FOR A FIVE-year-old, she had a frown centuries her senior.
Upon the reading table, nestled to the silver tea urn, two half-full cups were getting cold. The room was anything but cool, but it had been whole minutes since Satori Komeiji had watched the last wisps of steam milk away into the air, and she had no doubt the drink she had carefully brewed to her liking was no warmer now than the flesh of her naked feet. Gentle light was filtering in through the silken drapes, yet the chamber where they were now was bathed in a lovely half-shadow. Soft and dim. Good for concentration.
Her fingers were stiff. She was aching on the elbows as well, the weight of her upper body supported on them as she leant half-way across the table. Her eyes were wide open – all three of them. Satori Komeiji breathed out the stale air.
At least she hasn’t her father’s hands.
The small creature in the other chair stirred, as though pricked by the intrusive thought.
Satori Komeiji sighed her disappointment as the mind before her went into a flight of thoughts. Yet she would lie if she said she wasn’t partly relieved. The realisation came reverberating as the tiny mind caught it and turned it around. It was surrounded by the angry buzz of a wounded pride. Satori Komeiji restrained a chuckle. The little face before her became scowling, and the chuckle came flying out against her best efforts.
Satori Komeiji’s five-year-old daughter opened her eyes, and when she did, they were the colour of an autumn sky.