|The Lady of Someur
Author: LadySomeur PM
The librarian was truly a singular man, asked for a book he would not easily reveal the location of it, launching the enquiring reader on a chase to retrieve it. His habit was to say that you have to really look for something, to long for it to make it worthy. A re-writing of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Supernatural/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,117 - Updated: 06-26-12 - Published: 06-24-12 - id: 3035469
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Hunting in the small Forest
The Small Forest was her favourite place to hunt: the trees were tiny and lean and so the animals had little to no possibilities to hide. Also it was often misty and she enjoyed the peculiarity of the place.
« Come on Asher! » Columbia urged the page that her mother had sent to keep an eye on her. « You walk like an old woman, hurry up; I saw one among the branches over there! »
"Leave me in peace, you little brat" he said without hastening his pace.
"You have no right to talk to me like that, Mother will sack you" she said playfully.
Then she jumped toward a tree, her eyes shining with concentration, bending her bow with surprising skill for such a young girl. Her target was a mixen, little and fleshy, its fur already getting on fire as a defensive reflex. Columbia was ready to shot it with a small grin of triumph. The animal looked at her with its wild tangerine eyes, green flames emerging from its back, drawing eerie, beautiful spirals in the air.
Asher gripped her arm.
"Let it live Miss Columbia."
She had never seen the boy so serious, so her arm dropped to her side. The mixen ran away quickly, followed by a trail of emerald fumes.
Columbia stared at Asher and knew they were no longer playing.
"You made me lose a fine game, explain yourself right now!" she demanded.
"Not every prey is to be hunted; you shall learn that before it is too late"
"I don't have any mixen in my hunting trophies; I'll let you know I always have what I want."
He winced at the whimsical tone of her voice. The brat fancied herself a princess and as the daughter of an important member of the Court he had no right to address her the way he did. But she unnerved him thoroughly, deep down he suffered having to work for her, he was nothing more than a servant, one of the lowest among the lows in Someur.
"You have never heard of the sayings, have you? In your sheltered castle, you don't defer to the principles of life and Nature. One shall never kill a mixen Miss Columbia."
Now, she looked at him with wide, shocked eyes as if he had harmed her. Columbia was a child of ten; she has never been denied anything. She naively considered Asher - the boy was even younger than she was - a docile playmate, her little target for childish mischief. Now he seemed to have a life, a purpose of his own, besides entertaining her.
She tried to compose herself like she had seen Mama do many times.
"Let us sit" she said, throwing her bow to the floor. "Explain this all Asher; I may be able to understand."
There they sat on a log, under the pour of sunlight over the trees and lichen of the Small Forest. Suddenly, she felt the place almost brought to life, with the breeze blowing among willows over their heads, like angels' hair sweeping in the atmosphere. She could never go back without remembering the sombre face of Asher, one hand on his chin, the other clutching the grey wood they were sat on.
"How could you be so ignorant?" he said bitterly.
She remained still and quiet, fighting not to cry.
"So, listen, I will bring to you the tale of the peasants, the version that runs in my family. They say: The mixens are enchanted animals, they are blessed. Some healers used to take their eyes to cure from losing sight and their fur to restore youth but it has gone wrong because it is a sacrilegious deed."
"Mother and even the King say that myths like that are utter superstitions. That we have to fear nothing but our own fears."
Asher bit his lips. He could be in deathly danger if speaking against the Court's words. It was considered lawful treason. But he couldn't help himself.
"Yet Miss Columbia, there is no difference between people like you and me. Some things are to be feared that we may not be aware of. You shall always remember that if you kill a mixen, you'll disappear."
"Disappear?" she laughed. "I was waiting for something more impressive, some curse or spell; you just want to frighten me with your barbarians' legends!"
Asher looked at her unfeelingly, his two hands now grabbing the log.
"You annoy me to no bloody end. One day you'll discover a world that has no pity for you and you'll remember my words."
Columbia jumped to her feet. She was not letting him undermine her. He was just a servant boy, wasn't he?
"We have wasted enough time with the monotonous talking. Let's go back to hunting, shall we?"
"As you wish Miss Columbia" he said ironically, not moving.
"Get up, I command you! I have to hunt at least one non-magical non-sacred creature today."
He sighed. This little spoiled pest!