muttered something and stalked out of the room , into the main hall of Sietch Tabr .

“What’ s with him ?” Little Ghanima Atreides sat up on her spice -fluff cushion. “And what ‘ s this about chairdogs ?”

“Oh , nothing much Ghani . Just something strange I was told.”

“Told ? By whom …. ohhhh… yes… chairdogs …” Ghanima blinked , listening in to her own ancestral whispers. “Decadent things. Hmmm … the Fenrings used to have a few in Arrakeen , according to Granny -in – my-mind . She thought they were posh.”

“Posh . Now that’ s an old word. Wonder why Stilgar went off like that?”

“Do you really want to know, Leto ? Ghani ?” Alia- of -the- Knife , the Womb of Heaven swished the curtain aside and entered the chamber.

“Hullo Aunty Alia,” Leto was a bit wary around his Aunt … there was something rather wicked, witch -like about her . “You know, swishing curtains aside unannounced is a good way to get knifed in a sietch .”

Ghanima , while cautious, also knew that with the correct prodding Aunty Alia could be the most outrageous gossip. Leto could never quite manage it . It was a girl thing. “Oooh , please Aunty , do tell !”

Both children felt something , or rather someone, shifting inside their skulls . If it had to be described, it was as if the ancestors in their heads ( Paul , Chani , Jessica , her Duke , even the Baron ) decided to sit down for the tale and make themselves comfortable . Leto could almost hear Paul Muad ‘ Dib chuckling. Muad ‘ Dib had been there .
Alia plumped down on a cushion. “Well , it was like this .”

/ / =========

Stilgar had only seen chairdogs briefly , when he ‘ d followed Duncan to Arrakeen before the joint Harkonnen -Sardaukar attack . He was both repulsed by the idea and intrigued by it . A chair that was a specially bred living creature!
Now, in the days following their Great Victory … there had been a few hectic months and he , doughtiest of the Fremen of Sietch Tabr , was fairly run off his feet . You can ‘ t ride worms in a city . Plus, this new Palace Muad ‘ Dib was still building nearby was simply HUGE , it could swallow a few cities when complete , and Stilgar had to walk from end to end a few times to oversee security .

Alia had scandalised him by suggesting that he relax by having a hot bath , in a tub .

Right now , he was seriously contemplating the sheer sacrilege of soaking his feet in hot water. Gods below!

He had climbed to the top of Arrakeen Palace, having come straight from the new , unfinished mega -palace to enquire about the practicality of plasteel roofing in a baking desert, only to find Muad ‘ Dib had flown off .

I need to sit down , he thought .
Looking for a seat he rambled through a chamber. There was a pool , a pool of water set in the floor , a fountain playing in the centre . Stilgar breathed in the moisture – rich air.

A curious whuffle made him turn and look . It was a chairdog , and it was trembling .

Kul Wahad , thought Stilgar. What decadent temptation ! Slowly he approached the sessile creature. Gingerly he lowered himself into it . The chairdog molded itself to accommodate the weary Fremen.

/ / ========

Alia had a giggling fit . The children waited patiently , even though their ancestors – withing could have told the story . Leto felt that his Father -within was laughing his head off , leaning on Chani -within for support .

Father, he thought , don ‘ t ruin the ending .

/ / ===========

“GODS BELOW ! GODS BELOW !”

“Oh dear “, said Paul .

“Usul , what is it ?” Paul held his arm out , blocking Chani .

“Trouble.” Paul had a wicked little smile.

“Trouble? Usul? What do you see ?”

They were then treated to the sight of Stilgar, soaking wet , storming down the corridor in squelchy desert boots .

Gods below! Paul had been at the Cave of Birds when he’d had a vision, and had ‘thoptered like a Coriolis wind to get back . And just in time!

It seems that chairdogs are a bit sensitive to unseemly odours. A Fremen, clad in a stillsuit to reclaim water from perpiration and bodily waste , and to whom baths are unknown, can be charitably described as aromatic . When Stilgar had just settled in , the chairdog concluded that it had been seriously contaminated and needed a really good clean .

Desperately .

Even before Stilgar had sat down , his odour has thoroughly alarmed the creature. Hence the trembling .
Well , the nearest source of water was the fountain in the room , into which the chairdog jumped .

“Usul, don’t, or he’ll kill us !” Chani had her hand clamped on Paul ‘ s mouth . She was giggling, biting her lip to contain her mirth. The danger only made it funnier . “We must get away from here!”

They staggered away holding each other up, to find somewhere a little more private.

The Shadout had just finished mopping the floor , and had put up a “CAUTION ! WET FLOOR ” sign.
Paul pointed at it .

“C – C – CAUTION ! …. WET FREMEN !” he stuttered before collapsing with Chani in a heap , rolling and howling with laughter.

Curry

(Began a story but didn’t have time to finish it. XxxHolic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle fanfic.)

 

After an hour of tossing and turning, Syaoran gave up and stood from his futon, and, not wanting to disturb anyone, felt his way through the dark house to the kitchen. Someone else was there. It was his clone. They looked at each other, saying nothing.

Syaoran pulled a chair from the kitchen table and sat down. The clone quietly pushed a mug towards him. It was filled with hot chocolate. “I’ll make another one,” he said. “There’s still some left in the pan.” Pouring another mug, he sat down across Syaoran, eyes downcast.

He looked up. “Not dreams,” he said, answering the unasked question. “Memories.”

Syaoran nodded. “Me too.”

They sipped their drinks, without tasting them.

So young, both of them, and so scarred. What boy has been held imprisoned in stasis for seven years? What boy had been responsible for destroying whole worlds? Syaoran had heard that the clone now refused to even touch swords.

There was a thump from the front door, then Watanuki entered. He’d been out on another magical night errand, with Doumeki tagging along. Watanuki was the one doing the errand, but he grudgingly admitted Doumeki was necessary to get him out of trouble. Watanuki seemed to attract supernatural sorts of troubles like a magnet.

Doumeki was right behind him, with a bag from which wafted the smell of curry.

When Watanuki saw the Syaorans were awake in the kitchen, clearly sleepless, he glanced briefly at Doumeki. On cue, Doumeki said, “Curry tastes better when hot.”

“Always thinking with your stomach,” said Watanuki rolling his eyes.

“Napoleon said armies march on them,” Doumeki replied.

“Well, you eat enough for one!” Somehow the curry was bubbling away in a saucepan, more milk was being heated up for chocolate, in less than a minute. Even the Syaorans ended up helping. Between fetching condiments from the cabinet and pottering at the stove, Watanuki twittered away about his day and what errand they’d been on. Apparently a giant cuddly forest spirit called Totoro needed a new top and had given them acorns wrapped up in leaves for it. Watanuki wouldn’t admit it, but it was obvious that he’d enjoyed the trip back, when he and Doumeki clutched on Totoro for dear life when the creature flew them home perched on his new spinning top, holding a tiny umbrella like a ridiculous Mary Poppins.

Having landed in a quiet park that night, Doumeki said that he was hungry and had to stop at a convenience store for curry, which would need heating up after the walk home, and who would do it? Watanuki, of course.

By the time Watanuki had finished telling the story, the food was served, and he joined the other boys already seated around the table.

 

Algol Falling

Some people, thought Doumeki, have a thing for standing out in the rain. It was pouring, and he was feeling a bit chilled as the wind gusted some raindrops into the shade of his umbrella. But in front of him was, a familiar figure stood alone, still, like a statue. He did not turn as Doumeki approached.

“The rain may not seem like much, but you’ll catch cold just standing here.”

Syaoran opened his eyes. “Oh. I didn’t mean to worry you Doumeki. I was just… remembering.”

Doumeki wondered if it might be prying if he asked.

“When Sakura-hime didn’t remember me, I went out into the rain so no one could see me cry, ” Syaoran looked up, feeling the rain on his face. “But I think Kurogane-san and Fai-san knew anyway.”

“Ah.” The Black Mokona had told Doumeki that story over a bottle of sake, as he (she? it?) had seen through its white twin’s perceptions.

Syaoran sneezed.

“Bless you,” Doumeki moved closer and tilted the umbrella slightly to shelter him. “We’d better get to someplace dry and warm.”

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m just a brute, but there are days like this when I feel human, even if a sad human.”

Doumeki raised an eyebrow. “Brutes don’t wonder. If you’re wondering about it, you’re no brute.”

“I think, therefore I am?” Syaoran quoted, then frowned trying to remember who he was quoting.

Doumeki looked at him. Watanuki and Yuuko had explained that the boy was a clone of the real Syaoran. But what was a person really? The Five Aggregates of the Self, as a monk had explained to him: Form, Senses, Feeling, Consciousness and Thought. Syaoran had all of these. He thinks, therefore he is.

“Nietzsche!” cried Syaoran jubilantly.

“Gesundheit!” said Doumeki, perfectly deadpan.

Startled, Syaoran looked at him, then laughed. “You’re funny.”

Doumeki smiled. He’s human all right. Even if does confuse Nietzsche with Descartes.