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The Druid Spiraea - Sections I, II, and III

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Vahlee



Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 3675
Location: Not-so-back to school
The Druid Spiraea - Sections I, II, and III  Reply with quote  

Okay I need some opinions from people who won't just patronize me and say "yeah, you're doing a good job." I have family that does that for me. I want to hear some true opinions. The following is 3 sections (not sure if this is how chapters are going to go yet since they're so short) of a story that I am writing. I'm hoping I actually have the attention span to turn this into a children's fantasy novel. I am pretty sure I lack the talent to complicate it enough to interest older readers, I'll work my way up. As you read this ask yourself, Does this interest me and do I want to know more? Does anything here seem to cliche (am I unintentionally stealing idea's from another book?) Any other suggestions would be appreciated Very Happy However, for now, please ignore the grammatical mistakes. This is a first draft, fixing typos and dialogue comes later.

If you don't want to make your comments public (which I don't mind if you do) you can e-mail them to me april.n.loebick@us.army.mil

And now, the long awaited story (sorry for all the babbling)

*****

I.

She stood in front of the mirror, examining the person there that was not her. She wanted to rip the braids out of her hair and let flow freely, the way it was supposed to be. However, that would not do for a girl in her stature. Only the peasants wore their hair down for they did not have their own ladies in waiting to constant be pampering them. She did not want to be pampered. She wanted her red hair to be free. She wanted to be free.
“Vespiraea, quit standing there, gawking at yourself. I need to finish dressing you. You do not want to go to dinner looking so drab.” A voice said from behind her. Vespiraea turned around to face her short, chunky nurse, Seisluna.
Vespiraea was quiet while Seisluna dressed her and called in one of the other nameless ladies in waiting to fix the braids that had become slightly frizzed. Seisluna was old and her hands could no longer braid Vespiraea’s hair properly. The lady pulled tightly on Vespiraea’s red locks, only reinforcing the longing in her heart.
She turned her head and stared at the window. That window was her only source to the outside world. The combination of war and an overprotective father forced Vespiraea to stay inside, a place where she did not belong. She was not even allowed the comfort of fresh air in the courtyard. There are spies everywhere, enemies who would take you from me. He father reminded her on more than one occasion.
During the warmer months, which seemed to get shorter and shorter, she would sit at the open window. If the wind was blowing just right, she could feel the breeze on her skin. She could sit there and listen to the harmony of the birds all day. But that was only during the warmer months. Snow had begun to fall from the sky. Vespiraea would no longer be able to day dream by the open window, not until it became warm again.
A deep depression always lay upon Vespiraea’s heart when the air outside was cold. She longed to be outside again, longed to be free of her needless imprisonment. She wanted to see the birds that brought her so much cheer with their melodies. She wanted to see what a river looked like, what the sunrise over the mountains looked like, or even sunsets. Her window pointed to the north, giving her no joy with either.
Vespiraea was pulled back to reality by a quick yank to he hair. How come these women could never be gentle? Why did she have to have these ladies in waiting anyway? She did not want to play matchmaker. She did not want to play the part of a noble. She did not want the life given to her.
Her hair had been finished. It was time for dinner. Vespiraea made the long walk down the all to familiar corridor, down to where she was to have dinner with her father, Aleckander, and stepmother, Eneesha. Vespiraea did not trust Eneesha. Eneesha was the one who poisoned her father’s thoughts. She made him think that everyone was an enemy and that he was to trust no one outside of her. She had almost turned Aleckander against his own daughter. Eneesha whispered lies into his ear about how Vespiraea’s mother was of the faerie people and faerie people should never be trusted. Because her mother was faerie, Vespiraea was also. This was the only lie that Aleckander never took to. He loved his daughter, almost too much.
However, Vespiraea often wondered herself about this. Was she of the faerie? Would that explain her passion for wanting to escape to the outside? She had read about Faerie people in the books her tutor brought to her.
The Faerie were once a great people who ruled the land of Char’ in, the land her father now ruled. They new the magic of the old ways, magic that has now been long forgotten. Or at least that’s what her books told her. Vespiraea dreamed of this great magic. Earth magic is what the books called it. Vespiraea longed for the knowledge of this magic, so that she may turn herself into a bird and fly out her castle window. Or maybe, she could turn herself into a tiny squirrel and scamper about the hallways until she found a door to the outside world.
For now, Vespiraea only focused on the plate of food that sat in front of her, Carrots, bread, and a freshly killed boar. She knew that most of the poor creature would not be eaten during this meal and would surely go to feed those cooks who seemed to getting fatter in the kitchen.
Vespiraea had once saw Eneesha violently whispering to the head cook. Eneesha had caught her and gave her an insincere smile. “You know how your father is allergic to onions.” Eneesha just laughed and walked away.
Vespiraea’s brother, Kane, walked into the dining hall. He was late as usual. “Sorry Mother, Father, I have been trying to tame that that new stallion that the men caught today. He is a feisty one. I do believe that he has the spirit of a faerie inside of him.” With that he looked at his older half sister. “Maybe you should talk to him, Vespiraea. That is, if you were to ever come outside.”
“Maybe I shall.”
“I will not hear of it!” Aleckander spoke for the first time that evening. “No daughter of mine will be allowed in those filthy stables. There is no telling who could be hiding in the stalls.”
Vespiraea lost her temper and began to yell back at her father. “No daughter of your will ever be allowed to do anything. Do you know that I have not seen the full spectrum of the sky since you married her.” She pointed at Eneesha. “That was 10 years ago father. I have not been outside since I was seven years old. Not since mother died.” Vespiraea had to turn away to keep from crying. She regained her composure and calmly walked out of the dining hall leaving her father stunned and quiet.

II.

Vespiraea was in her room again. The one place she truly did not want to be. She plopped herself down by the window and dreamily stared out to the real world. A snowflake fell from the sky and danced in the wind. It was a private show just for Vespiraea. A little bit of happiness began to fill Vespiraea’s heart as more snowflakes performed their winter ballet for her.
But then, Vespiraea noticed something, a reflection in the window. She turned around to see her stepmother locking her door. This act used to leave Vespiraea in tears, but she would not cry now. She had been locked in her room so many times, that it no longer mattered. What did being in one part of the castle have over another?
However, this time it did make her angry. She turned back to her window and tried to open it. The latch was frozen and was refusing to be opened, but Vespiraea kept at it until the ice started cracking. The latch was free and she threw open the window.
A burst of cold air filled the room. Vespiraea did not care. The couple of snowflakes that were falling had turned to many and the wind started pushing them into the room. Vespiraea stood by the window with her mouth open, trying to catch the snowflakes on her tongue. She had seen the children do this many times in the courtyard that the window overlooked. If only there was enough snow to make a snowball with. She could see if she could hurl one down there and hit that guard that was standing in front of the gate.
She longed to build snow people, a snowman, a snowwoman, a whole snow family! The snowwoman could be kind and caring. The snowman would be head of the household. They would have two lovely little snow children, a snow boy and a snow girl. That was the way a family was supposed to be. Families were supposed to be full of love, not lies.
A longing sigh escaped. Vespiraea wanted a family, a real family. She wanted her father back. She wanted to know her mother. But for now she was stuck with a hateful stepmother, a cocky half brother, and an invalid for a father. That was not a family.
Vespiraea looked down and noticed a thin dusting of snow covered the stone floor in front of the window. She almost giggled as she remembered the children lying on the ground making snow guardians. Vespiraea laid down on the snow covered floor with her arms stretched out and began moving them up and down, and she also moved her legs back and forth.
When she got up, the print on the floor looked nothing like a celestial guardian, but it did manage to make her laugh. That was the real point of the exercise, to have fun. Her fun came to a stop when she realized that her hands were so cold that they were hurting. She closed the window and latched it shut again. Playtime was over. It was time to warm herself by the fire.
She sat down in the simple wooden chair that she kept close to the fire. It was the chair that Seisluna often sat in while she was talking to Vespiraea. Seisluna had been Vespiraea’s nurse her whole life. Seisluna was also her mother’s nurse as well. She was an old round woman whose hair had begun to thin. Vespiraea often thought that she looked rather comical, especially when she walked. Well, thought Vespiraea, she does not really walk she waddles like a duck.
With that another wave of depression hit Vespiraea. Ducks, she had not seen one in so long. She started to wonder if she even knew what a duck would look like. Surely her thoughts could not be that far off. In her mind, she did not truly remember.
“All this thinking is making me miserable.” She said aloud to herself. “I need to find something to occupy my thoughts.” With that she stood up and walked over to a small shelf of books. She picked up the one entitled The History and Myth of the Faerie. It was one of her favorites. The book was worn from the multiple times that she had read it. She had almost memorized every word on every page.
The first page of the book read,

The Faerie are myth and nothing more than stories told to children to teach them valuable life lessons. Some people say that the Faerie once ruled the world, but there is no proof that they ever existed or that they exist in any form today…

Of course Vespiraea did not believe this, but she loved reading the stories contained in the book. The Faerie knew how to communicate with nature, creatures of the earth. In some stories they seemed to be mischievous little creatures with pointy ears and blackened mouths. In other stories they were just simple people who lived peacefully in the forest.
Vespiraea’s eyes began to get heavy and they slowly closed themselves. She slept in that little simple chair until Seisluna came in hours later and woke her to get her put properly to sleep. She dressed Vespiraea for bed and put her back to sleep.
Seisluna watched over the child. She knew that Vespiraea did not belong here. She also knew that what Eneesha was doing to the family, to the lands, was wrong, but she dare not say anything. Seisluna also understood the power that Eneesha had. After all, the nurse believed that Eneesha came from the land of fire, the Land of Efreeti.

III.

“At one time there were four different schools of magic, Earth magic, water magic, air magic, and of course fire magic.” Tarnik, Vespiraea’s tutor rambled on. She knew about the four schools of magic. She had known for many years, but every few months Eneesha would get a new tutor for Vespiraea. This never allowed to much knowledge to be given to Vespiraea and yet it made Eneesha look like she was trying to give the young lady a sound education.
“Do you have any questions?” Tarnik asked.
Vespiraea broke out of her daze. “Only one, what does a duck look like? I cannot remember.”
Tarnik made a gruff noise in his throat and continued giving his history lecture. He still believes in magic, thought Vespiraea. That was an odd. Eneesha never brought a tutor of the old ways to teach Vespiraea. It looked like Eneesha slipped up this time.
Vespiraea interrupted Tarnik’s lecture, “Do you believe in the magic?”
Tarnik stared at her for a moment before answering. “Magic has been long forgotten in these lands.” Vespiraea wondered if he meant Char’in, or in all the civilized kingdoms. However, Vespiraea knew he still believed. She could see it n his eyes.
Tarnik’s lecture was the same as all of her past tutors. Fire magic was the magic used to make the Efreeti, people of the fire, and the mountains of fire that stood many miles east of Char’in. The surrounding area was known as the Land of Efreeti. Few people lived in the Land of Efreeti. Rivers of red ran through the valleys between the Mountains of Fire. One touch of these red waters would cause a human to burst into flame.
Vespiraea wished that time would pass quicker. She had heard about the Efreeti. They were a myth, like the Faerie. The Efreeti controlled Fire magic, jus as the Faerie controlled Earth magic, the Merfolk controlled Water magic, and the Celestial Guardian controlled Air magic. She knew all of this already, but she did not know what a duck looked like. If only a tutor would take the time to listen to her instead of ramble on about the most useless of information.
What good did dead magic do now anyway?
Tarnik swatted Vespiraea’s hand with the hickory stick that he kept in his hand. It left the top of her hand bleeding. She looked up at him and he returned a grave stare. “Now if you would pay attention.”
Vespiraea stood up. “I will not, now get out. You are no tutor. You teach me nothing but that which I already know. I am Lady Vespiraea of Char’in and I will not be treated like some insolate child. I will not take this behavior from a half-wit eunuch. Now get out of my sight!”
The tutor used his hickory and hit Vespiraea across the face, leaving a bloody cut from above her eyebrow to her cheekbone. “Now sit down young Lady and mind your manners.”
Seisluna, who had been asleep in the corner until Vespiraea started yelling, stood up and grabbed the hickory from the tutor. “You dare harm Lord Aleckander’s daughter? Leave the castle at once before I call the guards.”
“They will do nothing. Lady Eneesha gave me orders to do whatever it takes to teach the child. It looks like I will have to teach her manners above all else and maybe some to her nurse.”
Tarnik raised his hand to hit the old nurse. Vespiraea screamed for the guards, who immediately stormed her room. Tarnik did not fight the two men who heavily outweighed him. He just gave a smirk to Vespiraea as he was led out of her room.
Seisluna waddled as fast as she could over to Vespiraea, where she took the girl’s hand away from her eye. The gash was deep and the blood was pouring down her face. Seisluna ripped a piece of her skirts off and gave the rag to Vespiraea. “Here, keep this on your face and make sure you keep pressure on it. I will go get one of the girls to get help.
Seisluna walked down the corridor to the room where the ladies from court were sewing and gossiping. “I need one of you to go get the healer, quickly. And you, go find Aleckander and get him to his daughter’s room.” The girls just sat there, each giving their own unique, yet still blank stare to Seisluna. “Get going you lazy pixies!” With that one of the girls ran out the door.
The nurse waddled her way back down to check on Vespiraea. When she got there, the rag was soaked in blood. “I think the bleeding has almost stopped.” Vespiraea told her. Seisluna just looked down at the girl in disbelief. How could she be loosing so much blood?


To Be Continued...
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