The young ladies stepped towards the castle just as it was beginning to rain which turned steps into a trot and then a gallop. The castle was all around them, enveloping them into its dark mystique of gray brick walls and little tiny slits for windows. But there was a light at the end of this tunnel.
Beams of gold streamed through the window slits and at the tall booming doors of carved oak, a glorious sun of light, song, and laughter exuded turning the rain drops into prisms. They were greeted with a stiff overbearing fellow who held out his hand forcing the dames to stop.
“Oh, hurry and let us pass!” Maggie squealed. “Can’t you see it’s raining cats and dogs out here?”
More like diamonds and gold, Yewna thought as she held out her hand to the glittering jewels of water.
The butler was unmoved.
“There’s no charming this monster!” Maggie said this as if to herself and yet, as usual, it came out loud.
The ladies held up the off-white pages with scarlet old language scribbles.
The butler bowed slightly with a short and rude, “Ah,” before moving out of the way.
“Oh look at us!” Maggie said to a nearby mirror in the hallway. “We’re soaked!”
The rain wasn’t really too bad, for those who used little makeup. Yewna’s friend hid away in search of a bathroom.
Yewna checked herself and found it rather pleasing to have a few droplets on her dress. It livened her up as she prepared to enter the great room.
“There you are!” the voice of John (or was it Jim) exclaimed from some dark corner. Had he been waiting for her?
The stunning chap was rather handsome in his black and white tux with just a splash auburn on his kerchief. It matched his thick wavy hair. And it was all ruined by the face. Not that his face wasn’t handsome as well. He had a good jawline and an epic nose. Yewna couldn’t make out the color of his eyes in this lighting, she’d never been that close to him. She guessed it was something of a very dark brown or perhaps a hazel gray.
No, John’s face was immaculate and fine to look upon, it was really just what he did with it. Something about the lilt of his lip and the strain of cheek. It was all very stretched out in a way that, well how was it then?
John bowed way too low and came up with such cheer it was almost stupid. He then held out his hand to her, muscles bulging even under the coat. “Shall we dance then.” He commanded.
Too much, that was it, that was the way of it. A fine looking young man with far too much push and pull about him. One little strain and he might fall apart. He was a parody of everything he could be, if he’d just take some time and slow down.
Yewna looked at the offered hand. She should take it just to be polite.
“Oh John!” Maggie yelled across the hallway. Take me in won’t you!
Yewna turned and saw a different young woman. Her friend must have had to wash much of the makeup off. She could only touch it up here and there. She honestly looked rather stunning.
“Maggie?” John said, hardly believing it himself. Maggie took John’s hand and gave Yewna a wink. The couple walked into the great hall of golden lights right as the last song was about to start. Yewna walked behind taking it all in. Murals of dazzling creatures seemingly flew across the ceiling. Paintings of all types stood with great poise along the dazzling walls of swirling textures. Lights of gold and bronze chased all shadows away making it seem like every painting was alive and dancing along with the ball. The people were also very well-dressed like all good gentlemen and ladies should at a proper party.
A string ensemble performed a waltz on the stage at the other end. Maggie and John blended into the spinning colors of dresses and tuxes. Behind the flurry of musical instruments was a tall and dark spindly thing. Two men were working on it, one an old professor type. Yewna casually walked along the edges of the dance to get a closer look (ignoring many fine dance offers in the process). The professor type was instructing his assistant, a rather tall handsome fellow with a full beard and gentle eyes of golden brown.
Yewna’s own brown eyes lit up in surprise; it was Nin!
She was very glad to have the orchestra performing which covered her sudden “Meep!” Nin seemed to have heard her, or was it just her face that he recognized? Could he notice her even from that distance? She was thrilled to find his own eyes widened. He stood up from his work and gave Yewna the most magnificent grin she’d ever seen.