This short passage is taken from Chapter 15: Majesty. Jean and Princess Linka peruse her father’s Rhineland Palace gardens at night.
I made the odd comment out of politeness, but felt more comfortable when we moved outside into the beautifully featured gardens.
“I must say this is all in good taste.”
“Sorry, my love, I was miles away,” Linka replied.
“Oh, nothing, I just mentioned the gardens. They’re magnificent.”
“Thank you, they are of my own design.”
“Really! Then, I’m doubly impressed. I didn’t realise so many flowers could bloom at night. I always thought, with the odd exception, that nature slept when we arose. It is an everlasting regret.”
“Of mine also,” Linka sighed, setting her verdant eyes upon me. “I so wanted it to be like a sunny day over the Rhineland. This was the best I could do.”
“Well, I can honestly say I’m staggered.” I stooped to cup a bell shaped bloom between my pale fingers.
“That is a hybrid.”
“Of what, may I ask?”
“It is part bluebell part tulip. Shake it if you like.”
I didn’t understand what that was meant to achieve but gave the flower a waggle anyway: it chimed. “My goodness, that’s incredible.”
“I like it,” Linka mused. “When the North wind blows straight down the Rhine, I hear the Arctic call in the flower’s tones.”
I watched as Linka closed her eyes and inhaled so deep I thought she might float away, so much air did she consume.
“What interests you in a land so far away?” I enquired.
Linka opened her eyes and looked into my own a faint trace of water pooling in those emerald depths. “I believe they see the sun for a whole six months without night. Do you not think it magical, Jean?”
“I do, my sweet petal, but it shall only ever be a dream to such as you and I.”
“I suppose so.” Linka gave such a sigh as if she carried all the burdens of our ailing world upon her slim shoulders.
“You seem even more disenchanted than I.”
“It is nothing, she whispered.”
Thank you for reading
Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals
PS. Book two, Hunter Hunted, is almost ready to go. I’ll hopefully release a few snippets and teasers over the next few weeks. For now, I’ll just say this: There’s all sorts of blood available to an Eternal. What could you do if you had the…oh, let’s say, blood of an orca running through your veins?