White Funeral, part three

Fiction By Hannah W. // 12/31/2009

**Part Three and still going strong... I wonder how many more parts it will be before the end...? Anyway, I appreciate any thoughts, and of course, Enjoy! :) **

 

They say he was born with constellations in his eyes and warm breath in his lungs, the way a true lord should. He would have been a lord when he was grown, if the Queen would make him so, but she died when he was still very young. I remember the day of the funeral, the sun and the smell of saltwater, the swishing of the grass. All those things I had turned over in my mind some night when I could not sleep, but now the day flashed before my eyes again in an instant, and I saw him standing there solemnly watching the boat disappear, his dark curly hair and compact frame setting him apart from the rest of his family, a tall and fair-haired lot. I remember hearing someone remark that he took his features from the Queen.  
Now, looking at the young man standing in front of me, I can still recognize that boy from the beach, but I am hesitant anyway. "Oh," I say. "Thank you."
"It was nothing," he says, and gives a slight bow. I give one in return, and then realize my mistake and feel my face burn despite the harsh cold. But he doesn't say anything to me. Instead he holds out his hand. "Calixto," he says. "Pleased to meet you."
Calixto. So it is him. The name is so uncommon that it can't be mere coincidence. This is, indeed, the Queen's own nephew.
"Elsa," I say, but my voice sounds meek and timid. Sudden shyness has overtaken me.
"Good day, miss Elsa," he says, and smiles a little. "And be careful."
"I will," I reply, but he is already striding away.

They say that he took easily to riding and swordfighting, the way a true lord should. I make my way through the crowd until I can slip down a sidestreet, a narrow passage that I have used often enough to know which way it is leading me. I emerge near Ebber's Inn and lean against it. The wind blows faster and harder now, and I see tiny snowflakes rise up in a flurry upon it, settling for a few seconds in the cracks between the bricks that make up the Capitol's roads, only to be swept up by the wind again. 
I hear hoofbeats. Out of the passage comes a strawberry roan and its rider, Calixto, who tips his velvet cap to me and says, "Many thanks for showing me the way." Then he clicks at his horse and it breaks into a gallop, careening down the road. 
"Where are you going?" I call after him, but there is no reply. he street is completely empty, except for me.
The door to the Inn opens with a creak and closes with a thud, and old man Ebber leans on the rail of the Inn's porch. 
"You!" he calls to me. His voice is rough, his face weathered from his many years at sea.
"Sir?" I call back, raising my voice to be heard above the wind's howling crescendo. 
"What are you doing just standing there?"
"Sorry! Is it a problem?" My ears burn with the cold. I put my gloved hands over them in a futile attempt to make them feel better, and I miss what Ebber yells next. "What?"
Ebber cups his big hands around his mouth. "Follow him!" he yells. 
Follow Calixto? Why? As if he can read my mind, Ebber adds, "Believe me, girl! My instinct led me through a gale in the middle of the Severac! Just follow him!"

They say that he was brave and fiercely loyal, the way that a true lord should be. I run as fast as I can in the direction he rode off in, half wondering why I am even still out here at all. The cold is gnawing at every part of me, and I can't move the muscles in my face very much. Still, I keep running. Why? Because an old sailor told me to? No, there is something else spurring me onward. I don't know what it is yet, but I burst into the main square and I see Calixto emerging from a different sidestreet, almost running me down under his horse's hooves. He pulls up short, looking somewhere between confused and agitated. I can tell that he doesn't like being slowed by the crowd and me, but he remains a gentleman as he says, "Please, miss, I need to get through."
"Calixto," I say, breathless from running and barely able to move my mouth for the numbness, "What are you doing?"
"Please, just move."
"I... I can't." It's true. I don't think my feet will let me. They are frozen to the brick street.
Suddenly the horse plunges forward, and I am in the air and then I'm somehow sitting behind Calixto in the saddle. 
"Hold on, Elsa," he says, and I grip the sides of the saddle, suddenly too shy to hang onto Calixto's shoulders. The crowd parts ways for his horse to get through. The strange soldiers are surrounding their captain, and the man is adressing the crowd, saying something that I can't comprehend over the whistle of air and icy snowflakes rushing past my ears, or the steady hoofbeats of the strawberry roan. 
"Good day, sir!" Calixto calls to the stranger.
The stranger stops talking. He watches us until we stop coming forward any more. There is a stillness for several seconds that seem to drag on and on, with even the wind dying down, holding its breath to hear his reply.
"Good day," the stranger says. "And you are...?"
"I am Calixto Celsus Vaelstan, son of Lysander Vaelstan, and nephew of the Queen."
The stranger's mouth turns up into a smile that looks like it was meant to be sad, but it is condescending instead. "I heard that the Queen is dead." The crowd makes a little noise, like everyone suppressing a gasp at once, because no one says 'the Queen is dead' the way he just did, with little solemnity.
I can feel Calixto tense. "Yes," he says. "So you have. Who are you?" His voice has a slight edge, and the stranger seems to notice.
"Don't worry about it, boy. I am the answer to your prayers." Now the crowd murmurs amongst itself, uneasy.
Calixto grits his teeth. "Which ones?" 
"Your father is ruling now, isn't he?" the stranger says in a casual tone. "Lysander, you said his name was? Tell me, boy, how does he like it?"
Calixto opens his mouth, but the stranger cuts him off with a wild shout. 
"I bet he doesn't mind it! Who would? Anything he wants, right at his fingertips! Just--like--Her!" His voice is like liquid hatred, pouring out on us. I am reeling as though I've been slapped, and I can sense that Calixto is, too. Time is slowing to a stop, but then I see the stranger lift his hand and there is a crack that seem to shatter the sky, and Calixto falls backward and the horse rears up and I almost fall off but somehow I grab the reins and the roan is galloping crazily but I hang on to Calixto and the reins and I veer off and kick the horse's sides, and it's only when we're streaming out of the Capitol that I realize I'm sobbing.

                                                             *~end of part three~*   
   

Comments

This is amazing, Hannah! The

This is amazing, Hannah! The last sentence was a major run on, so you might want to split that up some. Great job!

Erin | Fri, 01/01/2010

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

write more.........

love the name Calixto..........I like how you write the story not tottaly clear...............its wonderful.

Bernadette | Fri, 01/01/2010

Wow Hannah!

This is way too cool!!! I lke the first-person point of viw you're writing this story in! Keep it up! (You said this was a dream? Very cool!)

Heather | Fri, 01/01/2010

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

I love how you wove in the

I love how you wove in the "the way a true ____ should" again.
And you're weaving quite a story here! 

Kyleigh | Sat, 01/02/2010

I'm about ready to fall out

I'm about ready to fall out of my chair! This is intoxicating. I'm so glad you're going strong!

Anna | Sat, 01/02/2010

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

Wow, Hannah. This is really

Wow, Hannah. This is really pretty amazing--I love your writing style. It's as if you're weaving prose and poetry together--very beautiful.

Annabel | Sat, 01/02/2010

STUNNING!!!

Hannah, this is just STUNNING!!! I can not believe you wrote this!!! I enjoyed it sooooooooooooooooo much!!!

Elizabeth | Thu, 01/07/2010

************

The Holy Spirit is the quiet guest of our soul." -St. Augustine

LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT!

LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT!

Maethorwen (not verified) | Fri, 01/08/2010

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