Joyful Voices

by Valley Fey/Pinprick
originally published at 07:25PM on Friday, May 23, 2008

Sioni stood and headed toward the door into the palace. She needed answers from her father, now. He’d been keeping things from her… how important were they exactly? She paused at the shouts from inside the palace and looked down at herself.

The voices inside sounded joyful, happy… it was probably the chambermaid, she was having a baby soon, Sioni remembered. She ran her hand down her other sleeve, heavy black material rippling at her fingertips. She wore all-black, traditional when in mourning. Alfred was gone, never to be seen again. She would never cry out like those in the palace, never let joy touch her heart, until she was joined with Alfred once again.

Sioni turned and looked back at the rose bush, the slight breeze pinking her cheeks and tangling her loose hair around her knees. Something moved at the base of the rose bush, what was it?

She hurried toward it just as the ribbon blew out from under the leaves, brilliant red in the sun. It flew into the air, caught deftly by a familiar hand.