Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lorelei's Bath

Tegen: This is the guest bathroom. It is adjacent to the room in which you will be staying. You are not to leave your room unless I come and get you. Do you understand?

Lorelei: Yes, Mistress.

Tegen: First things first. You will remove your makeup, bathe, and change into the simple dress I have brought for you.

Lorelei: Yes, Mistress. This girl's previous Master thought that her new Master and Mistress might be pleased by the makeup and dress in which she was presented.

Lorelei: This girl apologizes for failing to be attractive and pleasing, Mistress.

Lorelei: She will try harder to be pleasing to her new Mistress and Master.

Tegen: You are both attractive and pleasing, girl. It is simply that the women of the Treehouse choose a more subtle and simple look. I am not having you change because you displease me, I am having you change to better suit your place here in your new home. Now, change into one of the bathing gowns there beside the sink and wash your face.

Lorelei: Yes, Mistress.

Tegen: Do you have a name, girl?

Lorelei: This girl was called Syn in her previous house, Mistress. Her name is Syn if it pleases you, Mistress.

Tegen: It does not please me. Your name is now Lorelei, do you understand?

Lorelei: Yes Mistress. (pause) This girl has not been called by that name in a very long time, Mistress.

Tegen: Do you remember much of your childhood, Lorelei?

Lorelei: This girl was instructed not to think on her childhood, Mistress. And so she has not in the 150 years she has served her Masters.

Tegen: You are a good girl to have followed such an instruction, Lorelei. And now I am instructing you to tell me what you DO remember. Please.

Lorelei: (behind washcloth) This girl remembers very little, Mistress. She hopes this does not displease you. There are only pieces, and images from her past.

Lorelei: This girl remembers a farm... and a dog with black spots. And red flowers on a vine... that she thinks might have been growing on the front of a house... and a lullaby about the moon, sung in a young boy's voice...

Lorelei: It is not much of a memory, Mistress. This girl apologizes.

Tegen: It is enough for now. It's all right.

Tegen: I think that you will find this house to be different from any you have served in, Lorelei. There are humans here for a start, though they are very open and supportive of pixie-kind. You'll meet them soon enough. And I allow you to speak freely to me without repercussion, do you understand?

Lorelei: Yes, Mistress. Though, you are right... that is very different from any house this girl has served in.

Tegen: That's the other thing. And I know it will take you a while... but there is no need to speak in third person here. Try to break yourself of it. It displeases me.

Lorelei: Yes, Mistress. This.... er, I will try.

Tegen: (smile) Very good. Now then, let's have a look at you without all that makeup.

Lorelei: Yes, Mistress.

Tegen: Oh my...

Lorelei: I know, Mistress... forgive me. If this... if I might have some cosmetics I can...

Tegen: No, Lorelei. You misunderstand. You are STUNNING. Why, it was a criminal act to put such a mask upon such a beautiful face. I will not have you wearing makeup here. You do not need it.

Lorelei: As pleases you, Mistress.

Tegen: I will leave you to finish bathing now. When you are done, put on the gray dress I have brought you and come out into the next room. If I am not there waiting for you I will be along shortly. You may explore the room, but you may not leave it without me. All right?

Lorelei: Yes, Mistress.

(watching Tegen leave)

Lorelei: (thinking to self) Beauty? A very different house indeed, that they should find THIS beautiful. Is it as I have feared? I am to be only a kitchen girl now, and not one of the prized court girls. I knew it would happen eventually. What use has a kitchen drudge for makeup? (sigh)

Tegen: (humming quietly)

Ullrich: Why? That's all I want to know, Tegen is why. My baby SISTER!

Tegen: Ullrich!

Ullrich: Oh, I'm sorry, did I startle you, MISTRESS Tegen? If you wanted a servant, we could've gotten you one. We could have. I wouldn't have minded. But my SISTER? Why, Tegen? I don't understand.

Tegen: Keep your voice down. This is not the place to discuss this. But you are absolutely right, you DON'T understand. I tried to tell you... (sigh) Oh, Ullrich.