The life of a Lord’s wife was much duller than Myla had expected. Myla awoke before the sun, but there were no chores to do. She entered the kitchen and was greeted with the clangs of pans and sizzle of oil in the pots. The ghastly servants were already hard at work preparing breakfast.
Myla watched them. They glided across the stone floor without making a sound. Their efforts were tireless. She pressed her lips together and inhaled. Her eyes followed their weightless steps.
This wasn’t doing her any good. She felt useless and wrung her hands as she stood in place. Finally, Myla approached the table where a ghost cut vegetables. The ghost didn’t lift its head as it sliced potato after potato.
“I’ll help.” Myla said.
The ghost lifted its head and focused its attention on Myla. It regarded her with soulless empty orbs for eyes.
Myla gasped and stumbled backwards into something hard and unyielding. She turned to face what she had bumped into. The calm expressionless face of her husband looked down at her.
She cast her eyes away from his and instead they fell onto his shirtless body. His skin was marble white and it almost shimmered as it highlighted every taut muscle in his chest and shoulders. Raven black hair ran across his chest and down to his stomach. Myla didn’t look further down to see where it ran to.
“There’s no need for you to lift a finger. Let’s take breakfast in the garden.” Maximilien said as he wrapped his arms around Myla’s shoulders.
The garden made her family’s farm look like a pig’s trough. Vivid green plants grew in orderly rows. The brightest flowers exploded in vibrant colors from every corner. Thick trees laden with fruit shaded an outdoor dining area.
Myla sat across from Maximilien. A feast of food separated them. She picked at her food. The taste was better than anything she’d ever had in her old life. Rich butter speckled with a skinny green herb coated the chunks of potato she had watched be cut. Every bite popped with a tang of citrus. It was too much for her.
She wasn’t the only one not eating. Maximilien’s plate was untouched. Myla was sure she had seen him eat anything at all. She lifted her eyes to look up at Maximilien, “Is something wrong?”
The corners of his lips lifted in a brief gesture that could have passed for a smile. “No, my Dear. I’m merely distracted. I’ll leave you to your breakfast. I have business to attend to.” He said as he rose from his seat. He leaned over and laid a kiss on her brow. His lips were cool and soft.
Myla closed her eyes.
Maximilien had already strode away by the time Myla opened her eyes.
Myla sighed and stared at the plate of food. She pushed the plate away and looked around. It was unearthly quiet in the garden. No song birds chirped in the trees and no bees buzzed on the pollen laden blossoms. Myla left the feast on the table and walked through the trees in the garden.
She paused at a fruit tree and plucked a large red fruit from its branches. The fruit was hard with a seed filled gooey center. Myla stared at in wonder for a moment.
She took a timid sniff of the fruit, but it didn’t even look edible. Myla tossed the fruit over her shoulder and pulled an apple from another tree.
Her teeth sank into the ruby flesh of the apple as a sound caught her ear.
She swallowed the bite and turned to see a rabbit peering at her.
Myla wiggled the apple in the rabbit’s direction, “Do you want this?”
The rabbit’s nose twitched. Its head turned as if snubbing the offered food.
Myla blinked at the rabbit’s reaction and knelt down in front of it. The rabbit didn’t run away, but didn’t come any closer either. Myla extended the apple to the rabbit, but then pulled her hand away.
There was something strange about the rabbit. It was white with black spots and a little smaller than any of the wild rabbits Myla had encountered in the woods, but it wasn’t the rabbit’s physical appearance. Myla couldn’t exactly focus on the creature. It seemed hazy and to almost vanish in and out of existence.
Myla wiped her eyes and the rabbit took the opportunity to dart away.
“Wait!” Myla said as she scrambled to her feet in pursuit of the rabbit.
The rabbit zipped between bushes and trees with Myla only a few steps behind. Myla had no idea why she had decided to purse the creature, but laughter escaped her lips as she raced through the manicured garden. She ripped colorful flowers from their plants as she ran. Stray petals of pink, blue, and purple trailed behind her.
The rabbit reached the edge of the garden and it stopped in front of a leafy bush. Myla caught up to the rabbit and slid to a stop. She panted. Her sides burned. Her body slack as she recovered. She leaned over with her hands on her knees. The remaining flowers dropped petals on her feet.
The rabbit tilted its head as Myla caught her breath, but it didn’t move. It washed its face with its paws to pass the time. Myla stood up and the rabbit dashed through the overgrown bush.
Myla pressed her lips together and looked above the bush. She could see the thick stone walls of the manor’s ground loom up behind the bush. There was no where the rabbit could run to. Myla dropped to her knees and noticed rays of light pouring through the bush’s branches.
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