When Lara returned to her room something didn't feel right. Quietly and as subtly as she could, she drew a dagger small. She'd have preferred a longer weapon. Not a full sword, she kept her bedroom too cluttered to make easy use of one, but the kind used on ships, designed for close quarters, would be ideal and she'd settle for a dirk. Instead what she had was the easy to conceal dagger that she kept with her at all times.
She made her way into her darkened room slowly. If there was really something amiss she planned to use her knowledge of the room to maneuver better in the dark than whomever had invaded the room, so she didn't light a torch. If someone was listening for her she wanted her footsteps to be hard to hear, so there could be no rushing.
There was an intruder, but would one who meant her harm really be standing in the moonlight coming through her window? She chanced moving closer, and then realize who it was.
"Melitta?" She asked. Quickly using a flint and steel to light a nearby torch and then returning the dagger to her hand.
Melitta dropped what she had been holding, faced her empty palms to Laura and said, "It's not what it looks like." Then quickly added, "Unless it looks like something good. In that case it's exactly what it looks like."
"What are you doing here?"
"I was just ... can you put down the knife?"
Lara sheathed the blade and took a closer look at what Melitta had dropped.
"I was just-" Melitta started.
"Stealing my flying carpet," Lara said.
"Borrowing without asking?" Melitta offered.
"Which is otherwise known as stealing."
"Yes," Melitta admitted. "But stealing with every intention of getting it back to you before you even noticed it was gone."
"I've always wanted to use one and-"
"You could have asked."
"You could have said, 'No.'"
"I could have said, 'Yes.'"
Melitta sighed, "Look, neither one of us wants a war over this. So why don't I go back to my room and as soon as the wedding is over you can exile me from your country never to return."
Lara wasn't about to ruin their chance at peace because the foreign princess had tried to take something of hers without asking, and she didn't intend to exile Melitta over the violation either, but an idea was playfully forming in her mind.
Melitta must have misinterpreted the silence and said, "Or something. Whatever. Just step out of my way and I'll be out of your room and promise to never to come back."
The idea in Lara's mind was fully formed. Everything Lara had ever been taught said that it was a bad idea. The kind of idea no sensible person in her position would ever even consider. But the adventure books she loved pulled her in another direction and finally she gave into the irresponsible side of the internal conflict.
She'd been responsible her entire life and soon she'd be married, maybe it was time for some irresponsibility.
Melitta interrupted her internal processes by saying, "I'm sorry, ok. I shouldn't have done it. I had no right and breaking into someone's room is all kinds or wrong even if you're not stealing. I just wasn't thinking. Now if you'll just let me go back to where I'm supposed to be I promise that I won't mess things up any more than I already have.
"But then you'd never get to fly on a magic carpet." Lara said.
"What?" It was hard to interpret Melitta's tone of voice, but Laura chose to see it as shock deadening other emotions.
"If you leave the room now, you'll never get your magic carpet ride," Lara said, a slight grin forming on her face.
"One ride, and I'm chaperoning." Lara didn't wait for an answer, she picked up the carpet from where Melitta had dropped it, walked to a set of doors and opened them to reveal her balcony. She untied a strap around the carpet that had been keeping it rolled up, unfurled the carpet on the balcony, and muttered a few words while holding her right hand to the carpet.
Moments later the carpet began hovering a few inches off the ground. Lara sat on it near one end facing the other.
Melitta looked on with obvious wonder in her eyes.
"Well," Lara asked, "do you want to go for a flight or not?"
Melitta nodded and quickly ran over. "Where do I sit?"
"Wherever you like."
Melitta sat toward the middle, facing in the same direction as Lara.
"I'd tell you to hold on," Lara said, "but there's nothing to hold on to."
The carpet rose above the balcony's railings and then short forward.
It may be faint praise, but I really like the way you turn directly away from making this a morality tale about taking things without asking.ReplyDelete
I love this story - please keep writing it!ReplyDelete