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Charlotte Bond

T

he snow fell gently outside the high arched windows of the bedroom, white dancers in the darkness. The occasional flake would find its way down the chimney to emerge into the large fireplace and fall hissing on the dying fire. In the corner of the bedroom, an evergreen tree stood decorated with red and gold ornaments. Tiny globes twinkled and flickered in its depths. Alana lay asleep in her bed, her white hair falling over her face. One arm was curled around a stuffed bear while the other rested on the covers. Exhausted from her father’s party, her young mind capered through dreams filled with pillars of spiralling ivy, a sea of babbling guests and endless linencovered tables groaning under the weight of a thousand different confections. She awoke with a start, unaccountably tense and confused. As sleep drained from her mind, she was aware of an ache down her left-hand side. Sitting up, Alana rubbed her arm thoughtfully, then her leg where there seemed to be the most pain. Night cramps were something she was used to, but this strange uneasiness which had accompanied her awakening was something new. The room was in a dark gloom which would have fooled the eyes of many, yet Alana’s large dark eyes searched every detail of the shadows. Her gaze fell upon the armchair next to the fire where her father would often sit and read her stories. Another man was sitting there now, watching her with interest. The firelight threw sinister shadows over the far side of his face but she could see that he had an aquiline nose and a smile that looked as if it never left his lips. He wore a long coat that stretched down to the floor and which he had wrapped tightly around himself. Alana was surprised at his presence but not alarmed. The muffled sound of voices and music from the party which continued beyond the bedroom door reassured that help was only a scream away. ‘Who are you?’ she asked curiously. ‘Good evening, little one,’ the dark figure said. ‘I am Demetrius.’ Alana imagined that if honey had a voice, it would sound like this. ‘I’m Alana,’ she replied. Demetrius nodded. ‘I know. What inhabitant of this land does not recognise Alana, daughter of the Ambassador of Europa?’ He leaned forward conspiratorially and whispered: ‘And the white hair is a dead give away.’ Alana pouted at his gentle mockery. ‘If you can truly see me in this light, I guess those famous eyes of yours live -2-

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

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