Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Elowen: Part 1 of the Prologue

This is my story that I am writing about a medieval young lady growing up in...well...the Medieval times.  :) Her name is Elowen, and I absolutely love her!  She's one of my more rebellious, loud characters.

And seriously check out Alfred!  He's called an Irish wolfhound, and they're the biggest dogs in the world!   They're huge!  

Well, see ya!

A Novel

By Emily Parker
Copyright Emily Parker, 2013


Elowen snuggled deeper under the covers.  This was the second time the rooster had crowed, but she wasn’t ready to leave her nice warm bed just yet.  She was awake yet not ready to get up.  It would only be another long day.  Or would it?
As Elowen suddenly remembered what was planned for the day, she grinned from ear to ear and threw off the covers and stumbled out of her eye bed and onto the cold cobblestones below.  She pulled off her nightgown and got dressed in some boy’s breeches and a loose tunic that was much too big for her but had to be fastened with a belt.  Her Father had given it to her a year ago leaving room for her to grow, and she was grateful.  It would’ve been near to impossible to practice with swords in a lady’s dress.
Grabbing her boots and socks but too impatient to put them on, she threw open her door and raced down the narrow hallway.  It was dark, but there was little window slits for light to pass through, along with evenly placed torches mounted on the walls.
The castle was silent, but even Elowen’s panted breathing and excited giggle that escaped her every once in awhile wasn’t enough to wake up the huge castle.  As Elowen reached the bigger part of the hallway, she grinned mischievously when she saw one of the soldiers leaning onto his spear as he dozed.
Elowen hid, and then taking careful aim she hurled her boot at the soldier.  He woke with a start and a cry, and Elowen collapsed onto the floor in giggles.
“Elowen!” cried Collen.  The little girl continued to laugh.  “Why’d you do that?”
“You were asleep!” she said in a whisper.
“I was not,” said Collen, his cheeks flushing.
Elowen rolled her eyes.  “Well, I gotta go!”
“Wait!  What are you doing at this godforsaken hour?”
Elowen picked up her boot and made some quick justs and slices as if it were a sword.
“That’s a sloppy weapon that boot is, a lady shouldn’t have one in my opinion, especially one that isn’t yet eight winters.”
Elowen’s face fell, and then she glared up at Collen.  “Said who?  I can be whoever I want to be!”  Elowen then blushed as Collen grinned at her.  She had fallen for one of his jokes again.
“All right, hurry up!  You might miss your lesson!” he said, pretending to kick her but Elowen was already racing down the hallway.

* * *

Elowen took a deep breathe as she stepped into the kitchens.  While the rest of the castle was for the most part quiet and sleeping, the kitchens were rarely ever still.  There was always somebody mixing broths, baking bread, butchering the pigs, or seasoning the goose for the Lord’s supper.  And there was always dishes to clean.
Elowen dodged through the crowd and the servants were surprised to see her in boy’s clothes, but they couldn’t ever mistake the curly blonde head that could never seem to brush out the tangles.   
Elowen found who she was looking for.  Sitting before a fire was a plump old lady with sleeves rolled up to the elbows and dirty hair tied back in a rag.  “Margie!” squealed Elowen, throwing herself before the servant’s feet.  Marguerite smiled at the rosy face beaming up at her.  
“”Morning, child!  What are you doing today?”
“Remember!  Today I get to go practice with Father!”
“Oh!  Of course!  Now there’s your breakfast right there, little missy!”
Elowen grabbed a clay bowl that was piled with tasteless but still hot porridge, and there was some fresh goat cheese melted on baked bread.  She seated herself next to Marguerite again, putting her bare feet on the hearth so the fire could warm them.
They shared a comfortable silence, but then Marguerite broke it.  “You know, I don’t approve a young lady like you learning how to fight with swords.”
“But Margie!” said Elowen, with an exasperated tone.  “A Lady herself shouldn’t pluck a chicken’s feathers off!”
“That’s different!”  That’s what Marguerite was doing so now, taking off the feathers of a dead chicken for the evening meal.  “Any girl, even if she is the second cousin of King Isaac--Lord bless him--should learn how to get messy!”
“And that’s exactly what I’ll be doing today!” Elowen beamed.  She put the bowl back on the table where it was swept away by some maid to be washed and put away.
“Just don’t come back covered in mud!  I’ll draw your evening bath for you and....”
But Elowen was scarcely listening as she struggled to pull her boots and socks on--or as well as she good as she hopped about on one leg.
“Lady Elowen!  You are not leaving this castle with hair like that!”
Elowen groaned and sat down as Marguerite washed her hands.  There was no getting around Marguerite when the old woman put her mind to it, and Elowen had tried before to argue.   Marguerite fished a wooden comb out of her apron pocket and began to brush Elowen’s thick, curly hair.  It was quite beautiful but wild and hard to tame, very much like the girl it was on.  With a sigh, Elowen put on her boots and warm woolly socks (though not in that order, mind you!), and then grinned when she spotted a familiar dark gray lump.  There were many fires in the kitchens, and lying before one of the bigger ones was a huge wolfhound, dozing.
Elowen clapped her hands thrice and the big dog lifted his head, but then rolled over and didn’t move.  Elowen groaned and then flinched as Marguerite began to braid her hair tightly back.  “Alfred!  Get over here, now!” Elowen said.  Her voice wasn’t very loud, but the wolfhound heard it.
The dog got up and then made his way over to Elowen.  The servants flinched and moved out of the way.  Alfred really was a huge dog, and even though Elowen was a tall child, she was only a few inches taller than Alfred’s head.  When Alfred stood up on his hind legs, he was as tall as Lord Stefan.
Alfred rolled over in front of Elowen, and she grinned as she ran her hands over his wiry, long gray hair.  Even though he was a huge beast and was a swift hunter, he was gentle and patient, and as a baby he didn’t mind when Elowen yanked on his fine hair, played chase with his tail, or climbed on his back as if he was a horse.
“Alright, I’m done,” Marguerite finally said.  Elowen jumped up in excitement, her now
crazy hair out of her face.
“Goodbye!” she cried.
“Goodbye, child!  Be safe!” said Marguerite.
“Come on, Alfred!  Come on!” she said.  Alfred got up and Elowen began to sprint as fast as her legs would take her, the dog loping after her, but not before Elowen snuck a juicy red apple.

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