Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Weaver

Sir Ruidgaarg had come to see her just as her brother had promised. Miya had never seen his like before. He was dressed in a fine linen shirt with heavily laced collar and matching tooled leather doublet and hoes. He bowed deeply as he introduced himself and she felt awkward at the gesture but she curtsied to cover the blush that worked its way from her bodice to her bun and he and his roguish grin seemed well satisfied as she stood again.
Miya had never left the Flatlands. She had thought to live forever in this wooden shingled dwelling,paddling the pattern into her cloth and creating an architecture of threads. She knew every gnarled bump of the wall panels, every crack that needed to be stoppered come winter. The earthy smell of fungus from the damp corner by the washstand was her constant bed fellow. She had a world in her head coloured by imagination from all the stories her Father and Brother told but she could not have imagined this turn of events.
Her brother, Friedl, had broken the news of their fathers shipwreck and her unexpected joy at seeing him home had vanished like a ghost and she sunk to the floor and wept in horror as much for the loss of him as for her tattered future. She was not yet betrothed and had no dowry. Without her Father to represent her Miya felt all of her dreams slipping beneath the unforgiving waves and rotting along with the cargo in the sunken merchant's galleon. But a month later her brother had returned with almost incomprehensible news. By some strange turn in the wheels of fortune some of the cargo had washed up on shore and among the goods was their fathers trunk which was taken to the merchants guild for identification. In it had been the fine smoking jacket she had woven for him and the matching slippers. They were of such fine work that they caught the eye of the Mayor and Master of the Guild, Sir Ruidgaard. He was of marriageable age and a fine prospect eagerly sought by many a toady social climber for their daughter. He had resisted the 'marriage trap' as he called it and found his fun elsewhere. He did not need to be anchored to a family wishing to climb on his back for a free ride. He did not want for connection.
When he saw the finely woven cloth in the Merchant's trunk he was intrigued to meet the lady capable of such artistry and architecture. Friedl was glad to acknowledge his sisters skill but would not see her used. It would be easy for the Sir Ruidgaard to bring her to the city and turn her head. Instead he told Sir Ruidgaard that if he liked what he saw when he met his sister Miya then he could bring her to the town and set her up in her own business. If he chose to try for her heart as well and his sister showed an inclination towards him they would talk again. It was a bold move on Friedl's part but he was learning fast that a man must make his own luck in this world. He could no longer hide in his Father's shadow and he wanted what was best for Miya. If his sister was as desirable as the men of the Flatland suggested she would have a chance of happiness and marriage and if not at least she would have a secure business and future prospects. So he went back to the country to tell Miya what he had proposed and to expect Sir Ruidgaard before the next moon waxed full.
Two weeks had passed since Sir Ruidgaard had arrived to convince her of the move. She wrapped her travelling cloak about her and climbed on to the dray that would transport her and her loom to their new start. The same daffodils that bowed to her as she passed along the road had bowed to him when he had left a week earlier to secure her use of the light North facing room on the upper floor of the guild as working premises. As she was lulled by the rhythm of music created by the wheels and the hooves on the track she drifter into her imaginination as she did when she was seated with the lullaby of her loom. This was not the domestic life she had pictured before with a bearded Lord of the Woods and a glowing hearth in the winter with five bright faced babies competing for love, that she could watch and feed and teach as they grew her in to old age but of courtly rustling skirts, fine buildings, new place and faces and a feast for the senses and a valuable independence. Maybe she would have love too. She had enjoyed her time with Sir Ruidgaard . He was intelligent and had shared generously in conversation and laughter as well as being attentive and interested in her. There was much she would like to learn from him and much more of him she wanted to know. Could he be as interested in her as he seemed? Or was that just the manner of men in the city? There was no cost to her dreaming of what a kiss from his sweet bearded face would feel like as it brushed against her neck, or reliving the heat she had felt from his gaze as their hands grazed each other's in farewell. Some invisible force seemed to be pulling them together before decorum was forced back in to play. She could dream on that for free.

The copyright of this post belongs to Holly Khan

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