Coming Soon!!

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Hi all,

I just finished a short story that will be published soon! Previously this was titled “Frozen in Ice”, it has been renamed “Spirit of Winter”

While this is a story with themes of Christmas and holiday cheer the underlying message is to remember to play. If you are bitter change will not occur.

Although this story has a young Jack Frost as the main charachter, adults are encouraged to read and enjoy.

As always the physical print copy of this will be printed in a double spaced format so that people with reading disabilites can enjoy the story without getting discouraged. I have termed this style of publication “Easy Read”. The reason for this is because my husband is dyslexic and the first time he read a piece of mine, he said, “This is easy for me to read”. Since making this discover all of my physical print books have been in this format. To check some of this out click the link: R. Stachowiak’s Amazon Page

When I have the publication date I will post it here for you to all enjoy.

As always,

Happy Reading.f

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Meeting of the Minds

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Hi all,

I’m still working on Frozen in Ice. And tonight we have a snippet from the Winter Beings. All they really want to know is if Santa’s crazy plan is working. Do you think it will? Feel free to leave me your thoughts on the matter. As always,

HAPPY READING,

The normally yellow kitchen walls were covered in silver glitter. Blue and purple stains were on the white tiled floor. Grandpa Frank was standing in the doorway shaking his head. This kitchen hadn’t seen a mess like this in more years than he could remember. Taking a quick glance outside the window Grandpa Frank saw that Nicholas and Jack were building a snow fort.
Grandpa Frank turned the kitchen clock backwards and the mess cleaned itself up. With a chuckle Grandpa Frank went to the dining room where his guests awaited.

Entering the room Grandpa Frank saw that Dr. Amber and Dr. Simon were seated in the wingback chairs. The flames were merrily burning in the fireplace.

“Thank you both for coming. How is everyone faring on their little jaunt to the mortal world,” Grandpa Frank asked cheerfully.

“I haven’t skated this much in years,” Mother Nature enthused.

“I am finally able to show off my quilt collection. Not to mention my skill with paint and wallpaper,” Sandman gushed.

“What about you, Father Time,” Mother Nature enquired.

Father Time chuckled before responding, “I haven’t had this much fun in generations! Although I did have a close call earlier this week when young Jack had an adverse reaction to The Clock.”

“He said it made him really cold. Although it warms my heart to see that he still loves his hot cocoa. Mrs. Claus will be delighted to hear that when things get back to normal,” Sandman wisely predicted. This statement caused both Father Time and Mother Nature to chuckle.

“So will Santa. Jack’s cocoa is the best compliment to Mrs. Claus’ cookies,” Father Time joked.

“Has anyone recently checked on Noelle,” Mother Nature asked seriously.

“Why,” Father Time asked nervously.

“When I was talking to Jack earlier he said he saw her standing in the snow,” Mother Nature quietly informed.

“I sent Donner over after Jack left the office. Jack said Noelle was in his dreams last night,” Sandman calmly reassured.

“Any word back,” Father Time asked worriedly.

“Not yet. He should come through the fireplace at any moment,” Sandman informed calmly.

“Does anyone know how Santa convinced Donner to take human form for this assignment,” Mother Nature asked. Both gentlemen in the room shrugged their shoulders in
response. The three adults let the silence linger while the flames crackled brightly in the room.

True to Sandman’s word the tall, bulky form of Donner stepped through the fireplace. His thick beard was streaked with soot and his brown eyes showed an intelligence beyond he thirty-some odd years.

“Sorry to keep you all waiting but I had to make sure my daughter was in bed. It would have been difficult to explain turning into a reindeer and traveling through a fireplace to a seven year old doe. Especially one with her intelligence. That’s what I get for feeding her so many carrots.

“As you asked Mr. Sandman, I checked on Miss Noelle. The ice around her is a little thinner and there is more color to her. Beyond that I can’t tell,” Donner reported.

“There wasn’t any water around her was there,” Mother Nature asked.

“I didn’t see any, Miss Mother Nature,” Donner answered respectfully.

“Had she moved any,” Father Time asked nervously.

“No. Miss Noelle is still as stiff as the day she was encased,” Donner answered.

“Thank you for your help Donner. I’ll be sure to send over some extra carrots for you and your daughter in the morning,” Mother Nature graciously informed.

Donner let out a whistle that sounded like a neigh as he smiled to the group. “Thank you Mother Nature but I would do anything to help Mr. Jack and Miss Noelle. The both of them were always so kind to us. We just can’t stand to see them hurt,” Donner explained.

The other winter beings nodded their heads in remembrance of times long gone as Donner turned around and disappeared through the fire.

Meeting the Sandman

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Hi all

For this post I am sticking with Jack Frost. The following scene is between a child Jack and his therapist. As always feel free to leave a comment and

HAPPY READING,

“Grandpa Frank, I don’t want to be here,” Jack bitterly complained.

“Don’t frown Jack, you look like you just ate a lemon. There’s nothing wrong with talking to a doctor Jack,” Grandpa Frank sternly informed his grandson.

“I’m not crazy,” Jack pouted.

“Never said you were. But you do need to talk about how you feel with someone that you can trust to keep your secrets. And Dr. Sands is the most trustworthy person I know,” Grandpa Frank sagely informed with a twinkle in his eyes. Jack sat there pouting at having to talk to a stranger.

The two were sitting in a baby blue waiting room. They were sitting on the only two cushioned chairs in this odd room. The other chairs were brightly colored and hard plastic. Wooden frames hung on the walls.

Each frame was filled with a different picture. Most were done in crayons. All of them seemed to revolve around snow and winter. One picture was different. For starters it wasn’t done in crayon nor was it bright.

Muted would be the best word to describe it. The picture contained a large glass box that was engraved with icicles. Holly was entwined with the icicles. If Jack stared hard enough he could almost make out a figure in the glass box.

Cocking his head Jack rose from his chair and crossed the room. Jack stood on his toes to try and get a better look at the picture. As Jack concentrated on the picture he began to get light headed.

“Jack,” a soft male voice called from across the room.
Jack shook his head and turned to see a portly, balding man standing next to an oak door. Slumping his shoulders Jack walked towards the man. Jack glared at Grandpa Frank as he passed him. It took no more than a few seconds for Jack to reach the open door.

“I’m Dr. Simon Sands. You can call me Simon,” Dr. Sands jovially greeted as he ushered Jack into his office.

Jack shuffled his feet across the thresh hold before freezing in his tracks. Jack barely heard Simon close the door. This office was incredible. The walls were a sandy color and seemed to swirl when they were stared at. On every solid surface was a snow globe. Blue and purple icicle lights hung from the ceiling and several quilts were stacked high on a plush couch.

“Wow,” Jack breathed, “You really like winter.”

“That and sleep,” Simon chuckled.

“You have the neatest office I have ever seen,” Jack complimented.

“Thank you. Why don’t you make yourself comfortable,” Simon invited.

Forgetting that he didn’t want to be there, Jack quickly climbed on the couch and burrowed in.

“Why don’t you tell me about yourself,” Simon asked quietly.

Jack frowned. He had no clue how to talk to a stranger about himself. Jack didn’t like talking about himself. Scrunching his brow Jack asked, “What do you want to know?”

“Anything you want to tell me. For instance do you have a favorite color,” Simon asked patiently.

“Blue,” Jack replied shortly.
“What shade of blue?”

“All colors. Especially when they mix with light and water to create the colors of winter. Winter’s my favorite season,” Jack finished wistfully.

“Why is that?”

“Because winter is fun. You can make snowmen and have snowball fights. You can slide down hills and skate. But most of all you can dance,” Jack finished giddily.

“Do you like to dance,” Simon asked.
“Not really,” Jack shrugged noncomittally.

“What else do you like?”

“Snow.”

“What about your Grandpa?”

“I’m not sure right now. I didn’t want to come here.”

“What about your family?”

Jack’s blue eyes lit up at the mention of his family. “My sister. Noelle. She is the best,” Jack enthused.

“Where is she now?”

“She’s sick in the hospital. It seems like everyone is forgetting her. Mom and Dad had to leave the country for work and Grandpa Frank keeps trying to get me to play. I can’t play without Noelle,” Jack harshly muttered.

“Why can’t you play without her,” Simon asked.

“Because she is the only one who ever cared for me. It wouldn’t be right,” Jack harshly insisted.

“Your grandpa loves you,” Simon stated.

Jack sneered before replying, “Not really. He didn’t start coming around until we were five.”

“Just because he wasn’t always there doesn’t mean he doesn’t care,” Simon gently explained.

Jack just frowned sourly at that. “If you love someone, you should be there for them,” Jack insisted.

“Sometimes being there isn’t possible Jack. Sometimes things change,” Simon patiently explained.

Introductions

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Hi folks,

I decided I would put Iseult on hold for a little while and see where I could go with the origin of Jack Frost and why he is so bitter. And what could be done with his bitterness.

As usual remember that this is a rough draft and concept in the making. As always feel free to leave a review and

HAPPY READING

Jack’s youthful face was framed with spiky white-blond hair. He sat in a bay window staring at gently falling snow. A frown marred his youthful feature as tears lined his blue eyes. He was clutching a heavy silver locket in his hand.

He watched as the neighborhood kids bundled up in heavy coats built snowmen and forts. One snowball and then another flew past the window. Jack could barely make out the raucous laughter of the children. Shaking his head violently, Jack wiped the tears from his eyes.

Looking up from the window Jack noticed that Grandpa Frank was watching him with a sorrowful expression on his weathered face. “Why don’t you go out and play Jack?”

“I want to go home, Grandpa Frank. I miss playing with Noelle,” his young voice squeaked.

Grandpa Frank shook his head as he explained, “Your parents aren’t going to be home Jack. Between their work and sitting at the hospital with Noelle your parents thought that it would be easier if you stayed with me for a while.”

“It’s not fair! Noelle should be playing with me too,” Jack whined.

“She’s sick Jack. You know that. Now why don’t you go play with the other kids; Noelle wouldn’t want you to stop playing,” Grandpa Frank insisted.
“It’s not the same without her Grandpa Frank,” Jack cried plaintively as his tears finally fell.

Grandpa Frank sighed as he sat next to Jack. Pulling Jack into his lap, Grandpa Frank held him close as he cried himself to sleep. Never once did Jack let go of the silver locket at his neck.
“She’ll get better Jack. I promised,” Grandpa Frank whispered into his white-blond head.

On the other side of the room a fire sprang to life in the fireplace casting a reddish-orange glow across the room. Grandpa Frank had a ghost of a smile on his face as he cuddled Jack in his thin arms.

Carefully rocking his grandson Frank silently prayed that he would be okay. Before Grandpa Frank could finish his silent prayer Jack woke with a start. “When did you light a fire Grandpa Frank?”

With a wink to Jack, Frank pulled a small, rectangular remote from his pants pocket and said, “Don’t tell. I cheated.”
Jack smiled wanly and decided, “I think I’ll go to my room for a bit grandpa.”

“What about going out to play, Jack?”

Jack shook his head and sadly whispered, “Not without Noelle, grandpa.”

The last thing Jack heard as he left the room was a low sigh from grandpa. Jack quickly made his way to the stairs. Once he climbed the red carpeted stairs Jack went down the little hallway and into his room.

Grandpa Frank had lived in this house for as long as Jack could remember. He and Noelle even had their own rooms here. Noelle’s room had a green door with sprigs of ivy painted on it. Jack’s room had a blue door with white icicles etched into it.
Jack loved icicles. His bed had icicles and snowflakes on the cover and pillows; he even had icicle action figures. The only thing that Jack owned without icicles on it was his silver locket. In it there was a picture of his twin sister – Noelle.

Jack sat on his icicle shaped bed and opened his locket once more. He watched longingly as Noelle danced her heart away in the snow. “I wish you were better Noelle. The snow isn’t the same without you,” he whispered as tears stained his young cheeks.

A loud crash startled Jack into looking up. Disbelief carved itself into Jack’s sad features as he saw a snowball in the middles of broken glass on the floor. “What,” he exclaimed.
Jack tiptoed around the broken glass and approached the window. Before looking out the window he heard a merry whistle. With confusion Jack peeked out of the now broken window only to see Grandpa Frank waving at him from below.

Dropping his jaw, Jack exclaimed, “Grandpa! Why did you do that?”

“It got your attention, didn’t it,” Grandpa Frank hollered up at him.
Jack cocked his head and frowned as one of the neighborhood kids ran up to Grandpa Frank. Jack watched and his grandpa and the kid talked animatedly. The kid looked at grandpa and then up at Jack. The kid waved and yelled, “Do you want to come play with us?”

Not knowing what to do Jack shook his head at the scene below him and backed away from the window. Jack surveyed his now messy room and frowned deeply. This time there were no tears in his eyes.

Grumbling to himself Jack left the room and walked to the bathroom at the end of the hall. He grabbed the broom and dustpan as well as the trash bin. When he got back to the room Jack noticed that the door was open. Looking inside he saw Grandpa Frank sitting on his bed with a half smile on his face.

“Grandpa, you broke my window.”

“I know. I’ll clean it up too, don’t worry.

“You need to relax Jack. Why don’t you at least go and sit outside,” grandpa hinted.

With a sigh accentuating his slumped shoulders Jack made his way downstairs once more. Jack knew that if he didn’t at least go outside Grandpa Frank would keep pestering him until he did.
While shaking his head at Grandpa Frank’s antics he went to the hall closet and pulled out his heavy blue winter coat and snow boots. As he was snapping the icicle buttons Jack heard Grandpa Frank coming down the stairs.

So Grandpa Frank would see him outside Jack quickly went out the door. Once he closed the door Jack was blinded by the light reflected off the blanket of snow. He rubbed his eyes and looked at the other kids playing in the snow.

Before he could start to cry Jack sat on the stoop. With his elbows on his knees Jack watched as two kids skated on the street where someone had loosened a hydrant. In two different yards kids were building snowmen; at the base of the snowmen were snow angels.

These made Jack smile. Last year Jack remembered Noelle making a chain of snow angels that circled the snowmen. Their dad had even dressed up like Santa and pulled up in a sleigh – Jack still hadn’t figured out how his dad had managed to hide the motor of the sleigh.

As Jack remembered the last winter before Noelle fell ill he started to smile.

“Hi,” a boy’s voice greeted, startling Jack.

Jack sourly smiled at the boy. “My name’s Nicholas. What’s yours?”

“Jack,” was the bitter reply.

Frozen in Ice

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Hi all,

I am part of a writing group and they gave us a prompt this week that piqued my imagination. We were given a picture of a woman in what looked like a glass coffin and told to tell her story. I decided that Sleeping Beauty was to easy a route to go.

I hope that what I have come up with intrigues you as much as the image did me. In the next couple of months I hope to take this piece and turn it into a full length novel. At any rate as always I hope you enjoy and feel free to leave a review.

HAPPY READING

Frozen in Ice

Prologue

A man with icicles in his white hair stood in front of an icy coffin. Engraved in scrolling gold letters on top of the coffin was the name Noelle. In the coffin lay a woman with jet black hair and blood red lips. Her eyelids were tattooed with holly. Pale skin stretched over high cheekbones. Around her neck was a pearl and amber choker.

The man standing in front of the coffin with his head bowed and frozen tears fell from his eyes. Ice was forming around his pale lips as he brokenly murmured, “One day Noelle, you will walk the snows with me again. I promise.”

“You shouldn’t come here everyday Jack,” an aged man sagely informed from the white doorway.

“She can still hear me Father Time,” Jack replied brokenly.

“Seeing her everyday isn’t healthy for you,” Father Time insisted.

“If I don’t visit my sister, who will?”

“The two of you aren’t alone,” Father Time insisted again.
Jack’s thin lips sneered as he turned to face Father Time. “For someone who has been around since The Beginning you don’t know everything. Or is it that you have forgotten,” Jack harshly retorted.

Father Time shook his grey head an closed his ancient blue eyes. “Jack, we are all still here. Just in different aspects than our pasts,” Father Time explained softly.

A glittering teardrop fell from Jack’s clear eyes as he bitterly shot back, “Sixty years ago she danced beautifully on the snowflakes! Now the mortals couldn’t tell you her name! How am I not supposed to be bitter,” Jack asked hotly.

“Jack, time will heal all,” Father Time sagely assured.

Jack violently shook his head as he spat, “Not this time, Father Time. Unless they return to the old ways never will Noelle slide down the snowbanks again,” Jack bitterly assured.

“Times change Mr. Frost,” a mellow female voice said from outside the room.

“Mother Nature,” Jack sneered.

“You’re young by our standards Mr. Frost. But not by the world’s. You know these things, why can you not accept them?”

“Because out of all of us she is the only one who ever cared for me. Noelle is kind, gentle, and caring. Not to mention free spirited and fun loving. My sister doesn’t deserve to be forgotten by the fleeting memories of mortals,” Jack stubbornly insisted as icicles began to form in his short locks.

“Jack, she will dance again,” Father Time benevolently guaranteed.

Jack angrily shook his head as he stormed past Mother Nature and Father Time leaving a light trail of fallen snow in his wake.
Mother Nature bowed her vine tangled hair in the wake of Jack’s icy anger as Father time sadly shook his elderly head. “How do we thaw Jack’s frozen bitterness,” Mother Nature asked Father Time.

“With time he will see that the mortals will remember the joyfulness that Noelle embodied. Until then all we can do is keep Noelle surrounded by warm hope and soft thoughts,” Father Time positively stated.

“Jack won’t accept that Father Time. We have to be able to tell him something more than that,” Mother Nature quietly insisted as a cool wind swept the snow away.

With hunched shoulders Father Time closed his eyes as he stood in front of the frozen Noelle Frost. “I don’t know what to tell him,” Father Time whispered as a tear trailed down his paper thin face.

“Do you think Mr. or Mrs. Claus could help,” Mother Nature gently asked.

“They could try. Unfortunately I think it would only increase Jack’s bitterness. After all Mrs. Claus has gained in popularity where Noelle has lost,” he sadly explained.

Mother Nature shook her head as she joined Father Time in front of Noelle Frost. As the two stood silent watch over the frozen youth, multicolored leaves fell to the floor around them.

***

Snow was falling heavily around the sparkling house on the hill. Of all the houses on the North Pole this one stood out the most. Multicolored lights were reflecting off the falling snow like a rainbow of diamonds in the sun. Smoke was coming from the chimney and golden lights glowed in the windows.

In the arched doorway Mother Nature stood wrapped in a cloak of leaves. She stood there until a small figure in green opened the door and chirpily greeted, “Mother Nature! What brings you here?”

Mother Nature smiled patiently and replied, “Hello Trixie. Are Mr. and Mrs. Claus in?”

Trixie energetically nodded as she directed, “They’re in the main study. He’s going over his list.”

Mother Nature smiled at Trixie as she thanked the little elf. Trixie’s ears turned a bright red as she disappeared.
With a fond smile Mother Nature shook her head as she made her way to the most famous study in the world. After a polite knock on the stone entryway Mother Nature heard a jovial, “Enter.”

Mother Nature glided into the cozy study like a gentle spring breeze. “Hello Santa and Mrs. Claus,” she politely greeted.

“Mother Nature! What a nice surprise,” Mrs. Claus exclaimed.

“What’s wrong old friend,” Santa asked from his wingback chair.

“What makes you think something’s wrong,” Mother Nature asked.

“I smell rain in the air,” Santa wisely answered.

Mother Nature bowed her curly, vine entangled head. “Can you talk to Jack,” she pleaded softly.

“He’s still visiting Noelle than?”

“Worse. He’s getting bitter,” Mother Nature gravely informed her old friend.

“Oh no,” Mrs. Claus whispered as her chocolatey eyes began to shine.

“He could make winter bitterly cold for all of us if he doesn’t accept that people and things change,” Mother Nature quietly explained.

“I know old friend. But, what can we do,” Santa worriedly asked.

“You and Mrs. Claus are the most magical of the winter beings. Surely you can do something,” Mother Nature pleaded the crackling fire emphasized her hope.

Santa sat contemplatively, his list forgotten, as he pondered what he could do. Slowly the twinkle returned to Santa’s eyes. “Trying to talk to Jack wouldn’t do any good. However, there is something that can be done. It would take you, me, and Father Time,” Santa told Mother Nature conspiratorially.

Mother Nature cocked her head to the side as she asked, “What do you have in mind?”

“Let me have one of the elves call Father Time. It’s best if we discuss this when we are all together,” Santa gravely stated. Mother Nature looked at Santa with confusion as one of the elves called for Father Time.

Mrs. Claus walked across the study and put a hand on Santa’s right should as she leaned in and whispered softly to him. Mrs. Claus then walked out of the room with a homely smile towards Mother Nature. Mother Nature smiled graciously at her hostess and continued to stare at Santa in confusion.

The crackling flames in the fireplace roared loudly in the silence. Santa and Mother Nature stared into the flames as though they contained the answers to their problems. Slowly the fire glowed brighter as a black square with symmetrical lines formed in the center of the flames.

Slowly the square grew larger in size until it covered the flames. Once the square stabilized an elderly form stepped through the square as spryly as Santa went down a smooth chimney.

“Show off,” Mother Nature whispered with a fond smile.
The form bent form straightened as he was able and gave a warm smile to Santa before asking, “You had something that you wanted to talk about?”

“I’m hoping you could help me with something, Father Time.
“Mother Nature has told me the sad state that Jack Frost has fallen into and I think there may be a way we can help him,” Santa finished mysteriously.

“What did you have in mind,” his ancient voice cracked.
As his guests stood waiting on him, Santa smiled and replied,

“We turn Jack into a child.” Santa’s smile never left his face as he gave his solution.

Mother Nature’s eyes widened as the vines in her hair went vibrant green to brittle brown. Father Time had a few white hairs turn chestnut brown. “That’s…..” Father Time muttered.

“I think I need to sit down,” Mother Nature mumbled.

Two chairs appeared out of the air for the mythical beings to sit upon as they watched Santa grin. With a jovial chuckle Santa explained, “Between the tree of us we have the willpower to bind Jack’s memories and turn him into a mortal child temporarily. He needs to remember how to play. With a little luck not only will we get Jack back, but Noelle as well.”

Mother Nature stared into space for a moment before whispering, “My only question is how would he return to us?”

“Bind his memories to something precious. When he remembers what it is like to be a child and play the spell would lift automatically,” Santa firmly stated.

“Who would watch over him,” Father Time asked sagely.
Santa gave a half smile as he calmly answered, “Old friend, I was hoping you would take over the role as his grandfather.”

Father Time chuckled and smiled as he replied, “Count me in. I haven’t spent time with the mortals that decide our fate in years.”
Mother Nature smiled as bright as a summer sun to signify her agreement to Santa’s rather outlandish plan.

The Final Order

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Hi all,

For this post we have gone back to Arthurian Legend. Here we have a different perspective on the court of King Arthur in its final days. That of his disgraced queen, Guinnevere.

In a hard chair on the balcony above the Table Round sat a stately woman in dark green brocade. No smile graced her face as silver began to weave its way through her reddish gold hair. No one sat on either side of her. On this day she sat alone with her noble head bowed, blue eyes closed in contemplation of her sad state.

It was only now becoming clear to her the price she had paid for her folly. No longer was she respected. She was a queen in name only.

After her treachery Guinevere had concluded that a return to the court was the best she could hope for. Her new position allowed Guinnevere to relish the unease on her detractor’s faces. She enjoyed watching their bafflement. For some reason that Guinnevere couldn’t understand, they were having trouble accepting the fact that Arthur would keep her as his wife. After all, they caught her breaking her vows.

That bothered her enemies the most, that they caught her. Guinnevere knew that there were several other nobles doing the same thing that she had done. The difference between them and her was the fact that they caught her. Her enemies knew what they would have done had they caught their spouses with another and they couldn’t figure out why the king wouldn’t do the same.

If Guinnevere ever reached her dotage, she would treasure the memories.

Ever since Arthur allowed her to return to Court, Guinnevere watched its key players closer than ever. Guinnevere brushed off the lessons of her youth and followed the instructions of her dame. She never thought that she would need the lessons that she learned as a child in Caledon.

Guinnevere was present at the last three sessions, and judging from what her ladies-in-waiting told her there was more happening than her husband knew. After the meeting scheduled for that day, she planned to tell him all. There was no way that she would allow the kingdom to fall any farther than it already had. Arthur wouldn’t allow it when he discovered her infidelity and she wouldn’t allow it to fall when Mordred was trying to commit treason. Trying was the key word because she highly doubted the boy could accomplish anything if he tried. She saw him try his hand at many things, all of which generally failed – unless his dame was at his side.

That day the knights were more restless than usual; especially Seraphim. On the few occasions that she had seen the Lady Champion, she was like a simmering stew pot ready to boil over. She had been like that for almost a month, and to anyone who knew her that was never a good sign. Most people found that it pointed towards a foolish idea of Arthur’s; more often than not, they were right and his ideas were foolish, if not plain stupid.

It felt good to be able to call Arthur husband and mean it. It had been far too long since she was able to do either. It simply meant that some things reverted to the way that they were supposed to be with time.

Guinnevere knew her husband was contemplating war against his nephew. The treacherous boy was attempting to destroy the Table, bent on Camelot’s destruction.

Guinnevere knew that his actions were partly her fault. There was no way she was fully to blame for it, but she readily admitted that the signs of war that were beginning to show were partly her fault.

However, Guinnevere knew that Morgause was more to blame than anyone else was. Guinnevere knew that if Seraphim had any ideas on how to accomplish such a feat, than the deed would already be done. Knowing Seraphim, she did but they were not practicable due to the amount of blood that they would shed; and everybody knew that you weren’t supposed to shed royal blood. Such an action would inevitably force Arthur into war and that was something that he did not want if he could help it.

Guinnevere, like everyone else, was unsure when the attack was scheduled. True, her sources weren’t as good as they once were, but they were better than most other people’s sources. After all, she was still a queen, and frankly, they were not.

The opening of the thick wooden doors to the great hall pulled Guinnevere from her wandering thoughts. Arthur walked in followed closely by Seraphim. The expression on the Champions face – or rather the absence of one – told the queen many things. None of which she liked.

Seraphim escorted Arthur to his seat and then took her own. The stiffness of her posture indicated that the meeting would be an explosive one, and at worst, it could spell destruction to all they knew. There were many spectators for that day’s gathering of the knights. All present seemed to know that it would be a very important meeting.

When Arthur took his seat, the noise in the hall ceased and silence reined for a brief span of moments. Guinnevere had the impression that would be the last time anyone in attendance would hear silence of that profound a nature.

“My knights, for more than a generation we have lived in peace. That changes this spring. For when the snows melt and the land dries, we march against Mordred and those who follow his banner.

“You know as well as I, more than a few of those with him used to sit at this Table. I regret that I must order you to fight against those that you have called friends and brothers. If we are to survive, I have no choice. Just as I have no choice in giving another unbearable order, one by all rights that I shouldn’t have to give.” There he paused and then turned to look squarely at his Champion.

“My Champion, I forbid you to fight in what is most likely to be our final battle.” Stunned silence followed his statement.

At the beginning of his speech, Arthur’s tone was grave; by the end of it, his voice was as hard as Excalibur’s steel. His tone told everyone present he and his Champion already had that argument and they were about to have it again – in public. Those knights closest to the two surreptitiously moved away from them. They knew what happened when those two argued and they wanted no part of it. Actually, they wanted to be nowhere near the danger zone but at present, they couldn’t leave so they opted to move further from the immediate vicinity. Even a small distance from the two contenders would offer a minor degree of protection.

“Milord, you cannot give me that order. To stand by your side in battle is my God given right as your Champion!” Righteous indignation filled Seraphim’s tone. Every member at the Table agreed with her – yet none would speak against Arthur. They were Knights of the Round Table, but they were not that brave.

None of them held any illusions of the upcoming battle. They all knew the caliber of the knights they would be fighting and they knew the likelihood of their survival was slim. They also knew that without her on the field they would have one less ally on their side. At least their memories would live on, hopefully not too tainted by her version of storytelling. Assuming that she decided to mention any of their names at all, that was.

All could hear the determination in her voice and all knew that this was one battle Seraphim was destined to lose. They only hoped she could accept what was likely to be the loss of Camelot. Because she was the one who had believed in it before it existed. She was the one chosen to see the dream die. It was a fate none of them envied.

“Nonetheless I am giving you that order. And as a loyal subject you will follow it.” All could tell he truly did not wish to give her that order but they knew as well as he did someone had to survive, and that unlucky lot fell upon Seraphim. For many generations the women folk had persevered in the face of adversity and they all knew if Camelot were to be remembered, she would have to carry the torch.

“I will not. My place is by your side when danger threatens. And there is no place more dangerous than a battlefield!”

“You will stay off the field and you will tell the world the wonders of Camelot or you will face my displeasure!” With Arthur’s last statement Seraphim’s jaw snapped shut. There was no one at the Table who would risk his displeasure. Not even Seraphim.

Without another word, she rose from her seat and stormed from the great hall. That was the last time anyone saw her in Court…