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

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Firn and Furan-- Part Two

Hello again, readers!  Today's post continues my novella, Firn and Furan.  You can read the first part here, or, if you like, you can find another novella, Hespera, here.

Although you may not be able to tell at once, I did a ton of research for Firn and Furan.  I initially intended for it to be set in Victorian England, so I researched everything I could find about this time frame: the monarchy, the architecture, the music, the clothes, the people, women's and foreigner's rights, and especially the great houses-- what they looked like inside, how they were decorated, how many servants they needed, and precisely how hard it would be for someone to live alone in one.  (The answer: very hard.)

But as I progressed on the first draft, I began to feel uneasy about my choice of setting.  It was too-- real, and I didn't want Firn and Furan to come across as a commentary on those times.  It's not a commentary; it's a fairytale.  So I took deliberate steps away from this, eventually settling on what Victorian England would be like if it had happened in another part of the world.  Kudos to the reader who can guess which part!

In addition to the research, I also did plenty of good old-fashioned brainstorming.  As you'll tell in the following chapters, a lot of Firn and Furan focuses on what it takes to run a household.  So I brainstormed while doing dishes, scrubbing floors, and cleaning out cabinets, which made my mother deliriously happy.

Now, on to the next chapters!


Chapter Three:

 

T

 

he boy had worked for most of his life dragging coal in a cramped tunnel filled with cold, wet darkness.  He was surprised, then, when housework proved so difficult.

            “It’s heavy!” he complained, dragging aside a velvet sofa.

            “Yes, it is!” the princess said, dusting primly beneath it.  “So are a lost childhood and disappointment.  I deal with it.  Now stiffen your back and pick up that settee, or I’ll execute you!”

            The first few times she’d threatened his imminent demise, he’d cowered.  After a while, though, he grew used to it.  She did it rather often.

            There were floors to sweep, shy, neglected corners in need of dusting, vegetables to trim for dinner, and always, always wretched firewood to chop!  Even in the mines, he’d never had a task so sweaty and unpleasant out in the freezing cold.  Particularly with the princess poking her head out every few minutes, shouting that she used to do it on her own so he could right well manage.

            At the end of each work-filled day, the princess would make a cozy, piping-hot dinner with tea and coffee.  They had lamb with jelly, sage and onion stuffing, and endless bowls of thick, creamy oyster stew.  The boy was shocked when, after dinner, the princess served a Christmas pudding loaded with parsnips and nuts.

            “But it’s not Christmas!” he protested.

            “Too bad,” she sniffed.  “When you cook dinner, you can decide what we have for desert.”  But he noticed she cut him an especially large serving.

            After desert they would retire to the library, light the lamps, and while away the evening hours.  He recited poetry; she told him stories of her kingdom’s old religion: the World Tree, frost giants, and Odin.  She read aloud from rubbed, well-loved copies of Robin Hood, King Arthur, Hector and the like and was hurt when he didn’t like them.  They read until they fell asleep over the illuminated pages.

            In fact, the boy was so busy and tired and well-fed that almost before he noticed, time had slipped by.

            He froze when this thought came to him, the axe for firewood heavy in his hands.  In all that time, he’d scarcely thought of Father.  He must be frantic beyond belief.  Where would he go?  Back to the city where he might find a decent job now that he didn’t have a son to care for?  Wherever he was, the boy hoped he was happy, and hope drowned out his guilt a little.

            He couldn’t deny that he liked being warm and well-fed and—well—happy all the time.  But I’d rather be with Father, he told himself ferociously.  Even if it means being hungry.

            He threw his weight against the silvered axe, grunting as it cut deeply into the sliver of wood, jarring his arm to the elbow.  Sweat trickled down his neck into his collar, and he’d long since draped his jacket across the stall door.

            “Still not as hard as mining,” he said to the pretty butterscotch pony who poked her head around the stall door.

            They both glanced up as the frozen garden filled with the quiet rush of sled runners against snow.  Muffled footsteps crunched through ice, and something landed with a breath-like sigh on the front step.

            The door banged open like a rifle shot, and the princess gabbled, “Would-you-like-some-tea-sir?”

            A shout of surprise; someone scampered back through the snow; a whip cracked against fur, and a man shouted, “Mush!”

            The boy threw the glistening axe aside and ran through the garden of roses.  The princess sat on the doorstep, white-faced.

            “What is it?” the boy cried, his pulse thundering.  “Are you hurt?”

            “I just wanted him to come in for tea,” she whispered.  “Why will no one ever visit me?  My brothers don’t.  My stepmother doesn’t.  The king only does because he has to make sure I’m not dead.”  She shook miserably.  “Why won’t they keep me company?”

            She looked up at him like she wanted an answer.

            “I-I don’t know,” the boy stammered.  “Because they think you’re a witch?”

            “They think I’m a witch because I’m alone,” the princess said, her face hardening.  “I prefer to be alone.  I know it sounds silly and many say it, but it’s what I genuinely want.  Solitude, save for a few dogs and my ponies and a hawk and my books-- and you, I suppose.  People have always let me down.  Insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results, and I’m—not insane!”

            She laughed.  The sound frightened the boy

            “Maybe it’s not because they think you’re a witch,” he said desperately.  “Maybe it’s because you’re beautiful.”

            She stared at him, shocked and dry-eyed.  A blush rose in her cheeks.

            “Oh, please,” the boy said.  “Surely people have told you you’re beautiful.”

            “Yes, but—but not you,” she said, marveling.  “You really mean it, don’t you?”

            The boy examined her face.  “Yes.  I suppose you’re beautiful.  But mainly you’re kind.”

            “I admit,” she said, “that few have said that of me before.”  She sighed, and it was like the shaking sound carried the sadness and fear from her mouth to the sky.  She stooped to pluck something from the snowy stoop.  “He brought a letter,” she said, holding up the crisp, elegant paper.  The boy stared at the coiling flame against the frosty blue wax.  He’d never seen the royal seal in person before.

            “It’s from my stepmother,” the princess said, puzzled.  With trepidation, she broke the seal and read the letter, her brow furrowing.  She scanned it twice.  Then she exclaimed, “Firn and Furan!”

            “What?” the boy said, alarmed.

            “She wants me to visit home for Christmas!” she said petulantly.

            “I-is that a good idea?” the boy asked.  “The sweating sickness struck this winter, and you won’t have immunity because you’re—“  He’d been about to say too rich.

            “Too unexposed to unsanitary slums, I’m sure you meant to say,” she said.  “But I haven’t a choice.  The king decreed.”

            “It’ll be nice, then,” he said, annoyed at her tone.  “Mightn’t it do you good to renew some connection with your family?”

            Her eyes flashed, glimmering coldly in warning.

            “No,” she said.  Then she gave him the bitter, amusing smile he hated.  “Family is too much work.  It’s terribly simpler to do without.  You’ll understand that someday.  No, I’ll put in an appearance, then we’ll scamper back home.”

            “So you’re running away,” the boy said angrily.

            She raised an eyebrow.  “Why, of course,” she said, almost surprised.  “It’s what I do best.”

            The boy said nothing, because it occurred to him that if they went to the castle, he might see Father for Christmas.

            But there was something else, some other discrepancy.  He turned it over in his head as she wandered into the kitchen and returned to rehydrating vegetables.  It wasn’t until she was boiling the dried eel the king had sent that he remembered.

            “You call him the king,” he said.

            “Yes,” the princess said distractedly.  “Pass me the pepper, won’t you?  I’m afraid this might have spoilt…”

            “But shouldn’t you call him your father?”

            To his surprise, the princess snorted.  “Oh.  That.  Help chop these, and I’ll tell you as we go.”

            Clumsily, he pushed the knife through mounds of withered winter carrots and potatoes while she tended the stove.

            “Although not proper for a lady to say, the subject of my parentage is much contemplated at court,” she said, stirring the roiling water.  “My mother had, if you will, a liberal view of marital exclusivity, and she was not… stable.”

            The boy choked on a circle of carrot he’d sampled.

            “Not nice, is it?” the princess asked.  “They’re never sweet in winter….  But yes, many speculate that my father is not the king but instead the court physician or butler.  Personally, I think I resemble the king too much to be anyone else’s daughter, but…”  She split a dried herring from tail to lips with a heavy cleaver.  “I think he has doubts.  He’s never been much of a father anyway, so I call him the king like everyone else.”

            “I’m sorry I brought it up,” the boy said, shaking his head.  “Fathers are one area in which I have expertise.”

            “What’s yours like?” she asked.  “Your father, I mean.  I”—a trace of embarrassment entered her voice—“didn’t get a good look at him that night.”

            What was Father like?

            “He’s a scientist,” the boy said.  “An astronomer.  Before we came to this strange island, he used to wake me up at night to see the stars.  I knew all the constellations, from the Phoenix to the Cobra to the Great Polar Bear.”  His smile faded.  “But he couldn’t see them when we moved to the city.  There were too many lamps.  I think he loved them because they were the only thing that stayed the same when we left the south.”

            “But you like the stars?”  The princess raised her eyebrows.

            “Yes.”  The word slipped from the boy’s mouth.  “More than anything.  They’re so lonely and—beautiful.  Like ice.  And they don’t feel anything, so they’re sad.”

“They’re like…”  She bit her lip, and he could see the struggle in her eyes as to whether or not she would continue.  She said, “They’re like my roses.  They can’t thrive this far north, but I tend them all summer so they freeze in winter.  I think they’re the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  They’re so far away from here.”

“That’s…”  The boy struggled with words.  “Grim, princess.”

“But they can’t feel any pain,” she protested.  “They’re not happy, but they can’t be hurt.”

“Pain is what lets us know that we’re alive, princess,” the boy said gently.  He caught a characteristic gleam in her eyes.  “What?”

“Nothing.”  She smoothed the look away.  “After dinner.”

And she refused to say more, though he pestered her all through the meal, which was fish stew and pudding for later.  The princess waited until he finished, rose, and said, “Follow me.”

She led him through the cold, dark hallways and up a flight of stairs, the musty carpet releasing dust beneath their feet.  There she paused and asked to borrow his key, and he heard the sharpness of metal on metal before a wave of burningly frigid air brushed his face.

“Up here,” the princess said.  “Mind the steps.”  She turned and helped him step up into darkness, snow squeaking beneath their feet.

He looked over at her.  He could barely see the paleness of her face, but he knew she was smiling.

“Give it a minute,” she said.  “Almost… there.  Look up.”

The boy tilted his head back and gasped.

The silver disc of the moon rose above the trees, and the land flashed silver.  Radiant paleness stretched as far as the wind could breathe and light could reach, dancing in the shadowed forest.  Overhead the spilled-sugar stars mirrored their movements, spritely spiraling into the dark void of the universe that was a snow winter’s night.

The princess gazed up in contentment.  It had been months since she’d seen the gossamer lightness of the moon, and she tilted her head back to admire it.

She heard a soft sound and looked down sharply.  The boy was crying.

“No,” she said helplessly.  “Please don’t be sad.  Is it the stars?  Do you want to go back inside?”

The boy shook his head, gasping for breath.  It wasn’t his Father’s stars, as ashamed as they made him feel.

“It’s the snow,” he said, feeling the word set off his tears again.  “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful and white.  It’s always ugly and black with coal dust in the city.”

The princess stared at him.  A few tears, pale and insignificant next to the stars, fell from her lashes.

They sat on the edge of the roof and watched the stars until the moon slipped beneath the trees again.

 

 

Chapter Four:

 

A

s the weeks until Christmas blew away in blizzards of white, the princess reluctantly packed up, banked the ever-burning fires of the great house, and closed its proud front door behind her for the last time that year.  She and the boy spent a handful of joyous days traversing the forest on their butterscotch ponies—throwing snowballs, tobogganing, skiing, examining the odd moose—until they reached the village on its outskirts, where the road began and the men of the north were strapping and brave foresters.  There they were forced to exchange their ponies for a sleigh and four that would carry them the long journey to the city.

            It whisked them through hamlets that grew slowly into villages, then towns.  The rush of snow against the sleigh’s runners grew a hateful sound to the boy.  Although the inns they stayed at each night were comfortable, their keepers gave him and the princess strange looks.  A foreigner and a lady travelling alone?

            He missed the quiet evenings at the manor spent reading, perhaps playing chess or drinking coffee to chase down supper.  The finest, flakiest crust on the sweetest winterberry filling could not make a pie half so good as the princess’s sloppy ones, burnt at the edges but full to bursting with sweetness inside.

            The princess didn’t speak much.  She read, passing slowly through strange worlds where he couldn’t follow her.  The country wore itself into the city, smooth snow becoming rutted and dirty.  Snowflakes spiraled in quick flurries under the street lamps.  Sleighs whizzed past breathlessly.  The princess watched forlornly as snowflakes gathered on the sleigh’s drapes, fading to faint, damp patches.

            “I hate going home for Christmas,” she said, gazing out at the turbulent grey sea.  “It spoils a perfectly good holiday.”

            “Surely it can’t be that bad,” the boy said.  He joined her at the window to watch the dragon-headed longboats slicing through the waves, scattering spray.  “Christmas in a castle…”  Visions of grand feasts, crackling fires, and wide, straight chimney flues danced through his head.  And he would see Father, which was better than all the others combined.

            “You’ll get to meet my brothers, at least,” the princess said, perking up.  “Well.  One of them.  I have two, but the king disowned the older for marrying a pauper.  He might let him come home for Christmas.”

            The boy doubted it, but he couldn’t bring himself to smother the hope in her eyes.

            “You’ll like my other brother, the crown prince,” she said.  “He’s only a year older than me but already a gifted mathematician.  He keeps the books for the king’s estates.  The queen ought to do it, but she hasn’t a head for figures.”

            The boy parted the velvet curtains to gaze out into the snow.  Flakes dusted his dark lashes.

            “Merry Christmas to us,” he said beneath his breath.

            The harbor faded to rows of dank, salt-stained, half-timbered houses.  The princess said, “I th-think I’ll send you with money for your father.”

            “Thank you,” the boy said gratefully.  “It will help more than you know.”

            She shifted, dissatisfied with herself.  “It’s the least I could do.  I don’t spend it.  But I wish—“  She bit her lip.  “What I want, really—I suppose—“

            “Yes?” the boy prodded, when she’d dithered herself into silence.

            Crimson suffused her pale cheeks.  She glanced at him, then quickly away.

            “I want to be like Robin Hood,” she said quickly.  “Stealing from the rich, giving to the poor.  Kind, good, brave, and—beloved.  He helps people without even thinking about it.  And I… don’t.  Not really.”

            “You do,” the boy said helplessly.  “Y-you’re like a Valkyrie, or a shield maiden.  Fierce and protective.  Like a-a—“  The phrase hen sprang to his lips, and he forced it back.

            He knew she didn’t believe him when she gave him the dazzling, insincere smile and said, “Almost there.”

            The boy glanced curiously through the curtains, and the stench of the slum hit him like a switch.  Sewage, rotting debris, standing water, stale sweat.  All as familiar as the princess’s scentless roses.  But a new undercurrent, more livid and powerful than the others—sickness.  No faces filled the gaunt windows; no hands reached past the sullied drapes.

            “Princess,” he said.  “Don’t look out.”

            She did, of course.  It had been imprudent to say anything.  She pulled a face at the smell, but her eyes boldly probed the shells of buildings pressed together in thin rows, cluttered and collapsing.

            “What?” she said, disappointed.  “It’s rather dirty, isn’t it?  I shouldn’t like to live here.”  She glanced at his face, blanched beneath the dark skin.  “Boy?”

            “There should be people working, gathering around the carriage for alms, searching for food, but there’s no one.”  His voice fell heavily to the snow-caked gutter as he said, “They’re dead.”

            “Firn and Furan,” the princess whispered.  She pulled her hand from the curtain like it burned her, and it sealed them into darkness.  But the stench lingered, of last moments spent struggling for breath.  Of freezing to death in the night but still sweating from every pore, the life streaming out of you in stinking droplets.

            “It’s gotten worse,” the boy said hollowly.  “When I left, only a few people had the sweating sickness.”

            “We couldn’t have caught it just by opening the drapes,” the princess said, half to herself.  She moved to touch his shoulder, then hesitated.  “It’s spread by touch.  We couldn’t have caught it.”

            “Father,” the boy whispered.

            She glanced up sharply.  “I’m sure he’s fine,” she said, more cuttingly than she’d intended.

           

           

Chapter Five:

T

 

he sleigh glided to a stop, sending the boy’s head snapping forward on his neck.  He glanced up, sick and disoriented in the half-darkness.  The princess held back the curtains a hand’s-width, so the rosy light of oil lamps painted half her face.

“We’re here,” she said, drawing back the curtains fully.

His weariness lifted, and he joined her at the window.  The sleigh stopped in a stone courtyard that would be handsome in summer, wreathed in glorious hues.  In winter it was a specter, clad in ghostly shreds of mist.

            His eyes widened at the stone wall rising up into darkness, split in places with deep, elegant windows.  He could not comprehend the castle’s hugeness, the way its walls stretched into infinity and its roof even farther.  The princess’s manor could’ve fit into it many times over with room to spare.  And the loft where he’d spent his boyhood, where his happiest memories were…  The boy felt small, and cold, and farther away from his Father’s home than he’d been in his life.

            The rosy, welcoming light from the doorway seeped around the black figure who’d thrown open the door.  His steps squeaked and complained against the snow when he tugged the sleigh door open.

            The princess struggled from the carriage without bothering to remove her fur mantle; it toppled to the snow, almost tripping her as she moved to throw her arms ‘round the prince, who deflected her, laughing.

            “You must meet my new page boy, he’s a dear; I’m sure you’ll like him—“  She gestured to the boy, who obediently hopped down from the sleigh.  No sooner had his feet crunched into the snow than it whisked away, leaving the boy curiously alone.

            The prince resembled the princess both in their similarities and dissimilarities.  As sometimes happens with siblings, their shared features came together perfectly in one—the princess—and less so in the other, like a cracked mirror.  The prince had his sister’s nose and brow, but they were offset by bright eyes and a crookedly smiling mouth, which the princess could never be accused of.  Something about the whimsical tilt of one dimple on his young face made the boy breathe easier for the fate of the nation, particularly when the prince said, “Pleased to meet you!  Of course, sis has mentioned you in letters, but you’re older than I expected…”

            They staggered through the snow, past the modest crowd of servants who bowed and curtsied to the prince and princess.  They passed through the glowing portal that led into a warm sitting room.

            As expected, the king had made an appearance to greet his only legitimate daughter.  He spoiled the effect somewhat by reclining on a chaise lounge and paging through a clothing catalog.  The royal scepter was propped up beside him.

            “Hello, my only daughter,” he said, eyes straying from the pages.  “How are you?”

            “Well, thank you, sir,” the princess said, curtsying.  “It’s Christmas.  I’m home with my family.”  Her voice lifted like a question, and the prince shook his head.  Their older brother had not been welcomed home.

            “I didn’t think you’d wished to be greeted with a state dinner, so I had meals delivered to your rooms,” the king said distractedly.  “Can we visit over breakfast, before the foxhunt?”

            “Foxhunt?” the princess said blankly, but the king didn’t notice.  He turned his smile to the boy.

            “You’ve filled out nicely!” he said, genuinely pleased.  “At least she hasn’t been starving you, eh?”

            “Yes, your majesty,” the boy mumbled.  “I have n-no complaints with my new station.”

            “Good, good,” the king said, and the silence stagnated.

            Finally, the princess said, “We’d better be off to bed if we’re to get anything done tomorrow.”

            “Yes!” the king said, relieved.  “You, serving girl—I forgot your name—could you--?”
            The black-uniformed maid curtsied and set off through what proved to be a labyrinth of rooms, each more palatial and beautiful than the last.  A room with a whole wall of glass that looked out into the myriads of twisting blue snowflakes.  Another with glossy dark-wood floors and no furniture but a covered piano and a towering chandelier of sharp-edged crystals.  The lowest sparkling fragment barely missed their heads as they walked beneath it.  And countless parlors, so tastefully decorated they were almost boring.

            At last the maid dropped the boy off in a small room not far from the princess’s suite, with a big bed and a fireplace and a few armchairs squeezed in.  He was less pleased when the princess followed him in.

            “Since you obviously don’t care about your reputation, could you worry about mine?” he complained, tossing his jacket into the wardrobe.  “I’m going to sleep even if you’re here watching me.”

            “Isn’t it sad when the place you grew up in isn’t home anymore?” she asked, ignoring him and plopping down in the armchair.  Her long skirts swept around her legs; she tugged them aside impatiently.

            “Not really,” the boy said.  “I can’t remember the country where I was born, but I grew up in a slum.”  The light in his eyes faded with remembrance.  “I’m glad it’s not my home anymore.”

            She sighed.  “I’m sorry, boy.  It’s terribly selfish to complain about my upbringing when, compared to so many, I have so much.  It’s—this place.”  She waved her hand.  “I was so glad when I was old enough to leave it, but now that I’m back, I remember all the happy times we had.  Like when my brothers and I put salt in the king’s tea.  Or when we slid down the bannisters and tried to catch chandeliers, or stole scones from the kitchens.”

            She turned her head away.  “But when I remember the good times, I forget the reasons why I left.”  Firelight glowed in her eyes.  “Is that how memory works?  Can we remember only the good or the bad?”

            “I’d rather remember the good,” the boy said quietly.

            “Me, too,” she whispered.  “But the bad are still there.”  She shook her head.  “Firn and Furan, but every time I come here I remember why I prefer being alone.

            The boy refrained, as he always did, from asking why she’d been so dead-set on him, then.

             Tempted into curiosity, he asked, “Who are these Firn and Furan you’re always invoking?  Are they gods?”

            That startled the princess into laughter.  “I do forget you’re foreign sometimes!  No, they’re not gods; they’re—oh, it would be easier to show you.”

            She bounded over to the shutters and, despite his cry of protest, threw them open.  Snowflakes spiraled across his bedspread.

            “This is Firn,” she said above his yells.  “And this”—she dashed the lamp oil across the flames, and they lapped it up eagerly—“is Furan.”

            The boy slammed closed the shutters, and the room was silent.

            “Fire and ice?” he asked, surprised.

            “Yes.  Funny, isn’t it?  Snow and warmth.  Summer and winter.  Life and death.  The two most important things in our world, and we invoke them whenever we stub a toe.  Am I boring you?” she asked anxiously when the boy’s eyes glazed.

            “No,” he managed to say.  “Tired.”

            Her delicate brows drew together, and she slipped her dry, cool hand on his forehead.

            “You’re not sick,” she said.  “You’re only hungry.  I’ll have dinner sent in.”  Haltingly, she leaned down to kiss him on the forehead.  “Thank you for coming with me.  It’s easier with you here.”

            She slipped out in silence.  The boy was asleep by the time dinner came.

           

           

Although the clocks in the palace chimed twelve and she was weary, the princess took the time to organize her dresses herself.  Pale cream, dark cranberry, twilight grey.  She loved dresses, as much as she wished she didn’t because it felt too princess-like.  Her thoughts wandered as she sifted through the lovely fabrics, cool and smooth beneath her fingers.

            She ignored the familiar sights of her girlhood room.  The outline of a bed she’d slept in every night.  The bookshelves, now empty and silent.  The faint edge of a dollhouse.  She was surprised the king hadn’t thrown it away.

            No, she did not care for home.

            Her hands touched something cool and hard in the hamper, and the room plunged into coldness and darkness.

            She trembled.  Her breath fogged before her as, slowly, she withdrew the mask from the folds of fabric.

            “Not now,” she whispered as the slanted, malicious eyeholes watched her like gaping sockets and the mouth curved in a shriek.  “Please don’t make me do this now.”

            She thought she heard, in the distant reaches of her memory or perhaps just behind her, a voice whisper, Your choice

            Her hand trembled as it raised the mask to her face, until she saw through its eyes and the world became frozen and distorted and far, far away.  Its cold iciness rested a breath from her lips, like a kiss.

            Someone knocked on the door, and her hand shook so badly she dropped the mask on the pile of dresses.  Warmth flowed back into her fingertips as the maid called, muffled by the door, “Dinner, your highness!”
            “Thank you,” she said, dropping the bundle of dresses into the closet without touching the mask.  Her pulse raced as she opened the door and accepted the tray.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

O_o Oh my. I was starting to think I had this story more or less figured out, but now . . . I see that I don't. I'm looking forward to more!

Allison Ruvidich said...

Haha, thanks, Sarah! I'm curious to know what you expected...?

Anonymous said...

Arrgghh! I can't wait for the next part! I am soooo intrigued!
Jemma

Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination said...

I love how this story is a gender-bender. And now I'm wondering about this mask business...

Allison Ruvidich said...

Thanks for commenting! : D