Jun. 22nd, 2008

Seduction

Jun. 22nd, 2008 10:52 am
arsenicwaltz: (Default)
She is walking by the arbor when she first notices it, and at first it doesn't even quite register. The smell of warm teak reminds her of ships, of the sea, of adventure and wind and the sun that her City never sees. And then she's upon it in her rambles; the tall arched door burnished to a dark gold, its hammered hinges the black of pine tar and the wrought-iron grille of a peephole shuttered loosely with tiny doors. The girl opens the tiny doors curiously, and peers out.

The Woods stare back at her, the same as they always have. It is only then that she realizes which corner of her Garden this door is in. Fog curls around the massive trunks, beckoning flirtatiously, and she can hear the forest's call in the back of her head: Give up, give it all up, come run with us in the moonlight...

She slams the tiny door shut against the sound, her heart hammering in her breast like something small and trapped. But over the smell of teak and pine she can still smell them: wolves. Why did it always have to be wolves?

Her back against the door, she surveys her surroundings with anguish. All she has built, and all she has created - the Palace, the Temple, her gardens, the myriad parlors and conservatories, grottoes and twisting passages filled with wonder, the Vault and the Gallery and the Hall of Faces - what does it mean, to any but herself? These wonders mean so much and yet so little. She heaves herself from the door and runs, petticoats rustling like storm-tossed leaves, back to her apartments in the Palace, to her sanctuary, her place of meditation.

And somewhere inside, the skeletal dancers of the Ballroom dance endlessly on.

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