I was busy writing my latest manuscript “Gossamer Threads” a collection of gothic,ghostly, mystical and magical tales…Oh how I do love delving into the numinous realms! Life, as is its wont got in the way and creativity ground to a halt as some rather pressing matters had to be attended to…my writer friends amongst you know exactly what I mean! I hope you enjoy this little piece I penned way back last year, it is time I picked up my quill once more…
1 The Bower
Within the darkest heart of night dance slender beams of soft Moon Light.
Brushing aside the despair cloaking the ancient ruins, La Luna’s children played midst the remaining dank and gloomy walls. With carefree abandon the darting moonbeams brought illumination to the derelict Eastern Tower, a silent Sentinel withstanding the ravages of time, proudly giving testament to the pride and glory of bygone years. Those who once lived and loved within the Castle’s protective embrace are but jagged shards of memories, forever entombed within decrepit walls. Yet there remains a solitary voice from long ago compelled to whisper her sadness upon the wind. Trapped by her heart she cannot leave her lonely Bower within the Castle Tower.
By the light of the moon, at her lonely loom, sits the Lady Eleanor. The passage of time has ravaged her home but not she, for the lady is comely still. With hair as dark as a Raven’s wing and eyes of cobalt blue, her beauty beguiles the starless night, for there is no other to gaze upon her countenance within these torn and empty walls. Softly, she sings a sad lament, fragments from a Troubadour’s tale of a love long lost. Sorrow clouds her as a shroud. With downcast eyes and ethereal hands she takes soft strands of numinous threads and weaves silently through her tears. Through the telling of her silken tales there begins to unfold a story of love, a story of loss. The lost love of a Knight of old. Her Knight…Her story…
To the soft strains of a melancholy Mandolin every stitch of the Knight’s chivalrous deeds begin to unfold upon her fragile tapestry.
The dazzling Sir Berengar, encased in his suit of armour and clutching his sword of steel, mounted upon his dashing destrier. Drawing admiration from the assembly of illustrious Lords and Ladies, aware all eyes were on him, damsels to Dowagers their adoration freely flowing to the mighty man of war. As he graciously bestowed generous glances upon the Ladies fair, Eleanor had smiled trustingly. She knew within his brave breast beat the chivalrous heart of one who only had eyes for his Eleanor, for her. And so with a righteous fire burning in his heart and mounting his noble steed the valiant Knight bade Adieu to his assembled Court and proudly rode to war.
Satisfied with the vibrancy of the first scene, Eleanor left her labour of love at her loom. Gazing out of the window her searching heart went forth once more into the blanket of night, looking and longing…Did she know then, as her Gallant Knight took leave of his Lady Love to sail from England’s green and pleasant lands, how their story would unfold? With a sigh she returned to her tapestry, intent on weaving the threads of her fragrant memories. There is a chill that pervades her bower, yet her shivers are not from cold, but the delightful anticipation of her noble Knight’s triumphant return. The glory. The honour. How her heart sang joyfully for him! How she wrapped her self in the warm glow of the sweet words of eternal love he had spoken. How her heart had ached at his proclamations that her reluctance to acquiesce to his burning desires would surely rend his heart in two. His entreaties were urgent. His Lady was so cruel to tarry for had he not great perils to face? And had he not entreated her that the sweet memories of her succour would surely comfort him upon the bloody battlefields. Her chivalrous Knight, bestowing upon her his troth, declared they would marry upon his victorious return from the beast of war. The Lady Eleanor would become Châtelaine within these Castle walls; with lyrical persuasion the Knight’s conquest was assured. Cautioning Eleanor keep well her own counsel for their secret summer of trysts, his ring of gold set with a ruby red held the promise of eternal love and her silence.
Through the cloak of darkness a mote of light broke through the night, bringing momentary illumination. Eleanor’s fragile heart skipped a beat. Was that her Knight she saw?
Cruel memories came crashing into her dreams. A tear fell. Her beloved had sailed away across the seven seas. He had left her and their unborn child for the King’s glory, crusading in a faraway Land. By forfeiting his vow to make the Lady Eleanor his wife and thus give legitimacy to his seed before his departure, he had abandoned her to her fate. Watching the passage of many Moon tides from her lonely Bower she entreated the star clad night to light his way home before her shame was there for all to see. The Highborn Lady Eleanor, who some may say was without blame, could not be seen to be robed in tarnished garments of dishonour. Yet she held her head high, comforted by their unborn child’s quickening. For he would surely return and she would be his wife, and all judgement would pass.
The tidings of great sorrow came at the dying embers of the old year. Sir Berengar would nevermore see the sun rise and set upon England’s Sceptered Isle nor give his child his name. Enemy and Gallantry had brought him to his knees. Ever true to her Love, Eleanor kept her counsel well. For the Templar’s cause her brave Knight willingly gave his life. For her family honour, the lady Eleanor gave hers.
They found her at the break of day, pale sunlight glinting on her lifeless and broken body. His fire red ruby ring proudly burning bright upon her unwed hand. The fallen Lady laid to rest beneath her lonely bower whilst far away her Lover sleeps beneath the sands under an Eastern Sun.
The solitary passage of time has shrouded the castle walls in shadows and gloom, yet awaiting her Lover’s return Eleanor’s ghost still sits by her loom, lingering midst the rot and decay, trusting Love eternal will raise them from the ashes and dust of betrayal. Her Love lives on, though her Knight and their child are long dead, as is she…
Perchance, your steps take you through the ruined walls of the Castle Keep, they do say by pale moon light and night’s embrace, you may yet hear the strains of a mandolin as the lonely Lady weeps within her ghostly bower.
Deep within the darkest heart of night dance slender beams of soft Moon Light