here was a time when I would have said that I did not do guilt, that there was no guilt within me. After a lot of contemplation and reflection, there is perhaps one thing I am most guilty about.
Four days after the birth of my daughter, Maeve, I stood at the pier near the waters where I had parted the mists,. Barely fighting back my tears, I handed my newborn babe to Murron, who was handmaiden to Queen Aisling. Aisling, as acknowledged consort to Nuada, He of the Silver Hand, would be able to better protect Maeve from both my foster-mother Morgienne and from the war for control that was coming between Morgienne and myself.
With tears, I handed the tightly swaddled bundle to Murron. Leaning down, I brushed my lips over the forehead of my sleeping daughter, knowing it would undoubtedly be many years, before I ever laid eyes on her again. In that moment, my heart was breaking, but not to done it at that moment would surely have seen Maeve’s death, as well as my own. My heart shattered into a million pieces in that instant and as the boat pulled away and disappeared into the mists, I knew that the Fae Wars had begun, and all of it had been my own doing.
I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I had insisted that Maeve stay with me. Would we have found some way to survive and eventually prevail against Morgienne? I confess, because of the guilt over Maeve, when my daughter Caroline was born, on the fourth day, I was nearly inconsolable. I had, in my anxiety locked myself in the bedroom, a sword lain at the foot of the bed, ready to take out all comers who thought to take my child from me again. It took my husband nearly two hours of constant coaxing and soothing to get me to relax enough even allow the child to be put in her bassinet beside my bed. The whole of that night and several others after it, my sleep was fitful and even the slightest noise awakened me.
Maeve and I have spent years getting to know each other, even though Maeve has by now grown into womanhood. I still hold some of that guilt.
Muse:: Fanny Fae
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology
Word Count: 384
8 responses to “Topic #9 – Guilt”
“The love of a parent for a child is a strong thing, lady Faelyn. However you did what you felt you must, for both your sakes. Truly, as I have said before – an exceptional woman.”
Fanny draws a long sigh and looks out of a window that overlooks a moonlit garden. A wind stirs dry leaves into a small zephyr that skitters across the flagstones below.
“You flatter me, Your Grace. I am not so much exceptional as perhaps overly ambitious. It seems I have racked up many accounts as a result of that ambiton.” *she scoffs gently, “I’ve been accused of only being interested in feeding my lust for Power and very little else.”
“But I am sure that is an accusation that even a man such as you has had levelled at him, yes?”
He stands behind her, the man, his clothes and his face cast in shadows again. Still.
“We have covered this ground Faelyn, I do not flatter, remember?” Quietly, his boots barely scuffing on the floor behind her as the tall man stepped up behind her to look over her head to the garden and the night beyond.
“So you are accused of thinking for youself and acting in your own interests for the reasons you held in your heart and mind. I am also sure that more than a little of that is true.”
His words come from behind, lowly whispering past her ear as he bend his head and looked down at the back of hers. “But is that all such a bad thing, Faelyn? To think and act for yourself? To protect a child is a thing of honor. To secure a safe place for her, your responsibility. And to become queen your ambition.”
“This is not a bad thing, Faelyn. Not bad at all. Not for those of us who are honest with ourselves.”
Fanny could feel his footsteps echo closer to her, he was only inches from her, not touching, and yet she could feel his breath on the back of her neck. For a moment she could have sworn that he touched her….no. That was the feeling on the back of her neck and the tightening in her gut having him stand so very close.
“I know that you do not flatter, Sebastien< " She did not look at him, she coudn't, "I am not used to such blatant honesty. There is always a dance, that little dance that people do, sidestepping the truth, avoiding looking at things for how they truly are or blaming everything else around them for their circumstances, rather than owning who and what they are."
She listened to the steady ticking of the clock that stood sentry in the corner of the parlour. She listened to the silence that hung heavily between them. Closing her eyes she ran her finger along the pane of the window, "And yet you do not flinch from affirming what has already been there from the beginning. A queen and mother who is so ruthless obviously does not frighten you, does it?"
“But we don’t dance that dance at all, do we? Rather than dance a pirouette for such fools, we keep to our silence and let them think we agree. Isn’t that what you do, Faelyn, la belle enchanteresse?” He stretched out her name, his voice sounding out the caress his hands would not.
His eye was watching the spinning leaves out in the small courtyard, dancing on the night wind. But his ears were listening for the clock, for a footstep, listening to the soft sounds of the woman in front of him breathing in and out.
His arm stretched out, his hand resting on the rock and mortar wall in an unconscious mirroring of her own hand on the glass. For a while he was silent, pondering her question at the same time that he was quietly inhaling the exotic scents gently rising off her skin and hair, the warmth of the frankincense, and the subtler, softer tones of amber and something else. A flower, not rose but more heady, more a scent of the far east. Jasmine perhaps? And something else as well, something that he couldn’t pick out.
“And you are not frightened by a beast and a murderer are you, lady?” He smiled quickly in the dark, a flash of white teeth quickly covered again. “No Faelyn, I do not. Is that so strange to you lady? Believe me in this, if nothing else. I fear not your ambition, your ruthlessness nor your desires.”
“Isn’t that what you do, Faelyn, la belle enchanteresse?’
The rasp of his voice held a certain tinge of accusation inside of it’s seductive delivery.
Yes, she confessed to herself, it was what she did. It was what hey both had been doing from the moment that they had met. It was as if every word they had exchange had been weilded like weapons, The dance between two had taken on a deep respect that only two adversaries who were so alike at their core could ever understand. Each one could have easily destroyed the other, and yet both hands were stayed, circling each other with caution and a certain sense of anticipation. The very air that she breathed crackled with it.
“A beast? A murderer? We are all beasts and murderers in our own way, whether we care to admit it or not, your Grace. I own that part of myself and face it in the mirror daily,” she turned her gaze from the garden to look at him, “I would think that you did, too, Sebastien.” She turned her gaze back to the garden outside of the window. When she spoke again it was her voice that was softer, “We embrace that part of ourselves, we turn what others view as a weakness and turn it into a strength. No. I am not afraid. But I think that there are those who would admonish that we would both be wiser to be just a little afraid of one other.”
“Those who would do such things, who would warn us away from each other are the same ones who would take us to task for being ourselves, were we to allow them unrestricted access to our hearts or minds.. The same..” His voice took on a slightly darker tone. “The same that would deny it in themselves, would lock it away and use their weakness as some sort of holy virtue, sacrosanct and unblemished by such evils as honesty and ambition.”
Quietly breathing in her perfume once more, he drew back a step, giving her room to move, to think. Giving himself room as well. “However, fear and caution are two different animals.” With a dark chuckle, Rochefort spun away from her and the moonlit window that framed her, only to fold himself into the darkness of the heavy drapes near it. The duskiness of his tanned face, and his one eye barely showed in the shadows as he stood close, hiding from the glow of the silver-pale ball of light. His voice came out warmer now, more amused. “Though I do not feel the first; it does not mean that I do not feel, or adhere to the second.”
If it were not for the gleam of his eye in the moonlight, Rochefort might have blended perfectly into the surroundings of the dark furniture and draperies. He had stood perfectly still, his voice would have seemed disembodied.
“I agree about both fear and caution,” she said softly, “but to be entirely truthful, I have been enjoying your company.”
“Enough to keep your mind from wandering if my name is mentioned?” laughed the seemingly disembodied voice. Had it not been for the flash of his smile, he might not have seen him.
Fanny flushed for just a moment, embarrassed that he had brought up an earlier conversation that she knew only now that he had overheard between herself and another regarding Rochefort.
“That depends entirely upon you,” Fanny shook her head, walking to an oaken side table with a silver tray that held a decanter of brandy and four cut crystal glasses.
“Oh? And what would it take for me to become…” Rochefort paused, unwrapping himself from the draperies and coming toward her as she poured the amber liquid into two of the snifters, “memorable?”
Fanny handed him a snifter, to him with slender fingers, letting a slight smile crosss her lips, “As I said, I leave it up to you decide.”
“Up to me? Well then, it all comes down to whether I want to be remembered by you in a good or bad way, I suppose. Or why it matters one way or the other” he took the glass and shot her a look, “I think in this case, for now I would prefer to be remembered favorably. But only time will tell, Lady.”
Fanny took a sip of the brandy, savouring the warming feeling of the drink going down. It took a fair amount of composure to not shift uncomfortably in front of him.” Are we enemies now, your Grace? Why would you wish to be remembered any way other than favourably? Am I now as some simple courtesan whose ire you would earn and then try to turn in on itself so that I no longer know my own mind?” She turned back to the window, “ I somehow think you are toying with me – but then no less than you could accuse me of toying with you, I suppose.”