Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Journey Continues

The Hidden Will Of The Dragon
Excerpts from the sequel to Dandelions In The Garden
Chapters 10-12

The Dinner Guest

Among the last of the trespassers was the man who sought to rape me.  I walked slowly toward him, my eyes narrowing as I approached.  I wanted to see his fear, wanted to smell it seeping from his dingy pores.  I knew he would not beg for his life, he was a soldier after all, but I hoped in the face of certain death his eyes would give away all I needed to know.  I hungered to witness his powerlessness.

A House Condemned

I shut the door.  I hesitated for a moment listening to the sound of my own blood pumping through my veins.  My mind pictured the gypsy man sewn in the gutted horse, and then I saw the dead girl’s arm twitching between the iron bars.  Anna had seen something she was not ready to witness.  Like Elizabeth so long ago, Anna snuck from her bedchamber to spy.  Tonight Anna got her slaughtered beast. 

I rubbed my temples as I walked through the twilight of the night to my chamber.  I knew Anna would never be the same, this would change her, but I did not yet know how.  Upon entering my room, I poured a glass of water.  The cool liquid washed the smelly dungeon dust from my throat.  I thought about Anna’s request for the servant girl, that she be given a proper Christian burial, it was a way to repent the sin.  I drew back the velvet curtain from my window and gazed upon the thick crescent moon overhead.  No clouds floated by giving depth to the vast universe.  I let the drapes fall.  I could not bear looking at the world.  I did not fully understand just how serious Anna’s request would become.  Like Elizabeth, I assumed granting her wish was the least we could do if it'd make her happy.  Elizabeth was the strongest woman I knew, her only weakness was pleasing her children.  Unfortunately, it was this weakness, this very act of kindness, which would lend to her demise. 

The Night, He Is A Vampire 

The weather was brisk and the sun shone as if it were on the other side of the world.  Its thin rays reached through the overcast to brighten my remote existence for a mere few hours.  The warming clashed with the dampness hanging between the trees creating a backdrop upon which I could see all the impurity in the air.  My skirt stirred pollen from the nestled centers of withering blooms.  The stale fragrances tickled my nose as I went by and a butterfly unremarkable in color and variety flirted with the pedals of a nearby flower.  I’d been told the brilliant colors of its species belonged to the males.  I thought this a defect in creation until it was explained the advantage was for survival.  What I viewed as ornamental vanity was really camouflaged armor.  I watched the female butterfly flutter about touching pedals, then zipping to the next before settling on the leaf of a bush.  Her dull color in sharp contrast to the deep fleshy greens and vibrant pinks of the blooms.  How vulnerable she looked resting in Eden.  This was no place for the likes of her; this was a place for the advantaged.  She belonged in the gray areas of the world where she’d be safe from preying beaks wishing to devour her.  With a wave of my hand I sent her flying upward and over the hedge. 

I revealed in my rescue.  I bent down to sniff the scent of a rose bush.  The edges of the blooms were brackish and the heads drooping as if in prayer.  A hint of perfume remained but was tainted by the overpowering smell of decay.  How short the vibrant life!  It was then, as I was trying to pluck the last beauty of the red roses that something hidden near the path distracted me.  My skin tingled with the eerie sensation I was being stalked.  I glanced upward at the windows to see if I were being watched from above, but they stood empty and draped.  I released my grasp on the flower and took a turn scrutinizing the scenery.  I moved subtly giving nothing away in order to protect my susceptible position amidst the garden.  I resisted the urge to call out.  Instead, I assessed the distance from where I stood to the garden doors.  It was at the very least a hundred footsteps, if not more.  I took another turn, this time looking beyond the immediate to discover in the recesses a glint of bronze.  As I moved, so did my pursuer.  The rustling of leaves matched the crunching of stone beneath my slippers.  He had the advantage of cover, but I was clever.  I was drawing him towards a weak spot where early frost damaged the foliage.  Just a few more steps and I’d snare him, but to my dismay the rustling stopped short.  True to my kind I pursued the danger and went straight to where I thought he’d quit.  As I neared I saw him.  The glint was the reflection of brass fastens caught in the sunlight.  I was impressed at how his ginger hair blended with the turning leaves and the embroidery of his uniform patterned with the natural landscape.  He did not retreat upon discovery; instead, he once again matched my movements mirroring them along the pathway. 


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