Lys: The First Task

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Aithne bore the scrutiny well enough, but gaped when she was so abruptly given a task and then left to it. That itself wasn't so strange, really. What was strange was that, despite her obvious filth, she'd been ask to clear the pristine fountain of stray petals. It would be a double, perhaps even treble, task.

But not one you cannot accomplish. Truly, even with the unmentioned work it would not be that hard. Casting about near the fountain- the beautiful, unrivaled fountain- she found a small wire-mesh paddle, likely meant for fishing errant sundries from the water. She wondered if there were children apt to lose their toys in it.

Taking up the paddle, she knelt on the side and started drawing the petals towards her. As she had expected, the water in her hands and on her tunic spread out in brown-black puddles wherever it fell. Scooping the petals into a pile, she carried them to the edge of the garden and deposited them in what looked to be the compost pile.

She looked around. There was no one in sight, and she knew better than to leave a mess, even if only to search out someone to help her clean it up. There was a fairly clean pail nearby. That would have to do. She carried it back to the fountain and filled it, setting it down on the stones of the walkway. Then, straightening, she untied her girdle and swished it in the water, cleaning it as best she could. Once it was satisfactory, she poured the water on a dry patch of the garden, where it was most needed, and re-filled the pail. Clean water, clean cloth. She knelt down and began scrubbing the fountain where she had soiled it. To her surprise, the fountain was dirty all over. She sighed. How many servants does Vortigern have, and still his fountain goes unpolished? Not that I've seen a soul other than the bard...

Pushing her hair out of her face, she set to work cleaning the fountain. She smiled to see the marble gleam in the half-light of the evening. It will be even more beautiful in the moonlight.

Without any concious decision, she started singing at her work- something she hadn't done in a long time.

"Sé mo laoch mo Ghile Mear
‘Sé mo Chaesar, Ghile Mear,
Suan ná séan ní bhfuaireas féin
Ó chuaigh i gcéin mo Ghile Mear.

Seal da rabhas im’ mhaighdean shéimh,
‘S anois im’ bhaintreach chaite thréith,
Mo chéile ag treabhadh na dtonn go tréan
De bharr na gcnoc is imigéin..."

3 comments:

Jenny said...

She has a doozy of a work ethic. Wouldn't be surprised if she's cleaned the whole garden when Gwenhwyfar comes back.

~Lys

Jenny said...

Gak. No kidding. Gwenhywfar left her to it because it would be quiet and hopefully relaxing.

~Jenny

Jenny said...

Oh, it is. Very relaxing, and she does her best cleaning when left to herself. She'll just also wring every last drop of strength out of herself if it takes that much to finish the task.

But she enjoys it.

~Lys

P.S. Though she /would/ like a bath...

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