Friday, July 25, 2014

Friends and Enemies // Chapter Thirty Three // Masquerade

Emmeth could hear a gentle but consistent drip, drip, drip, of a leaky window. The purple-pink light of the sunset of a cloudy day was shining through his cell window. All of his muscles ached. Being subject to interrogations by his cousin and uncle were not fun.
   Pressing his face against the rusty bars, he strained to spot Asharlah, leaning heavily against the bars to her cell. Her eyes were listless, and she stared vacantly at the high up cell window. Do not be discouraged, he wanted to call to her. We will yet be free.

   Killian hurriedly checked his costume in the mirror as the team scrambled to get ready. Willow was already dressed, and finishing sprinkling glitter onto her mask. Teclemith was carefully sharpening all of the little daggers that all of them would secret away on their persons.
   Hiding in plain sight, Willow mused, grinning down at her mask. Then she stood up. "Ready guys?"
   The guys nodded. Teclemith handed out their daggers, and the trio grabbed their cloaks and hurried down to the courtyard.
   Immer pointed to a vacant table in the dining area. "You three really should have a bite to eat before you get to the ball."
   Killian shrugged. "We're in a hurry, Im." Immer shot him a look.
   Willow plucked at his sleeve. "We really do have to hurry, "Killi"," she joked, but not after a flash of sadness flickered through her eyes at the mention of that name.
   "Liberty!" she summoned in a sing-song voice. A great cawing sounded, and then the huge Kestrel touched down in the center courtyard. Willow stroked her feathers and crooned to her as Killian and Teclemith mounted her saddle.
   Teclemith offered Willow a hand as she swung into the front seat of the saddle. Patting Liberty's head, she dug her heels into her feathery sides, and the Thunderbird flapped her immense wings and lifted into the twilight sky. Immer laughed and waved.


   The damp evening air that promised rain whipped at Teclemith, Killian, and Willow as they flew through the summer sky on Liberty. Even though their task was a grave one, they couldn't help laughing and basking in the glory of flying.
   But soon their flight ended, and they alighted outside of the main gate of the capital. Dark cloaks on the hide their party clothes, the trio slipped through the open gate and made their way towards the castle.


   Hyaline smoothed her dark curly hair, and sighed. Several servants were helping her get ready for the masquerade, doing her make-up, her hair, her dress, etc. She had nothing else to do but watch herself in the mirror. Her eyes were full of fear, but her face didn't show it.
   Kedemeth knocked, then strode in. "Hyaline, my dear! You look lovely! Will you not put on a cheerful face for our engagement ball?"
   Hyaline swallowed. "Of course, Kedemeth. I am quite pleased that this day has finally arrived." At least that was true.
   He took her hand. "Let us go, the hour has come."


   "Hurry," Teclemith hissed as the trio dropped their hoods and smoothed their hair, ready for the entering of the ball.
   "Just a sec," Willow muttered, whipping out a tiny round mirror and checking her reflection in the fading light.
   Killian gave his reddish hair a pat, slipped on his mask, then strode confidently out onto the drawbridge. Willow stuck the mirror back into her pocket, stuck the mask onto her face, and then took Teclemith's arm, and together they stepped onto the bridge after Killian.
   They handed the page their invitations, and he checked them against the guest list. Satisfied, he nodded, and they entered.
   After a short walk following the other guests led them to the gargantuan ball room, paneled in silvery wood and lit with hundreds of candles. Willow, who had never seen the ballroom set for an actual ball, gasped. The room was so large that to see the huge chandelier, you had to crane your neck skyward.
   Immediately after entering, they split up. Willow meandered over to the third on the left window that stretched towards the high ceiling. Finding a little window seat there, she perched daintily on it.


   Tajoreth was escorting his elder sister Zemerah into the vast ballroom. Once they entered and were announced, they parted and made their way into the crowd of masked guests. He edged his way towards the third window on the left. Noting a dark haired lady sitting there, he lowered himself onto the same cushion.
   "Lovely evening," he commented, watching her out of the corner of his eye as he pretended to watch the dancing.
   "Quite," she agreed, her eyes searching his.
   "The music also," he ventured.
   "Yes, it reminds me of the bells of Saint John," she answered, cocking her head at him.
   "It reminds me more of the Vatican cameos," he countered.
   "Tajoreth," Willow acknowledged.
   "Willow, I presume?" Tajoreth put in.
   He grinned at her. "May I have this dance?" he asked, rising and offering her his hand.
   "Of course, sir." She took his offered hand.


   "Father?" Zemerah questioned, tugging at Tashmath's sleeve. "Who is that young lady Tajoreth is dancing with?"
   Her father glanced at the dance floor. "How should I know, Zemerah? Everyone is wearing masks! Why do you not ask him yourself?"
   Zemerah let out an angry puff of air. "I will," she sniffed, excusing herself and making her way towards her brother. But the music had ended by the time she has reached it, and her brother and the mysterious dancer with the purple dress with orange sleeves were nowhere to be seen. But as she turned to head back to her father, she caught a glimpse of purple and orange in the doorway leading to the servants entrance to the ballroom. But the crowd was pressing her so much that by the time she reached the door, whomever that was was long gone.


   "Here is my uncle's personal library," Tajoreth explained, leading Willow into the book filled room.
   "Wow, that is quite a lot of books," she muttered, looking a bit worried. "All right, I need all of the books referencing the "Dark Lord who shall rise again"."
   He gave her an odd look, but pointed at a small section of books. "That section is labeled, "Dark Lord"."
   "Perfect!" she exclaimed, hurrying over and pulling them off the shelves and depositing them on the table. "Help me find out who this dark lord is!"

That was fun! Unfortunately, 
I forgot to have D take a picture of me with her mask
{my mask has gone M.I.A.} so I had to use an old picture with snow in it.
Anyway, go check out D's newest chapter, Stop that Santa!
And let me know what you thought of the chapter!
Questions are always welcome!

Be a Friend, not an Enemy,


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