August 5th, 2010
|07:56 am - Home and Glamour, Part 10|
All right, yesterday I was wrong. One more installment to go after this one, not two. We push onward!
So, we were hanging on a cliff (metaphorically) yesterday, as I seem to remember: He sees, he turns, but not fast enough to avoid silver.
The knife slashes through cloak, shirt, skin and into blood. Morgan goes to his knees--
And Alice steps in, takes away the knife, and thrusts it at Os. But Morgan hoarsely whispers an incantation to accompany her move, and the silver blade winks into nothingness before it reaches Os's heart.
“So awkward to kill family, darling,” he manages, before he slides all the way to the ground. Rain glitters on his cloak. So does that blood.
Alice bends down for a swift look – shoulder wound, no doubt painful but one they can treat themselves; the Guild-flint still safe in his hand. Her hand passes lovingly over his hair before she rises.
Os has stumbled back to Petrel, and they cling to each other on the threshold. Rage still shines in salt-white eyes and on pale mad face, but mixed with the anger is healthy fear.
Morgan saved Os this once, but they all know he couldn't stop Alice if she chose to attack in earnest.
And Alice, her talisman-blade in her hand, is tall, stern, powerful enough to take back the Changeling crown she renounced all those years ago when she went journeying with her Guild-man. “It seems,” she says softly, “that you have forgotten who I am.”
Os and Petrel take another step behind the threshold of the hedge-door. The hedge whispers leaf-curses at them.They step back again.
“I suspect that the Queen doesn't officially acknowledge your visit, does she? Because this intrusion is a breach of Changeling courtesy. Because this aggression is a breach of family honor. And because, cousins, she might want my mother's sword, but she doesn't want me to return.” Alice raises the talisman-blade, catches rain, calls down starlight to shine on the Stonewood side of the path.
A small, grey edge of stone, touched by starlight, separates from the path as if it's been sliced off. Alice takes it, blows a warm breath over it, sets it agleam.
“A token for the Queen,” Petrel says, just barely moving her lips.
“A token for the Queen,” Alice says, louder. “Starlight for grace. Stone for me. I still live in the world, and I keep what I have.”
She throws it to Os who catches it with her blood-dampened hand. In the passage through the air and over the threshold, it has turned silver.
“There now. A treasure to satisfy your mother.” Alice's smile is a blade, too. “And hear me: if you don't leave now, never to return, I shall take it all back.”
“Hell and the Queen,” Morgan says weakly, at which Alice's smile turns real.
Petrel flickers away without speaking, although thunder rumbles outside the hedge. Os stands a moment longer, gazing around at the home Alice and Morgan have made, then nods. “Farewell, cousin. In the name of the Queen,” she says, and flickers away after Petrel. The hedge-door shuts and locks on its own.
Alice and Morgan don't move until salt and storm fade away in the distance.
Falling rain, soft now, and he moans as he pushes himself up to sitting. At the sound of his hurt she drops to her knees beside him.“My heart, my heart, let me see.”
“'s nothing,” he mutters.
But she gently pushes back bloodied silk-and-hemp to expose a long, still oozing gash to the rain. “Yes, that certainly appears to be nothing.”
The bite in her voice twists even further the shadow of his crooked-true smile. “Well, it'll be nothing once you help me inside and I can find the proper salve--”
“And I'll be stitching it shut,” she says firmly. He moans again, only half-joking.
Once they're on their feet – he leaning heavily on her, it must be said – they move toward the house. She waits until they've cleared the first step before she says, “And, Morgan, you'll need to explain to me just what you saw this morning. Is it possible that you left out important information when you briefed me?”
“Oh, hell and the Queen.”
May your Thursday be a day of smiles!
|Date:||August 5th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)|| |
Thank you for the 'meep'! And thank you thank you for reading, L. Good thoughts for your Thursday (and continued healing for your ankle)!
Thank you for smiles and meeps, Rainkatt, thank you twice! :-) I so appreciate your reading along.
Happy Thursday, with all good things!
|Date:||August 5th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)|| |
Nice, and I shall eagerly await Morgan's revelations.
I'm glad this bit pleased, A, and I'm sure Morgan has one or two things to
confess say. :-)
Thank you thank you for reading! I'm very grateful.
Happy Thursday, with time to breathe!
Only one more installment doesn't seem fair. I'd love to know more of the history of these two, especially after the glimpses we got this time.
I'm so glad that Morgan and Alice's history interests you! This story doesn't have any more space, really, but maybe someday I'll revisit them. :-)
For now, I say Thank you, thank you twice, for your reading and encouraging comments along the way! Happy Thursday, too!
Os ... She has a Story too, doesn't she?
'Tis awkward, indeed, to kill family. We know he won't be *too* in the doghouse for his omissions, but he really should know better by now. :-)
Love this. It needs some embiggenment, could be.
Both Os and Petrel have complicated lives, too complicated for the scope of this short story -- which is about Alice and Morgan, after all. But you are the kindest for noticing it!
Re Morgan's omissions: Principal Stonewood can Explain All. [grin]
Thank you thank you thank you, H_P. Your reading and your comments have been gifts. Thank you plus a good Thursday!
Don't mess with Alice!
Another great day.
Don't mess with Alice! You got that right.
Thank you thank you for reading and commenting -- I really appreciate your input! Happy Thursday, too, with cool breezes.
And Huzzah! for teamwork of the highest order.
Trying again to leave a comment as lj seems to have gone haywire this morning and keeps logging me out.
I'm so grateful for the love and huzzah, ALH! [beams]
Thank you thank you for reading and kind words. I really treasure both. :-)
Happy Thursday, with wine and yarn and good things!
Is it possible that you left out important information when you briefed me?
Morgan can Explain. Really he can. :-)
Thanks thanks for reading, Gwynne, and hugs and Darjeeling for your Thursday afternoon!
That was a particularly riveting installment.
Thank you thank you, Stevie. I appreciate your reading! :-)
Happy slide into Friday and the weekend, too!