As it was, I have actually written a few Samplings during that time, and this is the first of them!
This particular piece was sparked by the one I hope to post next. I mentioned the dressing gown, and I had to write about it!
Title: Leaf Green
Prompt: (29) Different Language
Perspective: First Person
Genres: Fantasy, Drama
Length: 1134 words
-Blind man in a market place
“Come, Ellery,” he directed, tugging my hand again.
“Where are we going, Maître?”
“Shopping,” he replied smoothly.
“But we have already gathered all of the supplies we need!” I protested –and I should know: I’d been the one to write the list!
All he would say was “Not all of them”. Still, he was my maître, my master, so I let him pull me along toward whatever he intended. I could have fought, I suppose, but he was close enough to me that his aura and magick were the only things I could see. Algernon rarely saw fit to play fair, anyway.
We waded through the current of people, bumping elbows and murmuring “beg pardon” under our breaths to each pale blur of color each step of the way. Even with my eyes open, I had to trust my new master to lead me to safety. I had to trust that the sea of people he led me through meant me no harm, that the destination we sought would prove much the same, and that his intentions were the very best. Though trust had never come easily to me, I was finding it strangely easy to trust Algernon St.Clair.
Part of it was probably my ability to see his aura. Through eyes blind to everything on the material plane, I could see the things of other planes, good or bad: magick and the magick that each and every person possessed. There seemed to be no real reason why I knew exactly what each flicker and curl of light in an aura meant. Effortless as it was, it also seemed fathomless to me. Tasks that had once been difficult, such as out-manuvering a merchant who wished to cheat me, was now as simple as gazing upon them.
Yet for all the irritation and surliness that came with my new master, I knew there was no artifice in him. He did not hide who and what he was, he did not lie to me, and he did not use me. Having grown up expecting each of those things from everyone, his presence was restful and refreshing. Though Fei had told me this before I’d even met Algernon, I hadn’t believed him. Now, after two months with my master, I figured I owed the dragon an apology of sorts.
I was startled back to the world outside my mind by the playful trill of bells. Instinctively, I reach out to keep the heavy door from colliding with me as I slipped into the shop after my master.
“Good morrow, gentlemen. How may I be of service to you?” a kind voice inquired.
I glanced over to read the woman’s aura, trying not to grimace as I forced my eyes past the over-bright but familiar purple of my maître’s aura. Hers was nowhere near as brilliant as my master’s but I could still read many things from it, including her weariness and her age. I found myself fighting the urge to chuckle as I considered how old and tired she felt at five-and-twenty, when I was more than twice that and Algernon was several times my age.
“My companion is in need of some new clothing. Perhaps something brightly colored?”
A growl slipped past my lips. “Maître, I would appreciate it if you did not treat me as a dress mannequin. If it is alright, I would prefer it if they were in a single dark color, madam.”
Somehow, I could see his pout in his shimmering aura. “How boring! You are in need of some color in your life, Ellery.”
I snorted. “Getting dressed is difficult enough since I lost my sight. I really don’t need to worry about choosing a tunic that clashes horribly with my breeches, if you don’t mind.”
The shopkeeper tutted softly at the both of us. “There is enough time to argue color and style later, gentlemen. All I need right now is his measurements.”
I allowed the woman to pose me in silence, basking in the gentleness that glowed from her. As she began her measurements, Algernon insisted that I needed more than one color in my wardrobe. Sighing, I resigned myself to long hours of bickering as my maître pouted at me
“How about a deep brown and a dark green?” I offered, as though I didn’t know he was meaning brighter colors.
“They would look wonderful on you, sir,” the woman offered as she measured the breadth of my shoulders.
That sent Algernon into a tizzy. “What about pale blue and the brown?”
“No.” It was all I said, but he knew I meant it.
It went on much the same through the rest of the session, much to the seamstress’ amusement. I kept the volleying conversation going because I could feel how much lighter the woman felt as we were candid in her company. It wasn’t the ‘proper’ thing to do, as my former caretakers had insisted on, but I was certain it was the right thing to do, when our playful bickering made the woman feel so much better.
Still, I knew it cost Algernon something to submit to my color choices in the end. “I suppose,” he surrendered, “it’s difficult to be fashion-conscious when you can’t see the colors.”
“Thank you, Maître.” I returned softly.
“But…” I could sense his smile, “you still need some color in your life.”
I wondered what that smile meant. He always showed a smile when he was up to mischief –I had learned that well in two months. And he was usually up to something.
“How much more would it cost to add a dressing gown to the total?” he inquired lightly.
The woman named her figure and I winced at the total cost. My master insisted on clothing me, even at such an excessive cost, and it bothered me. I had never relied on the charity of others when I could help it –mostly because there had been more than ten years when I hadn’t been able to help it.
“Great. Add a dressing gown –leaf green, or as close to it as you can get, please.”
This is too much, my mind rebelled. I opened my mouth to say something, but Algernon quickly placed his finger against my lips to still me.
“This is a gift, Ellery. Be gracious and receive it.” His rebuke was soft and gentle, as though to say, Let me do this for you.
And at such a gentle rebuke, I could do nothing more than nod in assent.
And I aplogize for any errors in the piece --as always, I post it fresh from the composition and typing, so typos happen. I just wanted to have this piece up for you all before I went to bed tonight!
This story is connected to the next one, and I can't wait to post that one, as well!
Keep strong, my darling koi fish,