Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Castle: Chamber - Liam

After a hearty breakfast, the maids guide guests to their sleeping chambers to freshen up.

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Prue Batten
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

They told me where I should sleep but I prefer to choose my own chamber. This one reminds me of places of the heart and despite its simplicity, is redolent of so much more than the largesse in all the other castle chambers. I have seen largesse, the Færan world is full of it. Crystalline elegance that sickens one.

I had a chamber like this in Star, at the Inn of the First Happiness on the Celestine Stair. High in the Goti Range, it clung to the mountainside by erstwhile fingernails. I had affection for the melting pot that it was, filled to the brim with a bubbling concoction of mortal and Other alike – Rajis, Venichese, Pymm sailors and Trevallyn men along with Færan and Siofra and the truly malign like the Barguest, the Banshee, and any number of malicious mountain spirits.

The chamber had whitewashed walls and a huge window and recessed seat with cushions and if I sat in it, as I am in this castle, I could see down to the Way and watch folk. I swear as I watch this minute, I can see Adelina in her russet glory with Ana. Ana, the mortal who took my heart and against my judgement, shaped it like a sculptor shapes clay.

It was not meant to be like that. I saw her on a day of boredom and she should have been a piece in a gameplay: a pawn, someone to shift about on a giant shatranj board as I battled her friend, Adelina, in a test of wills.

She was a beauty, was Ana. There are paintings that hang in the Venichese Museo, of madonnas with oval faces, fine cream skin and brown hair like a width of silk. My Ana was one such. I saw her and thought I would have her.

Why not? A game is amusing after all.

It was so easy. Not once did I have to mesmer her. She had a capacity to place herself in danger by ill-judged acts and I would just save her whilst she was vulnerable. What woman would not fall in love with a gallant knight? What I came to realise and to love about her, was that those acts were from a woman who was lost and hurt. One who tried hard to be strong in the face of adversity. That’s when my toying changed to something far more intense. That is when Adelina began to fight me all the harder to protect her friend.

The amusing thing is that Adelina could have snared me herself with a well-aimed needle and thread, stitching me into her heart. What a lover she would have been. A feisty, ravishing Traveller, the greatest embroiderer Eirie has ever known, with curves and autumnal hair and a manner just this side of polite. If I had chanced on Adelina alone, I would have had a game with her. Which of us would have survived that, I wonder?


Liam of the Færan by Prue Batten
Based on characters from The Stumpwork Robe © 2008 and
The Last Stitch © 2009. All rights reserved.

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Prue Batten
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

*** Book Giveaway courtesy of author ***

The Stumpwork Robe
The Last Stitch (sequel)
by Prue Batten
sign up for this book duo giveaway here


* image source castle chamber window

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