May. 1st, 2005 11:42 pm
arsenicwaltz: (Default)
In the long Hall of Faces the girl walks quietly in the dark. Splinters of moonlight break upon the mirrors that intersperse the tall and solemn portraits hung here, reflecting bits of night sky back out through the floor-to-ceiling paned glass doors. The portraits themselves murmur softly to no one in particular, telling stories of loves and fears, hatreds and mundanities long past, interspersed with the occasional burst of static and flickering pixellation. The smell of freshly waxed floors and newly aired linens comforts her here, in her favorite of the Great Rooms of her palace, with the subtle promise of Spring's round of balls and fĂȘtes, intrigues, flirtations and chases. But the thought is at the same time hollow, knowing that her bed is currently occupied with a most emphatically singular tenant.

She pauses for a moment at the Hall's center, gazing somberly at the rather large painting of the Palace itself, showing the flickering of pennants over the Gothic tower she added one spring in a fit of pique, the rich yellow light emanating from the Great Window of the Ballroom, the faint green flickers of her shadowy servants moving from room to room setting things to rights, and a faint rose-colored glow from the window of her apartments, where the silent one no doubt sat up, reading. The moonlight in the painting silvers the roof tiles prettily, but there is something odd about... Ah. A puddle of moonlight off to the right-hand side of the painting reveals a particular color of brown fur so familiar to her. But for the seriousness of the situation, she would laugh to see the wolf peeking warily into the windows of the lower floor of her estate.

She closes her eyes and silently lets him in.

A brown shape forms behind her, indistinct with distance from his own territory. She does not turn, but bows her head, speaking with eyes still closed.

"You know that I would never intentionally shut you out." It is a statement, a preamble.

"You are welcome here, after a fashion. If ever I wished to deny you access to my halls, it is for your own good as well as mine." She is silent a moment, while the hazy shape behind her looks around, to the pictures murmuring in their heavy gilt frames, to the shining parquet tiles, to the heavy draperies pulled back from the many-paned windows.
"I have always been a private person, and I think you knew that. Even when I lived within your realm, there were things you simply didn't know about me. I never volunteered them, but you never asked, either. But I prided myself in the fact that I never hid anything from you when you did ask, and I never lied to you."

"The fact that you are here, now, is testament to my gate being open to you." The shape behind her tenses as if to speak, but in its current state remains silent.

"What you do with this knowledge is your own affair. Simply know that I will not restrict my activities in my own kingdom to shield you from them. I have been..." a wry smile "remarkably tactful in my communications to you thus far. But if you choose to look in on me, do not be surprised to see me doing things that may not be... comfortable for you to witness. It is your own choice, as you and I are both adults."

And with that, she turns and wanders out of the Hall, leaving the shape still standing in front of the painting with pennants flapping.


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