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LJ Idol Season 9 - Week 3

Meanwhile

Ice blue eyes flew open in a panic.  It was a dream.  It had to be a dream, only it wasn’t.  Ellisandria could feel it.  She could feel the pain and horror left over from so many years ago.

She got out of bed and put on her robe.  Pacing the floor quietly so she wouldn’t wake up her maid, she tried to recall as many details of the dream as she could.

The room was all too familiar.  Large, circular and well lit, it was where he had kept her at the beginning of her torture.  She remembered the windows and how they let light in, giving her false hope that all would be well.  She remembered the large bed where she suffered the first of many unspeakable acts.  She remembered the fire place where she tried to put an end to it all and the protection spell that made her efforts futile.  The memories were almost too much and she sank into the plush cushions of the window seat with a barely controlled sob.

After several quiet minutes, a breeze ruffled her hair, long grey, and gave her the courage to look back into the dream.  She closed her eyes and focused.

There was a girl!  She was young, maybe fourteen annuals, with dark curly hair and brown eyes.  She was curled comfortably in a chair, reading.  A mage entered, placing a tray of food and another book on the table beside her.  They spoke briefly and the mage left, looking pleased at their conversation.

Try as she might, that was all Ellisandria could remember of the dream.  The rays of the early morning sun started to light the dust motes in the window as day began.  Realizing that an attempt to go back to sleep was foolish at best, Ellisandria woke her maid and began her day.  She wished Gandalor was here so she could talk to him about what she had seen.

After a long day, filled by checking the steward accounts, approving menus, entertaining visiting dignitaries, and fending off a persistent, yet unwelcomed, suitor, Ellisandria found herself back in her bed chamber, exhausted.  As she pulled the woolen blankets to her chin, part of her wished she would dream again as much as part of her wished she wouldn’t.

This time, she woke with a start, sitting upright in bed, hand to her throat.  She had dreamt again.  The same dream from the previous night, only there was more.

It was Jalon, his evil permeating her bed chamber as if he were standing before her.  This time she woke her maid and asked her to light the candles and fetch some fresh water.

She moved to the window seat and turned her focus to the second part of the dream.  Jalon entered the tower room and addressed the girl.  Ellisandria was surprised at how young he still looked.  She thought of the lines around her mouth and the crinkles at the corner of her eyes.  She examined the pale, thin skin of her hands, spotted with age.  Who was Jalon?  What was he?  Was it more than mere magic he was capable of?  She had been lucky to escape his grasp, this she knew.

She returned her attention to the dream.  The girl was seated in her chair again.  Jalon moved to the table and placed a small, round object on it. Try as she might, Ellisandria couldn’t make out what it was.  Jalon moved his hand and the object moved.  As he raised his hand, the object raised.  He lowered his hand and the object rested on the table.  There was a pause, and she saw the girl shake her head.  Jalon demonstrated again, his stance harsh.  The girl lifted her arm toward the object a look of concentration on her face, but the object remained still.  Jalon grabbed the object in frustration, turned, and looked at the corner of the room where Ellisandria’s view was.  She could feel his stare as if he knew she was watching.  After a short pause, he strode out the door.

Ellisandria took a sip of water and returned her attention to the girl.  She looked like she was weeping.

The implications of the scene came to Ellisandria with full force.  Jalon was training her in the dark arts.  So far, he had been gentle, accommodating even, but Ellisandria knew his patience would not last and very soon her training would become more intense and more violent.

She rose to her feet.

“Melia,” she called to her maid, “we need the talisman,” she instructed.

“Yes, m’lady.”

The two women grabbed candlesticks and made their way to the library.  Ellisandria pulled a chain from around her neck and used the key attached to it to unlock a door behind an ancient tapestry.

“Keep watch,” she turned and told Melia.

She moved to the back of the small, hidden room and removed a white, porcelain dove from its spot on a high shelf.  She tucked it into her pocket, returned to the door and locked it, dropping the necklaced key under her nightgown.

The women quietly made their way back to her bedchamber where they quickly went about moving the thick carpeting from the center of the room.  Ellisandria placed a length of silver chain in a circle large enough for her to lie in.  Melia moved candles to the six necessary star points and lit them.  She helped Ellisandria get comfortable within the circle and place six stone saucers between the candles, each holding a different dried spray of flowering herbs.  As Ellisandria closed her eyes, ready to enter the dreaming circle, Melia lit each sprig of herbs in its turn.

Ellisandria entered a trance like state, halfway between wake and sleep.  Grasping the small porcelain talisman, she concentrated on the vision of the tower room in Jalon’s castle.  It was daylight when she arrived and the young girl was alone.

“Resist him,” she whispered to the girl.  “He will draw you toward evil.”

The girl turned and looked at her, startled by her presence.  “How…how did you get in here?” she asked.

“It does not matter,” Ellisandria replied.  “He will destroy you.  He will lead you to darkness.  You must stay in the light.  You mustn’t follow him.”

Ellisandria turned toward the door.  She could hear the reappearance of the stair.  “I must go, but I will return when I can.”

She woke inside the dreaming circle.  Melia extinguished the burning bouquets and candles.  She carefully gathered the silver chain.  Once they were returned to their rightful places, she helped Ellisandria to her bed.

"We have much work to do, Melia.  So much to do," Ellisandria told her maid tiredly.  For the second time in as many days she wished Gandalor was still alive so she would not have to do this alone.

This is my entry for week three of therealljidol Season 9.  This week's topic was "In Another Castle".  If you would like to read more of the many fine entries, you can do so here.

Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
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lapis_lazuli615
Mar. 31st, 2014 06:31 am (UTC)
Nicely done - can't wait to read more about Ellisandria!
tatdatcm
Apr. 1st, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I hesitated about bringing her back into the story, but the prompt kind of forced my hand.
basric
Mar. 31st, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
An intriguing tale. I enjoyed it. Wouldn't mind a chapter two.
tatdatcm
Apr. 1st, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
We'll see how inspiring future prompts are. :)
witchwife
Mar. 31st, 2014 08:19 am (UTC)
Glad to see another continuation on this. Fit the topic perfectly!
tatdatcm
Apr. 1st, 2014 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I admit, I was pretty pleased to see the topic for this week. :)
adoptedwriter
Mar. 31st, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
I love her name. AW
tatdatcm
Apr. 1st, 2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Hers was one I really thought about.
solstice_singer
Mar. 31st, 2014 03:42 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. It reminds me of a good mix of historical fiction and fantasy, two of my favorite genres.
tatdatcm
Apr. 1st, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Those are two of my favorite genres as well. Romance is another, but I am trying to leave that out of this story.
halfshellvenus
Mar. 31st, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC)
Well, that was unexpected! But also neat-- a window into another world.

Makes the girl's fate at the hand of Jalon suddenly look much darker, though. :O
tatdatcm
Apr. 1st, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

Her fate is intended to be dark. I'm trying to get some practice with the darker sides of characters. I have a tendency to make everything work out by the end of a story and I'm really trying to stretch myself and fight that with this one.
sweeny_todd
Apr. 1st, 2014 04:26 am (UTC)
Ia m really impressed at the way these scenes build on eachother, but are strong in their own right.
tatdatcm
Apr. 1st, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad they're holding their own. I was a little worried they weren't after using the same characters for the third week in a row.

Now I'm tempted to see how far I'll get by writing the "taboo" serial. :)
uncawes
Apr. 1st, 2014 08:55 am (UTC)
Love how this follows on from last week.
More please
tatdatcm
Apr. 1st, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Glad you liked it.

It's all about the prompts. If I can use it, I will. :)
eska818
Apr. 2nd, 2014 02:25 am (UTC)
You have a nice writing style, and this is an interesting story. I hope you take it further. :)
tatdatcm
Apr. 2nd, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It all depends on the prompts. :)
kecharasmoon
Apr. 2nd, 2014 03:42 am (UTC)
I love the names you give your characters, as well as the plot in and of itself. Can't wait for the next installment!
tatdatcm
Apr. 2nd, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I put a lot of thought into some of the characters names. Others are spur of the moment - what sounds good. :)
eternal_ot
Apr. 2nd, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Enchanting entry..loved reading it!
tatdatcm
Apr. 2nd, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Glad you liked it. :)
i_will_not_say
Apr. 2nd, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I liked this a lot! I'm quite glad the prompt fit your story.

With this new plot development, I'm extra-scared about what's going to happen. :O
tatdatcm
Apr. 2nd, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
I was pretty lucky with that prompt. :)

I'm working on writing villains, so...
kehlen
Apr. 2nd, 2014 07:54 pm (UTC)
Ah. The plot thickens. Very interesting.
tatdatcm
Apr. 2nd, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! :)
karmasoup
Apr. 2nd, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
I haven't been around the last couple of weeks, so I missed where this started, but now I'll have to go catch up!
tatdatcm
Apr. 3rd, 2014 04:12 pm (UTC)
Welcome! Glad you liked it. I hope you like the others. :) (There are links in the post previous to this one.)
i_17bingo
Apr. 3rd, 2014 12:20 pm (UTC)
I immediately went back and read the first two installments of this, and I am currently hooked. There is so much mystery and emotion and fear... I am so excited to read more.
tatdatcm
Apr. 3rd, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
I hope it worked okay as a stand-alone, but I'm really glad that you went back and read the companion pieces. :0

Thank you for reading!
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