Meetings, Stories, and Riddles
“Catty, I’d like you to meet a few new acquaintances of mine.” She gestured for two girls to come out. “This, my dear, is Miss Ariella Svane.” Ariella had dark brown curly hair and very adventurous looking blackish/brownish eyes that told that there was something more to her that separated her from being like the dull village people whose complexion she shared. “Ariella, this is Cathrine Weatherbane, my great niece” Aunt Prune smiled as if laughing at her own joke.
“A pleasure to meet you”
Prune beamed, “such wonderful manners for a farm girl wonderful! Wonderful!” I smiled weakly. Suddenly the other girl in the back started reciting…
They both be agile of foot,
And both are of brave name.
“Huh?” I asked.
“Is it not wonderful I just thought of it now,” she grinned. “Please tell me you thought so too.”
“Lissie, how many times must I tell you!? Don’t speak before I introduce you,” my aunt Prune scolded. “Goodness you’d think Ariella came from royalty and you came from a farm.” Ariella blushed and Lissie frowned.
“Lissie comes from royalty?”
“Yes she does. Cathrine, this is Lissie Swan.”
“Pleasure to meet you” Lissie curtsied beautifully. “And where I come from everyone recites, writes, and sings poetry, but mum say’s I must be the best. You agree yes?” I didn’t know how to answer so I kept the silence.
“Lissie comes from the same kingdom as you I believe,” aunt Prune stated.
“Really and what’s it called?” I asked.
“Perlusha,” Lissie piped. “It’s a wonderful kingdom except we have no king,” she sighed, as if that was the only thing keeping her life from being perfect.
“Lissie! If you can’t hold your tongue I’ll send you away!” Lissie quieted. “Yes Lissie comes from Perlusha but she was kidnapped and brought here and well… well I think maybe telling you about your parents or at least what I know of them would be best to discuss first before I lay out my intentions to you.”
“Please,” I replied eagerly. Aunt Prune smiled.
“Let me see, Anastasia was born in Perlusha to my sister Daria and her husband Markus who’d set up house in the upper class area of a little town called Fairce. She grew up to be very pretty or so I am told. You see I’d been abroad.” She tried to suppress a giggle. “Remember I’m the distant aunt.”
“Yes, yes please continue,” I prodded. “At age six they got her a Nanny,” aunt Prune began again. “She didn’t really need one mind you, but they got her one out of kindness because this woman had just lost her husband and had no means of supporting herself. Her name was Amelia Gerome,”
“you mean my Amelia?”
“Yes the Amelia taking care of you. Which reminds me, does she know you’re here?”
“But surely you wouldn’t…”
“Oh please ,I’ll explain things later just go on with the story.”
“Fine, fine,” aunt Prune murmured. “Anyways Amelia took good care of your mother and came to love her like a daughter and Anastasia regarded her as a second mother… Now lets see, they didn’t tell me anything for a long time after that but then I got news that she’d married a man she met in the forest. I suppose he must’ve been a hunter. And then she had you and brought you to me. She said she and Alexander were in danger and you would be too if they couldn’t find a place to hide you. They said it was to dangerous to take you, you being so young. I mentioned Amelia and they asked if I would take you to her along with a present she was to give you when you got older. It was a…a locket. Yes, I believe that’s right. Also if you ever came here I was to give you a message,”
“I…I have a locket.”
“You do? May I see it?’ I unclasped it and handed it to her. “Yes this was hers.”
“can...can I hear the message?”
“Of course my child, listen carefully:
In Purlusha there is a place,
A place where answers are found,
Go to the forest my darling dear,
And there you must look in the ground.
The forests name you know it well,
Though never to you was it told,
Another clue shall help you now,
Though I must admit it is cold.
“You see, there was no clue? And where in the forest are you supposed to look?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted sadly.
“Maybe you should sleep on it.”
“Yes I think you’re right,” I whispered regretfully, and walked in the direction she had pointed. But suddenly, I turned and exclaimed “I’ve got it!”
With Kindest Regards