Queen Pirouette was reading the most recent reports about Tata Sous-sus who was incarcerated in the North Tower along with le margrave du Port. Both were suspects in the murder of Lady Greenmeadow. When her spies (for lack of a better word) brought her the news of Tata’s secret child, she was understandably shocked. Even more damning was the fact that the deceased lady knew about this sad event. The pieces fell together when a note was found, half-charred in the Margrave’s fireplace that read: Il faut trouver un moyen de faire taire LG/Some way must be found to silence LG.
It was well passed sunset. As the Queen’s vision was rather poor and had been so since childhood, Abigail stood behind her holding an oil lamp. Most of the reports had been written by the women who were sent to watch over Tata, but some of these ladies were in fact illiterate and were obliged to dictate their reports to the Captain of the Guard. Some of their descriptions of poor Tata were heart-rending to Her Majesty. Here Tata is praying fervently. There she is weeping uncontrollably. Here she is refusing food. There she is pacing back and forth, ringing her hands.
Please God. Exonerate poor Tata! Prayed Pirouette.
There was a knock on the door of Tata Sous-sus’ cell. Her companion this morning was a woman named Isabel. They heard the clanking of keys and the scraping sound of the lock being turned. Pushing the door open, the Captain of the Guard entered and said, “Madame, you have a visitor.”
Tata stood up from her chair where she’d been playing a game of Solitaire. She said nothing, but Isabel said, “Oh, really? Who is it?”
The Captain motioned with his hand at the door and a woman, young and well-dressed, entered. When Tata saw her, she narrowed her eyes suspiciously, but maintain her silence.
“Do you recognize this woman?” Asked the Captain. Tata shook her head.
“Hello,” said the woman with a gleam in her eye.
“Go on. Tell her who you are,” urged the Captain.
“My name is Adriana,” said the woman smoothly. “Adriana Toussaint.”
Tata again shook her head. The name rang a bell, but she couldn’t quite place it.
“Madame,” said the Captain with relish. “This is the child that you abandoned twenty years ago to this very day!”
Tata swooned and Isabel barely had time to keep her from falling. She and the Captain helped Tata Sous-sus to her bed which she hit with a thud. Speaking for the first time of this encounter, Tata muttered the word “child,” before she slipped into complete darkness.
“Perhaps I should come back another day,” said Adriana.
Lens-Artists Weekly Challenge #166 ~ Artificial Light
It was time for Queen Pirouette’s religious studies class. This was conducted by Père Clairmont, the Royal Confessor. Unlike the confessional, these sessions were not protected by any form of confidentiality, so Her Majesty was often reluctant to answer him with complete candor. Père often found this frustrating, but he understood her reluctance. Some answers, if posited fully would be politically lethal.
“Tell me, Your Majesty,” he began. “What do you think is the source of evil in this world?”
“I suppose its the Devil,” she answered tentatively.
“That’s a good answer,” he said with a benign smile. “Have you considered that it might be man’s desire to place his own will before that of God’s?”
“I suppose,” she said again.
“Forgive me, Your Majesty,” he responded patiently. “The questions aren’t meant to be answered with suppositions, but with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.'”