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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Storyseekers Part 8: Lady Isebelle

Naomi wasn't sure why she was in here, but she had a strange suspicion that she shouldn't be. Walking over to the open window, she tried to guess how high up she was. She shivered as a cold breeze blew past her. That winding tower staircase had led much higher than she had thought. Exploring the palace was one thing, being all the way at the top of the north tower was quite another. Still looking out the window, Naomi could see the point where the city of Stellin ended. Beyond that, there was a long stretch of empty wasteland to the north, and where that ended, she could barely make out a thin black line far away on the horizon. But if that was Lucien's camp as Melodica said, it wasn't nearly far enought away. It would take take barely a month for an army of that size to reach the city. Naomi shivered again, but not from cold.

Confused as she was as to why she had entered this room, Naomi was even more puzzled as to why she stayed. Studying the intricate carvings on the bedposts, tracing the curling designs on the silk bedspread, and taking in every detail she could about the place, she couldn't bring herself to leave. There was something so mysterious about this abandoned bedroom, something lonely, almost sad. Naomi wasn't sure who had once lived here, so far removed from the rest of the castle, but she was convinced that someone had

She was so engrossed in searching for clues, she jumped in surprise at a loud screech from outside. A falcon swooped down from the sky and landed on the window sill. It was Keiree.

"What is it?" Naomi asked, never once wondering why she was talking to a bird. The falcon simply watched her with its glowing yellow eyes for a long time, before spreading it's wings and soaring into the room. Naomi followed it with her eyes until it perched on the edge of a gold-gilded picture frame, again turning towards her.

Naomi brushed the frame with the tips of her fingers, watching as a thick layer of dust fell to the floor. It was obvious that no one had been in this room in a long, long time. Keiree screeched, still watching her closely.

The painting was a portrait of a black-haired girl some years older than Naomi. Her clothes were like those the Estrellican nobility wore. What Naomi noticed most about her, however, were her strage grey eyes. They seemed to be almost...alive. Removing the picture frame from the wall, searching for something written on the back. There was nothing.

With a sigh, Naomi was just lifting the painting to put it back on the wall when she heard a voice behind her.

"What are you doing here?"

Naomi jumped, dropping the portrait with a crash. Princess Melodica rushed forward, carefully placing the picture on the bed as she checked to make sure it wasn't damaged.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" Naomi gasped, kneeling to pick up the shards of broken glass.

"It's alright, Naomi. You couldn't have known..."

"Known what?"

When the princess didn't answer, Naomi decided to let the subject drop. Instead, she asked another question. "Whose room is this, Your Highness?"

"It belonged to her." Melodica pointed at the picture of the girl. "Lady Isebelle."

That didn't help Naomi at all. "Who is Lady Isebelle?"

"She is...or friend, nearly three years ago." Melodica looked as if it wasn't something she wanted to remember. Still, Naomi was curious.

"What happened to her?"

"She dissapeared.One day she was here, and the next she was just...gone."

Naomi tried to comprehend all this. She decided not to ask Melodica anything else, though she determined to find out the rest of this story.

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