The fragrant smell of aged wine drifted into the air like one being called forth by the melodious pipe of a sorcerer. She sat by the window seat, still like the statue of a saint, hardened like forged steel. But her countenance, it was filled with grace! Her dark hair rolled softly about her shoulders like a silken threads, and her smile, in the days she used to smile, lit up the very night sky.
When Eden’s father died, one can say that misfortune and his friends arrived upon her threshold. Her life lost its luster, and she became a shadow of herself. Bright lively eyes became stern and brooding, lips that easily curved remained a firm line like she bit them in order to remain silent and unspoken to.
She shunned gay colors, but consented to black and grey, forever in mourning. The voice of Eden, it danced upon one’s ears as lightly as a feather would brush against the frail leaves of a tree- her father loved to hear her sing. It lingered like the drowsiness that often accompanies port. It soothed like the drops of rain on the day of an unforgiving summer, and it nourished the hearts of all who were blessed to have heard it so that they ached and lusted to their ruin. And when Aunt Betsy came to visit, Aunt Betsy who was to Eden like a breath of fresh air…still there was no change.
“Can she no longer speak?” Aunt Betsy inquired of her mother
“The doctors say she is in a state of shock…”
“For two years! Mercy me” Aunt Betsy clucked her tongue
“Shh, do not speak of it” her mother cautioned weakly, nervous fingers gripped her tea cup as though clinging for dear life. She could not bear to see Eden’s almost soulless eyes, fixed upon her in disapproval of being discussed.
“But she cannot carry on so!” Aunt Betsy exclaimed eyeing Eden pitifully out of the corner of her eye as she sat by the window, looking out at the world below. Things went on in this manner, until one night when the clock struck twelve, and a maid whom had awoken to get herself some water, caught a glimpse of a figure in a white flowing gown. She gasped in surprise “Why, t’is Lady Eden, upon my word and clothed not in black!”
The figure turned to reveal tear stricken cheeks and then Eden did a most surprising thing startling the maid out of her wits so much that she knocked over a lamp, and it crashed to the ground!
Quietly, but audibly enough.
“Papa was poisoned by mother, it is with these hands that I fed him the medicine which I thought would make him well, but it was all her doing, all of it, Oh Marian! Do you think papa would forgive my childish foolishness?” Her voice had not lost its radiance for all the silence it had borne these two years and her hands, which now gripped the shoulders of the maid were alarmingly firm and cold. Marian, still very much startled, managed to somewhat collect herself on hearing the sound of approaching footsteps. The noise had awoken the Manor. But Eden was already gone!
As Marian fumbled for words to explain what had just occurred, leaving out Eden’s distressed message while eyeing her mistress with a curious eye, it was with excitement on hearing that Eden had spoken at all that the mistress of the manor, along with Aunt Betsy, the doorman, and the servants made their way to Eden’s chamber, where they found her lying peacefully in black like a princess in a picture book.
Not a single breath escaped her, Eden was cold as marble.
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