The rage spent, she leaned the side of her face against the window and let the tears quietly slip down her cheeks. The tears on the right side occasionally made their way to the glass like furtive lovers slipping through the dark for a secret rendezvous. They puddled where the flesh met the pane and eventually the reservoir broke and they continued their journey.
She sighed. Two minutes to cry. It had been a rule of hers for many years. Cry for a short time, get it out of your system and then get back to work. Get back to work doing what?
The window as enchanted, but what if the glazing in the panes wasn't somehow? Or the sill under it? She started looking for something sharp to gouge with. At last she found a nail, large and bent, coated with course, crumbling flakes of rust like a ship too long at sea covered with barnacles, but it had a relatively sharp end and it was solid enough to hold up to some serious digging.
She pulled the rickety chair over to the window and slammed it down to try and settle the legs in the seat of the chair. It was les flimsy, but still a balancing act to sit on. She scratched the nail through the glazing, and was amazed when some dust drifted away. Was it possible the magic didn't penetrate that? She dug more, scratch the nail carefully along the edge, over and over. Tiny chunks of the ancient gray compound flaked away. She kept at her chore steadily, even humming a bit as she did. She'd have to take her armor off, but if she could get the bottom three panes loose, she might squeeze through. Then she had to hope the ward he had put up wouldn't counter her magic. An arcane shield would keep her from dying in the fall. If she did, well, chances were she would anyway. It would just make it on her terms not theirs.
She dragged the nail along the deepening gouge. It would go no further. The magic might have left a small portion susceptible, but the window was fully protected. She leaned back in the chair, overcome with fatigue and disappointment. The back of the chair cracked and she almost tumbled tail over teakettle. She stood up at last, drained and limp as a noodle left too long in the pot. She chair screeched a protest as she gently pushed it out of the sunlight. If it had thoughts, it would have condemned her for her selfish, inconsiderate ways as she sat on the floor soaking up every bit of sunlight streaming through the window. It seemed to mock her with its seeming frailty and then take pity by allowing her light and warmth. Resigned to her present fate, Gentyl reached inside her tunic and took out a packet of letters she always carried with her. Tyrexus had either not noticed them or not cared when he searched her.
She carefully untied the green ribbon and set it aside. Turncutt had given it to her for her hair once. She had reassigned it to keeping her letters from him in order. Without looking to see the content, she plucked the top one from the pile and began to read.
A more agreeable evening is not easy to recall. Aside from that business about the Modas and their dark-doings.
I spent the night in a little lodging overlooking the Mage square and the citron grove. It was, as you remarked, uncommonly warm last night so I took my lamp out on the balcony to read a few lines. The air was pleasant, sweet with the scent of the gardens. A few lamps burning behind parti-colored windows, and pale blue pools of fire in the wayside braziers...
I could hear a few night-birds, restless in their leafy bowers. And then I saw a fellow, very odd looking. He was in his night-clothes, his hair unkempt, his pants roll'd up to his calves, barefoot in the yard between the hedges, walking about with no particular destination. I thought him merely a drunk from the Recluse at first, but I noticed that behind his back he held a small violin by the neck, or, upon a closer look, it was what a seaman would have called a rebec, that bawdy cousin of the violin. I watched, for a time, until the fellow at last sat upon the ground, took up his bow, and played the most beautiful, lovelorn measures I have ever heard. The man's pain was indeed my fortune, for certain some great love was lost last night, the flame of one those candles set adrift was snuf'd untimely. And this artful fellow was the casualty.
So, dear Gentyl, I did have my music after all, my only regret was that you missed it.
She pressed the letter to her face, the faint scent of whiskey still held and an even fainter scent of him. Imagined or not, it comforted her and she fell asleep in the shaft of sunlight like a cat fat and ripe with age, no care in the world.
Edited by Gentyl on 4/17/2012 10:52 AM PDT