Monday, October 1, 2012

Insomnia... not something I'm generally afflicted with, but tonight seems to be the exception. My brain refuses to shut off, and as I was lying in bed for the last hour I was unable to stop thinking and rest. So be it, it must be time to write.

In fact, I don't want to spend the time that I'm awake writing this blog, so I'll head over to Scrivener to get some creative writing done.

I'll leave you with another (longer) excerpt from the story I so briefly introduced the other day. The story is entitled Pretty Chains and in this next segment we find out more about the past of Asha, the same woman who hates the silver bells that adorn her. (As usual this is an unedited work in progress, so please ignore all typos, run on sentences, misschosen words etc.)

As they wandered the halls that led to the Sultan’s chambers she tried not to think of that day so many years ago when she had briefly tasted freedom, but it was too late. Once those memories surfaced they were impossible to suppress. She let them float up as she followed Ravi’s dark bulk through the corridors, passing rooms full of light and laughter, rooms full of the Sultan’s harem, the Sultan’s chefs and food, the Sultan’s menagerie. She let the sounds and smells that came from those rooms wash over her and she watched the memories bubble up in her vision. 

The light faded from her mother’s eyes and her throat worked convulsively to contain the grief that was threatening to erupt and raise the Sultan’s ire. Ravi stood behind her, a young man still, and still untrained enough that his effort to keep from embracing her was noticeable. 
The knife that the sultan held clattered to the floor and he left the room.

“Bring her to me, Ravi. She should know why her mother has died,” he said as entered his bedchamber.

Asha sobbed and turned to run away. She didn’t know why she was being summoned to the Sultan’s bedchamber, but it didn’t matter, whatever that man wanted with her was not something she wanted to give. Her mother had died trying to protect her from it, and the blood still ran on the floor. Ravi’s shaking hand clasped her shoulder.

“I’m sorry, dear one.” He said, his muscles shaking with an effort she could not fathom. “I’m so sorry, but I cannot disobey… it would cost…”

Asha raised a hand to his lips and shook her head. “I know, Ravi. It’s not only your life that would be forfeit if you disobeyed.” She sobbed as she spoke for there was no way for her to resist someone of Ravi’s strength, and even then, she would have to pass hundreds of the palace guards before she could be rid of this place. There was no avoiding… whatever was coming.

Ravi grabbed her shoulders more tightly and began to turn her towards the Sultan’s bed chamber. She shivered and Ravi hesitated. 

“Perhaps it won’t be so…” His arms convulsed as though fighting an invisible enemy. “Your mother died to keep you from him. I should not let you go to him.”

Asha held back a sob. Her mother was dead, DEAD. The realization wracked her body, but she resisted the temptation to collapse.

“And should your mother die too?” She asked, searching the depths of Ravi’s eyes, as if it might hold some secret weapon she could find and use for protection. “And your sisters? Your father? Should they die to, just to protect one girl?”

She sighed and stepped forward. “My life isn’t worth that much.” She said, as she approached the door to the Sultan’s room. Sobs still wracked her, but she moved forward. The pain of her mother’s death was just beginning to sink in, but she already knew beyond doubt that she would do nothing, NOTHING, that would lead to Ravi, or anyone else, feeling the way she did at that moment. Nothing. Not even to feel that sweet absence of pain, that sweet breath of freedom that she had felt so briefly. So very briefly, when her mother had removed her chains.

The memory faded as she stepped to the entrance of the Sultan’s chambers. Memory mixed with reality as she felt the strong hand of Ravi on her shoulder. 

“Where are you, child?” He asked as she shook the last traces of memory from her mind.

“Another time, old friend, another time.”

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