The Grey City I

Tuesday April 20, 2004 @ 03:27 PM (UTC)

The rain drummed on the wooden deck and splashed down the wool of Carys’s cloak, and she stared at the glassy play of its rivulets off the partial shelter of the boards overhead. Her abstraction broke at last as she felt her sister sob against her, and she pulled aside her sheltering cloak to see the tears on Eirian’s pale face.

“Hush, child,” she said, as if she were fifteen years, not five, the senior.

“Do we have to go there?” asked Eirian, blinking rain and tears from her blue eyes. Her sister looked towards the city, greyer than the weathered boards of the ship’s deck, its square silhouette obscured by smoke and fog, and held the little one closer.

“Yes, dear,” she murmured, “we haven’t anywhere else to go. Somewhere we have an aunt and uncle in all that fog, and we will make a home with them.”

“We had a home,” grumbled the seven-year-old, burying her face in Carys’s skirts, and giving up the fight even in her plaintive words.

“Hush,” Carys said again, almost unconsciously, and, petting the chill of raindrops from the soft dark curls, sang softly,
Rings the great bell
Comes the swift rain
All will be well
When my babe’s home again.

With a dull grinding, the Alcyone moved into its berth in the dark water of the city harbor.

The Grey City II


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