Archive | March 2016

Something Amiss in Alerald – swallow

All right, here’s one more week of Something Amiss in Alerald. Last week was going to be the last week, but since I’ll be doing the A to Z Blog Challenge during the month of April, I didn’t want to start a new story for just one week. Here, writing to the prompt ‘swallow’, is the last bit of my F/F Fairy Tale.

Don’t forget to return to TUESDAY TALES for more great snippets!

herbs in cottage

Inside, Reanna turned and looked at every nook and cranny. She stopped at the apothecary cupboard, brimming with bowls dried herbs and cups of various potions, and scanned the contents, bending to take a whiff at several. “It looks just the same in here. You’re the only one that’s different.”

“Aye. I needed to be the ageing, decrepit hag form then. You were in need of a wise woman to speak to, sharing your innermost doubts and concerns. And I needed to be someone who your parents wouldn’t give a second thought to, once you’d departed on your way back to Alerald’s castle.”

“And on the way here, I mentioned to Nahla that I had an inkling that you were…”

“I was what?”

“One of us…you know…a girl that loves girls…albeit a much older one.”

Derowen chuckled with delight. “But my dear…I am one, too. I’ve loved girls my whole life. Never have had the urge to feel a man’s arms around me.”

“That’s why you were so understanding that evening. I remember talking till almost morn’s light, spilling out my frustrations and questions. It was so comfortable talking to you, as if you understood.”

Nahla, standing as close to Reanna as she could, finally found her courage and spoke up. “She did understand. But…Derowen…why didn’t you show yourself to Reanna that night? Why did you remain in the form of the old woman?”

“For several reasons. For one, she was not ready yet.”

“I’m confused. Because you’re so young and beautiful…you could have shown yourself and maybe you two would have fallen in love…” Nahla trailed off as a scarlet flush started rising up her neck.

“My sweet, uncertain Nahla. That is the other reason. It was not for us to fall in love. I was meant to simply be an ear and a shoulder for the Princess. Reanna already had given her heart to her true love. You see her image each day you bend your heads towards the pool.”

Reanna turned and wrapped her arms around Nahla, holding her in a tight embrace. “See, my dearest, I told you that you are the other half of my heart.”

Derowen scuttled about the room, setting her basket of freshly picked foliage on the table. Pulling out three mismatched wooden goblets, she turned and interrupted her guests as they murmured sweet nothings to each other. “So, my lovelies…what were your plans…once you’d escaped the King’s clutches?”

“Ummm…to get away before my Father married me off to some lecherous clod?”

“And then what?”

“I hoped to find the cottage with the old woman. That being you, of course now I know. I’d hoped that she’d be sympathetic to our plight and might offer us shelter for a few nights. Then, once we we’d hidden for a bit and my Father stopped searching…” Reanna paused, searching for the right words to continue. “…I thought we might search the forests and find a piece of land, far off the traveled paths, and maybe build a simple abode…just enough to give us shelter…and we could be together.”

“And you?” Derowen turned to Nahla, who hadn’t offered much to the conversation. “What were your plans?”

Nahla blushed and peered down at her dusty slippers, as if they held a clue to her answer. “My plan? I had no plans, nor any thoughts of what might happen. Reanna said ‘Let’s go’ and I followed her.”

“Even if it meant the end of your life, if you’d been captured by the King’s knights?” Derowen tipped Nahla’s head up and gazed intently into the girl’s eyes, looking for her own answer in the dark, smoky depths.

A steady, unwavering stare was returned. Nahla spoke up with a courage she was unaccustomed to. “Most definitely, my friend. I would follow her to the ends of the earth, and most certainly to the ends of the Kingdom of Alerald, even if it meant my death. ‘Twas a better finale than living a life without her.”

“Just as I thought. Come. Sit. We shall have some tea. I have work to do.”

Reanna and Nahla looked at each other, a quizzical expression on both of their faces. Yet, they did as they were bid, and settled on the small, three-legged stools around the hewn oak table.

Derowen checked the iron pot that simmered over a mound of glowing coals in the corner hearth. Taking a blackened gourd that hung on the wall, she dipped it into the pot and filled the three goblets with the simmering liquid. Returning the gourd to the peg, she searched among the multitude of dried herbs that graced the floor to ceiling shelves. She retrieved a small leather bag that was tucked in the back behind several wooden boxes, and sprinkled a pinch in each drink.

“Drink up,” she commanded.

The two runaways shared glances, each afraid to swallow the mysterious concoction. A glare from their hostess forced their hesitation to the side and they picked up their drinks and sipped.

“The whole thing.” Derowen tipped her head back and downed hers in one long chug.

Reanna shrugged her shoulders and did the same, with Nahla following suit.

Derowen held her hands out across the table to the others. “Take my hands. We must sit in a circle. Don’t let go until I say.” As they clasped hands, she closed her eyes and sat quietly. A drowsy, eerie silence filled the cottage as the three sat, bonded together, not even hearing the flies buzzing about the room.

Nahla peeked at Reanna, unsure of what was happening. When Reanna closed her eyes and her chin dropped to her chest, Nahla finally let her eyes droop shut too.

The clearing of Derowen’s throat startled the two guests and their heads bobbed up, instantly awake. “I have seen what I needed to see. You two shall stay with me for a fortnight. You will rest and spend the days learning to love one another outside of the castle grounds. Then…you shall return home.”

Reanna blanched at the thought and spoke up loudly and emphatically. “We can’t return! My Father will marry me off…and Nahla…why, what he’ll do to Nahla is unimaginable! We shan’t. It’s impossible.”

A small smile lifted the corners of Derowen’s mouth. “Ah, but you shall return. I have seen it. You will be welcomed with open arms.”

“But…we…but…” Reanna sputtered.

“Your absence is what was needed. Your parents believe they’ve lost you. Let them stew for a few more days. Let their agony deepen. When they hold no hope that they’ll see you again…and you go riding up…they shall rejoice. Their joy will overcome their resistance to your loving someone they didn’t foresee. I saw a ball being held to celebrate your return home, with both of you as honored guests. Nahla will be received and loved as another daughter. And you two will live in love together – for the rest of your lives. The herbs don’t lie. It is to be.”

herbalists cottage1

 

Something Amiss in Alerald – TT ‘mirror’

This is the last snippets of Something Amis in Alerald, a LGBT Fairy Tale. It’s now in the editing phase and being sent off for the contest.

Princess Reanna and Nahla are on the run to the furthest corner of the kingdom. Although we haven’t come to the ending yet, I can assure you it’s a happily ever after and the two women are able to live their forever love with each other.

This week in Tuesday Tales, we’re writing to the prompt ‘mirror’. Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read more snippets from several different genres.

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Nahla tore off a chunk from one of the loaves and passed it to Reanna. Her small moans of appreciation for the meal brought a smile to Reanna’s face. When the bread was consumed, Nahla reached for a pear. She nibbled it delicately, but juice still dripped down her chin to her bodice.

Reanna noticed and couldn’t resist the temptation. She leaned closer and gently lapped the pear droplets from Nahla’s chin. From the chin, she traveled to the neck and up towards the ear, leaving a trace of nibbles, licks and an occasional suck.

Leaning her head back, to expose more neckline, Nahla’s moans grew lower and throatier. She could barely respond as a flush of heat started at her toes and spread through her like wildfire, leaving a moist dampness in its wake. “How I’ve missed your touch,” she uttered when she could finally speak.

“And I yours.” The tender kisses were joined by soft touches as Reanna caressed her lover, murmuring sweet nothings as she gently covered her body with her ministrations.

“…but…in the open…we may be seen…” Nahla protested, but not with much fervor.

“It’s been too long. I’ve dreamt of our lovemaking, waking weak with desire.” She continued without slowing. “The mare will warn us…” More kisses followed, down the valley between the breasts, a hand slowing making its way beneath the gown, rising higher.

Nahla’s desire for modesty fled, in its place only the intense longing for release. The two writhing bodies were intent on fulfilling each other’s passions and never would have noticed any travelers on the road. It was fortunate that no one passed. As the flames were extinguished leaving each girl satisfied and flushed, they lay back, grins plastered across each face. Laying together, hands clasped between them, they fell into a drowsy slumber.

The blazing sun as it moved across the sky fell across the girls, warming them with another kind of heat. Reanna awoke first, somewhat confused as to where she was. When her thoughts cleared and she recalled their quest for a new life where they had the freedom to love one another, she awoke fully. Nudging Nahla, she murmured, “Awake my love. We must travel on. The sun has passed too far across the sky.”

Nahla shook her head groggily, peeved at being awoken from a deep sleep. The clarity of their situation brought her to wakefulness and she sat up with a jolt. “How much time have we lost?”

“A good deal of the day.” Reanna giggled as she adjusted her gown and re-laced the bodice. “Dare I say it was worth it though?” She wondered briefly if they dare take the time for another tryst, then decided that they daren’t.

They rose gingerly, tugging and straightening their attire before heading to the river when they splashed cool water on their faces and necks. Reanna turned and gathered Nahla in her arms for a gentle embrace, mirrored by the rippling water in the inlet near their feet. They stood locked together, not wanting this short respite to end.

Taking a deep breath, Reanna broke the mood first. “Come, dear. Let’s gather our belongings and move on. I was hoping to make the wise woman’s cottage before dark.”

Nahla collected the food and tied it back up in the makeshift bag while Reanna rolled the rug up and tied it onto the mare’s back. Knotting the bag to the rope tied around the rug, Reanna deftly mounted the mare and held a hand down to help pull Nahla up. She kneed the horse in the ribs, and after a snort and a toss of its head, they were on their journey again.

The sun beat down on them as they followed the stream. Sweat streamed down their faces, causing them to keep drinking from the water skins. Twice they stopped to refill them. As the sun started to set on the horizon, the waterway took a wide bend, almost turning back on itself. “I think this is where we deviate from the river, “Reanna said. She slowed and started watching the forest side closely, hoping she’d recognize what she thought she remembered. She stopped and gazed at a small trodden path coming from the forest. Taking a deep breath of resolve, she turned the horse towards the wooded area and headed in.

The dark woods, shaded by the towering trees with its blanket of thick, leafy carpet was a huge difference from the sunny river bank they’d followed for so long. The moved slowly as it took some time for their eyes to acclimate to the dimness of the forest. At times they’d have to stop, as the path became hidden under the dense foliage. At one point Reanna was sure they’d lost the trail. She slid off the horses back and handed the reins to Nahla. “Stay here. Let me find our way.”

Nahla sat in silence, frightened at being alone in unfamiliar territory. Which each echo of rustling leaves, her heart beat faster, not knowing if it was Reanna returning, the King’s men out searching for them, or a wild beast, come to feast of her porcelain limbs.

herbalist cottageReanna finally appeared, causing Nahla to breathe a sigh of relief. “I found the way. The route hasn’t been used in some time. I hope the old woman is still alive.”

The horse trod slowly where Reanna directed it, through the undergrowth, stepping over vines and rock piles. Through the dappled light of the oak canopy, they finally saw a dark shadow of an abode up ahead.

“I think this is it,” Reanna murmured as she urged the horse forward.

As if in response, a raven haired beauty came around the corner of the cottage, carrying a basket overflowing with greenery.

“I thought you said she was an old, hunchbacked hag,” Nahla whispered in Reanna’s ear.

herbalist

 

Something Amiss in Alerald – TT ‘grab’

For the next few weeks we’re sharing snippets of a new story, tentatively titled Something Amis in Alerald, a LGBT Fairy Tale.

Despite the temptation that Lady Catherine presented at the ball, after a few furtive embraces and toe curling kisses at the end of the dark corridor, Reanna remained strong with her love for Nahla. After the guests bedded down for the eve, Reanna put her escape plan in motion. She quietly fetched Nahla from her slumber and the two slipped out to the stable. They’re on the run to the furthest corner of the kingdom.

This week in Tuesday Tales, we’re writing to the prompt ‘grab’. Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read more snippets from several different genres.

Tuesday Tales

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princess on horseReanna led the mare from their hiding spot behind the prickly hedge. “Knowing my Father, I’m sure he split the army and sent men to the four corners of the kingdom.”

Nahla followed, absorbing this tidbit. “Then, we wouldn’t have had clear travel in any direction we traveled.”

“Most likely not. I didn’t anticipate such a prompt search. I thought we’d be far away from Father’s snare before he sounded the alarm.”

“I don’t mean to question you, my love, but what drew us to this area? Have you been here before? Is there safety ahead?” Nahla chewed on the corner of her lip in consternation.

“Aye, my dear, our entourage…” The mare caught the heady scent of the water awaiting them and lunged forward, dragging Princess Reanna alongside of her quickened gait. Reanna struggled with the reins that had tightened around her wrist. She finally got a foothold and braced her feet firmly on the dusty trail, jerking the usually sweet tempered mare to a halt. “Come, let’s hasten to the river and I’ll tell you more there.”

The weary travelers moved quickly and soon the mare was forelocks deep in the flowing stream, her nuzzle bent and gulping greedily of the cold, fresh treat. Reanna untied the near empty skins from the pack secured on the horses back and tossed them to Nahla. “Fill these with fresh water, then we’ll rest and cool off.”

When the horse had drank to capacity, Reanna tied the reins to an oak sapling growing on the riverbank. She pulled a small rug from the pack and laid it on the ground in the shade of the tree canopy gracing the small inlet. Plopping down on the pad in exhaustion, she called to her companion. “Nahla, grab the bag that I made from my shawl. Bring that with you.”

After watching Nahla fumbling for some time, trying to unfasten the bag from the pack, Reanna groaned and rose to go assist. She was humbled when her first attempts did not loosen the bag either. “Evidently our frantic riding through the night tightened my knot,” she grumbled. Finally, in frustration, she bent her head and chomped her teeth on one side of the knot. Grunting and tugging, she succeeded in loosening it. Sticking her hand inside, she retrieved a carrot and handed it to the horse before reaching for Nahla’s hand and leading her back to their resting area.

Dropping the bag on the ground, Reanna motioned to Nahla. “Eat. We need our strength for our travels.”

Opening the bag, Nahla gasped with delight. She pulled out handfuls of apples, pears, and nuts, along with two crusty loaves of bread. She left the carrots in the satchel, knowing who would get to consume those tasty orange delights. “Where did you get all this from?” she squealed.

“From the kitchens, when I’d stop in and visit.” Reanna smiled slyly. “Remember all those treats I took to the stables? Most of them returned to my chambers with me. I was saving for our escape. I knew we’d need nourishment whilst we traversed across the land.”

Laying back in the shade, Nahlia munched on a sweet, golden apple. “Where are we going? Is there a destination we’re headed for? Or shall we merely wander for the rest of our lives?”

“Last year, when we attended the wedding of Princess Bethany, in the Land of Hyll, we traveled this way. Remember, when we returned and I told the tales of meeting that horrid man, King Ravenot of Lotner?”

“I recall very well. You returned home with reviling tales of the lecherous old goat.”

“That’s the very one. The disgusting lout couldn’t keep his hands to himself. He was grasping and groping whenever I got in arms reach. The saliva drooled from his mouth and the stench that surrounded him fairly made me nauseous.” Reanna shuddered at the memory. “But…I remember the journey. We stayed one night in the forest, camped near a wise-woman’s cottage. We should reach there by nightfall. I know that she’ll shelter us and give us abode.”

“Are you certain? What if she sends word to your Father as to our whereabouts?”

A knowing grin crossed Reanna’s face. “I doubt she will. I feel that she’s one of us, a lover of women. Although, a very old, hunchbacked one. I’m most certain she will shelter us…and surround us with a protective wall of sorcery that none can pierce.”

Something Amiss in Alerald – TT picture prompt

For the next few weeks we’re sharing snippets of a new story, tentatively titled Something Amis in Alerald, a LGBT Fairy Tale.

Despite the temptation that Lady Catherine presented at the ball, after a few furtive embraces and toe curling kisses at the end of the dark corridor, Reanna remained strong with her love for Nahla. After the guests bedded down for the eve, Reanna put her escape plan in motion. She quietly fetched Nahla from her slumber and the two slipped out to the stable.

This week in Tuesday Tales, we’re writing to a picture prompt. Several photos were available to choose from and each author picked one to write to. Scenes this week are only 300 words, so reading will be quick. Return to TUESDAY TALES here, to read more snippets from several different genres.

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TT_030816“Hide! Quickly!” Reanna slid off the mare’s back, turned and held up her arms to catch Nahla.

Worried at what was ahead of them on the trail, Nahla froze on the horses back. “I thought…”

“Shhhh!” Reanna threw a finger to her lips and shushed her. She pulled her lover off in an ungracious manner and dropped to the ground behind a thorny shrub, pulling Nahla down beside her. “Hush, Father’s huntsmen are ahead.”

The frightened girl clutched Reanna’s arm and leaned in closer, whispering in her ear. “How? How’d they get here ahead of us? We’ve been riding all night.”

Reanna listened for a moment before she whispered back. “The river is just ahead. A small fleet of shallops are mid-stream, and they’re scanning the banks.”

Nahla’s face blanched at the thoughts of what would happen if they were caught. She moaned softly. “Oh, the King will behead me for this.”

“No, he will not.” Reanna replied quietly, but emphatically. “First off, they’ll not find us. And even if they do, I shall threaten to kill myself if anything happens to you. You know my Father wouldn’t want that on his conscious.”

The two sat on the hard dusty ground, despite the day’s heat starting to bake them in their heavy gowns. The mare whinnied in frustration and pawed at the ground. She tossed her head, trying to free herself from Reanna’s grasp of the reins before she finally gave up and settled down. After the sun had moved a distance in the sky, Reanna stood slowly, carefully peeking over the top of the bush. “It appears to be clear. Let’s go drink from the stream and fill our skins with fresh water.”

“How did they know we came this way?” Nahla was puzzled.