A Moonlight Walk
There was a heated discussion between Naram and Samarra this morning…or evening, or whenever it actually is here, and in the ensuing distraction I managed to get outside into the hallway and up a flight of stairs into a huge garden of some kind. It was cold out there, and I was glad for such cloak as I’d brought, though it wasn’t enough, I can tell you. They didn’t bring nearly enough clothing for me, for any of us for that matter, and as far as I can tell no one here has offered us any. They seem to be pretty much leaving us alone for the time being, though there is to be a huge reception tomorrow night and I will be presented to the Dragonhorse. I really needed time to think about that and prepare myself for what is coming.
It was so bright out there in the garden. I determined that there were seven moons in the sky, or I’d have thought it daylight. I flipped up the hood on my cloak to block some of the light, and kept my eyes on the path, which was made of smooth, grey stone, intricately laid. If this is one of their warmer months, I’m dreading their colder ones.
I walked awhile, and thought about how strange it is here, and what was about to befall me, and when I finally looked up and around me, I realized, I didn’t know where I was. Why hadn’t I made note of a landmark of some kind when I exited the building? I was lost! I sat on a bench and realized I really was lost on a multitude of levels, not just physically, and all of a sudden it was all too much and I found myself crying my eyes out, sobbing alone on this cold stone bench with all these trees around me, and bushes, and all kinds of things that made rustling noises, and to make matters worse, I was cold. Really cold.
I heard this deep, gentle voice asking me if I was all right, and I looked up to see a man, down on one knee at a respectful distance from me. He was very tall. Even down on one knee he was taller than I was, and though he was dark, he was a good looking fellow, neither young nor old. He was dressed very simply, and I decided he must be one of the groundskeepers or a solder maybe. He said it didn’t look like I was enjoying my visit very much, and I blurted out several foolish things about the food and the weather and the behavior of the peasantry, and then I realized he was one of them; one of the peasants, and I tried to apologize.
He seemed very understanding and I found myself telling him about my fears. When I told him I was to be a sacrifice to the Thirteenth Dragonhorse, he literally jumped with shock and the look on his face made me laugh. Then he laughed, and I liked him. I explained that I was a sacrifice on behalf of my government, and that I was destined to be the bride of the Dragonhorse. Again he looked surprised, though not as shocked as before, and I realized I was speaking to a simple individual. All of this must be very hard for him to understand though he was nodding and seemed pleased with what I had to say.
I forgot that I was cold and would have visited longer, but Naram and Samarra realized I was gone and came hollering after me as though I were a child. Naram was rude to the man I’d been talking to. Naram is always rude. The man explained that we had passed on our evening walks and stopped to speak, nothing more. Naram told him to stay away from me, and the fellow walked down the path in the opposite direction.
I think when I am consort to the Dragonhorse, I will find that man and offer him a position in the court. That will be a nice surprise for him, and a good chuckle for me when I see the look on Naram’s face.