Monday, March 5, 2012

"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold."

-- Leo Tolstoy

He likes her better when she appears human, imperfect ‒ when she isn’t hidden beneath the shimmery paint that makes her so much less.  She never understands his compulsion to smudge her makeup, to mar the even coating.  He can usually restrain himself but every now and again that irrational need bubbles up and he trails a finger along her cheek, her arm, her shoulder, smearing the glitter and the powder.  She will slap his hand away, exasperated.  And he will stand and watch her hurry back to her room for a touch-up, only continuing on his way once she is out of sight.

Friday, March 2, 2012

“A mask of gold hides all deformities.”

--Thomas Dekker

She is merely decoration, and for that, her eyes must be kept closed.  She isn’t at court for our own pleasure.  She is there to entertain others: the party-goers, the nobles, and any other visitors to court.  It is a rare honor indeed, and she was chosen out of thousands of girls ‒ she alone was chosen to join the ranks of those considered the great beauties of the land.  But her beauty is all they require of her, and so her eyes are kept shut.  For when they are shut, she doesn’t quite look real ‒ the body paint, the glitter and the charcoal mask her humanity.  As required of her position, she reclines on one of the luxurious sofas scattered around the court, motionless save for the barest hint of breathing.  She is not allowed to move for the duration of her shift, and as long as she follows the rules, no one cares what she does during her free time.

But even at home, she was one for finding the troublemakers.

“Open your eyes, love.”

She manages to keep a straight face, despite the smile waiting just behind her lips.

“Won’t you open your eyes for me, lovely?”

Still she shows no outward sign of having heard him.  Gradually, the crooned question morphs into a wheedle, and she can feel her composure cracking.

“Love, why won’t your let me see your beautiful eyes?”

That does it.  Her eyebrow quirks ‒ just the slightest fraction, but his keen eye catches the movement.  He laughs softly, touches her hand briefly.  “I win.  Bring something . . . sparkly,” he decides.