Author’s note: Nudity warning.
Lord Du Bois’ servants were ghosts. Translucent women that washed and pampered Myla without speaking a word. They flinted back and forth through the expansive chamber in silence. The rosy red light of an oversized hearth reflected of their transparent bodies. It was surreal and only added to the beauty of the baroque surroundings.
Myla had never taken two baths in one day, but she couldn’t help but enjoy this bath. The water was hot and treated with fragrant oils. The ghost women scrubbed and massaged Myla’s body and hair. She could have sworn she was clean, but the ghosts scrubbed away years of her life. Myla stepped out of the bath feeling refreshed. The ghosts weren’t done with Myla though. They coated her body in a soft lightly scented powder and painted ornate symbols and patterns all over her skin with a sparkling golden paint. Even her face was treated to a light dusting of powder and dashes of kohl for her eyes. Myla looked at the girl in the mirror and wondered if it was really her.
Her refreshed feeling sunk into the out of her stomach as Myla’s eyes caught sight of a glamorous wedding dress on a mannequin. This had to be the dress the Lord had prepared for her. No, not for her. For whatever girl he had chosen on a whim. She turned her attention from the dress and looked to a wooden rack by the fireplace. Her dress lay on the rack, drying in the fire’s warmth. Myla crossed the room and ran her fingers along the worn cotton dress. It looked so different.
The ghosts had washed it. Turned the dingy fabric back to a bright white. Tiny pearls now graced the collar and delicate white lace circle the waist of her dress. This was no longer the simple dress her mother had given her, but then again she would soon no longer be the daughter sent away into a nobleman’s arms. She’d be the wife of the only true member of aristocracy on her tiny town. The wife of the mysterious and frightening Lord Du Bois.
Myla ran her finger over a pearl. It was cool to the touch even with its proximity to the fire. She thought of the Lord’s hand on her face.
Myla closed her eyes and picked up her wedding dress. “You can do this.” She thought to herself.