Friday, October 16, 2015
Her curiosity getting the better of her, Raina tries to lift a corner of the large box the men had pulled out of the building.
“What do you suppose it is?” Rowan asks.
“I dont know, but damned if it hasnt got me curious as hell...” Raina grabs another corner and pulls the lid off, tearing it, the cardboard giving way after being stuck on for so many years.
Rowan laughs, “Now you've done it.”
“Yeah...” Raina pulls the rest of the top away to reveal a blue satin dress. A very old dress, judging by the ruffles and lace and bows.
Alise, smiling at first joins the women to see what has captured their attention. She stops dead in her tracks when she sees the dress. Stoney turns knowing from his wifes stillness and the way her mind started racing that something was very wrong. He heads to the women gathered around the large box.
Raina looks up and sees her friends face go completely white and her eyes large and dark as amethysts.
“Alise! Whats wrong? Are you okay?”
Alise felt like she was suffocating, she couldnt catch her breath, much the same way she felt when the slyphs had found that old portrait of her in this very dress. She hated it. Hated it more than she knew how to say although she didnt know exactly why. She vaguely remembered being forced to wear it, violently forced and several pieces of fabric had to be added to cover the bruises. Alise quickly suppresses the image, not wanting to frighten the children but Stoney and Tori had both picked up on it.
Suddenly Stoney was behind her, his arms encircling her waist. He leaned close to her face, “Shhh... we are all here. Whatever happened is long in the past, its just a dress....”
“And a damn ugly one at that..” Raina starts to pull the royal blue satin out of the box.
“Burn it. Raina ma souer, please. Just burn it. The box too...”
Rowan kneels and lifts a fistful of satin skirt. “But there are some other things in here, looks like a journal or a sketchbook, maybe some jewelry boxes... I can gather the other things and put them in a different box for you to look at. Would that be all right?”
Some color starts to come back to Alises face and she nods. “Thank you Rowan...” She watches as Raina drags the dress to the burn pile then as she turns around to go there are several little serious faces looking up at her.
“Maman...” Tara starts.
Alise kneels, “It is fine, everything is fine ma petites. Let us gather our things and head home. We are having a sleepover, are we not?”
Tori puts a hand on her brothers shoulder. He takes a ragged breath, wanting desperately to know who abused his wife and left bruises on her neck and shoulders, no matter how long ago.
Tannr watches as Alise gathers the children that are spending the night, Laila and Chiara helping.
He says quietly but firmly to Stoney and Tori, “If that monster is long lived like the rest of us and not dead, I will gladly help you tear him from limb to limb.”
Clapping Tannr on the back, Stoney grins. “I may take you up on that.” He leans close to Tori and kisses her forehead. “Go. Get some more practice in. We will talk soon.”