It wasn’t real until Cecily saw her mother smile. She had just been claimed as property from the hand of death, and it didn’t matter that Cecily couldn’t understand it. Despite the fears, despite the grave in the churchyard, despite the gray faces and hallowed tones, despite the retching and twisting, she was here. Cecily fell back into Gracia’s arms and cried in fast tears that grew thick in her throat. They held on to each other and waited for the shock to pass, then Bess asked the question that everyone else was yearning to say. “If ye can heal her, what about the others?”
At the moment Cecily’s bones felt as if they’d been scraped raw and ground between millstones. Every piece of her ached.
“Let’s not talk of that now.” Gracia’s tone was adamant. “Rest, is what she needs. I think we all need it.”
“I want to tell someone. It won’t take long.” Cecily pulled gently away from Gracia, brushed her hand through Alis’s hair, and skip-jumped out of the chapel. Once outside the door there were no stares to hold her back from running down the street toward the castle, boots slipping and elbows kicking the wind. It was a moment of triumph, when her fears and hopes had met and for once in her life it felt as though she had done something to be proud of.
|Castle Corridors, a photo by andy castro on Flickr.|