Esmeralda

My current writing focus is my latest novel-in-progress, Esmeralda, which can be read in what is so far its entirety on Figment.  It’s a tale of imprisonment, betrayal, assassinations, masquerades, true love, not-true love, and secrets.  Anyway, I’ll let you read it yourself.  Here’s a bit of the opening. 🙂

You could say we’re best friends- I’ve never seen his face, nor he mine, but I know him as well as I know myself.  I might even love him.  I can’t be sure.  Every morning and every night we talk through the little hole in the wall between our cells.  It’s smaller than my eye, too little to see anything through, but we can speak.  His name is Bastian, and he’s a prisoner just as I am.

My cell, my dungeon, has only one window, if a window it may be called.  It’s the size of my hands spread out beside each other, so high that even if I had the strength to jump for it I couldn’t see the sky through its slanted opening.  The iron bars across it only serve to make it more formidable.  As if that’s necessary.  My walls are stone, my ceiling is stone, and my floor is stone; my very world seems to be made of stone.  Cold, hard, unforgiving.  Except for Bastian.

It’s the only life I’ve known for eight years- I know how long it’s been because every year I miss a few days’ meals when our guards are allowed to leave for the holidays and forget about us.  I’m accepting of this life but I’m never accustomed to it.  Every day, when Bastian is gone, I cry, and long for freedom.  Each night I wake suddenly, expecting to be back in my feather bed, in my glorious bedchamber with a score of maids waiting in the next room to do as I ask.  And finding it not so, finding that it would never be so again, I cry.  I don’t need the extravagant lifestyle I led before the revolution.  I just want to see the sky and the trees and the grass.

It’s something that I ask Bastian often- “Do you think this will ever change?”  In the few seconds of silence that often follow this question, I don’t know if he shakes his head or sighs sadly or holds back tears.  I wish I could see him.

“No,” he’ll say at last.  “I don’t expect it ever will.”

This time I ask a question that haunts me frequently.  “Why don’t they just kill me then?  As they did my parents?”

“You should be grateful that they are letting you live,” he scolds me quietly.

“But why?  I don’t want to be alive, like this.”

He has no answer for me.

 

Anyway, that’s that!   It’s got 235 pages so far, and climbing.  I plan on finishing the first draft by November 11th, exactly four months after its start.