Friday, January 18, 2013

A whirlWind Romance: In the Dragon's Castle

It was, as it so often is, a dark and stormy night.  The wind whipped through the trees outside the windows of the castle on the hill.  At the base of the cliff, against which it was backed, waves crashed against rock with tumult as much akin to that of the thunder as to any normal yawning of the tides.  And indeed, as white streaks appeared across the waves, a fearsome foam induced by an oceanic fury so mighty it ensnared even the air itself, so too did streaks of white-blue lightning break the normal darkness of the sky.
But it was a rare occasion on which Tara experienced any less evil seeming weather.  Indeed, to most of it's nobles and more prominent citizens, this was considered one of its strongest selling points.  The days were foggy and gloomy, the weather was always very dramatic, and to date, no one could remember a night without at least one full moon.
"Yes son?  Come in; sit down."
The largest room in the castle was the study, which doubled as a parlor, living room, and dining room.  It wasn't for lack of such rooms that it served so many purposes, but rather from a lack of interest in leaving.  The room was, you see, three stories tall and every inch of wall either decorative depictions of its owner's adventures, or shelves of old tomes of the sort befitting an older, retired adventurer.  The desk at the center of the room, facing the door and not the floor to ceiling curtain most visitors suspected but could never prove hid a window, was a rich, dark hardwood that only its owner could ever identify.  His chair was much the same, though secretly much padded, and rose above the head of even a standing man.  All in all, it was intimidating to stand before the desk, no matter how kindly the man behind it.
"Dad, I was wondering.  What was Mom like?"
The olive skinned gentleman behind the desk looked down at his son, more a byproduct of large furniture than of small boy.  The boy was no younger than fourteen, studious, diligent, and in every way the sort of son a respectable man could dream of having.  He was not above getting into scrapes, before you get the wrong impression, he was simply not inclined towards getting into the wrong scrapes.  The difference, his father had once told him, is critical.
His father looked over him; dark eyes probing the boy's mind and mood.  It was not the first time such questions had arisen, it is in the nature of all children, man and beast alike, to want to know their mother.  And in the case of most, the question is answered through the course of childhood.  But this boy was not part of that happy majority, and his father remained reluctant to tell his son too much too soon.  Tonight though, tonight he could see that the boy was ready.
"Sit down, over in one of the reading chairs, this is a conversation too important to be held over a desk."  The boy needed no prompting, and walked over to one of the many comfortable chairs in the study.  It had become his favorite spot in fact, a poorly fitted window pane let the wind blow through at night, but it never made the dreadful whine of so many a bad window.  Instead he felt only a cool, gentle breeze.
"Son, do you know why I choose to live here, surrounded by the constant storms and the bad window, always interrupted by the burst of lightning and the crash," The air rung as a bolt struck the roof above their heads. "Of thunder?"
The boy looked confused.  "Because you like it?"
"No son, it is because many years ago, before you were born even, I fell in love with the storm.  She is a woman unlike any other; passionate, dashing, graceful, and adventurous.  In all my life I have never met her equal, nor her better.  And like the storm, she has a particular tendency to fall right off of my roof."
"Can we just skip to the part where you meet her, and not hear about how your life was before you met her?"
"You'd be lucky to hear those stories from me.  That was another time for me, and one I'd just as soon leave where it lies.  No, this is the story of how your mother and I fell in love."