Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Journey Continues

The Hidden Will Of The Dragon
Excerpts from the sequel to Dandelions In The Garden
Chapters 7-9

Indebted Web Of Fortune

Elizabeth’s skin was cool to the touch and I worried she was ill.  I squeezed her hands tight to relieve the trembling.  Her bones quivered, her lips taunt and something in her eyes pleaded for this nightmare to end.  I saw it clearly; I saw the blackness and betrayal filling her up, consuming her right in front of me.  What was most frightening was I did not know how to prevent it from happening – I was helpless to act.  In that moment I thought all was lost, everything was about to be undone.   She was breaking apart, her sanity cracking.  She was slipping away.  I tried coaxing her toward the door, but she remained stiffly in place.  I begged her to come forth, but she did not response to my voice.  I clutched her hand harder hoping the pain would summons a reaction, but when there was no change in her constitution, I tried another method.  I flung open the window.  A rush of sea air filled the room smacking us like a slap.  The biting chill did not shake her from the awful catatonic state. 

Amour Cast Upon the Fateful Heart

We huddled under our hoods, which were snuggly tied over our heads.  I shook uncontrollably in the brisk air on the upper deck of the fishing vessel.  The fog was so dense that we could barely see a few feet in front of the bow.  A tiny light appeared in the distance.  It was a lantern hanging from a dock signaling through the thick haze we were nearing the shores of Venice.  Nicholas called to the fishmonger asking him to avoid the Grand Canal and take the entrance leading through the Rio di Battelo in the Cannaregio District.  The route took us into the heart of the Jewish Ghetto where we’d disembark from the boat and make the last leg of the journey on foot.  The monger hesitated, he was suspicious of Elizabeth but the extra money rattling in his pocket was enough to turn a blind eye.

Once the ropes were secured, we hurried down the ramp.  We followed Nicholas along alleyways bending around corners and over bridges, taking special care to avoid the smelling slop from chamber pots splattered over the stone paths and bumping our noggins on cross beams.  Even though I spent time exploring the city, I still did not know my way around.  We rounded sharp left, went up a set of stairs and down the next and through a tunnel, across a campo before veering down two more alleys, which intersected.  It was there that I got my first glance at the familiar.  I recognized the doorways and the tiny faded sign rocking over a local shop window. 

Nicholas rapped on the door.  Through the greasy window lighted candles radiated.  Someone inside was on deathwatch.  An elderly man with a beard whiting from age appeared from the bedchamber and shuffled toward the door.

Dandelions In The Garden

1628:  Present Day Vienna

The intense honesty from which she spoke was familiar; I’d seen it before.  It was an essence that spoke through the eyes and came from somewhere deep within a woman’s belly.  I regretted it was only expressed in the presence of one another and never surfaced in its full glory while in the company of the stronger sex.  I detested how many times I’d witnessed this intensity suppressed, caged in the gut, and forced to retreat until another day, perhaps another year.  Men might wager they’d seen a woman’s scorn, been burned by a hateful glare or taken back by a foreign determination, but I assure none have seen the pure vitality, or experienced a glimpse of the true feminine soul.  A silver tray piled with confectionary delights was thrust beneath our noses.  It completely interrupted my thoughts. 

Kate removed her glove placing it across her lap.  She chose a seashell shaped biscuit with a hardened coat of chocolate sauce.  “You know what I enjoy even more than this scrumptious delight?” she said.  “I’d very much like for you to tell another one of your stories.”


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