Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Nursemaid

 “Are you ok?” Maelle was putting a hand on her shoulder and looking a bit worried. She was a smart kid, a perceptive soul. People said she was no royal, she was beefy and not really fair. But no matter how clumsy she was with her movements, her spirit was fully awaken. A few years more, and she would learn about disappointment and defeat, and then she would loose the candour and become wise. Noone would be able to fool her anymore.
“Oh, I am fine, darling. Continue reading your lecture.”
“But you seem worried. Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Nothing my sweet rose, I will go and have a look at your sister” answered Mirla while pushing away the remembrance of the white rabbit.

Mirla left the study room and walked slowly along the long hallway, up the stairs and to the eastern wing of the palace. The pounding question always haunting her, never leaving her heart, since that day of the rabbit: “What did I do wrong? Which part did I miss?
She had raised them equal. With equal love and patience. With equal severity. She had been there every step of the road, every fork in their way, to guarantee that the girls had sharp minds, warm hearts, brave souls and tempered manners. She knew these girls better than they knew themselves, she loved every pore of them as their own blood. But something important had escaped her attention. Something big, dark and secret and she couldn't figure it out.
She entered the dormitory. As usual during the past few weeks the curtains were closed, it was the silent reign of darkness that governed here. Clarabell lay in her bed, too weak to stand up but still not abandoned by her untouched grace. She could become a wonderful queen, smart, of daunting beauty, delicate with her words and actions, simply exquisite. But there was the white rabbit standing in the middle of the way between glory and death.

“Is is a punishment, Mimi?” Mirla closed the door behind her, came to the bed and sat down.
“A punishment for what, my sunshine?”
“…I don’t know, the rabbit, I think”
“Do you feel it is a punishment for the rabbit?” She drove her fingers through Clarabell’s silken hair, like she had done since so many years.
“That’s stupid, right? Would god be so petty to make me pay this much for one little rabbit?”
Mirla looked her very serious in the eyes. She could find redemption. She only had to want it. She only had to be her little girl again. Not this cold heart of steel and beauty, which was following the steps of the dark queen.
“Come on Mimi, we eat rabbits every week. Maelle knows that too. She is younger than me, but she’s a smart kid. And besides, it didn’t take one hour after she got a new rabbit.”
“She is not touching that new rabbit. Do you know that?”
Mirla was searching a hint of regret, but Clarabell rolled her eyes. She only seemed bored.

There were no regrets in Clarabell’s heart. Neither were there regrets in Mirla’s heart, she was convinced that her doing was absolutely necessary; she was ready to go to the very bitter end, though it broke her heart. She could feel the little flask in her pocket, pricking against her tigh. It would be Maelle de Borough and not Clarabell de Borough who would become the next queen.

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