August 2, 2014

In Which Mona Is Again

November 17, 1186

She knew she ought to have been on the floor playing with her daughter instead of sitting to the side merely watching, but it was all Mona could do to keep breathing. If the projections based on villagers' words were correct, then her mother would arrive today. Her mother. Her queenly, vapid, status-driven mother.

Her mother who, until today, had believed Mona to be Queen of Carvallon.

Maybe she'd changed. Ietrin had thrown her out when he'd become king, and she'd relocated to Dovia. She had a nice house, but it was in fact a house, and not a castle--and for the time being, it was her own to run. She'd learned to be more practical, to do away with her gaudy statues and hundreds of dresses in favor of basic necessities. And--from what Mona could gleam from Searle's letters, Searle of all people--she even gardened! And enjoyed it!

Surely, she knew now that there were more important things than titles?

That had to have been too much to hope for.

"Mama?" Lara dropped her doll and looked up at her, forest green eyes focused and concerned. "You all right?"

"I'm fine, sweetie." God, lying to her daughter left a bitter taste in her mouth. "Just keep playing."



Mona's spine snapped on reflex to forced princess posture. "Mother?"

Her mother shut the door behind her, time slowing as it met the frame. Each second stretched tenfold, Mona stood, gracefully as she could muster, half as gracefully as her sister Riona on her worst of days, and approached with leaden feet. She was five again, trailing in mud on the hem of her dress. She was ten, presenting her inadequate samplers, running in late for dress fittings. She was thirteen, shaking in shock as the blood kept spilling from her legs, her mother's voice droning on about how she was a woman now and that she would tolerate no more childish behavior.

She was fourteen and a half, her mother kissing her goodbye the evening of her departure.

And now here she was, twenty-two, having let her mother down. "Mama--"


Arms? Around her? That couldn't have been right.

"It's all right, baby. It's all right."



Van said...

Naroni's going through a bit of a filler phase, can you tell? :S

Anyway, I might have limited wi-fi access for the next day and a half or so, so if I don't respond to comments or reply to messages, I'm probably not dead.

Ekho said...

A good filler, if you wanna call it that ;)

Wow. This must be a huge shock for Mona - receiving a greeting that is the complete opposite of what she'd expected, and what she'd grown up with.

Still, I'm taking Laralita's hug and words as a good thing, I'm sure she's had enough time to reflect on life and what is really important.

Van said...

Excellent! Managed to reply to you before I leave. :)

Mona definitely wasn't expecting this. And while I wouldn't doubt that Laralita is at least a little disappointed that Mona isn't queen, I doubt Zareth and Adrius let her go without knowing exactly what Mona's feelings were when she switched places with Anna. So she may not like it, but she's gained the capacity for at least a surface-level understanding.

Plus, disappointment or not, Mona is still her daughter, and Laralita is sadly not a stranger to losing children, so at least Mona is alive and doing well by her own standards.