Friday, 2 August 2013

Go back upstairs and put on the clothes I laid out for you

Writer’s Block

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

Be sure to tag writeworld in your block!

“Go back upstairs and put on the clothes I laid out for you,” he ordered.
“No.”
“What?”
“They are not right for me.”
“You dare to defy me?”
She stepped back a little. He frightened her. “I-I d-don’t want to wear those clothes. The colour is wrong.”
He stood right in front of her. He was much taller and bigger than her. “There is no choice in this matter. You will wear what I tell you to.”
She was terrified of him but she managed to whisper, “And what if I don’t?”
He looked down at her. His head tilted slightly as he studied her. No one ever defied him, she knew that and she could not say what made her do it now.
“Then I will carry you upstairs and I will dress you myself,” he said. It didn’t sound like a threat; more of a statement.
She blinked. He had not touched her since the ceremony. She wasn’t sure how to deal with him carrying her anywhere let alone into their bedroom. The bedroom he didn’t sleep in. And undressing her? She must have looked very nervous. The thought that he had laid out her clothes worried her, too. She hadn’t known that.
He added, “This is a meeting of all the nation’s leaders and their consorts. The dress is traditionally worn by the female of our nation, my consort.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that?”
“I just did.”
“No, I mean if I know this in advance, then I can understand why it’s necessary and I can pick my own dresses for times when I can choose.”
“You can’t choose today. It matches my outfit.”
“I understand. So just tell me things.” She stopped suddenly as she realised she had most definitely crossed a line. “Please,” she added.
He raised one eyebrow. “Do you need my help to change?”
“No.” She paused. “Thank you.”
He jigged his head towards the stairs.
She ran.
~~~~~~~
She couldn’t find her servants so she had to get dressed by herself. By the time she got back downstairs, he was waiting for her; fully dressed. They did match. She had never seen anything like it before. For the first time she felt like his consort and not just a contracted partner.
“Much better,” he said. He held her by the arm and pulled her over to the gigantic wall mirror. He placed his hand on her hip. “This is the wheat that grows on the plains.” His hand moved to point at her chest. “This is the timber in our forests, this is the-“
Now she could see the patterns woven into the material. “Oh, I see. That’s the fish… right?”
“Yes.”
The pattern was not painted on, but was intricately woven into the material itself and then expertly cut and sewn so that no symbol on her costume was obscured. She had not appreciated it earlier. It was worth a fortune. She turned around to look at the back of her dress.
He frowned at the state of the lacing.
“I couldn’t find the maid,” she explained. She was still embarrassed to order them to help her.
“Breathe out,” he instructed. He tightened the stays expertly.
She watched him in the mirror and wondered how many women he had dressed (and undressed) in his life. He knew what he was doing. Her breasts popped spectacularly.
He glanced up and caught her looking.
She lowered her eyes quickly and stared at the floor.
He reached around and lifted her chin to see their reflection. “Look, see how well we match?”
His fingers were rough and hard against the skin of her face. No man had ever touched her before, but he had every right to do so. He was her husband and had been for weeks. They were a matched pair but not in every sense of the phrase.
His scrutiny was too much for her and she blushed.
He noticed. His hand dropped.
He sighed. “I am sorry I have not been… attentive of late.”
She didn’t know what to say to that. She couldn’t breathe. Had he done the stays too tight?
He stared at her.
What if he kissed her? Did she want him to kiss her? What if he didn’t kiss her? All of the options were terrifying.
She tried to move away from him but he stopped her with his hands on her shoulders. They slid up the bare skin of her neck to cradle her face. “May I?” he asked.
“My lord?” She swallowed nervously.
“Kiss you. I want to kiss you.”
“I am yours.” He could kill her and no one would stop him.
“I know …but it is well to ask.”
She couldn’t speak so she nodded quickly.
His thumb brushed over her lower lip. She kept her eyes open. She wanted to see.
His face hovered over hers. His eyes looked… puzzled. And the tiniest bit sad.
Her mouth opened to ask him why he was sad when his lips made contact with hers. He held her where he wanted her. One hand moved to hold the back of her head. Her eyes closed and heat bloomed through her body as he kissed her. When he withdrew he got his fingers caught in her hair.
Her heart thudded painfully in her chest and she felt as if she was underwater. He was apologising for messing up her hair but she couldn’t hear him. She kept staring at his moving lips. She thrust her face back at his but banged their noses together and mashed her lips into his before pulling away.
“Oh…oh… I did that wrong,” she wailed.
He grabbed her to stop her running away.
She was mortified. She tried to put her hands over her face but he stopped her.
He chuckled. “It’s all right.” He held her in his arms. “You have surprised me twice today.”
She gave an awkward shrug. Her arms were trapped between them.
“So, I need to tell you things and-” His voice dropped. “-show you some… other things.”
Like how to kiss properly. She reached up and carefully touched his face.
“Tonight?” he asked. “After the dinner.”
She nodded. She thought her heart would explode.
He held her hand during the ceremony. She had to cling to his arm with her other hand; frightened she might float away. Observers saw how attentive he was of her and everyone noticed when they made their apologies and left early. It was also noted that they didn’t emerge from their bed chamber for a full twenty four hours.
~~~~

© AM Gray 2013