“And why haven’t we met before, Aunt Siri? Do you never leave Calder?” All Cinda knew of this elegant woman in rustic purple clothes and snow white hair was that she was an Aunt from the Blackfeather side of the family. And as this was the first time Cinda has returned to Calder since birth, she assumed Siri Laramore was the rare Blackfeather who never left the seaside village.
Cinda had only been in Calder on the Myrddin Sea for a day and a night and already she didn’t care for it. It was too cold, for one. And two, first thing last evening as they entered town, her father had insisted they walk down to where a cairn had been erected for her mother. She’d had to stand still and solemn-looking, and ignore the fact her father cast a reflection in the water, while she did not–at least not a normal one.
Her father looked a bit younger in the gentle lapping of the water, Cinda supposed, but he hadn’t changed clothes. Cinda’s reflection was missing her bright blue knit hat, instead her hair spun out and about and held an impossible wave (her hair was stick straight). Her clothing was all murky-dark looking, but for some shine, and it wasn’t the bulky yellow sweater and worn brown corduroy and boots. Her father pulled her from the water’s edge before she could get a better study of herself. He directed her to stand nearer the cairn and wait, to stand still and solemn-looking, and be cold and alone.
After what seemed hours, her father came and stood with her, his arms folding around her and his body stooped to rest his chin atop her blue-capped head. “You remember the Lament I taught you?” He’d spent the Winter teaching it to her. Miserable in her feelings of abandonment, in her vulnerable state of not being able to leave, to retreat from these sorrows, Cinda began to sing.
The Lament had been familiar before, but now it seemed her father meant only to recall it to mind from some darkling place of an even earlier time. Considering this, with eyes sparkling from the moon on the water and the scent the sea filling her lungs, Cinda choked to a halt. Had this been a song her mother had sung? A tear fell from her father’s cheek and slid down her own. She didn’t want to be here. She didn’t want to mourn the woman who was her mother. She didn’t want her father to either.
Cinda turned away from the rain slicing through the dark to pelt the window pane. She couldn’t imagine being stuck here. She told the old woman as much.
“Well I’m not stuck here; which makes staying more bearable,” Aunt Siri informed the girl. “I did leave Calder for a time, back to my first home. I chose to leave and I chose to come back. I was away when you were born, and when your mother left us. But I did know your mother for a time. Would you like to hear about her?”
Cinda shook her head. She looked again to the window standing close enough to see the vague impression of herself on the glass. There looked to be an apparition, but it was her self.
Siri Laramore sighed deeply, “Well. You will have to come visit me while you are here and tell me what you know.”
Cinda resisted hugging herself and fisted her hands instead, resting them against the orange cotton of the skirt she’d been ordered to wear. “Father says we’ll be leaving in the morn. I don’t know when we’ll be back.”
question: N and I debated the bleeds in and out of “story.” While she liked it, she found it confusing and felt a little jolt. I told her the only demarcation I felt comfortable making was an indention of the section into the bleed over an italicization or font change. Besides making this more difficult for later when lines become much more blurry, I am reluctant to create any visual shift for the textual one. Any initial thoughts?