Friday, May 8, 2015

Thunderlord snippet - Considering Letter-writing and Reputation

Please remember that this is a work in progress and drafts have a habit of changing drastically from inception to finished book.

From Thunderlord Chapter 17

As soon as Dimitra took her leave and closed the outer door behind her, Alayna began rummaging through the entire suite for paper and pen. She pulled out drawers and opened boxes, pushed aside hanging garments and lifted up piles of folded shawls and underthings. She found a couple of books, expensive ones on vellum, bound in fine leather, but nothing to write with, even if she had been able to remove a corner scrap.

Nothing, nothing, nothing! Was this a deliberate attempt to prevent communication, or didn’t fine ladies need to write letters?

Apparently not.

Despite her growing frustration, she forced herself to search methodically. It was all too easy to conclude that Dimitra had removed any writing materials for the purpose of making sure Alayna never communicated with anyone except under supervision,.

Alayna completed her search and then went through the rooms again. She considered and discarded the notion of tearing off a strip of sheet and marking it with a charred bit of wood, except she’d need a knife to make a slit in the hem so the fabric could be ripped, and any bits of half-burned wood had been neatly removed, leaving only a bed of fine ash.

Just as Alayna finished tidying up the evidence of her search, Sadhi tapped on the door and entered, once more carrying a tray. Smiling, the maid set the tray down on the hearthside table.

Domna Dimitra thought you might care for a bit of midafternoon refreshment. And a fire?”

Alayna glanced at the pitcher – sure to be jaco again, for apparently the entire castle lived on the stuff – and a plate of exquisite little nut and honey rolls. Lord Scathfell had done very well in his pastry chef.

“This looks lovely. Thank you so much, Sadhi. And thank Domna Dimitra for her thoughtfulness.” 
Alayna seated herself while Sadhi poured a cup of jaco. “I wonder – I don’t seem to have paper and pen here.”

“Who would you write to, miss?”

Who, indeed. How much did Sadhi know? And would she report Alayna’s words and actions to Dimitra?

Alayna set the cup down. “I understand why you ask that, but I am not entirely without acquaintance here.“

“I’m sure that’s true, miss. It’s just that a lady in your situation must be careful of her reputation.”

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