Sunday, March 22, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 93 - Her Palm Stung But It Was Worth It

A very special hello today to Gautami Tripathy, who restarted the original Poetry Train when it got sidetracked. Many, many thanks! I hope you know how much that means to me.

Here is a found poem I crafted from a prose scene in one of my WIPs. Last week's poem introduced Scorpius from my dark fantasy story. Today's poem introduces Lady Elysande, whom Scorpius serves as Chamberlain of her keep. You can read an excerpt HERE.

Her Palm Stung But It Was Worth It

He just made it through the doorway
Into the Great Hall
A silver chalice sailed past his face
Bounced noisily onto the flagstones

Scorpius halted

The Master-at-Arms ducked
One arm shielding his face
Lady Elysande stood, knocking her chair over
“Rephrase that, Pahlmot.”

“I cannot recommend the Ball be held, my lady.”

Grabbing another goblet, she dashed
Its contents across the table
Into Pahlmot’s face. Scorpius caught the goblet
Square in the chest.

“The dragon sighting is confirmed. I saw it myself.”

“My guests have already set out.
They cannot backtrack now.”

Scorpius took a step forward. “My lady
The Master-at-Arms merely reports on developments.

As you requested.”

Pahlmot shot Scorpius a look of gratitude
Pulled himself up a little taller.
“I’ll continue to send patrols. Intercept
Guests we find and bring them to safety.”

Scorpius said.

Lady Elysande looked from one to the other
Her chest rose and fell rapidly
Pahlmot bowed stiffly. “If there is nothing further
My lady.”
She simply stared at the Master-at-Arms

Scorpius gave him the slightest of nods

Pahlmot backed away several paces
Turned to exit the hall
A slave picked up her chair
Lady Elysande sat as Scorpius began the

Long walk around the table to join her

Her chamberlain made his unhurried way towards her
For an employee in her household
He had an insufferable arrogance about him.
She wished very deeply he was one of her slaves

He and that stuffed-shirt Master-at-Arms

Their assumptions about what this
Dionysian Ball was really all about
The man had balls. Stepping in for
Pahlmot like that. Nearing her now

As though she wouldn't haul off and slap him

Across that perfect face of his. She waited
Till he sat in the chair beside her
The sound of it rang through the empty hall
Her palm stung, but it was worth it

For the hand print she’d left him

He took a moment to recover
Pulled his chair in
Looked her straight in the eye
His own danced with icy rebuke

His dark hair fell across his brow.
“Lady Elysande,” he said, his voice like silk
“You do have guests en route and
Alternate arrangements to make. I suggest

We address that.”

She reached for another goblet
Replacing the two she’d thrown
A slave filled it for her
And she sipped the dark wine

Entertainment. That’s what he thought of it

Goodness knows he must not suspect
What the nobles were truly up to
Why stage such an outrageous festival
If it wasn’t to distract everyone? Really –

Did handsome men have to be so thick?

“What is the point of throwing
Half of a Dionysian Ball?”
she asked
Petulantly, thinking to herself that
Half was better than none for their purposes

“You forget, my lady,” Scorpius said

“I promised you your debaucheries
Whether any guests showed up.”

A thrill erupted through her. Why would her
Chamberlain’s words give her

Such a reaction? “What did you

Mean by speaking for me
To the Master-at-Arms?”
she asked
Trying to get her mind off the image
Of Scorpius grabbing her for a forceful kiss

Where did that come from?

Scorpius took a breath before answering.
“Forgive me, my lady. I knew the
Urgency of his situation.”
“There is no excuse

For putting words in my mouth

Before another member of this household.”

She turned to look at him
Scorpius kept his head up but
Cast his gaze down. “My apologies.”

He swallowed and braced himself

Elysande’s heart beat painfully
She looked at her dark-haired, blue-eyed
Chamberlain. A delicious plan
Formed in her mind. A plan that

Surprised her by how quickly it excited

The deepest part of her.
“This keep is my home. I have no
Husband to help me run it. I have only
An endless betrothed. He’s been fighting in

Some battle or other far more than

He’s been inside these walls.”

She stared at Scorpius, willing him to
Meet her gaze. After a long moment
He looked up. She saw the dread

Lurking behind the bravado

“We will discuss the plans for the
Ball’s replacement now. But tonight
We will discuss how you will
Make it up to me - your insufferable behavior

Before the Master-at-Arms.”
Scorpius flushed

Though his face registered
Almost no change in expression.
She felt the thrill of recognition
At this discovery. Why had she not

Realized it before? He’d been here all along

Right under her nose.
“Yes, my lady,” he said, the sincere
Regret in his voice coursing through her
Like a drug. She had freed him from bondage

His gratitude made him ripe

For the kind of relationship
She liked best. A besotted chamberlain
Was precisely the ace she needed now
When dragons of all things threatened to

Pull apart a secret

Noble alliance built
Behind the scenes while
Fathers and husbands-to-be

Played at war

- Julia Smith, 2009

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