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Old 09-01-2003, 06:18 AM   #180
Shade of Carn Dûm
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"And I was beginning to feel guilty about mentioning Rhir!" she finished. Dyrea narrowed her eyes and in a slow, meaningful tone began to tell Alethea just what she thought.

"You don't know anything you silly pathetic little girl. You have no idea what I've had to deal with. I've had to give up everything I've ever hoped for, for Umbar and its Corsairs! There is no Dryea Morthaniawen. I am just an instrument of war, a tool that the Corsairs can use to regain Gondor for themselves. Do you have any idea of this burden's weight upon my shoulders? NO! So the next time you want to take up mother's side and decide to chastise me, remember that I rise way above you! You will never measure up to me and without me, our whole plan would fall apart." She stopped to look disgustedly at Alethea. "Now get back to your playing!" And then she left, but before she did Alethea managed to cry.

“I would never want to measure up to you!” she was not concerned if anyone heard, it didn’t matter as long as Dryea heard. Alethea collapsed back into the nearest chair; she was in shock. What was happening? Rhir had proposed to her sister, and ordinarily she would have been pleased. But of late it seemed that if she could find anyway to spite Dryea she would be open to it. It wasn’t that she was envious of her. No. Alethea meant it when she said she would never want to measure up to Dryea. Alethea hated some things about Dryea, and hate was such a strong word. And against her sister! She hated the way she blamed the way she was on The Corsairs. It was their fault but Dryea had a mind of her own.

She hated her pride, the way that Dryea made her feel insignificant next to her radiant self, the way she would always make her feel guilty no matter who’s fault it was. She even made her feel guilty now, after all she had said to her Alethea felt at fault. Alethea buried her head in her hands. She did not know what to think of the situation. Her sister hated her, her mother seemed some how to resent or disregard her existence. But then she always had done and that had made no difference to Alethea. And far more significant than her own distress was war. War that was unavoidable and war that was being aided by her own family, her own blood.

There was no need for it, the Corsairs were too proud, just like Dryea. Too proud and stubborn for their own good. And Alethea hated being one. She loathed being connected with them and she always had, just now that odium felt stronger. Stronger than anything she had ever deemed. Alethea raised her face from her hands fumbled with the feathers on her dress thoughtfully. Slowly she rose and looked into the mirror on the dressing table.

“I hate what I am!” she whispered into the dimly lit mirror, “I hate it,” she said a little louder banging her fist on the table hard. Tears formed in her eyes but they was quickly swept away with her hand and looked into the mirror again.

“ I think she is false!" she said it boldly and flatly, "this whole act she is putting on! Who does it fool? Her sweet smile, the air of innocence about her, even her beauty. She has fooled many of them, 'she is the perfect bride!' they all say over their over filled wine glasses and their overfilled heads. I don't know who she thinks she is fooling, but it is not I."

She glared into the mirror and she could reprimand her self for her vindictive words about Finduilas because of what lies she was being pressured to sow. She did not even know the woman, she was even worse than those in the court. But of these words concerning Dryea, they were all true. She would not punish herself for thinking the truth.

“Alethea?” Alethea jumped and spun round to the door. It was Adrama. “I thought you were in here, where is Dryea?”

“She has gone back to the ballroom…..” Alethea replied airily wiping a few more tears from her eyes. What she would do to tell her friend all that she was going through, but she cold not do that. “And I am going back now….” Alethea left the room with Adrama and the two headed back to the masquerade.

[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Arien ]
"...still, we lay under the emptiness and drifted slowly outward, and somewhere in the wilderness we found salvation scratched into the earth like a message."
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