Stars Over Llorleya- Chapter 13

Fiction By Anna // 6/9/2008

Chapter the Thirteenth

A full moon shone through the window above Aria’s bed as faint breeze stirred the curtains waving over her. A gentle white beam fell softly on her, illuminating her face and her dark hair rippling over the bed, long and loose. She murmured something in her sleep.
Aria’s long lashes lifted, her grey eyes troubled. What a nightmare, she thought. But now that she was awake, she couldn’t remember what it had been. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
I can’t go back to sleep with the moonlight there, she thought. Blindness just won’t shut it out... She stood to draw the curtains close, then stopped, leaning on the side of the window.
She closed her eyes again, and was now more aware of her other senses. The breeze caressed her face, flirting delicately with her hair.
It was very still. Her breath was the loudest thing in the room, except for the tapping of a branch on the wall outside. Perhaps, in part, she thought, it’s the absence of sound that woke me up, not loud noise. She took a deep breath of the cool night wind.
She shuddered. Now I remember, she thought. Now I remember my dream. Her eyes opened again, and she clutched the curtain a bit tighter.
She stood there for a long time, how long I don’t know. And suddenly she was thinking of Gilligan. Where is he now? she asked herself, closing the drapes, and before she knew it a vision came.
It was Gilligan, walking along a balcony of the castle. In his hand was a rose, the one scarlet rose of all the other white roses climbing up the castle wall. He looked up at the stars, and he held the rose closer, and he closed his eyes, listening. His lips moved in prayer.
That’s when Aria knew it. Why then, I don’t know. It wasn’t as though there was anything special about the time, or the setting, or the silence. The moonlight wasn’t affecting her, and she wasn’t wondering for whom the rose could be. It just hit her. She loved him. She hadn’t always. But she loved him. She didn’t know when it had started. But she loved him. She didn’t deserve to. But she loved him. She loved him!
Overwhelmed, she fainted, and there found rest until morning.
When she woke up, it was first with a bit of a headache and things she barely remembered. She rose, glided to the window (Mary Lou had apparently come in the night and put Aria in her bed), and flung the curtains apart. As she stood there bathed in the bright golden morning, she remembered-
"Gilligan!"
Leaping up, she sprang to her wardrobe, dressing hastily in a plain brown dress and quickly tying the wide black sash into a bow. With joy she twirled around the room.
When Mary Lou walked in with a basket of clean laundry, she dropped it in surprise, causing a wonderful clatter and tumble of clothes and basket.
"Isn’t it a lovely, glorious day, Mary?" Aria sang out blithely.
"Miss Arianna!" Mary exclaimed, mouth open wide. "What’s happened?!"
With a blissful smile, Aria put down the brush she had been using, leapt up, and spun over to Mary. "Simple," she cried, seizing Mary Lou’s face and giving her a quick, impulsive kiss on the cheek, "I’m in love!" And with that, she left Mary dumbfounded, feet flying as she danced out the door.
Aria ran into someone. She looked up and saw Gilligan. The full-blown crimson rose, uncrushed despite the collision, was in his hands.
She felt like singing out everything she had come to realize about him and what he meant to her. Seeing him only reinforced that. But for all that emotion bursting inside her, for maybe the first time since returning to the castle, she could find nothing to say to him.
"Hello, Arianna," he said. There was a certain tenderness in his voice Aria hadn’t noticed before. Had it always been there, and was just stronger now, or was it altogether new?
"Gilligan," she returned, trying to keep her voice from trembling. She wondered what was so different about this meeting from all the others. She had loved him before now. But maybe it was that now she was aware. Did he know? Was her heart written on her face? Could that be why he seemed so gentle?
Was this love, or was it just misguided attention, just feelings with no real depth?
She couldn’t know that yet. She shouldn’t tell him anything until she really knew what she was experiencing- if knowing it was possible. Besides, even if she did know, how could she just burst out and say it?
They both looked as though they wanted to say more, but either couldn’t find they words or were too doubtful or polite to say them.
**
A week after this encounter, Torlith discovered a portrait of Aria, painted way back in her Princess days. It had been stowed away in a forgotten room, never having been put up due to his conquest of the castle. Slowly, he examined it.
The artist was a genius. It was a perfect likeness, right down to the sparkle in her eyes.
A note in the corner caught his eye: The Princess Aria. It was followed by a date and the artist’s signature, neither of which interested Torlith much. But he remembered the girl in the crown (Becky, to jog your memory) distinctly, even after all that time, and immediately knew she couldn’t have been the princess if this was the Princess’s portrait, which it clearly was.

I must take you back- far, far back, all the way back to "Chapter the Second"… What was it Wynd had said to Rayne?
"It is more likely to attract the wrong sort of attention. There are evil people in the world, little one, and they tend to go where mystery lies. Unfortunately, they also tend to be more imaginative…"
Now, as much as I like Gill, he has not much of an imagination. Not to say he is sensible, exactly, but he comes of a more practical-minded breed. Most of his imaginative powers came from Aria, and when she "died", they- well, for lack of a better word, degenerated. For instance, he could not see Aria in Arianna, where a person with a good imagination might have been able to find her.
But, if Wynd is correct, villains tend to have good imaginations, albeit twisted.
Ponder that for a moment, and see how it is relevant to our story here, while Torlith gazed thoughtfully at the portrait and realized that there is something very familiar in the princess’s painted face.
**
This same fateful day, Aria was in her room, praying for wisdom about Gilligan, as she had done so often lately. She was confused about her feelings. Were they real or imagined? Was this a godly love to cherish?
But Aria had more than just that on her mind. Whenever she saw Gilligan now, all she could think was how, if they ever wed, she would be lying to him about her whole history. How could she live with that sort of burden? A lie, every day of her life?
This guilt grew and grew, till the point where Aria could hardly speak to Gilligan without feeling sick with herself.
For awhile she stayed her words by thinking of Gilligan’s safety. But one day it was just too much.
It was the middle of the afternoon, and, as I said, she was in her room praying. And in the middle of her prayer she just broke into sobs.
I can’t live this lie to him anymore, she screamed in her head. Not when I… Not when I love him so much. And then she realized it really was love, not just a fleeting feeling as she had feared.
She had to tell him. There was just no hope for it.
She jumped up and ran to find him. She would regret it later, she was sure. This would put not only herself in danger, but Gilligan too. And what if someone heard them? But it was too late now. There he was, and she just couldn’t think straight.
As she ran up to Gilligan, he looked down and took a breath, then said, "Aria, there’s something I need to tell you."
"Gilligan, I-" began Aria, still crying.
"Arianna, I love you," he said, catching her hand. It felt so good to finally say it!
Immediately everything she had been about to say left her mind. She began crying with a mixture of joy and relief, and somehow laughing through her tears. "You do?"
"Yes," he whispered. He swept her off her feet and lifted her into the air. Finally he let her down and released her, and he was laughing, too, laughing and holding her close.
She was trembling. "Do you really love me?"
"Let me show you," he said, and kissed her. "Do you know now?" he asked.
"I would know better if you did that again," she said softly, and he laughed and kissed her again and again.
"Aria, will you marry me?"
Then Aria began to weep. Gilligan’s declaration had interrupted her and made her forget what she had been going to say. But now she had remembered.
"Oh, Gilligan, I- I can’t!"
Gilligan froze. "Why not? Don’t you love me?"
"Yes, yes, of course I do!" she said, crying harder.
Gilligan looked relieved. "Then it doesn’t matter, does it? If we love each other- well, things like that come second."
Aria realized he had misunderstood her. He thought she was talking about situation or wealth or something. But that wasn’t it at all.
Part of her wanted to just leave it there and bury her past. She wanted to keep letting people believe her carefully veiled history. But not with Gilligan. She couldn’t lie to him any longer. She had to let him know the truth.
Her tears rained on the stone floor. Drop by drop was full of pain. "You don’t understand! I- I’m not who you think I am!"
Surprise and confusion flooded into his eyes. She was going to tell him, when suddenly she felt cold steel at her neck, and standing with a sword at her throat was Torlith’s captain of the guard. She froze.
"What are you doing?" cried Gilligan, leaping forward with a snarl like an angry cat.
The guard sheathed his sword. "The whole sword thing was jut to get your attention, Singer," he told Aria with a glare at Gilligan. Somehow Aria was not reassured. "Torlith summons you to the council room. Immediately," he hissed.
What in the world was happening?
**
As soon as Aria entered Torlith’s council room, she began to feel something wasn’t right. The room was completely empty except for Torlith himself. As the guard closed the door behind her, Aria could hear the lock turn.
Torlith’s eyes were glinting dangerously. When he drew his sword, Aria didn’t just feel something wasn’t right, she knew it.
It could have been mistaken for a dance. They circled the room, Torlith pointing his sword at her, Aria carefully avoiding him, trying to edge toward the door. Aria had the idea he was toying with her, but if it was a game, it was a dangerous game they were playing…
Aria found herself backed to the window, now standing on the narrow sill. Torlith advanced toward her.
"Look, a little songbird, caught in a cage. If only she knew how, she could fly away." He drew his sword, smiling a cruel, hard smile of triumph. "Isn’t that so, Princess?"
Aria stared in disbelief, her face white as marble. He had found her out. And now he is about to kill me, she thought, trying to keep her panic level down and only barely succeeding. She heard pounding and yelling on the other side of the door, as though someone was trying to get in.
She looked behind her desperately. The sun poured through the window, making her a dark blot in its range. Through the haze of blindness, she knew the sky was a fair, bright blue. The her ears picked up a sound- the gurgling of a river.
Torlith’s eyes blazed. "You have flown from my grasp one too many times. It is the last!" he shouted, and with all the strength his arm held, threw the sword straight at Aria.
She could have just ducked or jumped out of the way. But that wouldn’t have saved her life. In a haste of ideas, she wrenched a thick vine of climbing ivy from the wall, and with a deep breath, took a mighty leap.
She was clinging to the vine so tightly that her knuckles went white. But suddenly it felt natural- the swinging, the rush of air around her. As if she belonged to this soaring feeling. As if she belonged to the sky. As if she belonged to flying.
Then the river was just below her- she knew she must let go or she would go back swinging into the wall. She released the vine, trying to go into the water straight up and down so that she would resurface swiftly.
It seemed like an eternity before she hit the water. The cold wet flow and strong sweep of the current caught her off guard as she plunged, knocking the wind out of her. Suddenly she had no strength to fight the water that had just saved her. She struggled just to keep her head over the surface.
Just at that moment Gilligan had burst through the door, soon enough to see Torlith drop his sword out the window in surprise and call to the archers on the ramparts, "Shoot her! Don’t let her live!"
"No!! Arianna!" Gilligan made a wild lunge at Torlith, wielding his sword.
Aria was sucked under. Water filled her nose and mouth. In a fleeting vision, she thought she saw a face staring at her. It was colored like the water around it. The creature’s eyes were intense and ageless as the sea itself. It was a naiad.
The naiad cupped her hands around her mouth and blew into the water, as though calling the river to itself. Aria surged upward as though propelled by a thousand naiadic hands, and finally broke through the surface, coughing and gasping for air.
She heard arrows hiss angrily into the water all around her. One grazed her shoulder, and a cry of hurt flew from her lips. Then something hit her in the side, sending sharp, searing pains lancing through her body. She screamed, a terrible scream, and all who heard it would remember it. Then she knew no more.
**********
Gilligan was held there, restrained by his arms and several soldiers. His eyes, burning with hatred and anger, never left Torlith, who stood at the window, gazing narrowly down the stream. "Tell me about that river," he said.
A soldier from the back stepped forward. "The river doesn’t feed the moat. In fact, isn’t connected to the moat at all. It flows into the East Sea, Sire. ‘Tis a perilous sea, they say! Filled with strange creatures that haunt it at night with chants and songs. Some say even the river-"
Torlith interrupted, declaring, "Follow her down the river, until she drowns or empties into the sea. If she washes ashore alive, kill her. If dead, bring me her body."
The captain of the guard looked puzzled. "Sir, may I ask something?"
Torlith nodded.
"Why must we track her? You and I both saw well enough the arrow protruding from the girl. If she doesn’t succumb to the arrow wound, she’ll drown. And if she lives through the river, she’ll surely die on the sea. I don’t see why she’s so important, anyway. She’s only the court Singer."
"Fool!" Torlith said, turning, his eyes burning with anger that was not meant for the soldier but for the girl who had again slipped through his fingers. "She’s the princess!"
They all, including Gilligan, gasped. "Sir, we killed her! I was the very one who slew her during the blizzard! You saw her body- she had the clothes- the- the crown-" he stammered, realizing now it must have been a mistake.
"That girl you killed was a decoy, nothing more. That’s why I want the Singer followed. She has a nasty habit of turning up alive when she should rightly be dead."
"And what of this one?" the captain asked, jabbing his thumb in Gilligan’s direction.
"A public hanging would do nicely for the traitor."
"Traitor? Traitor yourself, treacherous snake!" Gilligan snarled.
Torlith brushed off the insults lightly. "Peace, fiery one." Turning to his captain and the soldiers, he continued. "Tell no one who the girl is. It will raise their hopes," he whispered, referring to the people of Llorleya.
"Shall we cut his tongue out, or gag him, Sire?"
"Why would I want to do that?" asked Torlith, raising his eyebrows.
"So he won’t tell the people about- well- you know, Sire." The captain looked around warily as though to see that no one was listening.
Torlith shook his head, holding Gilligan’s gaze steadily. "No, it will not be necessary, because he will not talk," he said, as though threatening Gilligan. "And he will not talk because it will not help. The people can’t save the girl, and they couldn’t overthrow me even if they could save her. And they can’t riot because my men will hold them back. And I have many more men than he even knows about."
The captain took his leave. Gilligan was dragged off behind him to be put in shackles, with hardly the heart to struggle. Arianna- Aria- the Princess would die.
Torlith glanced down at Gilligan one more time. Some people- maybe even Aria- would have been crying in his situation- not for his life, but because his love was dying. But it was not Gilligan’s way to cry.
He had fallen to his knees and hung his head. Torlith knew, however, that the knight was not bowing. Or at least he was not bowing to Torlith. But perhaps he was bowing to God, and His sovereignty over everything.

Comments

!!

Wonderful-as usual!
I love the part about the naiads saving her!
Well done.
(I'm glad you decided to post more instead of stopping. :D)

Sarah | Mon, 06/09/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

:)

Job well done! I can't wait for more!!

Clare Marie | Mon, 06/09/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

:0)

I see what you meant about action. Poor Gilligan! And what's going to happen to Aria? Well, Gilligan too? Ahh! I cant wait until you post the next part...please please please don't quit!
;0)

Heather | Mon, 06/09/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Good

I won't be upset, since you didn't kill either Aria or Gilligan. But you sure are leaving me hanging until you write chapter 14!

James | Mon, 06/09/2008

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

hey

Sarah and Clare: Thanks!
Heather: You know I can't answer any of your questions, right? That just wouldn't be fair.
James: No, not dead... Not yet. *mwahahaha*

All: I no longer have any intentions of quitting, just to put your minds at ease about SOMETHING.
But man, I do love the feeling of power that your concern for my characters gives. :)

Anna | Tue, 06/10/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

ah!

You are just cruel!
Dangling your characters over our heads, not writing for so long that we're nearly pulling our hair out with the supsense! It going to kill me!
;)
Also, if you are worried about someone stealing your story and publishing it, if you send your manuscript to yourself and do not open it after it has been postmarked, you canuse that to prove it is yours and not someone else's.

Sarah | Tue, 06/10/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

Yes, I agree... I'm very

Yes, I agree... I'm very cruel. I model my villains after me. :) JK
Sorry about the whole not-writing thing, it's just sometimes I have trouble with the chapters, ya know...
I'll be sure to come to your funeral. :)
Good idea.

Anna

ps- are you posting more of Enchanted anytime soon?

Anna | Wed, 06/11/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Ah, I don't think so-at

Ah, I don't think so-at least not in its current form.
I despise the story; I re-wrote it so many times that I got fairly sick of it. :D I think I am going to delete the whole thing and once again re-write it-for hopefully the last time.
If enough people want me to continue with it, I may-although it will be just for the sake of my readers. :P

Sarah | Wed, 06/11/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

I think I agree with

I think I agree with Sarah...you are too cruel. Modeling villains after yourself, ha! :0) I may have to try it...and you enjoy holding your characters over our heads way too much, girl. :0) Well of course I know you can't answer my questions...but I think Sarah and I will go bald together. At least until you post chapter 14, which will then leave us half-bald. ???? JK.

Heather | Wed, 06/11/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Ahem..

Gah, Anna! How can you do this to me!? If you kill Gilligan I will boycott this story and never speak to you again.

Okay, I probably wont... but you better write quickly or else, I too, will be bald along with Sarah and Heather, and wigs are so itchy! Do want me to have to wear an itchy wig? Keep that in mind while you're writing the next chapter!

Tamerah | Wed, 06/11/2008

Sarah: Well, you promised me

Sarah: Well, you promised me I would find out why it's called "Enchanted", so you'd better at least tell me if you don't post it.
Heather and Tamerah: Well I can tell you Aria does not die- at least not yet- since she's basically the main character and we've got some unresolved mysteries to reveal that involve her.
If or when I kill Gill, i will probably have to create a twin brother for him. :) Unfortunately we don't find out his fate for some time...
And yes, I do have a cruel streak. And a power-hungry streak. And a revenge streak. And a hungry streak, or that could just be that I'm waiting for my mom to call me for dinner. But anyway, I'm sorry about all that, will try to postpone your deaths and/or baldness by posting the next chapter on Monday. But I can't promise you anything seeing as my editor hasn't gotten back to me.

Anna | Thu, 06/12/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

You have someone edit your

You have someone edit your chapters?????

And, as I afore said, if enough people want Enchanted back, I'll finish writing the confouded thing.
If I eventually decide not to finish, yeah I'll tell you why it would have been called Enchanted.

Sarah | Fri, 06/13/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

No, not edit exactly, just

No, not edit exactly, just suggest things and help me. It's really helpful. :)

Okay, sounds good.

Anna | Fri, 06/13/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Sooo much drama

Wny, Anna, why? Why must you make me suffer with cliffhangers?

Gilligan!Your so brave and noble! I totally feel for you.

Oooooh Niads! (gazes in wonder)

The dramatic reveal! Dun-dun-dun!

Where will Aria go now that she's on the run? How is Gilligan feeling? Questions that haunt me.

Anonymous | Wed, 07/09/2008

wonderful!

wonerful! I just love Gilligan!! you have such good ideas!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Men of Gondor, of Rohan!" Aragorn, LOTR.

Bernadette | Tue, 11/25/2008

OMG!! If you kill Gilligan

OMG!! If you kill Gilligan ('cause I'm pretty sure you won't kill Aria) I'll get out two pitchforks and a torch!

This comment was made by Erin!

"Never, never give up. Unless you get really tired." -Ellen Degenres

Erin | Sat, 03/28/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

A twist! If you publish

A twist! If you publish this, let me know. I wanna get it!

"The meek tyrannosaurus, victim of an innocent misunderstanding, tears like heck across the prehistoric valley." - Calvin and Hobbes

Bridget | Sun, 03/29/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

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