And a Nightingale in a Pear Tree Aug 4, 2011 12:48:45 GMT -5
Post by Roxilicious on Aug 4, 2011 12:48:45 GMT -5
Glacialis 25, 1570, morning
Nightingale Family Room, Castle Umbra, Acerbus Umbra, Pertinax
Nightingale Family Room, Castle Umbra, Acerbus Umbra, Pertinax
"All right, Roxanna, it's your turn."
A sweet, embracing voice wreathed around the large, open room. A family of five was sitting in front of a crackling fire on a ruby-red carpet embellished with gold trimmings and intricate embroidery patterns. The other three walls of the square room were lined with bookshelves, all absolutely full of thick lexicons, short stories, encyclopedias, and novels. There was a chair in each corner opposite the wall of the fire place, and there was a couch in the center of the room. A hand-painted family portrait, enormous in size, was hung above the mantelpiece. It consisted of a thick man with raven-black hair, a beautiful woman with dark brown hair, and their children: an infant girl with very long and silvery-grey hair for her age, a five-year-old girl with dark brown hair, and a seven-year-old boy with raven-black hair. Each family member had strikingly brilliant, cerulean-blue eyes, except for the infant. Her alienating gaze stood out, being electric-yellow with a thin black ring around her pupils. The painting was new, finished the day before and given on this morning.
The same woman with the dark brown hair handed the five-year-old girl a gift. It was decorated only with a ruby-red ribbon. The young girl's eyes were closed, and she was smiling bigger than could fit on her face. One of her deciduous teeth was missing: her upper left bicuspid. Her hands were out, and the grasped the thin gift the instant they touched her hands.
Unfortunately, she couldn't pull it closer. Out of curiosity, Roxanna opened her eyes. In her hands was a beautiful reflex bow, crafted only by the finest bowyer of Acerbus Umbra. It was built of flexible wood and metal and had ornate decorations and patterns to signify its uniqueness. This bow, however, was also in the hands of her baby sister who so eagerly grabbed it out of mere infant curiosity.
"Darcy!" Roxanna wailed. "Let go!" Her face twisted into a sour expression of disappointment, and with one mighty tug, she heaved her gift from her sister. Had her sister been a little older or had a little more strength, the bow limb or string certainly would've snapped.
Infant Darcy began to cry. Tears welled in her eyes, and she let out an uproar of upset.
Mrs. Nightingale, more casually known as Amaya, rushed to her child's side. "Shh, sh sh sh, sweet Darcy, it's all right. Everything is going to be fine." She lifted her infant and rocked her in her arms before looking sternly at Roxanna. "You should not have done that, Roxanna."
"But mother!" the young vedial protested.
"No buts about it," she scolded, rocking and bouncing Darcy. "You know how your sister gets." Finally, the girl stopped crying. In fact, she burst into a state of pleasurable hysteria, laughing wildly.
"Why does she always do that?" the young boy asked, looking at his father. "She's never really upset or really happy. It's like it's all an act. Are you sure she's related to us?"
"Silence, Falkor," Vidar commanded, as if in denial of his son's question. "Darcy is as much your sister as Roxanna. Never forget that. Let's just celebrate peacefully. She's laughing now. And it's your turn, son." The lingering idea that Amaya Nightingale had an affair with Vidar was just like an elephant in the room. Darcy looked nothing like Vidar, but she strangely didn't look much like Amaya, either.
The young olisthir shrugged and smiled. "If you insist." The words, however, still rang eerily in his head: Darcy is as much your sister as Roxanna. Never forget that.
The father Nightingale handed his son a large book. It had a completely black cover. There was no writing on the front nor the binding. It was not garnished with bows or anything to show its importance as a gift. The only thing that made it stand out aside from its unusual lack of labeling was a lock that prevented those without the key from opening.
"A book?" Falkor looked at it with disgust. His cerulean eyes were swirling with distaste and further disappointment. "It doesn't even have a name! And where's the key?"
"I'll give you the key tonight," Vidar promised, his deep, booming voice full of fatherly influence. "You'll soon find that this book is far greater than you could ever imagine. Make of it what you wish." The serious look in his eyes, his firm expression, his strong tone of voice. Falkor looked up at his tall father in awe and just nodded his head.
Roxanna looked down at her bow. She then look to her parents and expressed a quick thank you of gratitude before rushing to her brother's side to look at his gift. "That's really cool, Falkor. Am I allowed to know what's inside tonight, too?" She smiled happily and looked at her parents. The only sound was the sound of crackling fire and her baby sister's continuous hysteria.
Vidar and Amaya exchanged worried glances. "I'm afraid not, dear," Amaya said soothingly, hurt in her eyes as she watched her daughter's expression change from that of pure joy to the instant feeling of being outcasted.
"But here, you forgot one thing." Mrs. Nightingale retrieved a quiver of arrows, all the heads glowing with a radiant orange. "To accompany your new bow. They are enchanted with fire, supposedly from the sun. You are free to have them made by fletcher Viserys at any time and at no charge."
Roxanna's eyes widened with awe. "Oh, my! Mother, father, thank you so much!" She ran over to each of her parents and embraced them with earnest love and gratitude. Her thoughts of Falkor's precious book had gone out the window.
"You'll make a great archer, Roxanna," Falkor encouraged his sister, smiling. Darcy's hysteria had ceased. She was now sleeping, almost dead on the couch where Amaya Nightingale had placed her to calm down.
Roxanna looked back at her brother. Their cerulean gazes met, blazing with a strong bond between siblings. She gave a crooked half-smile of coolness. "Thanks, Falkor. It means a lot."
The vedial sister got up and went over to her olisthir brother, giving him a hug. "Happy holidays, Roxanna," he said, patting her on the back.