Stars Over Llorleya- Chapter 9

Fiction By Anna // 2/4/2008

Chapter the Ninth

The fairy stopped to look at Aria questioningly.
In beautiful, stark contrast to her ink-colored black hair (now winding into long ringlets as round and full as goblets), luminous white jewels hung from a silver circlet bound around her forehead, giving her head an ethereal glow. She was wearing a long dress of a spicy green with a wide golden-white sash, and seemed to dance gaily as she walked, her wings (seeming to sparkle for all the silver veins running through them) shimmering in the sunlight.
Aria knew her, from the illustration in the silver book she hadn’t seen for so long. She cried out before she could stop herself. "You’re the fairy in the book, the one Rayne-"
"Yes, I’m Wynd," said Wynd, smiling. "Princess?"
Not anymore, Aria thought. She only nodded. "Why are you here?" she asked.
"This," said Wynd, waving a hand to the birch trees, "is a fairy ring."
Puzzled, Aria said, "I thought fairy rings were rings of mushrooms."
Wynd shook her head. "Those aren’t real fairy rings. The real ones are made by dancing. I’m here to reminisce. I was one of the dancers. And there was Apria and Tamello, and Parmese, and Showvay, and the others..." Wynd smiled fondly. "Fairies were such frolickers then- dancing, singing, all manner of careless gaiety… Before we… well… disappeared, we were like that. Perhaps we shall be that way again someday." Wynd sat cross-legged on the grass across from Aria. "Now, before you start asking me all sorts of useless questions to satisfy your ravenous curiosity, I have a few inquiries of my own. For one: Why didn’t you return to the castle? I missed you. And two: Why are you here now, blind, and with no crown?"
You don’t get very much news, do you? Aria thought. "You know I’m blind?"
Wynd nodded sadly. "I can see it right there-" She brushed Aria’s cheek and hesitated. "You were crying?"
Aria still didn’t like people to know she’d been crying, but she thought Wynd should know. "Rayne and Josh were killed here," she said. "They’re dead."
Wynd looked stricken. "Dead?" she repeated, mouthing it. She had meant to say it aloud but the words didn’t come out. "Tell me what happened," she said.
So Aria was launched into the story of her life, from the point they left Wynd’s home to meeting her again. "So I’ve been living here, as Arianna, since," Aria finished. "But I thought you should know…"
Wynd had seemed in good spirits before, actually happy. Now she was crestfallen. "I had such high hopes for that girl, such hopes," she said. "Fairies need hope through all the loneliness we face, especially now… And to think, a new king! For four years a false king on the throne, and I never knew it. I’m so sorry, Princess."
"There is nothing you could have done."
"But if I had only known!" Wynd seemed to blame herself. If I had just followed my instincts and stayed close to Rayne and Josh and Aria… she thought. Even at 252 years old, I’m still making fatal mistakes.
"Do you," began Aria, "think I did the right thing?"
Wynd looked down, and took Aria’s hand. "I think," she said slowly, "that you were very wise, beyond your years. There were some things you could’ve done better, but I think that God has been very gracious to you, and has allowed you very good choosing. I’m so glad," she said, her voice half-choked with tiny, delicate tears, "that you were here to tell me these things." She thought, Why must all my good memories turn sour? I was so happy today.
A long pause.
"Wynd, I know it’s not a good time, but… do you think you could-?" Aria’s hands made an expressive gesture near her eyes.
Wynd caught on and shook her head gently. "I don’t know how," she said. "I’m sorry… You’ve been through so much… I wish I could help."
Somehow, Aria was sure that if Wynd tried, she could make Aria see. She was a fairy. She could. She just knew it, and she was determined to figure out a way. "Fairy dust!" she suddenly exclaimed.
Wynd stood with a look of comprehension dawning on her face. "Yes, that’s it! Now, just, hold your hands beneath my wings-"
Wynd’s wings began vibrating, tingling, whirring so rapidly that they disappeared into just silver mist, and slowly, little shimmering, sparkling dots that must have been the fairy dust settled into Aria’s cupped hands, some of them pink, some blue, gold, white, silver, transparent- They were too light to add pressure, but heavy enough that they stuck when they landed- or perhaps they were just sticky. Aria could see them clearly, even through blindness.
Finally Wynd stopped. Aria felt tingly all over. Her thoughts whirled, she couldn’t make sense of things. Soon I might- might-
Wynd took the dust from Aria. "It’s not very much," she said disapprovingly (though her disapproval was not aimed at Aria, but at herself), and Aria’s hope wilted like flower suddenly denied water.
Wynd continued, "But it will do." She hesitated a moment, and her wings gave a reluctant flutter. "Princess, I warn you again, it may not work. Are you sure you want to try? Why cause more heartbreak, dash more hopes?"
Aria nodded resolutely, pushing such thoughts away, refusing them. It would work. It had to.
Wynd sighed, and her wings gave another half-hearted vibration, perhaps equivalent to an unsure shrug, and raised her cupped hands to her lips. Then she blew on the dust, ever so gently. The little particles swirled up together, visibly, into a fragile ring around Aria’s head, like a coronet, then seemed to multiply and spread and cover her. Them they gave a sudden glimmer, only the slightest shimmer, and were gone.
The dust’s effects worked quickly. Aria felt wonderful, physically. She felt rested and refreshed and filled, as though she had just taken a nap and eaten. But she was very disappointed, to the point of breaking down, for she was still blind.
"I’m sorry, little one," said Wynd, seeing it on her face. "I tried. I really did."
Aria was crying. She couldn’t help it. She had so hoped- She had been sure- she just- just- just-
Wynd laid a hand on Aria’s bowed head. "I must leave now. The wind is changing. A storm is coming. If my wings get wet I won’t be able to fly, so I must leave before it catches me. I hope we shall meet again." She bent down and kissed the top of Aria’s head. "Farewell, dear one." She took a flower from the ground and tucked it behind Aria’s ear, then walked out of the circle of trees and lifted into the sky.
Aria stayed sitting. It might have been hours or minutes later that a large, cold raindrop hit her head, and many more followed. Soon she was completely soaked. She had not brought a cloak.
She stood and began to walk homeward. She was drenched and dripping, shivering and cold. The rain was not friendly.
In the woods branches snagged and tore her clothes. One caught her cheek, and she began to bleed. Somewhere the flower fell from her behind her ear. She had no shoes, and her feet became muddy, sore, and cut by stones.
Soon she was numb from cold and exhaustion. She took shelter under a low-lying, bush-like tree that helped keep off the rain.
Then the thunder came, and Aria remembered what Rayne had said so long ago- "Where there’s thunder, there’s bound to be lightening."
Somehow thinking of Rayne was worst of all. She buried her head in her knees and arms and sobbed- but quietly, not despairingly. She missed her friend. She missed so many people. She missed seeing. For years she had handled it by mostly pushing it out, which worked, but not for long enough.
The tears didn’t really help anything, not truly, but they released some tension. The grey, cold rain tumbled down haphazardly around her, as though encouraging her to be angry and mad. The enormous, icy droplets were as out of place here in the summer as she was in the country as Arianna.
As the hostile rain pounded around her, she felt she was a very small, very small, very vulnerable, very ordinary mortal, who got angry and disappointed over trivial little things like blindness or not getting her way, though she had been through so much worse. But it was all perishable, non-lasting. It would end, but there was More to live for, More that would last through eternity, forever. Only what was done for Him would last that long. Aria knew, as she had known before, many times, that she wanted to serve Him and make much of Him. She wanted to worship and love Him and present herself to Him as she was, without decoration, unimportant and insignificant. When she thought of Him, she as she was diminished. Less of her sinful self was there, and more of His glory shone through. She in herself was nothing- a ragged, wretched beggar, fit only for loathing. But herself in Christ!- that was wonderful, glorious, but only because He was wonderful and glorious. She only reflected that. It was far beyond and above what she deserved.
Blindness seemed nothing, counted as joy. She forgot it completely, and, rejoicing, headed home through the trees, over Pen’s Hill with the wishing-well, and through the other hills, until she was finally at the cottage.
She prayed softly for a vision, just to see what was going on. It came, to her relief. She peered through the window. Abby was washing the supper dishes, Aiden was playing by the fire, Peter was nowhere to be seen (his cloak was gone, too), and Dominic was sitting by the door, looking concerned. He seemed to be saying something about going out. Probably to look for me, Aria thought. I’ve certainly been gone for awhile. (If you think I have forgotten about Goodwife, stop thinking it. She sprained her ankle at the friend’s house, and decided to stay until it healed.) The vision faded.
Sitting under the eaves, out of the rain, Aria debated going in, revelations momentarily forgotten. It would be a good idea, she thought, but Dominic is in there… I really don’t want to face him right now. On the other hand, they’re worried… I could tap on the window to let them know I’m safe… but then they’d make me come in to dry (Abby is always that way, she doesn’t want me sick), and I’d get the floor all wet… better the floor wet than me sick…
So she went in.
"Arianna!" Abby exclaimed. "Peter went out to look for you- when the storm came and you weren’t back-"
Aiden jumped up to embrace her, saying something about what he was playing.
But Aria didn’t hear much of what Abby or Aiden said, because at that moment, Dominic jumped up. "Arianna!" he exclaimed. He suddenly embraced her and kissed her on the cheek.
Aria stiffened.
Abigail gave a very tiny, almost inaudible gasp of surprise.
Aiden gave a surprised, giggling sound, and ran like a rabbit into his room to do who-knows-what. Maybe to hide under his covers.
Dominic immediately released her, as though embarrassed and surprised at himself. "I’m sorry," he said, stumbling back clumsily. "I was just so relieved- we thought maybe you were in danger-"
Aria was staring at him at though he were an arrow notched in a bow, ready to be released and hit her. Perhaps Dominic interpreted her face differently, for somehow he was urged on. "I- I suppose now is the best time I could say this." He dropped to his knees in the quickly forming puddle around her. "Arianna, will you marry me?"
****
Aria was completely lost for words. Here was her vision, right in front of her. "I- I can’t- I can’t answer-" she whispered.
Dominic seemed to be relieved at having finally proposed to the girl he thought he loved, and seemed quite undeterred by her reply. "I shall return and await it," he said, and whisked himself out the door to find Peter and tell him this new turn of events.
Aria sank onto the floor, and Abby ran to her. Immediately she saw what she had dreaded in Aria’s pleading eyes. "You can’t marry him?"
Aria stammered, "No, no I can’t- I don’t love him, I know I don’t-"
"Hush, babe, hush," Abby said soothingly. "You can say no. No one will hurt you for it."
"But will I hurt anyone?" she said, looking up, her eyes enormous. "He doesn’t dream that he’ll be refused, not at all."
Abby said nothing.
Aria stood and ran for her cloak. "I have to go," she said. "I have to leave."
"Where will you go?"
"You won’t try to stop me?" Aria paused, looking surprised.
"No," said Abigail. "I understand. Of course, we’ll all miss you terribly, but I know why you must leave. I repeat: where will you go?"
"I’ll travel. Ray- someone I knew used to do it."
Abby nodded tearfully.
Aria was throwing some food and drink into a knapsack. "I’ll need a weapon," she said.
Abby disappeared into a room and produced a dagger from a chest. "Will this do?"
"Yes," said Aria, taking it. She slipped it into her satchel. She began to cry lightly, as Abigail was already. "Thank you… so much," she said through her tears. She didn’t mean the thanks for the dagger. She meant for everything, everything from the very beginning.
"Oh, Arianna," Abby said. The two embraced, long and hard. "Remember, if you ever wish to return, the door will be open."
"I’ll never forget any of you," Aria cried, and pulling herself away, tore out the door.
A few dashes away, she stopped to pull her hood up, and chanced to glance back. The door was indeed open, with Abby silhouetted against the light, waving. Aria was reminded of Wynd’s goodbye: "Farewell, dear one," she had said, kissing the top of her head.
But perhaps this was not farewell, not forever. The door was still open.
**********
Later, Aria took out the blade to examine it, not so much out of curiosity as out of the need to stop thinking about home, and good-byes, and where she was headed now (which she had no notion of). The dagger seemed to bring her a little closer to Abigail, for certainly it had been her dagger.
Oh, I’ll miss Abby, she thought. Abby is more of a mother to me than anyone else I’ve ever known. It hurts to leave.
It was a plain dagger, but sharp and well-made. The hilt was plain as well, not silver or gold, but bound in leather, and strong. Aria turned the dagger over in her hands, and noticed little grooves glinting in the hilt. "To a beloved daughter," it read.
**********
Aria was only on the trail a few weeks before her object in leaving was drastically changed.

Though homesick, she pushed on. She learned a great deal, much of it the hard way, though the skillful teaching Rayne had given so long ago saved some trouble. Traveling was pleasant, if difficult. At first Aria tired easily, awoke unrested and covered in dew, and couldn’t find enough to eat to satisfy her hunger. But gradually, she toughened: she walked farther, slept comfortably, built and found better shelter, and foraged (or, occasionally, hunted) more food.
On this particular day, it had been raining steadily (though lightly) for perhaps half a week, but presently the sky cleared, giving way to a bright, fair blue. As Aria walked, she sang, shaking free showers of golden droplets from heavily laden branches along the roadside. It became a fine day, though the grass was water-logged and muddy.
Aria came to a village, larger than the one she had traveled from, but smaller than some. What she mainly noticed was the amount of armored men. Their armor was engraved with the sign of a snake. They filled the shops and streets, bartered in the market, finally getting what they wanted at too low a price, and bullied money and goods from passerby.
Aria touched the sleeve of an older gentleman ambling by. "Please, sir," she said gently to the man, pointing, "Who are they? I am a stranger here, and I have never seen their like."
"They’re Torlith’s soldiers," he said with a snort. "Our town is being watched, because something about a rebel uprising reached Torlith. They certainly aren’t helping anything by sending those monsters." He paused. "Stay away from them, try not to meet their eyes, and don’t get involved if they do something." He considered her. "Remember that. There is much compassion in your eyes, and I pray it won’t get you into trouble. I wish you well," he said finally, the customary farewell among strangers.
"I wish you well," she replied.
She could feel hatred boiling up inside her. Torlith’s men! But she was determined to take the old man’s advice.
That is, until she witnessed their work, firsthand.
Aria was nearing the outskirts of town, where the crowd and bustle had thinned almost to a trickle. Aria sat under an ancient gnarled tree and ate the lunch she had bought (she had earned money at various odd jobs, though she saved most of it). She smiled happily at the carved heart in the heart in the trunk with two sets of initials.
Then she heard screaming and crying by a nearby house.
Aria leapt to her feet.
Several guards in the garb of Torlith’s soldiers were dragging a boy and girl from a house to a waiting cage-like cart, drawn by two tired-looking, though magnificently decked, horses. A woman, presumably their mother, was weeping and pleading with the men. "Please, no," she sobbed, holding her arms out to her children, "not my son, not my daughter! Please, when my husband returns he shall pay you, but no, don’t take my children from me!"
"Stop whining, lady," a man said gruffly, pushing her aside. "We’ll leave them in good hands." He laughed, which seemed to imply the opposite.
"No please!" the woman cried again, terrified, as the boy’s hands were bound with chains to the cart. "Take me instead!"
"Mama, no!" the boy said, almost simultaneously with the girl. "We’ll be fine," he said. "Tell Papa-" but he was cut off by a sharp cry of pain as he was kicked by a spiked boot.
The young maiden began to cry. "Don’t hurt him!" she exclaimed as she, too, was carted away.
The woman clamped onto to a soldier’s leg, falling before him in pleading. "Don’t take them!" she screamed hysterically. The man shook her off in contempt. Aria ran to the woman and helped her to sit up, where she sank against the wall, sobbing. Aria seized the man’s arm and clung to it with the strength of a bear trap. "What will you do to them?!" she cried.
"Possibly sell them to a circus, or to a quarry."
Aria’s eyes locked into his in horror, and his voice faltered.
"On what charges?!"
"They didn’t pay," he said, looking away hard-heartedly. "Get off me, woman!"
"Pay what?! They didn’t pay what?!"
"Money, they didn’t pay the money Torlith wanted- does he need a reason?"
"You can’t do this! Where is justice?!"
"Long gone," the man said, shoving her away roughly, onto the ground. She could feel the rumble of the cart under her as it took the two rapidly to slavery.
That was when Aria knew where she was headed. She had to find Torlith, and somehow, rescue her kingdom from being crushed in his hands. It was time to go to the castle.
**********

Comments

oops

Okay, my mom has pointed out to me that one moment, when Aria is in the rain, she's blind, the next, she's peering through the window. This is meant to be a vision-seeing moment. I will edit it soon.

Anna | Mon, 02/04/2008

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

:D

I really like this! I got really excited when i saw this posted! One of your best chapters yet =]

Tamerah | Wed, 02/06/2008

thanks. i forgot to edit

thanks. i forgot to edit some other stuff, tho... notice the blanks and slashes?

Anna | Wed, 02/06/2008

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

. .

Is that where you were still trying to decide what to put down, like where it said girl/woman? And the ______?

Tamerah | Wed, 02/06/2008

Yup. All of my writing from

Yup. All of my writing from complete chapters on are like that. I usually check for little stuff like that before I post, but I forgot this time.

Anna | Wed, 02/06/2008

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

. .

Thats a pretty good idea, i usually sit for a long time when i get stuck on a name of a place or person when i'm writing, i may just have to use your idea ;]

Tamerah | Wed, 02/06/2008

Fine with me, but be

Fine with me, but be forewarned.

Anna | Thu, 02/07/2008

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

It gets annoying when you

It gets annoying when you have 40-sumthin' pages full of blanks, slashes, and missing parts.

Anna | Thu, 02/07/2008

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

wow

fourty somethin pages. . thats a lot. . .

Tamerah | Thu, 02/07/2008

Well, maybe I exagerated 29

Well, maybe I exaggerated... maybe only 29 pages...

Anna | Thu, 02/07/2008

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

:D

i maybe have ten, lol
i was working on my book lastnight but i had to go to bed, its amazing how time flys when your writing

Tamerah | Thu, 02/07/2008

yup

yup

Anna | Thu, 02/07/2008

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

yup

yup

Tamerah | Thu, 02/07/2008

.....................

i have a terrible time trying to make my books longer than, like, 20 pgs.
HOW DO YOU DO IT ANNA????????
i want your secret for long books...........
lolz

Sarah | Fri, 02/08/2008

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

most of it is just notes and

most of it is just notes and stuff... my book's not all that long.... if i'm lucky i'll have 17 chapters... Now, KYLEIGH'S is long...

Anna | Fri, 02/08/2008

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

:D

Mine is going to be a full length book and i'm going to have it published some day :D

Tamerah | Fri, 02/08/2008

"Just keep tellin' yourself

"Just keep tellin' yourself that, dear"
Anyway that's what it's like for me and my book. I haven't seen all that much of yours... Galraith, right?

Anna | Fri, 02/08/2008

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

mmhmmm

Ya, i decided only to post the prologue because i do want it published one day, i don't want my whole book out there on the internet.

Tamerah | Sat, 02/09/2008

Yeah... I constantly update

Yeah... I constantly update and change mine in chapters I've posted so it doesn't really matter.

Anna | Sun, 02/10/2008

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

yea you!

congrats on becoming a monthly writer, Anna!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I long for the days,
when the ship sails were white;
When all the corners of the map
were not filled in,
and earth was as yet unexplored.

Michal | Fri, 02/15/2008

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I long for the days,
when the ship sails were white;
When all the corners of the map
were not filled in,
and earth was as yet unexplored.

thanks! I was so excited

thanks! I was so excited when Ben emailed me.

Anna | Sat, 02/16/2008

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

Would everyone be terribly,

Would everyone be terribly, terribly, terribly angry at me if I had, hypothetically, been thinking for some time about Tamerah's comment
~
Ya, i decided only to post the prologue because i do want it published one day, i don't want my whole book out there on the internet.
~
and was thinking that becasue I really do want to get this published even though it's very unlikely so I might just...
discontinue the story. I dunno, maybe I could email the chapters to you guys individually, but that could potentially take a long time, depending on how many devoted readers I have out there.

Anna | Tue, 02/26/2008

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

:'[

Well now i am sad i said anything! Are you going to keep writing the story? Because i really want to know what happens, I keep waiting for Gilligan to come back, how will i know if he comes back if you don't post anymore?

Tamerah | Tue, 02/26/2008

I could just tell you the

I could just tell you the whole plot? Or you could give me your email.

I'm still writing it, in fact as I'm posting this I'm writing it, it's just a matter of POSTING it.

Anna | Tue, 02/26/2008

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

I am still writing the

I am still writing the story, it's just a matter of posting it.

You could give me your email or I could just tell you the whole plotline.

This whole idea is just a huge bubble floating over my head.

Anna | Tue, 02/26/2008

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

I am still writing the

I am still writing the story, it's just a matter of posting it.

You could give me your email or I could just tell you the whole plotline.

This whole idea is just a huge bubble floating over my head.

Anna | Tue, 02/26/2008

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

=]

I don't want the whole plotline that would spoil everything! My email is tamerahskye@yahoo.com

Tamerah | Tue, 02/26/2008

ok i will remember that in

ok i will remember that in case i don't post anymore.

Anna | Tue, 02/26/2008

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

My Comments

Poor Wynd!

Fairy dust! Why must you betray me so!

Somehow everything is way cooler when it's done in the rain.

Wow, Aria's a lot kinder than me. I'd probably just break his heart. (feels guilty now)

I get the feeling Abby saw this coming.

I would be terrified to travel semi-blind. (Altough it probably wouldn't matter, I'm so clumsy I'd probably kill myself even with 20/20 vision.)

WOAH! Selling children to the circus totally made me think of this book The Two Collars (it was very good by the way)

The plot thickens! Dun dun dun!I understand Aria's anger and indignation but how does Aria expect to do anything? She's semi-blind, and even if she wasn't she's still one girl. Although I suppose what with the new King being so hated, she could raise some support if she reavealed herself as the rightful ruler. But that would put her in a lot of danger.

Anonymous | Wed, 07/09/2008

this is...

this is so thrilling!! i love Aria!

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

Bernadette | Tue, 11/25/2008

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