The last few days, at least half of the prompts have led to scenes from my work in progress "My Mistress." I don't know if any of these snapshots will make it into the final draft, but they were fun to write. For lack of better ideas, I thought I'd share a few of them with you.
Parlen sat on the floor, legs tucked neatly under his long skirt. "It's not going to work you know."
Jahleen, sprawled on the couch with am arm over her face, answered with a distracted "Hm?"
"The plan. It's not going to work."
Jahleen bolted upright, and started pulling her long hair back into a braid, "Explain."
"We're relying on Lord Oeloff doing what we want him to," a raised eyebrow.
Jahleen groaned, "You're right, damn and blast it. You are right." She focused on her hair for a few minutes. "I can't think of anyway to make the plan not rely on him. We need to catch him interfering with my household. Which means we need him to be interfering with my household. Since he never stops causing us problems, I think it's a safe enough risk."
Parlan didn't reply immediately. His hands automatically smoothed his skirts, his eyes narrowed. "We can't really rely on Mattin either. If Brit can't get him trained well enough-"
Jahleen sniffed, "Brit will manage. He has never failed me."
You've also never asked anything like this of him, Parlen thought. Aloud he said, "I might have some ideas to push Lord Oeloff down our path. Let me think about it."
Jahleen accepted that with a nod.
Inchoate: Just begun and so not fully formed or developed; rudimentary: "a still inchoate democracy". Rather like Jahleen's plans.
Mattin pulled at the collar around his throat. The high neck of his shirt kept it from being obvious to others, but he knew it was there. Knew his life was no longer his own.
"It's a fair bargain," he thought again, "My life for my sister's."
Which didn't do anything to make him like the situation. Taking a deep breath, he step out of his sleeping closet to face the day.
To his surprise, he saw Brit had been about to knock on his door. "Good, you're awake. Something's come up," the older man said, "I need to ride into town. You're on your own today, so try not to get into trouble."
The old man jogged out of the room, His voice echoed back, calling for the Goon Squad.
Mattin stared after him.
A day to himself? A day where he could do whatever he wanted?
What would he do?
The thought brought him too his knees. Less than two weeks of having his every moment dictated, and already he was forgetting what it was like to be in control of himself and his own life.
What would it be like when he'd been here for years? Would he even remember what freedom was like? For long moments he could only kneel there, tears running down his face.
His belly rumbled.
He looked down at himself in surprise. Then laughing through his tears, he got to his feet. Cook would have breakfast ready soon. And at least he knew now who was really in control around here: his stomach.
The ending of this one took me by surprise. Not at all where I expected the scene to end up. At the same time, I have little patience for extended angst (which Mattin is extremely good at), so . Also, have you ever noticed that in real life major emotional scenes are never like they are in the movies? The moment always gets interrupted. Someone has to sneeze, or go to the bathroom, or 'butt burp' (as my kids would put it). Bodily functions just don't stop for our dramatic interludes, ya know?
Jahleen examined the room from behind her mask. Mattin was in his place, two paces behind her. Really, Brit had done a surprisingly good job on his training. To bad the material was inherently flawed. "She'll be here. Wait until the music starts, then allow yourself to become separated from me. They'll find you."
"Yes, Lady," Mattin murmured, "I'll follow the plan."
Sweeping out into the ballroom, knowing he would stay right behind her until it was time for the game to start, she smiled. A masque within a masque. It would be an interesting, and hopefully victorious, night.
Hopefully Jahleen isn't being overconfident, but given her discussion with Parlen... well, maybe she put the time Brit was training Mattin to good use and came up with a more complete plan.