Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Far Too Pretty

1031, Winter

Nyssa had found herself seated alone for the first time in several weeks. She had not seen Geraint since he had first brought her to his childhood home, but she had kept the company of a mass of young children who resembled him. She had decided she most favoured young Taren, a small boy who was very wise despite his age. Taren was small and clumsy and had ruined his eyesight after reading by dim candlelight – now he required magnifying lenses to help him see. There was something special about him, Nyssa thought, as some days she would be reading with him and she would pause, noting a dark shadow cast upon the boy. Taren would look up at her curious, apparently unaware of the ghostly figure haunting him.
“Oh there you are!”

Nyssa jumped, turning her head to see a blonde girl smiling at her. Nyssa recognized her to be Tanaia, one of the two adopted children living with the Peredurs’. The adopted girls were detectable by their fair hair, in contrast to the vibrant red that the other children had.
Nyssa nodded to the girl, a little surprised she had been sought after. “Here I am,” she said.
“I was looking to find you – Geraint has returned, they’re downstairs discussing a letter received from your mother.”

Tanaia nodded confidently, “Looks as though Geraint won’t be staying long though, which is a shame. I don’t think he’s doing well lately, health wise. Or at least that’s what I overheard…”
“What nonsense are you preaching this time, Tanaia?”
Geraint had appeared at the top of the stairwell, his hardened features pulled into an amused grin. Nyssa felt a rush of blood rise to her cheeks, and sweat began to pool in the palms of her hands. She watched him as he approached, waiting for him to glance at her, to look apologetic and sorrowful that he had been stuck with a girl like her. 
Tanaia was bouncing on her toes in excitement, “Oh! Geraint I can’t help it, I’m so bored all the time and your adventures are much more interesting than sewing!”
Geraint chuckled, “You need to find yourself a man to occupy your thoughts with – a man other than myself of course.”

“I wish I were a man, able to go and do whatever I like when I want.”
“I doubt you’d fit in, you’re far too pretty to be a man.”
Grinning, Tanaia glanced at where Nyssa sat. “I’m not as pretty as a princess,” she hinted.
Nyssa looked up just in time to catch Geraint’s eye, they stared at one another for several moments without speaking. He had grown his beard out, and his skin looked a little rugged – as though he’d been on horseback for weeks, enduring the winter weather. His brow was furrowed as he admired her, his lips held in a thin and unforgiving line.
“I’m afraid I have news,” he said slowly.

“Surely it can wait, brother” Tanaia chimed, “I was just beginning to like our shy little princess.”
He smiled sadly, “I suppose that is fortunate, if she is to be your sister.”
Nyssa looked up with a start, her eyes wide. Did he mean to marry her after all? Was that the news he carried, that she would be his wife?
Tanaia cocked her head to the side in confusion, “Oh?”
Her brother nodded several times, suddenly appearing ignorant to Nyssa’s presence in the room. “The queen has fallen ill, and she has written our mother asking that I make a wife out of her daughter, and I believe it is the least I can do after hearing the news of Eirian.”
“Father must be displeased.”
“More worried that in agreeing to the queen’s wishes we will somehow offend the king, but I cannot see Conri caring much.”

Nyssa sat listening to their conversation, fear growing inside her. When she had learned of her sister’s death, she had felt nothing but shame of not knowing the girl well enough. But discovering that her mother was ill caused fear to strike angrily, and she cringed inwardly at the sting of tears threatening to burst from her eyes. She looked to Geraint, resting her sad eyes on his tall figure. Slowly she swallowed her fear, and was left with a helpless feeling of emptiness.   


  1. I've realised how little Geraint makes appearances and although I can easily justify that to myself by excusing him for the sake of his job (Basically serving the king and his military) I also noticed how he hasn't had many close-up shots and even in this post, he's never alone in any pictures. But he will become a very important character, so maybe it's a good thing for him to appear somewhat mysterious in these early days...

    1. Also, I wanted Nyssa to convey a lack of empathy... As though she doesn't feel, that's why she always wears that blank empty stare. Have I succeeded at all?

    2. You were actually pretty good with hinting Nyssa's ... 'problem' and putting her side by side with Tanaia was a great idea, because the blonde's eyes are expressive and her visage is so different from the Prinncess'.
      I really like this chapter about Nyssa, because I've always wondered when her strange behaviour began , so this is a great opportunity for us, your readers, to understand her character ^^
      I can't wait to see what happens to Geraint, especially now that you said he's so important in your story.

    3. I'm glad you think so! Nyssa is one of my favourites to write, but she sometimes makes it difficult when I try to recreate a numbness or lack of feeling. Tanaia is a lovely creature, she's one of those girls who never has to try hard to succeed. And as for Geraint, he is a pillar in the story, necessary but not a focus.
      Thanks heaps for the feedback :)

  2. You write Nyssa very well. She's such a tragic character. I would be curious to see her as a very small child in a flashback; I suspect that she was once very sensitive, but gradually lost her ability to feel. That probably kicked off with her father telling her she was supposed to be born a boy, as if she could have possibly chosen that.

    I want to like Tanaia... but right now, she reminds me a little too much of the unbelievably perfect cousin my relatives are constantly comparing me to, and never favourably. But she does seem to recognize that not everyone has been blessed the way she is, yet doesn't think of them as any lesser, and I do remember being impressed with her in her last appearance, back in the future. So I'm sure that feeling will pass.

    1. I had an idea similar to a flashback, imagining Nyssa as a stubborn little girl who was very competitive with a young Felyx for her sister's attention, then around the early onset of puberty where she was expected to behave as a 'lady' she was informed that she was supposed to be a boy and that changed her outlook on everything.
      Back in the future haha yeah Tanaia is just one of those people that glides through life very easily, and because I'm not one of those people it's going to be hard to write her but I imagine she will face some hardships when she goes to court and enters 'the real world' as opposed to her sheltered life with the Peredurs.
      Thank you for the feedback!

    2. I know I already posted a comment on this chapter, but I just had to write one more time XD
      So ... I love your ideas! And I love how eterogeneous your characters are! I mean ... I have trouble writing about a handful of people from my stories, yet you have ... over 50 characters, right? It's amazing!
      By the way, Tanaia's a little too perfect for my taste too, but ... it's not exactly her fault, right? She was born like that, so ... I can't wait to see her facing some problems of her own! ^^ I'm sure she'll manage somehow ... in the end.

    3. Lots of my family friends who have seen this site have told me there's too many characters but I like the diversity and it's never boring because each character/family can have their own story going on at the same time. There is a lot of characters but of course, I focus majorly on the important ones, using the others for smaller parts/stories on the side.
      I don't really understand Tanaia myself, like I said I was never one of those people that just breezed through life, but maybe further down the road I will understand her a little better, when she develops further as a character.
      Thanks :)