My Goodreads Quotes

Allison’s quotes

"Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us."
Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.
Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it."— E. Nesbit

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hespera-- Part Two

Hello again, readers!  For those of you who missed it, this post is the second of four parts that constitute my first submission for Rooglewood Press's 5 Enchanted Roses.  If you haven't read it yet, try the first one here.

As some of you may have guessed, the names used in Hespera are not chosen entirely at random.  I picked Leonatus because, not only did Shakespeare use it in his play Cymbeline, but it also echoes the repeating motif of lions.  Hesiod was a real poet whose innovative work remains popular to this day.  Apollonius of Rhodes wrote the epic poem Argonautica, whose English translation I adored as a young reader.  The name Hespera, which literally means west, is derived from the Greek name for the western rose, Hesperrhodos.  (I thought I was actually naming her rose; it took some time to realize that I had chosen the wrong root word.)  And finally, Solon is Greek for wisdom while Paramos translates to endurance.


Hespera, Part Two

Book III:

Leonatus led her down the hallway to the main, forbidding doorway.  Using one hand, he scrabbled at the edge, trying to get his fingertips beneath it.  Hespera helped him, and they pried it open together.
            “This,” Leonatus said, “is the royal library of Paramos.  Sorry about the dust, please watch your step, and don’t touch anything.”  He took a few paces into the room, smiling up at the vast shelves.  Then he noticed he was alone.  “Hespera?”
            Hespera stood in the doorway, gazing around her with disbelief at the soaring chamber, lit from above by a circular gap in the ceiling—an oculus.  The vastness was broken by wide, comfortable tables, surrounded by benches and covered with scrolls: some wound tightly into compact bundles, others streaming across multiple tables in graceful arcs.  There were no free-standing shelves; instead, deep gouges were carved straight into the walls, rising far past any human could reach as though the gods themselves perused this library.  Every shelf was filled with scrolls, some decaying to meaningless blobs of matter, others as crisp and fresh as the day some long-dead librarian had briskly slid them into place.  Although dusty, it was perfectly still, almost breathless, as though only a few minutes ago the last group of ancient scholars had stepped out for a quick meal and would soon return to resume their study of astronomy, or medicine, or art.
A smile burst out on Leonatus’s face.
“It’s impressive, isn’t it?  You should’ve seen me the first time I came here.  Prisca and Hesiod had to help me step out for a few moments before I could face it again.”
Hespera shook her head wordlessly.  She did not trust herself to speak.
“There are twenty-four tables, one for each letter of the high Paramon alphabet,” Leonatus said.  “Scholars speak it, and they’re the only ones allowed to touch these anyway, so it works out.  All you have to do is learn the letters, check which letter is first used in the scroll’s title, and put it on the correct table.”
Silently, Hespera went to one of the shelves carved straight into the wall.  With a feather-light touch, she rested her hand on the cool, dry parchment, rasping her fingertips across it.
“It would also help if you don’t touch them with your bare hands,” Leonatus said in a strained voice.  “The oil on your fingertips can stain the parchment.”
Hespera jerked back.  “Sorry.”  Her hand found the deep, unfamiliar characters cut into the stone shelf.  “What does this say?”
            “History,” he said awkwardly.  “The history of slavery, in particular.”
            Hespera was glad she’d moved her hand from the scroll.  She no longer wanted to touch the soft, dry parchment.  She wiped her hand across her once-pale peplos like it had been soiled.
            “Can you read it to me?”
            “It’s a treatise on the ethics of slavery,” Leonatus said uncomfortably.  “Written by the royal family of Solon, who requested its inclusion in the library.”  He reached to a nearby table for cloths of well-woven linen and unrolled the scroll, guarding his hands.  “It says, A slave is a worm before the sun of Solon—and yet, a worm may turn over the soil.  So too may a slave aid his master.  Treat him as—well, there’s more in that vein.  It has become”—he hesitated—“pressing, lately, to defend the ethics of slavery.”
            “Because of Timaeus?”
            “Yes.  The Soloni people find it unsettling to live in such proximity to a prospering civilization that uses no slaves.”
            “I’m not sure I understand how that can work,” Hespera said distantly.  “Even Paramos had slaves.  How do they survive?  Do the freemen work?”
            “And the women,” Leonatus agreed.  “They live much harder lives than ours.”
            “I wonder why they do it,” Hespera said.  It was not a question.  “So the royal family began slavery in Solon?”
            “No,” Leonatus said sharply.  “There always has been and likely always will be slavery.  They only—revolutionized it, I suppose.  Made it more lucrative and profitable.”
            “I see.”  She gazed at the endless knobs of scrolls, surrounded by parchment unfurling like pale petals.  “I wish,” she said, “that I could read.”
            “Most slaves can’t,” Leonatus said gently.  “Their masters are afraid it would inspire rebellion.”
            “I know,” Hespera said.  “But I wish that I could.”

“Now, to begin,” Hesiod said.  He may have shunted the scrolls carelessly aside to clear space, but she noticed he covered his hands carefully.  “This is alpha,” he said, pressing curved lines into the soft clay tablet.  “It’s the first letter.  Words that begin with alpha… agriculture, which we don’t have much of, and amphorae, which we do.  Now you try.”
            She barely touched the stylus to the clay when he said in exasperation, “Not so hard!  You’re not kneading bread, slave girl; you’re forming words.  Anything you write down will outlive you, and all the generations that follow you can hear what you say.  In a way, as long as that letter stays pressed into clay, you’ll never die.”
            He blotted hers out neatly.  “So try and make it look nicer.  Now.  This is beta…”

Leonatus found her later in the warm depths of the kitchen.  Hesiod had released her when she could tentatively recite the alphabet.
            “You’re doing well,” he said, resting at the table while she helped Prisca take the warm, round loaves from the oven for dinner.  “Hesiod may not seem it, but he’s a very good teacher.  I only wish he’d chosen to pursue it instead of poetry.”
            “Teachers have no status, Leonatus,” Prisca argued, hunched over the oven.  “Master Hesiod comes from a family of fine distinction, and it would not be fitting for him to lower himself in such a way.”  She sniffed to imply that however good Hesiod’s family may be, it could not compare to Leonatus’s, but on the other hand it was completely improper for Hesiod to carry heavy scrolls and be waited on by only two slaves.
            “It’s a noble calling, Prisca,” Leonatus said amiably.  “Like being a physician.”  He smiled around the kitchen, the library, the whole country, perhaps.  “This library has the most wonderful collection of anatomical knowledge.  Did you know in Paramos they used to cut up human bodies and study what was inside?”
            “Which only serves to confirm my opinion of those barbarians.”
            “They weren’t barbarians.  Well—they were towards the end, but earlier on they were geniuses!”  Leonatus swung his legs like an overexcited schoolboy.  Hespera could picture him as a small, serious child, quizzing his baffled tutor on philosophy and science.  He said pensively, “I should love to dissect somebody.”
            “Master Leonatus!” Prisca exclaimed.  “You shame your family!”
            “Hespera agrees with me,” he said.  “She’s laughing into the bread right now.  I forgot to ask—how do things go in Epiphanes?  Is Melanthius still the greatest gladiator in the world?”
            “It goes as fairly as ever.  Melanthius has yet to lose a major match.”
            “Of course not,” Leonatus said.  “The man is a lion.  I saw him in the capital once, you know.  I know nothing about fencing, but I could tell he was the greatest warrior I’ve ever seen.”
            You know,” Hespera said, “I served gladiators when I lived in Epiphanes.  I had the honor many times of meeting Melanthius.  He is a great man.”
            “You served gladiators?” Leonatus said eagerly.  “Then you must know what they’re like.  It occurred to me that in order to understand their impact on society and history, I must understand them fully.  Please tell me honestly, Hespera.”
            Her honest opinion.  How often was she asked for that?  Not sugar-coated words to please a master.  He wanted to know what she thought.
            He believed she was capable of thinking.
            “I think,” she said carefully, weighing the word in her mouth, “that I should not like to be one.  My father is a gladiator, and Th—my last master treats him very poorly.  They have cells barely large enough to lie down in, cut straight into rock.  My master forced gladiators to stay in there for hours if they misbehaved, with barely any air to breathe.  And sometimes he made gladiators fight in helmets without eyeholes.  They had to be led together, and the audience would watch and laugh as they tried to find each other.”
            “I see,” Leonatus said uncomfortably.  “Well, that certainly—“
            “But I also believe they have power,” Hespera interrupted him.  “They are armed.  They can, to some extent, control their own destinies.”  Her fingers tightened on the dough.  “More so than domestic slaves.  For what can a slave do?  Poison his master’s bread?”
            Leonatus frowned at the dough in her hands.  Hespera thought he might react more strongly if he knew she did not lie, that she had known it done.
            “Unless you plan on eating in the kitchen, I suggest you retire to the dining room,” said Prisca, who had entirely more authority with Leonatus than a slave ought to have with her master.  He even helped her lift a heavy amphora of wine.  There were lines on her aged face, and Hespera wondered how old Prisca was.  Too old to work alone, half-helped by a stranger.  She deserved a happy kitchen, throbbing with warmth and the quick, skilled movements of slave girls.  Perhaps Leonatus was not wealthy enough to own more than one slave; but why would the royal family entrust a secret to someone not of their own status?
            Someday Hespera would leave the mystery and intrigue of politics behind.  She would steal far away to a place where no one had ever heard of the Soloni Empire.  But did such a place exist anymore?  At their rate of expansion, surely the whole world would be Soloni someday, and then she would have nowhere to run.

Book IV:

Aching for sleep, Hespera joined the others in the library at dawn, when the first suggestion of light slipped through the oculus.  Squinting, too newly-woken yet to speak, Hespera, Prisca, Hesiod, and Leonatus sorted through the shelves, trotting back and forth between tables and cursing the dim light.
            “Illiterate Paramons,” Prisca said.  “These are in no sort of order.”
            “Eta, Hespera!” Hesiod said, stamping his foot.  “Not epsilon!  Eta for Hespera and Hesiod!”
            Hespera checked herself, placing the scroll gently on the correct table.  The strips of linen felt strange across her hands; she found herself wondering if they would protect her knuckles if she hit someone.  She hadn’t thought that way in years.
            Progress quickened once daylight spilled freely through the oculus.  When it reached overhead, they took a quick break for lunch—more barley bread and new, gritty vegetables soaked in vinegar. 
            Then, slowly, the light dwindled to a dying red.  At long last Leonatus called a halt, and they piled into the rose-swept courtyard for dinner.  Hespera served again.  Her eyes prickled with weariness, and twice Prisca glared at her when she failed to refill their wine.
            “With another pair of hands, we can finish soon,” Leonatus said optimistically.  “Maybe in a few weeks, if we hurry.”
            “If Hespera ever learns the alphabet,” Hesiod sniffed.  She had fallen greatly in his favor.
            The meal dwindled down to a sleepy silence, broken only by the soft caress of rose petals in the evening breeze.  The sky to the west, as far out as the sea, rose in still flames of ruddy orange and gold.
            “Hesiod,” Leonatus said, “would you play something for us?”
            Hesiod did not reply, his head bent low.  Then, wordlessly, he left, slipping through the darkened petals like a shade.  He returned a few minutes later with a graceful lyre of curving golden wood and bright strings.  He wrapped an arm around it, and it rested so comfortably, so intimately on his shoulder that Hespera looked away.
            First he toyed with the strings, plying his fingertips across them to check their tune.  Then, with a sudden intensity, he swept a ringing flush of music from the instrument, lost and joyous at the same time, and Hespera found her eyes pricking.

As the sun slips into the west,

So my love leaves me far away.

As wind blows ever to the east,

So my love drifts where’er she may.

If you should see her in the west,

Catch her by my love and say

That I am waiting in the east

For her return, if still she may

Love one who ever loved the west,

Though she may leave him far behind.

For ever will the wind remind,

That once we loved, and you were mine.

            He looked, she thought, very different when he sang, his voice like the warm western breeze among the calls of distant birds.  Some of the rigid pride left his face, diffused by the ringing lights of tones and chords, and suddenly Hespera disagreed very strongly with Leonatus: Hesiod could never be a teacher.  He belonged exactly where he was, a few breaths and an impossible distance away.
            She was glad the soft evening light hid her face.  It had been a while since she’d cried.
            The song ended earlier than anticipated when a glistening string broke with a shallow whine.  Hespera could’ve wept, but Hesiod merely pulled a face in annoyance.
            “Well, that was embarrassing,” he said.  “I am disgustingly, despicably out of practice.”
            “In all the years I’ve known you, you’ve never given yourself higher praise than in-tune,” Leonatus pointed out.  “When will you admit that you are talented and stop blathering on with this nonsense?”
            “When I know my work will be remembered,” Hesiod said, with such elegiac, tragic grandeur that Hespera couldn’t tell if he jested.  Trembling between mirth and mourning, he was unreadable.
            “Everyone loves your work,” Leonatus said.  The Gulls is doing strikingly well; every theatre between here and—and the capital itself has put it on.  Twice!  And I’ve never laughed as hard as I did at Cassiope’s Daughter.  You made me feel guilty since it’s quite a tragic topic, but when Perseus and the dragon were bantering—“  He covered his smile with a hand.  “It’s brilliant, Hesiod.”
            “Not my plays, my poetry!” Hesiod cried, and this time Hespera did not believe he playacted.  “My grandest work, my masterpiece; you know the one—“
            “The grand one,” Leonatus said.
            “The stuff of legends,” Prisca grumbled.
            “The one you won’t tell us anything about,” Leonatus finished.
            “Yes.  That one,” Hesiod said, unperturbed.  “The writing is tolerable, and some of the characters are nice, but it’s missing something.  Something to tie it together.  Something fleeting, dashing, unexpected, unlike anything you’ve seen before!”
            “A speechless poet?” Prisca suggested grumpily.
            Hesiod considered it.  “No,” he said at last.  “Too much like Alexandros’s The Mute Minstrel.  Not very good.  Not worth stealing at all.”
            “Are you writing any plays, then, while you linger over your masterpiece?” Leonatus queried.
            “Oh, there are always plays,” Hesiod said, depressed.  “Even—oh, even Hespera could probably write a play.  Right now I’m working on two.  One is still in the hmm, maybe I’d like to write another play stage.  The other is about a little fat man who owns a farm, only his daughter falls in love with a Timaeun and frees all his slaves.”
            “That might be funny,” Leonatus said slowly.
            “It’s not panning out quite as I expected,” Hesiod acknowledged.  “But I’m sure I’ll get there in the end one way or another.”
            “More bread?” Prisca asked.
            “Maybe I could call it The Timaeun Suitor,” Hesiod mused, half to himself.  He wrote it down on the back of his hand then picked at the remains of his meal with ink-stained fingers.
            “More wine please, Hespera,” Leonatus requested.
            The moon sailed alone in a sea of swirling blue, glittering with fiery white shells.  The roses painted dark shadows against the sky.  Their pattern lingered behind Hespera’s eyes while she slept, and she dreamt of dancing among the roses again.

Over the next few days, Hespera came to appreciate that packing scrolls was incredibly boring when one couldn’t read.
            “Oh, my goodness!” Leonatus would exclaim.  “Someone in old Paramos mapped the brain!”  Unwilling to cease working, he’d linger over it for a few minutes before regretfully slipping it onto the correct table.
            One time Hesiod yelled so loudly that Leonatus and Prisca came running, convinced he’d been trapped by a rockslide or broken his hand beneath a heavy stack of scrolls.  They found him on his knees, holding out a barely legible, cracked and yellowed scroll like it scalded him.
            “O, holy muses in the heavens above,” he said.
            Are you all right?” Leonatus shouted.
            Hespera hovered in the background, trying not so mile.  She thought she knew what Hesiod meant, even if Leonatus didn’t.
            “Are you hurt?” Leonatus said helplessly.  “Can I help?”
            Hesiod grabbed a handful of Leonatus’s chlamus to support himself.
            “Am I hurt?” he asked, eyes burning with an otherworldly fire.  “If I am hurt, then it is a malady for which I thank the gods—of which I have dreamt my whole base existence.”
            “He’s fine,” Prisca snorted.  She strode back to the shelf she’d been sorting.
            “What is it?” Hespera asked, amused.
            “It’s Sappho’s lost epic,” Hesiod said, tears in his eyes.  The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Berenice and Antigonus.”
            Leonatus tossed up his hands.
            That left Hespera.  When she found a scroll that contained the secret of happiness, or the truth of why there were slaves, she said, “What a lovely font,” or, “This ancient scholar of great renown who proved without a doubt that the earth is flat had terrible handwriting.”
            She couldn’t read.  Not a word.  Not even her own name, which Leonatus obligingly wrote down for her on a scrap of parchment.  His hand gave a flick of foreign, skilled movement, and she saw her name for the first time in its slanting, sliding angles.  The strange, harsh letters frightened her.  Her name.  Her identity caught on a slip of paper for anyone to see.
            “You’re right,” Leonatus said when she timidly offered this insight.  “Names do have power.  If it makes you feel better, the letters are only sounds strung together.  Look: Heh-spehr-uh,” he carefully sounded it out.  “You could read, too, if you tried.”
            If she tried.  Hespera studied the paper, searching for the pattern he’d spoken of.  At first she saw nothing.  Then, in the hidden depths of her mind, something shifted.  Immobile gears clicked into place, and her eyes widened and her world expanded by many galaxies as she read her name.
            Leonatus frowned down at it, too.
            “That reminds me,” he said.  “I meant to ask you what your real name is.”
            “Um.  Hespera?” she said, not understanding.
            “Not your slave name.  Your birth name.”  He shrugged, and color rose in his fair Soloni skin.  “I thought you might like to be called by it again.”
            “Oh,” she said, touched.  “Hespera is my real name.  My slave name was Kallisto.”
            She saw the customary reaction.  First the lifted eyebrow—surely the slave was joking?  The barest hint of a smile, carefully smothered.  Then, unexpectedly, a flash of sympathy.
            “Ah,” he said.  “That’s very beautiful.”
            “I know,” she said.  “That’s what it means, and that’s why I hate it.  Because I’m not.”
            “Kallisto,” he said musingly.  “Why did they give you that name?”

Hespera’s first master had named her something she’d forgotten—years and years ago when she was a new, awkward slave, still unused to the nuances of hardship and labor.  In the very first days, it had seemed like a nightmare; she waited in a sort of miserable hope, convinced that it would end any day now, that someone would rescue her.  A series of unfortunate sales pulled her far from her homeland, at last dropping her at the estate of one Anakletos: Themistocles’s uncle, back in the blissful days when Themistocles was only a name to her.
            She stood, mute and miserable, refusing to move inside the kitchen.  The head domestic slave had tried to coax her inside for nearly an hour before she gave up and sent her small, cheerful daughter to persuade the new slave.
            That girl had been Charis.  Though younger than Hespera, she was born to slavery and understood its rules implicitly.  She took Hespera under her wing, appealing to her mother, Xenia, for grudgingly-granted help.
            “Anakletos will sell her again,” Xenia said as she taught Hespera how to knead dough, marveling that she had never done it before, that her hands were still smooth as water.  “She’s not worth training, darling.  Don’t get attached.”
            But Anakletos hadn’t sold her.  Instead, he often called for her and Charis to serve him.  Perhaps he liked such an odd pair: the beautiful, smiling girl and her gawky, sullen sister.  Charis was his particular favorite.
            “Your skin is as white as moonlight,” said he, an aging, elderly man, as she poured his wine.  “And such blue eyes.  I’ve never seen eyes like yours.”
            Xenia cleared her throat, and Anakletos turned to her, surprised by such boldness but still in good humor.
            “This is your new purchase, my lord,” she said.  “The slave girl from Paramos.”
            “Oh!”  He beamed toothlessly.  “Does she need a name?”
            “No, my lord.  Her name is Kallisto.”
            Hespera cringed.  It was the first time she’d heard the name.  Xenia had never mentioned it before.
            “Beauty?” Anakletos said.  “Um.  Why?”
            “Look at her face, my lord!”  Xenia caught Hespera’s arm in a painful grip, holding her in the light.  “She’ll be a fine beauty someday.  Proud and strong, like the warrior queens of Paramos.  Like Artemis.”
            Anakletos smiled weakly.  His eyes slid away, back to where Charis demurely poured wine.
            “I don’t prefer that girl,” he said.  “Sell her at the next market.”
            “More beautiful than Aphrodite,” Xenia said stubbornly, to shocked murmurs at her blasphemy.  “Can’t you see it in her face?”
            But Anakletos had eyes only for the girl as lovely and fair as moonlight.  Xenia left the room in silence, her hand still knotted around Hespera’s arm.
            The other slaves saw it as a touching gesture.  See how Xenia had adopted the new slave like a second daughter?  Hespera believed them.  She loved Xenia fiercely.
            But it changed nothing.  As the next sale approached, Hespera released the dream of freedom little by little so she didn’t realize its absence until it was gone, never to return.  And despite Xenia’s best efforts, Charis became a courtesan.  It was life.  It went on.
            Until one day Xenia sent Hespera away from the kitchens and poisoned the master’s bread with lead pellets.
            Anakletos’s sudden death nearly destroyed the estate.  Xenia ruled over the chaos like a vengeful queen.  She locked Charis in her room and waited for Anakletos’s heir to come.
            Themistocles did not bother hanging her.  Hespera feared the rumors were right and he fed her to his lion.  Charis became his courtesan.  Nothing changed.
            She thought for years with pride and grief that Xenia had died to save her from another sale.  Until one day she realized with a start that she had not.  A woman did not die for her daughter’s friend.  But she would for her only child.
            So Hespera decided not to love again, but she kept Charis, her darling sister, as the exception to the rule.  Her betrayal had been the gods’ final word on trust: just don’t.
            But the gods were fickle, because as soon as she finally rid her heart of emotion, they sent her father, Melanthius, back to her, so that they might plan their slave rebellion.  It would’ve worked, too, if Charis hadn’t betrayed it.
            Sometimes she believed she could hear the gods laughing.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Hespera said.  “I suppose someone thought it would be a good joke.”
            But Leonatus’s attention had wandered while she hesitated, and he said distractedly, “No, it’s not.  It’s true.”
            “Thank you,” Hespera said gently.
            “Kallisto,” he said.  “I like it.  But not half so much as Hespera.”

Hand over hand, in long, weary strides, they worked.  Grab a scroll, check the name, set it gently—or not so much—on the proper table.  Hespera abandoned the alphabet sheet Hesiod had written for her and didn’t even notice it was gone.
            The hard work was tempered by sweet, precious moments: baking in the kitchen with Prisca, laughing over dialogue Hesiod wrote, talking with Leonatus.  One night at dinner, instead of serving, she stood before them and slowly read excerpts from a winding, epic poem about a heroic journey.  She half-feared Hesiod would laugh, but he beamed with pride.
            “Wonderful, Hespera!” he cried as they applauded the last line.  Only Leonatus looked faintly melancholy through his applause.
            “It’s a gift,” he warned her.  “But it’s also a responsibility.  An impossible responsibility sometimes…”
            But even he couldn’t bring Hespera down.  She blushed, curtsied, and returned to her place as cupbearer.  Something had changed: she could sense it.  Somehow, her unlovely struggle with words had raised her almost to their level.  Not a free woman.  But maybe, perhaps, a scholar.
            The hard work did not suit all of them so well.
            “Repeat after me,” Leonatus instructed.  “We… are… having… fun.”
            Hespera laughed, and Hesiod shot her a wry glance.  But Leonatus seemed depressed by his own words.  He ran his hand across the shelf and examined the dust that stained his palm.
            “What’s wrong, Leo?” Hesiod asked.  “We are having fun, aren’t we?”
            But Leonatus barely managed a smile.  “I’m just worried, I suppose.  I wish we had more people.  Not to knock our present help, but this library is currently the greatest treasure in the natural world, and there are three of us guarding it.”
            “Four,” Prisca said from where she sorted parchments with swollen hands.
            “Four?” Leonatus said, almost hysterically.  “Thank goodness!  Never mind; we’re fine.”
            Those weary days, marked by ancient dust and headaches brought on by reading, stood out as a golden time for Hespera.  She should’ve known it wouldn’t last.  And she should’ve known that Charis would be the one to bring about its end.


Anonymous said...

OH NO!! It finished! Is there more?? (pants hungrily) Is there more??

ghost ryter said...

Ah, I knew the name Leonatus was familiar. I love your dialogue, and the way the characters bounce affectionately off each other. *eagerly waits for next post* :D

Allison Ruvidich said...

Haha, yes, Jemma, there are two more parts! I'm so glad you like it... : D

@Ghosty- He was Leontus for a while, which is an actual Roman name, but I had just read Cymbeline and adored that name. Thank you! : D

Sarah said...

Poor Hespera. I'm scared of what'll happen next . . . but at the same time, I'm desperately eager for the next part.

Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination said...

I can't wait for the next part. The character interactions and the dialogue are so real, and gorgeous. *sighs* I loved the slight cliffhanger you ended on, too.

Allison Ruvidich said...

Sarah and Ana, I am literally ECSTATIC that you guys like this! : D