Rose stood stiffly on the stool as a pair of seamstresses pinned the hem of Minuet’s wedding gown. Minuet stood watching, radiant with happiness at her decision to wed as well as at her decision to wear her gown. “I’m more certain than ever that Mother and Father never expected me to marry,” she thought with a smile. “Mother,” she said, “I
suppose you understand that Fuzz and I want to wait for Lukus and Soraya to arrive
before we have the wedding?”
“That’s what your father and I assumed,” said Minuet as she stooped to examine just how her hem was pinned in a certain place, “but Lukus and his family should be arriving in a few short weeks, which really only gives us scarcely enough time for all the arrangements.”
“We have plenty of time if we keep it small enough, Mother,” said Rose with a smile.
Minuet opened her mouth to protest, but closed it with a grin. “It is your wedding, Rose. And I suppose you’re right, all things considered.”
“Yes,” said Rose, as she thought: “After calling off the extravagant affair with James, who knows how it would go? Besides, these are bad times upon us.” She stepped off the stool and out of the gown as the seamstresses carried it away for alterations. “Mother,” she said, picking up her robe from across a chair. “I’ve come to a decision. I want you to do something for me, if you will.”
“My word. Is something wrong?”
“Very wrong, actually. But to put you at ease, this has nothing to do with the wedding.”
“By all means dear, if I possibly can. What is it?”
“Could you teach me to use my powers?”
“Why, I thought you’d decided that you wanted nothing to do with becoming a sorceress, Rose,” she said with an astonished look.
“No, by no means. I never did. But I suppose I was doing little more than following in your footsteps, all these years. I think that under the current circumstances it would be irresponsible to have such an ability and not use it for the good of all.”
Minuet’s eyes flashed.
“Oh, my! I didn’t mean it to sound that way. I was only referring to me. Our circumstances are altogether different. I’m not queen of anywhere. Fuzz is a military man and will undoubtedly be in the thick of what’s coming, and I’ve every intention of being right beside him, so will you teach me?”
“Have you discussed this with Fuzz, dear? It would not be right to keep something like this to yourself.”
“Not yet,” said Rose with a sigh, “but rest assured, he’ll abide by whatever I…”
“Of course Rose, I’d not expect otherwise. But it would put me at ease, knowing that you’d discussed it with him.”
“You’re so provincial, Mother.”
“‘Considerate’ is what we once called it, I believe.”
“I’ll go speak with him this minute, but I suggest you go dig out your wand.”
“All right,” said Minuet, as a strange light kindled in her eye. “You’ve a bargain.”
Ch. 35, Stone Heart
Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps