Saviour of the wanted fugitive
Vines, thin and shimmery as gossamer strands, parted. Like curtains, it unveiled a bright room shying behind.
Within the room were more vines, in veins of jade green. Feeble sunrays perking from above, were reaching for a cool teal platform floating over the carpet of grass.
And on this platform, sat a lady playing a harp.
Her eyes were a dreamy blue, swirled with flecks of ivory. Her snow white evening dress bore a rippling sheen of silver.
She paid no attention to the soldiers scuffling in despite the clanking and squeaking of their shiny steel armour.
Instead, she went on playing her golden instrument. Head bowed beneath waves of pale mint hair. Cinnamon fingers strumming vivid melodies in elegant strokes.
One soldier in particularly shiny armour and wine red cape stepped forth in arrogant strides. He coughed loudly to demand the lady’s attention.
The music stopped.
Fingers hovered over the strings.
It took another cough for the lady to pull away from the instrument and tuck the curtain of almost white hair behind her ears.
“You’re Circe’s girl aren’t you?” The leading soldier demanded, scorn in his words.
The lady merely reached toward the harp, strumming notes pitched close to a musical voice.
I go by many names. But this one was always my favourite.
The soldiers exchanged uneasy looks. All of them seemed to understand the lady’s melody. But none of them liked it at all.
Especially their leader.
“May I insist you talk?” He barked.
She played the harp, I am talking, aren’t I?
The soldier’s face flushed tomato red with anger.
“Your majesty,” one of them whispered, “perhaps she is mute.”
The daughter of Circe whipped her head to face the whisperer. She stared with such heavy intensity, several others dropped their gaze.
“I can talk.” She stated in a silvery voice.
“So speak, witch.” The king snarled.
When this was met with no objection, the monarch continued.
“Rumours tell of you housing our fugitive.”
The lady adjusted her sitting position on her tree stump.
“They are rumours.” She pointed out.
“Rumours that I seek to put at ease.” The king growled.
“And so you are led to believe I hid whatever person you’re looking for?”
“Indeed.” He straightened.
The enchantress paused, adjusting a lever on the harp.
“Pardon me but--do you really believe I want any part of your...bizarre politics? I’m not one to involve myself for the sake of one useless fugitive.” Her beautiful features pulled into a frown.
“Very well.” The king huffed.
“If that’s how you wish to play this game-” he beckoned for a few soldiers ”-so be it.”
“Search the place.” He dismissed them.
One stayed to scour the room as the others left. There was the sound of clattering glass, squeaking protests of shifted furniture and the constant pounding of boots on the ground.
Yet, the two of them stayed unfazedly glaring into each others eyes.
Their stand was made clear.
But neither was going to back down.
Alas, the soldiers returned to their rulers side, bowing their heads in shameful dismay.
“We found nothing, sir.” One spoke for the rest.
The king’s face flushed a deeper shade of red. His bristly moustache stood on its ends. Beady eyes were about to pop out of their sockets.
“Bah!” He snapped, shooing them away in utter disgust.
“You’ve evaded me this time, woman. The Next, you’ll be dead.” The king warned his new enemy with boiling rage, before leading the soldiers out of the room, trampling all over the grass and moss on their way out.
The lady watched the soldiers leave the room.
She made sure the last of their footsteps could no longer be heard, before raising her hands to strum a brief melody.
It’s safe to come out now.
Slowly but surely, tiny hands emerged from under the teal platform. Their firm grip hauled up a boy that couldn’t be older than thirteen.
“That was close.” He offered the lady a huge grin.
The enchantress nodded, returned the smile and reached for his arm to expose a deep cut on the brink of recovery. She scowled at the part decorated with fresh, pinkish scratch marks.
You need to stop scratching it. She chided.
“I’m trying. But it’s just so itchy.” He shrugs.
For a moment they both sat in a heavy silence with fading smiles.
It’s not safe here anymore. The lady finally addressed their worry.
The boy sighed.
“I’ll go when it’s dark.” He said softly.
“And I’ll go with you, as far as I can.” She offered.
“Thanks. I could really use some help.”
“I’ll miss you.” She bent down to hug her young friend.
“One last thing.” The fugitive remembered as they pulled away.
He took as deep breath and blew into the palm of his hand. Starry bits of gold blossomed from his mouth, swirling and gathering in his palm.
When he was done, a trophy-sized statue lay on his palm. It was a golden sculpture of the lady playing her harp, with details right down to the her nails and lashes.
The boy handed the sculpture to her.
“Thank you.” He told her with utmost sincerity.
“It’s no problem. We enchanters must always help one another.” She took the sculpture gratefully.
“Besides,” she snapped her fingers “if you need me, play the harp and call for me.”
A minty blue harp smaller than his palm promplty landed on the boys lap.
The lady watched him eagerly strum a few notes, in an attempt to replicate a few of her songs, before reluctantly deciding, “Off to bed now. You have a long journey ahead.”