sprig of lavender

waterhouse mariana in the south 1897

JW Waterhouse, Marianna in the South, 1898

She is not a vane woman who seeks constant proof of her own beauty. She has but one pride; her hair, let loose at night like a waterfall under the stars. Dark, thick, rich in colour; candlelight glints as it flows past her waist.

In the day, she arranges it with braids, sprigs of lavender, strings of opalescent pearls, and covered in a fine net of spun gold. A brooch of amethyst and emerald over her left side to remind her of her lover, now afar playing solider.

Every night, as she frees her hair in the mirror, her thoughts go to him. How the sun reflecting off his armour hurt her eyes. How the hilt of his sword hurt when he last embraced her. How he plucked a spring of lavender out of her hair, put it to his lips, and was gone.

They find him on the second-most stair of the tower, slumped against the wall. All say he fought most bravely, sending many of the enemy to their deaths with his sword and shield. His valour won the day laud the minstrels. Toasts in his honour raised from the highest to the low. Knights such as he were so rare praises the King.

She carefully folds her hair into one long braid down her back. Unadorned, except a tying off throng at the nape of her neck and one spring of lavender. She kneels before the mirror, swinging the braid forward. She takes scissors and cuts the braid off just above the lavender. The scissor tips pierce her skin, and a few red drops mix with the purple flower.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Writing Prompt: Arcana in the Tower. And, welcome back, Oloriel, to mlmm.

© taleweavering phylor, 2016


6 thoughts on “sprig of lavender

  1. Oloriel July 19, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    A truly touching tale. I loved the image of her hair being loose “like a waterfall upon the stars.”


    • taleweavering July 19, 2016 / 10:52 pm

      Thank you, Oloriel. I wasn’t sure how to interpret the tower other than destruction and change — it seemed like a medieval tale and a thing for Waterhouse paintings.


    • taleweavering July 20, 2016 / 12:33 pm

      Missed this. Thanks Oloriel’s description of the Tower, Marianne in the South (poem and my love — Waterhouse) and a borrowed trait from another character all got blended. Glad it came out okay.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael July 17, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    I like how you created vivid images for me to visualise in this tale…..so well done.


  3. Shadeau July 17, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    OH this is just the kind of story I LOVE–Bravo, Wonderful, Phylor!

    Liked by 1 person

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