A Shared Honey Dream

[Asking for a bit of leeway/forgiveness here if I “god mode” to get this started, as I likely will just to get things rolling. If this is too much, or is not enough, please tell me — I will joyfully rewrite whatever you wish!]

Prelude

The three of them arrive at Merri’s townhouse and settle into the parlour to wait while Esther and two of her nephews arrange the conservatory for a shared honey dream. Merri requests tea and something to eat be brought in while they wait. It’s only after the tray is brought and Astrid departs (“No it’s all right, I’ll pour dear, thank you so much”) that she turns from the veriest trivia to something closer to her heart.

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14 Comments

  1. cl0ckw0rks said,

    September 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Literally closer to her heart. She hands a saucered cup to Scarlet and another to Narciso, encouraging them to indulge in the food (much of it surface fare) as much as they wish.

    “Before we go under the influence of the honey, there is a thing I’d like to say,” Merri murmurs, sipping her tea briefly for comfort. “Scarlet knows already and holds the secret dear to her heart; Narciso, if I haven’t told you yet it’s only because I… haven’t known how.”

    She smiles a little, but it hardly ripples the sincerity of her face and voice. “I still don’t know how. Since Henrik and I broke off our intimate relationship, things have been strained between you and me. I don’t know why. I have adored you ever since I saw you in those scarlet stockings, in the Parlour of Virtue; I should hate to think that your feelings for me have changed… for any reason.”

  2. Scarlet O said,

    September 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Scarlet holds her tongue, although her eyes twinkle merrily at the mention of Narciso in scarlet stockings. She looks between the two of them.

  3. Narcissus said,

    September 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    “My dear lady,” he starts to say, then laughs, one of his earnest, extravagant laughs. “I’ve adored you since — I can’t say when. It can’t be since I’d shown you those scarlet stockings, or since we spoke of being courtiers in Karakorum and the speaking was as joyous as the being, or since you started calling me ‘dear man’ and ‘beautiful boy’ and do you know, it still warms me with pleasure to hear it. I adored you well before then — and do you know, I felt things begin to strain between us, and assumed it was because you were ready to let go of me! It seems so foolish, said aloud, but these things always do …”

  4. cl0ckw0rks said,

    September 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Her clear grey eyes fill with tears, but they are happy ones, if her smile is any indication.

    “Never, unless or until you tell me you wish to go, for I would not hold you against your will. Fair enough?”

  5. Narcissus said,

    September 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    “More than fair! You must let me kiss your hand,” he says, and extends his own for it. “It’s so very Italian, bacia la mano, but I can’t communicate my gratitude any other way. And to think –” Laughing again, own eyes flashing as though in sunlight (but it must be candlelight), he turns to Scarlet. “I so wanted to send you in, in my stead, to be Merri’s ‘messenger of joy,’ to be Beauty in her triumvirate — for I know and I’ve seen that you have what it takes, to be such a messenger and inspire such delight, for her or for anyone who still has a heart! Now she’ll have to contend with the both of us.

    “Do you mind it, lady?” he asks of Merri.

  6. cl0ckw0rks said,

    September 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    “Not at all,” she says, and means it, and extends her hand not only to Narciso, but to Scarlet as well. “It’s as the Commodore said — we need one another, in this place, to fight the horrors together.”

    She takes her turn to kiss both their hands, if they allow it, saying “I… know I cannot continue alone. I do not wish to continue alone.”

  7. Scarlet O said,

    September 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Her hand drawn to Merri’s lips, Scarlet smiles affectionately. “I have no intention of allowing it tp be otherwise, m’lady.”

    She chuckles, turning to Narciso, “Narciso, you are the golden hour. The time of day when the light strikes everything such their best is highlighted, dream-like and luxurious. There is a warm sense of delight and hope, even though the sun is soon to set. Golden boy is fitting, for you remind me of that time. Sweet as amber honey.”

    “And…speaking of honey…”

  8. cl0ckw0rks said,

    September 8, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Merri chuckles. “Always impatient for pleasure, our Scarlet.” She kisses her hand again. “I will teach you to appreciate gratification delayed, one day. But not today.”

    She turns to Narciso first though, squeezing his hand again. “I had thought to tell you this before we enter the honey dream, but in some ways it may just be easier to show you, once we’re there. Are we ready?”

  9. Narcissus said,

    September 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    “Of course, of course.” His eyes are still alight, when they meet hers — truly meet hers, for what must be the first time since before the carnival and the slow boat. “Honey-dreams are formed by force of imagination, and if there’s no particular place you’ll have me turn my thoughts towards, I’ll simply imagine myself to your side.”

  10. cl0ckw0rks said,

    September 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    “It doesn’t matter, truly.” Merri looks at Scarlet thoughtfully. “Wherever we wish to go is fine with me. What I want to show you will be there, regardless of where we go. Scarlet love, suggest us a scene, would you?”

  11. Scarlet O said,

    September 8, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Looking between the two of them for a moment, she closes her eyes – dark lashes like tiny black smiles on her pale white cheekbones. Her voice drops to a register both warm and silken.

    “We are running, like deer, through the primeval forest on Litha, midsummer night – the shortest night. The night has veiled the whole of the world with a tapestry of velvet, and we give chase after each other, sweet sweat glistening on our skin, the fresh taste of life on our lips. Simple cloth tunics flutter against our flesh as our breath comes ragged with intensity and delight.”

    A note of surprise can be sensed in Scarlet’s voice, as if she hadn’t expected to paint this scene.

    “The night air embraces us like a wanton lover, whispering secrets to us as we nearly fly – our bare feet upon moss seem to absorb all that is wild and free, invigorating us for our endeavor. Here and there, stars flicker through the canopy. Our senses guide us as we weave towards our goal…

    “We are chasing the light, knowing that once we burst through the edge of the forest-line, we will be struck by the glimmer of sunrise like searing white lace against the horizon. There the celebration will be awaiting us…with music, wine and revelry to fulfill every desire under the heat of the new dawn.”

  12. Narcissus said,

    September 9, 2010 at 10:04 am

    “Primeval pipes and drums, ardent Veilgarden fiddlers, youths who have played their passion in shuttered rooms now calling on the sky to hear them … and it will be the perfect sky to hear, to see one’s joys under, golden for me and scarlet for you, the beginning of blue under veils of cloud as clear and grey as our Merri’s eyes — yes, yes, I can imagine it,” he says, his voice a low strain under hers, a cello to a violin.

  13. cl0ckw0rks said,

    September 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    “And there will be laughing, and dancing, and honeyed mead and sweet apple wine,” Merri adds, a silver flute lilting among the strings. “A chorus of birds such as has not been heard since the first dawn! Storytellers and fools, jesters and poets, and every voice rising on the gentle morning breeze, heralding celebration… and joy.”

    .. and a child, head full of golden curls, eyes as blue as summer sky…

    “Let us repair to the conservatory then, my loves,” she adds, rising with their hands still clasped in hers. “And when we have achieved the sunrise I shall introduce you to my Heart’s Desire.”

  14. Scarlet O said,

    September 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Scarlet rises with Merri and Narciso, following her to the conservatory, a look of curiosity in her eyes, her expression calmly inquisitive.


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