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Dragonflies – A Fantasy Character Study

The sky was a canvas of red swathed in yellow with the evening light while the dragonflies danced above the still waters of the cool lake, weeds puncturing the surface in clumps.

Her eyes danced also to the tune of the flames in the bonfire, climbing and falling like an ancient civilization lost and recently found. She sighed with the despair of the young and bored. Life had offered her many choices and all of them dull. Still, there was much that lay ahead of her and it was this that she craved the most.

******************************************************

Grennick waited for her at the other end of the fire; watching its light toy with her sharp features. His eyes never wavered, but watched with wolfish intensity as she sat there, alone. He would make his move later, he decided. She wasn’t going anywhere; thinking of the future and distant lands he assumed. Anything but the here and now, or the man across the fire whom her father had decreed she marry.

He was much older than her, but this wasn’t unusual. The King liked to reward his friends and faithful with the young tender daughters of his retainers. And why not? Hadn’t the retainers risked their lives only to serve him? Besides, it was the fate of their birth to  be thrown to strange men.

This one was unusual, she had dark hair and eyes that appeared to be at an angle. She was an exotic. He would have to throw her aside if the rumors of her bastard birth were ever proved true, but until then, she might provide some nice entertainment.

The King himself was seated in the longhouse, drinking to the fortunes of the soon to be wedded couple. Her father was at his side, feigning a smile with mixed success. Her mother was nowhere to be found, it was rumored she was too ill to make the journey.

Grennick smiled, unsheathing his knife and throwing it solidly into the tree to her right. She didn’t flinch, or even to notice. Odd girl, maybe bewitched, he thought. No matter, he knew of ways to break the spirit of witches.

****************************************************

Her eyes followed the pattern of the dragonflies over the lake. She watched them move lazily in slow circles, listening to the nattering of their wings. She was everywhere but at her own bridal feast.

Her father would get some chests of gold in recompense, but this would not generate happiness for him. Or for her. She knew that life would be different now, and she could never go back to her olden days of carefree wonder.

She wanted to break free, throw off her invisible chains, and follow the dragonflies over the water, and just keep on, past the mountains and speak with the faeries beyond the glade.

She didn’t want to be wed to the cruel eyes of a warrior. She didn’t want to be wed at all. How could she belong to anyone, when no one knew her value? Not even she knew what she was, or what she could be. She couldn’t say how many or few her worth in gold coins nor did she care.

Her thoughts remained upon the water. Her father pulled at her limp arm, to get her to stand up, and take a seat next to her new lord and master, but he found she would not move. She felt cold to the touch and her eyes took on a glassy look of one who has stared for too long without blinking.

The wise woman was sent for, and attended her, only to confirm to all, that for all intents and purposes, the lady was dead, gone and no longer within reach of voice or kind word.

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Author:

Singe mom, part time writer of primarily sci-fi and fantasy.

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