Another day had passed at Budehuc Castle, as the sky played its expected grand finale for those who cared to watch. A riot of crimson and orange raced across the horizon, meeting with the yellow conductor for a goodnight kiss. After the masterpiece was finished, it was reverently tucked behind a shroud of black. Flecks of light appeared against the new canvas, inviting their viewer to gaze at them in wonder as they pulsed in time to a fresh melody.
But the warrior-maiden took naught notice of any of this display of beauty, a beauty that was only rivaled by her own. Standing at the shore of the lake, she had ignored it all as she stared down into the water, and added a few flecks of brine of her own. Ah, how the lake greedily lapped her contributions! She was a delicate flower amidst this swamp, and the water, like any other man, wanted just to touch the petals of the sweet Lady Chris.
A gentle wind caught her silver tresses in a waltz as another crystalline gem slipped from her ethereal violet eyes. She held her breath before trying to fight the next one back. Oh, how horrible her life was! She was already twenty-two years old and still had not found herself a life mate. If she didnt meet the man of her dreams soon, she would die a wrinkled old woman, alone with nothing but her sword for comfort!
The battle was lost and the tear fell. Men themselves were not a rare commodity. She could easily walk back into the manor and select one from the group, but none of them were attractive to her. The knights she commanded were dullthere was no challenge in wooing any of them, and shouldnt love be a challenge? Besides, Borus was too intense, Leo and were Salome too old, Louis was too young, Roland was too boring, and Percival attracted too many other women.
It was impossible. Shed been through the list over a hundred times. All of the unmarried young men were not to her liking. She needed someone exotic, someone who wouldnt want to worship her as the Silver Maiden. She wanted to be loved as a woman, not as a hero. Fame has its price, and she had just named it.
As another tear parted from her eye, something appeared in the water. It wasnt her reflection, but could it be her salvation? She leaned down to look at it closer, and jumped back when it spoke.
What do you want, lady? The sopping black and white mass growled.
Excuse me? She asked as she picked it up and rested it on her arm.
Everyone wants something when they come to the lake. What do you want? It retorted in a guttural voice.
For reasons she could not explain, the warrior-maiden felt connected to this strange being, and so she opened up to him. I must find love! I dont want to become an old woman who has never known its name nor its touch!
Love? It asked, the edge mysteriously disappearing from its voice. You cannot find love? How sad. Neither could I, and I was thrown into the lake.
Chris pet the creature and tried to dry its face with her shirt. How could someone as understanding as yourself never find love?
No one really gave me the chance to, I guess, it said sadly.
The Silver Maidens heart leapt! She had found her soul mate! It was true that ones prince would come when they least expected it! She kissed it on the nose, between its dark, exotic eyes and then whispered into its large, long ears. Tell me of love, Branky. Tell me what it is about you that has me already wishing wed never part.
Well, the puppet leered. Ive got a great tongue, and I wear no pants.