Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rule Of Three - Lady In Wanting - Part 4

Lady in Wanting - Part 4

Every creature under the heavens gathered to the town square, just as the distant sun set behind the Roundeli Mountains. Some were birds. Others beasts. Bright lanterns illuminated the party, floating like kites on thin strings. None would leave hungry or go unquenched, nor would their eyes forget the unyielding colors. The Mask brought the whole of Renaissance together, one night of every year, with the promise of having their faces kept secret until midnight.

Philliam had not arrived. Neither had Melinda.

Standing near a bowl of cider, Lyra tugged at her mask and let it rest on her forehead. She had no intention of coming. After last night, nothing in her life was as she assumed, her ignorant bliss shattered by her betrayed infatuation. The music played. Lyra stood still. Giving her heart was a mistake. She would never give it again.

A palm caught her attention. “Next dance?”

The request came from a hooded sparrow. A brown mask covered all but his mouth. Lyra’s heart did not want to, but her mind desired a distraction. The tempo rose. Their waltz joined the others. He looked at her as she stared at his chest, wondering which boy he was.

“You’re easy to find,” he said, “with your mask off.”

“I’ve lost the joy of pretending.”

He moved closer, his hand pressing her back. “You’re not a very convincing nightingale.”

Lyra scoffed. “If only I were. Then I could fly.”

The sparrow paused. They stood still as the others carried on. “From what would you fly?”

“A predator,” she said, “unsatisfied with one prey.”

“If this predator pounced, would you flee?”

He removed his mask before she could answer. Lyra shuttered. Her skin ached where Giles held her body. His hands had touched every inch of her dress, too—his firm, experienced hands.

“Hear me out,” he said quickly. “I felt the same as you did, last night.”

Catching her breath, Lyra looked to see if anyone noticed. “The same?”

“I’ll show you.”

Holding back her prejudice and vexation, Lyra let him guide her from the party. They soon entered the pub. She heard sobbing behind the bar. Melinda’s sobbing.

A still figure occupied a table in the back room, draped with a thin sheet. Melinda sat by it, her face caressing a pale hand. Lyra did not understand. She looked at Giles for an explanation.

“The father,” he said. “My brother ...”

A wave of guilt and relief swept over Lyra’s heart, followed by sorrow for Melinda. She rushed to her friend with a careful embrace. Melinda received her, weeping softly into Lyra’s chest.

“I’m so sorry—”

“Someone back there?”

They all jumped. Philliam entered the room. Melinda stopped. Giles looked nervous. Lyra feared the worst.

“What’s this?”

“My brother,” Giles uttered. “Heriot’s Pass … collapsed on him.”

Philliam nodded, his eyes thin. “Sorry for your loss. I’ll wait outside, Melinda.”

After he left, everyone exhaled.

Melinda stood and wiped her eyes. “If he ever knew—”

Lyra took her hand. “It will be our secret. The three of us. Forever.”

Another tear welled in Melinda’s eye. She held Lyra tight. “I will never betray you again.”

They parted and Melinda left. Giles and Lyra followed, watching the couple as they entered the Mask.

Lyra breathed. “Can I live with this secret?”

“You do not carry the burden of another man’s child.”

“But I will be there, for her.”

“And I,” said Giles, “for you.”

Answering his invitation, Lyra reached for his neck and pulled herself to his lips. His hands found her back again—his wonderful, inexperienced hands. For now.

(600 words - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3)

- There is a new arrival in town.
- Relationships mend/are torn asunder
- The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.

*     *     *

That concludes my first attempt at period romance for The Rule of Three blogfest. I had no idea how this was going to wrap up without being too convenient or cheesy, so I hope you've enjoyed reading along!

Please take a moment to visit the hosts who have practically put their lives on hold for a month to make this Blogfest possible!  Damyanti Biswas, Born Storyteller Stuart Nager, Lisa Vooght, and JC Martin

Remember, our inkPageant giveaway ends soon!
Email me for query and 250 word critiques!

Have an excellent day, everyone!

I'm David, and anyone got a nickel?


  1. Clapping my hands in aplause. This really was amazing. I CANNOT wait to read Woven. You are a gifted writer. And you did great with the romance.

  2. Well told, sir. Wonderful.

  3. Sounds to me like an unhappy happy ending. Is that possible?

  4. That was really good, I liked how everything was settled here! Really great writing!

  5. Great story. If I were to attend such a party, I would have been a chicken hawk.

  6. Wowza DPK! You can write. That gave me chills. Love it, love the party, love the kiss.

  7. Been a little slack on reading blogs at the moment due to writing deadlines - sorry - and didn't realise this was only part of what you've written. After reading half way through part 4, I had to flick back and read through the rest. I wasn't disappointed. Romance was never really my scene either, but you've done a good job - and you have a great writing style...

    Well done...

  8. Aww, I'm sorry for Melinda but so glad you put our loving pair together :-)

  9. Oh, that's a great ending. :)

    I loved reading your Rule of Three Blogfest entries!

  10. You can't stop now! What will happen to Melinda? The baby? You must continue! :)

  11. I love the idea of a scene at a masked ball! That was a great ending, too.

  12. Masks are always great tools for analogy.

  13. I love happy endings! And I must say I'm sad this is over. I want to know what happens next!

  14. David, this was terrific! The potential misunderstanding in the woods and now this! What a secret. Well done, what a bummer these stories are at an end.

  15. Masked balls always intrigue me. You handled the interweaving prompts, personalities, and tension to the resolution expertly! Roland

  16. I liked how you used the masks to make everything mysterious. Plus the language is also elevated giving to it a Victorian era feel.

  17. Thanks for sharing! It's fun to read some of your fiction on the blog. :)

  18. The dialogue they have while dancing is excellent, very seductive! Loved it. Made me tingle like Lyra. :)

  19. Very nice excerpt! I quite enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Very intriguing! I want more too! You are an excellent writer. You handle romance very well!

  21. You definitely do romance well. The happy-unhappy works to rid the cheese that many romances have. Umm...if that makes any sense. Anyhow, wonderful story.

  22. Ooh, you had a kiss too, yay! I'm such a sucker for romantic endings.

  23. well done - something I couldn't poss write - a romance. always in awe of those who can - shame REN3 is over really enjoyed it all

  24. Wow, a perfect ending in the real world. Well written and you captured the atmosphere of the ball and the emotions of the trio very nicely. Enjoyed your romantic tale.

  25. You did good with your period romance. I usually stay in my comfort zone when I write. I applaude you on your effort here, and it turned out nicely.

  26. This ending is sad and happy at the same time. I like it. :-)

  27. Cheers at the ending! wooooo hoooo!

  28. These have been a delight to read, David. Not cheesy at all :) Perhaps you've found a new genre to write in . .


  29. And...The End! What a journey it has been! And now begins the hardest part: the judging!

  30. A bitter sweet ending...very enjoyable :0)

  31. David! What fun this was to read! I waited until you'd written all the installments because I'm crazy like that and I wanted to read them all at once. Thanks for such an entertaining, emotional story. My favorite part was the Mask with the sparrow and nightingale costumes. Loved it!

    And I had a marvelous time reading your interview over at Abby Fowers blog. I loved how you told us about the ghost stories that inspired WOVEN. Super!