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The Galloping Lantern Chapter 4

The Galloping Lantern Chapter 4

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Published by Rowan Visser
Flora Aine holds the key to Alam's restored health and she has no idea...
Flora Aine holds the key to Alam's restored health and she has no idea...

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Published by: Rowan Visser on Aug 17, 2010
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08/17/2010

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The Galloping  Lantern
Chapter 4
Flora Aines
All Copyrights belong to Rowan Visser
 
F
lora Aine
Flora sat with her back against the wall, legs crossed, next to the great hearth of thedilapidated Castle Dean, hands covered in purple blotches from the cold air. Her bare kneeswere freezing were they stuck out between her fur boots and the hem of her dress. In her quivering fingers she held a little bed she had been making. Seven inches, but five, by two.She bent over it again as she tried to fix the little stick frame together.Around her the forest was white and quiet. All through the winter she had beencoming up to the ruins to entertain herself, building little houses between the pillars of thegreat hall. The little bed she was working on was meant for a house she had built in the hearthnext to which she was sat. When finished and inserted she would have managed to put a bedin everyone of the seventeen houses she had build in what used to be the Great Hall of theOld Castle Dean, the houses averaging two and half feet in height and one and a half feet inwidth.The hall was immense, the partially collapsed roof taller than most trees. Littlehouses, made to look even smaller by the sheer size of the room, stood clutching againstremnants of pillars, in corners, against the walls and now also in the great hearth where her  best house so far was stood, bearing out over the others.Most of the little houses consisted of two floors, one left empty and the other occupied by two small beds or one big bed. The beds were made from various materials,some from stones arranged into little cots, others were hollowed out pieces of wood, some
 
 j
ust twigs messed into nests. For soft covers Flora used olds bits of linen, which she tiedaround feathers she had found in the forest. The empty floors were meant for kitchens, leftempty except for a little pebble circle on the floor of each.She finished off the bed and held it up in her two hands, investigating it from allangles. Smiling, she leant over and gently slid the bed into the large hearth house. She gotunto her knees, took a dozen crows feathers out of her canvas bag and stuck them under oneknee. Her hand went back into the bag and fished around, using the other hand to hold itopen. She pulled out a bit of linen. Holding it up she
 j
udged the size and then straightened itout on the stone floor using the palms of her hands. The feathers from under her knee were placed on top of the piece of linen and then folded carefully until she was satisfied with theshape. Using the fragile spikes of dried leaves of heather she pinned the open ends of thelinen shut into a rough square then she used her index and middle finger to test the softness of the µmattress¶. She smiled again as she placed it on the bed that she had slid into the house aminute before. Standing up from her knees she turned around to observe her handy work.In the far corner of the great hall, where the roof had fallen in, sunlight streamedthrough in beams across the floor and walls. She loved this light best as it reminded her of sunlight through clouds after a storm, feeling like a new beginning for her village.She walked over to the pile of rubble where she had left her shawl, picked it up and pulled it tight over her narrow shoulders. µNot spring yet,¶ she thought to herself, µPerfect.¶She returned her canvas bag to its hidey-hole; a loose stone in the hearth behind which shecould slide it, but not before checking over her shoulder to see that no-one was watching.

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