Sunday, March 21, 2010
Part 2 [Untitled]
Her eyes opened just enough to glare angrily at the gap in the curtain, where morning sunshine was allowed to stream inside. Yanking the tapestry towards her, the young girl swore at a whistling mockingbird and flipped over. She pounded the pillow with her fist and settled in to wait for the darkness to soothe her. Without these curtains around my bed, I might never get any peace.
The lulling numbness of sleep had overpowered the girl for hours before the next interruption came. The sound was muffled at first and then grew louder as the curtains swished back on their rod and swung against the bedposts.
"Get up, my little dove. Rise and great the fading day!"
The high-pitched warble that roused the sleeping girl from her sleep was insistent in its cheerfulness. Try as she might to remain in that dreamland of glittering trees and silver water, there was that persistent chirp in her ear repeating her name over and over, "Faileuba, Faileuba, Faileuba, Faileuba, Faileuba..." until she had no option but to turn over, open her eyes, and surrender to the waking world.
"Enough Veneranda. I am awake."
Her little sister smiled brightly and scratched her nose. "Splendid, my darling. Now you must think seriously about sitting up!" Veneranda's blonde eyebrows raised themselves high to emphasize her point.
With an exasperated sigh Faileuba flung the covers away from her body and stretched. Sitting up and snatching her robe off the end of the bed, she proceeded to scowl and mumble while Veneranda chattered away like a magpie. The older girl half-listened as she knotted the robe's sash, thrashed a brush through her hair - just enough to be presentable - and splashed some cold water onto her face. As she reached for a dry linen, her toes inched off the fur rug and hit chilly stone. Faileube swore right in the middle of Veneranda recounting how she had helped the cook shoo the baby chicks back into the pen.
The young storyteller cleared her throat, visibly annoyed, and with all the grace that she had inherited through generations of good bloodlines, the petite blonde girl flipped her hair over her shoulder, tilted her chin to the ceiling and sent an icy glare across the room to her sister. Though Faileuba was older there was still an expected level of respect. She curtsied in deference and offered a small smile "I ask your forgiveness, Princess Veneranda. I misspoke and interrupted you. Please be so gracious as to continue."
Satisfied as quickly as she was offended, the little princess plopped down onto the bed and with a grin she continued her tale. Though Faileuba was grateful the situation with her sister had been resolved, she still needed to rectify her own discomfort. Sticking fastidiously to the rugs and carpets scattered across her room, she crossed to a large shrunk and swung open the double doors.
Luckily for Faileube, her sister has finished her story by now, so the sudden oath did not upset her this time. Instead, it prompted her to hop off the bed and flit over to her sister. Her steps were light and her tiny pink toes seemed to dance across the floor. "What is it, my partridge. Have you lost something?"
Shaking her head, the older princess withdrew her pale arm from the closet's darkness. "I am afraid it is not so much what I have lost, as what I have ruined..." Her voice trailed off and she nodded sadly at what she held between thumb and forefinger - a pair of dirty, tattered slippers.