Friday Snippet #28

Days fly by. Lots accomplished, but nothing to show apart from a variegated production of didls. In other and exciting—for me—news, I have a brand new workstation! Also, outside it’s frigid but sunny.

From X. Allegra interacts some more with Julius and his family:

“Why didn’t you leave?” Allegra asked Julius’s father.

“I can’t leave the King alone, and Caterina and the kids didn’t want to listen to reason. I gave the staff permission to leave, but Chef insisted she wouldn’t abandon us. So, here we are.” Carolus’s eyes went back to the mansion.

Only then, Allegra noticed how far into the gardens they had walked. The lights spilling out from the majestic windows illuminated the immediate surroundings, but ahead of her it was barely possible to make out the silhouettes of the topiary. She shivered.

“Let’s go back inside.” Carolus took off his jacket and draped it on her shoulders.

She accepted with a thanks without explaining she wasn’t cold. The darkness swallowing the night had frightened her. Not for the first time, the thought that Julius could only see a black canvas if left alone made her feel hollow.

They walked back to the house in silence. Not a sound interrupting their thoughts.

“Is it cold outside?” Clarissa was at her side as soon as they entered, one hand on hers to steer her away from the glass door and her father. “Come to the fireplace.”

Julius, who was still talking to his mother, excused himself and without faltering reached for Clarissa still looking at her. “You look pale.”

His sister immediately lowered her eyes and Allegra repressed a gasp. Julius had breached one of the unspoken rules among unseers. The act of looking at someone to talk to someone else was considered one of the worst faux passes. He had never done that. He wasn’t the type to forget about social dictates.

And he didn’t seem to realize what he had done. “You look distressed.”

“It was cold outside,” Allegra lied.

Julius left Clarissa and took Allegra’s hand in his. She couldn’t help to glance at the girl and see she was trying to disappear into the background.

His fingers circled her wrist in response to her pulling away.

Friday Snippet #28

Friday Snippet #22

Weather suddenly turning autumny, wet, and cold, I got a seasonal flu with relative headache, itchy throat, and runny nose. Despite adverse conditions, both inside of me and outside of the house, my writing hasn’t suffered. Instead I’m witnessing a moment of intense inspiration. My illustrations for the kids book are taking a considerable number of hours, but I like what I’m doing with them. TCOM has reached 30k and its main characters are about to experience a big change in their young lives. X is slowly but steadily growing into something that could have a chance to become a full-fledged story. Only Notturno is sleeping in its cozy folder. I do feel slightly guilty about that, but not a lot I can do about it at the moment.

From X, because an author must have fun at least once a week.

Allegra blinked once, and then when her eyes showed her the same sight, she blinked again. The big foyer was empty. Floor to ceiling empty; no furniture, tapestries, decorations. Nothing. She breathed slowly. The air inside the room reflected the same state of emptiness by carrying no scents to her nose. She started shaking.

“Nothing?” Julius stepped by her side.

“Nothing.” She knew he would ask her to go visit the rest of the house and started walking toward the end of the foyer before he would say the words. She saw her siblings playing hide and seek with her, their favorite spot to hide a big armoire that used to fill the entire wall she was presently looking at. The dark piece of furniture one of their mother’s whims. Allegra had always thought the armoire ugly, now she was looking at the striped ivory and yellow wallpaper and hoped to see it here, interrupting the pattern. The foyer opened to a corridor dotted with doors on both sides and led to the internal courtyard. She opened the doors as she went—her father’s studio, her mother’s craft room, her brother and sister’s playroom, the small library where she had spent hours dreaming of faraway places —to find exactly what her nose was already telling her. Nobody and nothing was there anymore. They entered the internal courtyard and found the central pool still filled with water, but the koi fish which had resided there as long as she could remember where gone.

Friday Snippet #22