“A day in the life of…”“- Part 8


Books; the room was filled with them. Three of the four walls were lined with shelves and each shelf was so crowded with books they became geometrical puzzles of art. The room was being barely large enough to hold two people, much less two people and several hundred books. Jaedin felt slightly uneasy in the small space.

One look at the woman sitting on a wooden bench beneath the shelves and suddenly there was little room for feeling anything but a quiet sadness. “Miranda.” Her name filled the small cell, and she looked up. Her eyes were red from weeping, but there were no tears on her cheeks now.

“Master J-jaedin.” There was the slightest quiver in her voice; Jaedin shut his eyes as if to block out the pain wound so tightly into those two words. The name was a prayer to her, a prayer, question, and answer. Two steps brought him to the bench; his fingers brushed the top of her raven black hair. With a small shudder, she leaned into his hand. “I tried, really I did. I tried so hard to do as you asked.”

“I know you did.” Jaedin slowly drew his hand away. “You did all that was asked of you. I just wish…” He paused, “that you had not been forced to endure for so long.”

And now the tears came again. Quiet tears, one after another, falling without sound onto the floor of the room. “Every night…he came to me and f-forced…f-f-forced himself…it was t-t-too much…”

Placing a hand on either side of her face, Jaedin gently raised her gaze to his, “He raped you, Miranda. He raped you in the worst possible way. What he did gives even rape a bad name.” Lips brushed her cheeks, tasting the salt of her tears. “You must be strong for a little longer yet, dearest Miranda.”


Although the next destination was only a few minutes away by carriage, Jaedin sent the carriage ahead and struck out on foot. Marcus tailed behind him wordlessly.

Half an hour later, Jaedin paused before a large stone gateway with a hanging sign that read ‘Kytrell’. Motioning Marcus to proceed ahead of him, they passed through the gateway and onto the estate’s grounds. It did not take Jaedin long to find the kitchen. Even the stones that lined the outside of the room were blackened. The door that had once provided the kitchen access to the woodpile was no longer there. Jaedin and Marcus stepped through the empty doorway and into a room filled with the faint aroma of charred pig and burnt spices. Silently, Jaedin paced along the edge of the room, careful not to disturb the wreckage of pottery shards and ash taking up much of the space.

Marcus finally broke the silence, “Are you looking for something, Master Jaedin?”

Instead of answering, Jaedin ran the edge of his walking stick through the ashes, shifting charred black pieces aside. Lowering himself, careful to keep ash from the cuffs of his stark white shirt, Jaedin lifted a small black cylindrical object from amongst the debris. Satisfied, he stood and spoke, “Come Marcus, we have one more stop to make today.” Wrapping the object in a handkerchief, Jaedin pocketed it and led the way back to the carriage.

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