The Seeress and the Stone 30
Angelia stared out the window at the sunset. The sky was streaked with brilliant oranges and reds. It was beautiful, yet the beauty did not touch her. She turned back to the room where she was being held prisoner at City Hall. It was spacious, with large overstuffed chairs, a four-poster bed and an ornate bureau. Attached to the room was a deep sunken bath. Shortly after she arrived, a servant filled the bath with steaming water. Angelia stared at the wisps of steam floating from the water for a few minutes.
“Well,” she said out loud, “what have I got to lose.”
An hour later she emerged, dripping, from the bath. She scanned the room for her clothes, but they had disappeared. Laid out in their place was the dark, green dress she had worn to the Autumn ball. Grumbling, she put on the dress and the slippers to match. On the bureau she discovered a ribbon to tie her hair back.
Someone knocked on her door as she finished with her hair.
“Come in,” she answered timidly.
The door opened and a well-dressed woman entered. She looked vaguely familiar.
The lady curtsied awkwardly and then stammered, “M...my lady?”
“Yes?” Angelia felt unsure of what to do.
“You have a visitor. M...may I show him in?”
Angelia’s heart jumped up into her throat. She did not wish to see Jarr’oshed again so soon, but she knew another meeting would be inevitable.
“Yes, you may.” The lady turned to exit the room, but Angelia called out, “Wait!”
“Why do you call me that?”
“His Majesty the King has commanded it and any who do not obey his will are punished.” Her eyes darted to the door and then she fled from Angelia’s presence.
A few minutes later the door opened. Angelia tensed up in anticipation of Jarr’oshed’s entrance, but the face that appeared was not his. Her father entered the room and slammed the door behind him. He glanced around the room until his eyes came to rest upon Angelia’s astonished frame.
“Well, it seems as if you are doing well.”
Angelia stared at her father in shock. “What?”
“Where is the stone, Angelia?” he demanded. His eyes were glaring, but Angelia could see they were filled with fear.
“What are you talking about, Father? What stone?”
“Just tell me where it is and everything will be fine.” He stepped closer to her.
She stepped back, “Don’t come near me.” She turned away. “You betrayed me. You betrayed us all, the whole city. Look at what you have done.” She waved her hand toward the window. “I will not help you.”
“Everything I have done has been for the good of this city...” Geralde began.
Angelia interrupted, “The good of the city! What city? Look around, Father! Anyone who isn’t dead, is gone, or imprisoned. There is no city, not anymore. It’s just a prison now.” She walked to the window and stared westward. “And our captors the very people Grandfather and I both saw. If you had just listened, none of this would have happened.”
“You do not know that, you’re just a child,” Geralde accused.
“I know!” she exclaimed. “Grandfather knew as well. He tried to warn you, but you were too stubborn, too prideful to listen.” She turned back to the window.
“Do not speak to me of my father. All of this is his fault,” Geralde answered bitterly.
“His fault?” Angelia stared at her father incredulously. “He tried to warn you, to warn everyone! He was trying to help and you ran him out!” she shouted.
“Go away. I am done speaking with you.”
“Angelia, just tell him where it is. He has promised not to hurt anyone, if you just tell him where the stone is.”
“You are a simpleton if you truly believe that,” she said disdainfully. “You have no idea what he is planning.”
Geralde snorted, “Oh and I suppose you do.”
“Yes,” she spoke softly, “I do.”
“I saw...into his mind. I know what he has planned, for all of us,” her voice was calm, but hollow. She continued staring out the window, trying without success to block the images she had seen in Jarr’oshed’s mind.
Geralde shook his head in disbelief. “You are a simple girl who knows nothing.”
“And you are a fool.” Tears welled up in her eyes.
Her father stepped toward her like he would strike her. She tensed, but then he stopped.
“I will leave you, M’Lady.” His last words dripped with sarcasm.
Angelia watched as he strode out the door. Trembling she sat down on the windowsill. Large tears welled up in her eyes and began spilling down her cheeks. She felt so frightened and alone. Everyone she cared about was far away and safe and she was left to deal with this evil king by herself.
“Oh Grandfather, where are you?” she cried.
She stayed at the window staring westward until the last light of day faded into darkness.
* * * *
Geralde was shown into the council room and forced to kneel before the makeshift throne. Jarr’oshed stood and walked to where he knelt.
“Well? What did she tell you?”
“She... she would not talk to me.” Geralde stammered. “I tried to find out where the stone is, but she refused to tell me.”
“You said you could find out what she knew. You lied to me.” Jarr’oshed returned to his throne. “I do not like it when people lie to me.”
“I beg your forgiveness, your majesty. I tried to find out what she knew, but she has become a stubborn and unforgiving child,” Geralde groveled.
“Do not speak of the seeress with such disrespect!” Jarr’oshed shouted. “You call yourself her father and yet you know nothing of the woman she is. She has powers far beyond your comprehension. You are not even worthy to exist in the same lineage as her.”
“I do not understand—” Geralde began.
“No, you do not,” he interrupted. “Take him out of my sight. I will not hear him speak again.”
“Please, your majesty, wait,” Geralde cried as the soldier dragged him away.
Jarr’oshed sat thinking upon his throne. “Well,” he spoke out loud, “I will just have to use other methods of persuasion for my little witch.
* * * *