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It is late Saturday afternoon and I am waiting for my husband to return from his golf game. I am looking forward to a glass of Merlot, dinner out, and maybe a movie. Sunlight slides through the shutters and illuminates the room as I am seated on the floor, trying to bring some order to the bottom drawer of my taboret. There is a strange kind of solace sorting through brushes and tubes of paint, the tools of my imagination.
A little tingle of fear works its way down my spine. I think of myself as a tall middle-aged woman, but the mirror tells me I am young and petite. I look as fragile as a flower in my long-skirted dress with flouncy lace sleeves. Did I not put on jeans and a white cotton blouse this morning?
The sunshine fades and I am aware of the damp stone walls that enclose me. I shiver and feel the stir of life. I place my hand on my stomach. No one knows. Yet. I hide it well. My Lord Elwyss hopes to get a son on me and marry me to claim my properties. He will never have an heir from me as long as my dead husband's child resides in my womb.
For now, I am Lord Elwyss' prisoner. I need an opportunity to escape the confines of my quarters, to survey any possibilities.
"Is there not a garden where a lady may take a walk?" I ask him.
"There is naught more than a few scraggly herbs what the cook uses for stews and savory pies," he replies, hands on hips, looking me up and down with his shrewd calculating eyes. I was hoping for something poisonous for him. Or for me, if there is no other means of escape.
"I will allow a guard to accompany you."
I nod. I have not even thought where I will go if I can escape.
"Will you not at least bring me cloth, needles, and thread that I may sew myself a shawl or cloak to stave off the cold?"
He smiles at the opportunity to possibly soften my disdain for him--that I might willingly bed him.
Though he pretends otherwise, I know it is he who had my husband murdered and I shall not forget. My mind spins through plans of revenge and escape. The world is swirling around me. I close my eyes. It is not nausea but fear that grips me. I must save myself and my unborn child before time runs out.
A hand on my shoulder startles me.
"What are you doing sitting here in the dark, darling?" A deep voice asks. A light snaps on and floods the room.
I look up at this man. I look across the room at the mirror and the image in blue jeans and a white shirt. Who is she? And then I remember and slowly I re-anchor myself. Oh, I could use that glass of Merlot now.