In response to Linda G Hill’s stream of consciousness prompt “-clo”
She strolled through the streets as if she owned them, her cloak swirling about her in the windy weather. People fell away from her, as they met her gaze. Or rather when they saw the marks on her brow. It was bold, brazen even to be striding like one in a conquered land. She wasn’t. But she’d be damned if she were going to be keep her hood close, hiding the mark of her gift.
She was too young to remember the time when those wearing the vines or the waves, the flames or the wind on their brow were revered. Now they remained in cloistered and hiding in what used to be convents for those who discovered their gifts. But she wouldn’t be a closeted earth magician. She was what she was. People might fear her or look at her with suspicions but she wouldn’t let their doubts and anxieties rule her life.
She’d defied her parents’ will leaving the convent; she couldn’t understand how they accepted to have their domain taken from them. She couldn’t understand why they agreed to be enclosed like cattle in a place that was more a prison than a house now. So, the king banned magic? He didn’t forbid magicians to live their lives, did he? He didn’t order or pass laws saying that they should remain in these enclosed reservations. Surely he guessed that the misery, the famine that his country was facing was due to his crazy notion that magicians were freaks of nature who should be controlled and banned from exercising their gifts? And what if he didn’t. She would show him the error of his ways.
“Miss?” A voice called out behind her. The man sounded like he was used to being obeyed.
She ignored him though. He might have addressed anyone else around her. She wasn’t the only passerby today and since it was market day, the streets were… ah. empty. She hadn’t noticed. It was hard for her to notice much when she was in a manmade place. She was a creature of earth, not of stone. She’d never met a stone magician in fact though she’d heard they existed. She stopped and turned. An officer of the law, hence the habit to being obeyed probably.
“What are you doing here?”
She looked around.
“Is it forbidden for a woman to be walking about the city?”
“You’re not any woman,” he countered showing some restraint.
“Am I not?”
He raised an eyebrow, signifying that she shouldn’t think him an idiot, or play with him.
“Am I doing something unlawful officer?”
She raised a hand in a peace gesture, showing the stone on her middle finger. He recognized the pattern and its significance. She could tell from the way his body stiffened. So he was brought up in the old ways, as she had been – partly.
“You aren’t my Lady. But any magician must be introduced to the king. And a member of the Six Families definitely should head towards the castle to present their respect and be offered residence.”
“I was on my way there officer. I know my duties to the kingdom.”
“It has been years since a representative of the Vines came to the Capital.”
“I’m well aware. This is why I am here.” Among other things but that counsel she would keep close.
Somewhere a clock chimed; midday. The king wouldn’t receive at this hour. But if she made it inside the castle inner courtyard, things would be easier.