Friday, April 2, 2010
Part 4 [Untitled]
Veneranda waved her hand dismissively in the direction of the slippers he sister held. "Oh, don't fret, my sparrow. That's all been taken care of hours before you woke. In fact, today I completed an arrangement that I believe will serve us very well for some time." She grinned, pouty pink lips stretched taught over two rows or perfect pearly teeth.
The older princess returned the grin, admiring her sister's vicious confidence. Faileuba tossed the ruined shoes towards the hearth and turned to face Veneranda. Crossing her arms, she smirked and said, "Alright, my darling sister, I want to hear how you've solved our most constant problem."
The short blonde girl did not reply at first. She enjoyed the rapt attention she was receiving at the moment. Pursing her lips and taking a few dancing steps sideways, the young princess asked sweetly, "Do you believe, my sugarplum, that I have some tale to tell you?" Her eyebrows arched in mock seriousness and a delicate white hand fluttered to her throat. "Me, my jewel?"
Still relishing the tango she had begun, Veneranda sashayed over to the window, She cast a wry smile over her shoulder and then proceeded to draw back the tapestry curtains and the late afternoon light filled the room. She knew her sister hated that, but she also knew her older sibling would withstand it in order to find out her information.
Princess Faileuba sighed but could not help admiring the skill of her sister's politics. At fifteen she considered herself adept at navigating the stormy seas of their father's court; however, her little sister, barely past eight, sailed through the halls of the castle with the whiles of an aged courtier and all the murderous ruthlessness of a pirate. Faileuba had not begun to notice until recently but her sister had actually been in possession of this constitution and temperament since birth.
Born fighting, Veneranda had entered the world with mistrust and disappointment surrounding her. The breach was such a struggle that their mother, the most beloved and first wife of the King, surrendered her life to free the new one. That weight, added to her being the twelfth princess of an heirless kingdom, forced the littlest princess to grow quickly.
Veneranda's maturity seemed to manifest itself immediately. Though the baby was an exemplary Frankish cherub with golden hair, ribbon lips, and long dark lashes framing the most beautiful sapphire eyes, people felt unnerved by her from the start. It was in those dazzling blue eyes that people saw her intensity. She watched everything fastidiously; and, as she looked at them and listened to the things said around her, people swore they detected understanding in her gaze. Those observant eyes seems to comprehend everything. This unsettling aspect about the tiny princess was eerily enforced by the way that Veneranda might wail when someone held her.
If the person picking her up was the king, her nursemaid, or someone associated with either of them, then she exhibited nothing but smiles and cooing, but if they were someone who was unfavored, either in court or the servant's opinon, that precious cherub would scream like a dying seagull. She demonstrated such loyalty and such damaging repercussions were inflicted on those that displeased her, that before she was completing sentences, the entire castle feared her disapproval.
Faileuba was not so locked into fear of the tiny golden princess as the rest of the household. Once she had shown interest in her only full sister, their alliance had quickly formed. Having a lifetime of loyalty from a child of eight may seem laughable to most but with Veneranda it meant a lot. The young politician considered her sister to be her closest confidant and because of the power and favors that position allotted Faileuba, she did not mind allowing her sister to flaunt her primacy.
The youngest daughter to the King had come far in her political career in a very short time. Her opinion was sought by every member of the household. The menus were constructed to her liking, the musicians played her favorite songs, visitors knew a lavish gift to her was the main gateway to acceptance in court, and even the advisers and generals felt comforted when she approved their suggestions.
This day, however, she was not lending counsel to the counselors. She was instead determinedly pulling back the drapes from all three of Faileuba's windows. When she had completed that and set about to open the windows themselves, her sister finally held up a hand.
"My dearest, I beg you!"
The youngest girl laughed. "Alright, my turtledove, I will tell you what I have done."