Posted by: Briar Rose | March 1, 2004

Isles of the Abyss

PART I

The Neuschwanstein Castle Estate, Aldebaran Scene

 

 

Chapter I: My Unfortunate Beginnings

I was not given to wild fancies. Life had been too grim and earnest for that. Ever since I had been cast on the mercy of Aunt Shaela I had been encouraged to remember my place. I must constantly remember that I was that most despised of creatures, A Poor Relation. Even my claim for that was a frail one, for Aunt Shaela was in fact my mother’s second cousin so the bond was very slender indeed.

Certainly, I was not sort of child to brood. For some remarkable and unfortunate reason – I had an infinite belief in my ability to get the best out of life, and Francine at least was glad to have me as a surrogate sister.

Aunt Shaela would be very annoyed when people mistook Francine for the poor relation and me for the Daughter of the House. It would be: “Hold your shoulders back, Francine!” “Don’t slouch or so…” Or “Speak up, for heaven’s sake. Don’t mumble!” Poor Francine, she was very shy, indeed. She had pale blue eyes that watered frequently as she was always on the verge of tears, and fine brown hair that always looked wispy but sparkling under the sun. I did her sums and helped her with her essays. She was quite fond of me.

I, however, was the outsider. Aunt Shaela must have noticed the smile that I could not keep from my lips. There was no doubt that she sensed in me the reluctance to conform. She would convince herself, of course, that it was due to the bad blood that I had inherited from my father’s side, though she protested that she knew nothing else of that connection.

—–

One day, I was made to stand before Aunt Shaela on the great Persian rug in the room she called Left Wing of our grand home at the Neuschwanstein Castle Estate.

Now, Rose,” she said to me, “we must come to an understanding. We want to make clear to your position in the household, do we not?

She did not wait for an answer but went on. “I am sure you cannot fail to be grateful to me…and to your Uncle Jordan (he was her husband) for keeping you in our household. We could, of course, on the death of your mother have put you into an orphanage, but because you are of the family – though the relationship could scarcely be said to be a close one – we have decided that you must be given our protection. Your mother, as you know married a certain Dagoberht St. Michael. You are the result of this marriage.

It must have been a love match,” I said.

Do not interrupt! This is a very serious matter. Your mother against her family’s wishes, went off and married this man from some outlandish place of which we had never heard,” Aunt Shaela looked at me severely. “In some less than a year you were born. Soon after your mother left her home irresponsibly and came back to her family, bringing you.

I could not say a word for it was all so true. I had nothing…simply nothing. Me and my mother became a burden to my grandmother. She died, two years after she had brought me home. I had been five years old at the time. I remembered her vaguely. There was a hazy picture in my mind of sitting on cool grass, with my mother beside me, a sketchbook in her hand. She had always been sketching, and she used to hide the book from my grandmother. “You love me, don’t you, Rose?” She would say, “No matter what I’ve done.” and, “Rose…Briar Rose.” Those words rang in my ears when I thought of her and I was always so impatient with myself for my five-year-old incompetence in not understanding what was going on.

And, on my grandmother’s death bed, Aunt Shaela gave her solemn promise to take care of me. Truly, at an early age, I gleaned the hazy facts about my beginnings. I often wondered about my father but he was never mentioned and I could discover nothing about him. Contemplating my past, I felt I had not been exactly precious to anyone.

Aunt Shaela brought me home and I share Francine’s lessons; I live as a member of the family. Aunt Shaela do not asks for gratitude but I knew she expects it. I do not have the same advantaged like those of Francine. She said, that it would be not good for my character. I have to take advantage now of immense blessings which have come my way so that when I am of age, it may well be that I have to learn a living. I have a governess to teach me so by the time I reach my eigtheenth birthday I will be an educated young woman. I have to learn the manners and customs of well-bred households. It is for me, to profit from all of these. I have to learn all that I can and always remember that it is due to Aunt Shaela’s bounty that I am able to take advantage of these opportunities. That’s all.

—–

Dan y dw’r, tawelwch sydd…
Dan y dw’r, galwaf i…
Nid yw’r sw+n gyda fi.

(English Translations)
Beneath the waters, there is silence…
Beneath the waters, I call you…
There is no company with me.

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Responses

  1. ate rosa alam na kng anong rule ako jan!!


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