Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Courtyard - Part 3

July showers,
Dreary grey skies,
Another life passes on,
Another piece of memory,
And time,

Chaos takes another step closer.

The courtyard was exceptionally frigid that morning. But it was to be expected, I thought as I walked with my head down and hood covering most of my features. After all, the weather was supposed to be in mourning for Imelda’s father and since it was under the control of the Timekeepers it only made sense that everything followed their moods and whims. A puddle reflected a person who was not actually there. His gaunt face shimmered as the raindrops hit the surface of the murky water. 

“Sir Esmond, greetings beyond time.” I nodded at the general direction of the puddle. 

The reflection smiled, albeit grimly, as a whispery voice, like the rustle of parchment crept into my mind. 

“My condolences on your untimely death.” I replied to his greeting. 

Even beyond the veil of death, Timekeepers were a strictly polite lot I thought to myself with a morbid laugh. Esmond’s reflection shimmered again just before I managed to ask who his murderer was and he was gone in a scattered spray of raindrops.

Coincidence? I hoped so, considering that even the weather was controlled by the Timekeepers. An inkling of doubt about the innocence of my fellow Timekeepers was quickly banished as the storm began to pick up speed and whirl about my head, whipping my cloak open and thoroughly drenching me. Perhaps they could sense traitorous thoughts. I was not taking any chances.

The journey to Felice’s underground room was short and uneventful. I supposed I should have been thankful for that, but for some reason unknown to me, I had a premonition that the news she had for me would not be very pleasant. 

I weaved my way between the Undergrounders grinding in a fairy drug-induced euphoric haze and stopped before the quieter area of the club. The mahogany wood door to her private chamber was painted over the edges in silver melted and dripped in pretty trails reminiscent of raindrops. Or if I were to give in to my more morbid side: drops of blood dripping down the wood. 

They were not entirely ornamental since werewolves were known to get a little too frisky around the club and Felice was rather pretty for a pyromage. Most pyromages were old and had the nastiest tempers out of the whole lot of us magic users. 

Before I could raise my fist to knock on the wood, the door swung open and Felice stood on the threshold clad in nothing but a thin red silk kimono nightgown that floated about her in a gust of desert wind. Her hair remained in the same wavy style with the flame clip, except that now garnets and fire opals decorated the edges of the flame. Her eyes were a brilliant indigo-blue today and my suspicions were confirmed; she was in a terrible mood. 

“Tell me, Ren. Is it a family thing to be immune to assassins?” she almost hissed at me before grabbing my forearm in a pinching grip and dragging me inside. 

The door to my safe, drowsy morning closed with a bang that I swear could be heard all the way to the Upperground.

~Rei Shiori

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