Monday, April 18, 2011

Castle: Gallivant the Hob

As we walk down the corridor, we notice a door ajar.

We peek inside and notice the above illustration on the side table adjacent to a chair near the fireplace.

Let's listen...

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by Prue Batten
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The door in front of me was unremarkable. Just panelled wood and a plain latch in black cast iron. The hall off which it led was dark and shadowy, the only light from cressets mounted further along which creating dancing patterns. The door gave to pressure from my hands and I pushed it open, no creaking, just wide enough for me to slide through.

The room seemed as if it were a lady’s solar. Embroidery frames were scattered around, large ones in front of chairs, smaller ones tossed in baskets full of woollen and silk threads of different colours. The room was warm, a fire crackled and vibrantly coloured tapestries hung on the walls telling the stories of heroes of myth and legend.

I stepped further and as I did, a voice spoke and I jumped.

‘Sink me, shut the door. That’s a cruel breeze that has crept in and I really hate it. Brr!’ A head poked around a chair and gazed at me. A sweet face, a young man with golden hair cut in wisps and eyes that crinkled as he looked at me. ‘Good day to you, mistress.’

I moved forward with caution. The frisson I felt indicated this fellow was Other, an enchanted being of whom I needs be cautious.

‘Don’t be shy. I’m bored with my stitching and would welcome some company. What’s your name?’

Name giving! If I tell him, I shall be in his thrall and it’s most definitely not a good thing to be under the control of an Other.

‘Oh, sink me, I know what you’re thinking. Well let me tell you my name and then we’ll be equal. And such equality will nullify any power, one over the other. Yes?’

I nodded my head with caution. He was charm itself and I confess to wanting to talk. ‘My name is Bell.’

‘And I’m Gallivant. I’m a hob. You know what that is? A Goodfellow?’

‘Oh! I’ve heard of you!’ I walked forward.

‘You have?’ He was so excited and jumped up to grab a seat for me. ‘Sit sit, he said expansively. ‘Tell me, how did you hear?’

‘I heard a story about you and the stitcher called Adelina.

‘Aaah,’ he nodded his head.

‘Can I ask you something?’

‘Yes…’ He flicked some thread off his pale celadon silk tunic.

‘Why did leave your Other life and live with her? She is mortal after all, it seems odd.’

He leaned against the wall near the mullioned window. ‘I never left my Other life. It came with me. But I understand what you say.’ He returned and sat in the chair opposite. ‘It’s quite simple. I love her. Not like a lover but like a brother or father even. She… she is so foolhardy and determined and suffered so much at the hands of the enchanted of my world. She needed me and… by being her supporter, she helped me grow as well. Have you seen her? Sink me, she’s so divine. That hair! It’s like a waterfall of molten copper. And besides, even though she has her own companion now, I have been devious and made myself invaluable.’ He laughed.

‘How so?’ I leaned forward.

‘Adelina has a … Ah, I think I may not tell you any more. Remember the word ‘segreta’? Then such knowledge as you wish to have is… segreta.’ He smiled, a truly enigmatic smile as if he did indeed have a secret. ‘Go find the robe in the Venichese Museo, read its embroidered secrets and see if you can find out why I have such a place in a mortal’s life…’ He walked away from me toward the wall and continued on as if it had not been there and all that was left in the room was the ringing echo of his sweet laugh.


Gallivant the Hob post created for Fairy Tales in Bruges event by Prue Batten author of The Stumpwork Robe and The Last Stitch
© 2011. All rights reserved.

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by Prue Batten
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Read more about Gallivant here...

--~ Book Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

Eirie giveaway
The Stumpwork Robe
The Last Stitch (sequel)
by Prue Batten

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* image source of Stumpwork Robe illustration by Bo Press

***~*~* Fairy Tales in Bruges (the sequel) schedule *~*~***

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