There's laughter comi

Chatterbox: Inkwell

There's laughter comi

There's laughter coming from the Dining Hall, where plates and glasses, stone floors and wooden benches gleam and twinkle.

You can hear it in the bedrooms, almost hear it in the highest lonely tower. The prisoners there wish they could join, but they cannot.

But we don't need to think about them for now. Let us rejoice, and be happy; we're alive, and that's a good enough reason to celebrate!

The smell of the delicious food drifts outside, making the guards' stomachs rumble and their mouths water. But they will get their share in time. For now, they converse merrily, laughing as the sun sets.

The princess hurries down the hallway, lilac skirts brushing the rich red carpets, wondering what the night holds.

All is safe. All is sound. Nothing could go wrong, as long as you have good food and dear friends around you.

The servants bustle in from the busy, busy, kitchen, setting down more food. The king laughs; the queen is beautiful in the candlelight.

You are delirously happy. 

submitted by Castle Builder
(February 5, 2019 - 6:21 pm)

Fascinating. This really gives a Fantasy Middle Ages feel for me, evoking Redwall, Alianna's adventures (Or whatever her name is - the books are GOOD) and possibly a bit of Inheritance cycle.

Do go on.

What's the feast for? We're all so happy to have survived? A battle just eneded? Why am I deliriously happy? Where am I in the heirarchy of the castle? What kind of story is this...? So many questions, but I am satisfied to wait. 


I am intrigued.

submitted by Chinchilla
(February 5, 2019 - 8:36 pm)

Intriguing! Tell us more. As chinchilla said, it does give a feeling of Redwall. Very medieval and rustic! I like it!  

submitted by Tuxedo Kitten
(February 5, 2019 - 9:16 pm)

There's another part on This Month. I have a feeling this is gonna be another "mysterious thread" thing.

submitted by Agent Winter, age Classified
(February 6, 2019 - 8:43 am)

The castle iin This Month is entirely separate; read the end, for goodness' sake.

But I built that one too, yes. 

And I suppose you could call this a "mysterious thread".............until, of course, you look at my longish comment down below. 

submitted by Castle Builder
(February 6, 2019 - 11:32 am)

How neat!

Also, in case y'all missed this one- 

submitted by Alizarine
(February 6, 2019 - 9:11 am)

"What is the story?" you ask, standing at the gate. "What will happen next? Do tell us."

I stand in the shadows as rain begins to fall and wind howls. You can't see my face; my voice is familiar, but you can't guess my true identity.

"This," I say, "is a castle, not a story."

You don't understand.

You can barely hear the next words through the rain. 

"Unless you make it one."

You gaze at the moat, which seems almost to boil in the storm, trying to decipher what I mean. I begin to run away.

"Don't," you call, raindrops sliding down your face. "What will happen to the people in the castle? Their happy life can't go on forever. Otherwise this isn't a story."

I stop. The wind blows my shoulder-length hair back, and for a nanosecond you think you can see my face.

"Exactly," I say. "You are in control. Be the author."

You look up at the merry castle, and a million possibilities begin to come to you. 

submitted by Castle Builder, Outside the Castle
(February 6, 2019 - 10:36 am)

Down below in the castle dungeon, I sit, wearied by my wounds. Nobody yet has found me. I am too weak to cry out. My eyes plead the door to open, hoping for anybody to come. The door is brown, inscribed with golden words... The dungeon seems dead. Not even the occasional screech of a white owl, nor the chant of trouble's own soldiers, still less the heart-rending roar of The Black Dragon sounded to stir my heart. I transform into my true form so I could heal and slip out of this deathly still place. I know I'll return to it... For it is where I began. I can only present myself to those with the best of hearts and the most determined and curious minds... Will you save my home?

submitted by A question
(February 6, 2019 - 3:50 pm)

Excellent work, A question. My message has been understood at last. Kindly continue.

submitted by Castle Builder
(February 6, 2019 - 7:22 pm)

I stand before the castle gates, the rain softly hitting my tightly-wound robes. The noise of merriment comes to me from inside its stone walls, but my eyes see a dark picture. I stand, unsure whether to enter or leave, when I understand. I hear your song, I say to the howling wind and the pouring rain. I understand why I have come here. Your voice is sorrowful, full of pain. I have come to ease it. This laughter is but a shadow, my eye sees the truth hidden beneath. I walk towards the castle. The guards at the gate approach, ask my business. Without a word, I pass the guards and their gates, as though I were a ghost. Which is not far from the truth.

submitted by A wanderer
(February 6, 2019 - 8:42 pm)

More links: 

submitted by Alizarine
(February 6, 2019 - 8:48 pm)

I hurry around the dining hall, a wooden tray held in my hands. The long table is crowded with people, each enjoying the night in their own way. I set down a mug near one person as they laugh at what their neighbor has to say. Across the hall, someone bursts into song, recalling a classic troubadour's tale. I smile across the table at a particularly cheerful participant of the feast, then I hear a voice calling, letting me know they'd like an extra portion of their food.

I navigate around the crowd, barely pausing to laugh at one's joke or humor another's request for food. A girl's lips come close to a boy's ear as she whispers a secret into them, her eyes wide and sparkling with amusement. Someone elbows another, and they both laugh, one grinning in pure amusement.

And I leave for the courtyard, balancing two empty trays in my hands. It's a quick walk to the kitchens, where one of the cooks heaps food onto the trays. I walk quickly from the kitchens and through the courtyard again, only pausing briefly to look up at one of the castle's many towers.

It's taller than the rest of the castle, but is barely noticeable due to its slim structure and lack of adornment. It doesn't stand out against the gray (and about to become rainy) sky, but I look at it nonetheless. Today I'm too busy to climb up the long flight of stairs and visit its lone prisoner and ask her for tales. Maybe I'll visit the dungeons instead. Maybe I'll go somewhere else.

submitted by Cecily, (ycI)
(February 6, 2019 - 11:51 pm)

As I look out, the sky meets the ground as a black curtain touches the stage. I want to claw it to shreds. I prefer the stone walls of the tower that encase me, even if they do make my prison. Inside of it are me and my few things. Really, their things. They took those which were mine to cherish. They told me my cherished things were gone.

Outside, laughter and merry-making. At least, that's what I tell myself. I cannot truly hear anything, but I know the scene taking place below. I was told of it.

Only I, and a few others remember why I am here. Why I was placed here. Not even the guard outside remembers. The servant who visits me for my stories doesn't even know. Yet they continue to wheedle away, trying to grasp at my tale. As if grabbing a piece of fog. So I spin away at tales, bringing that servant back again and again.

I know what this place is like, the servant tells me much. There are dungeons downstairs, too. Mine is the only cell left above. The others know me too well-I would never try to climb down. The sky hates me, and I it. We were born enemies, so I've been told.

I've been told it's rare they visit the prisoners down below. And I can't help but wonder, why am I still alive? I cannot believe what they told me.

I have waited here for many years. Longer than that servant has been alive, I think. I will wait. I will be set free. Eventually. I believe the lies I tell myself. 

submitted by The Prisoner, age off/on, Free to use
(February 7, 2019 - 12:31 am)

Few are left outside of the hall, and those who are, are rushing to and fro from it, cooking, laughing, serving dishes to the table, or taking them away. Cooks are yelling, cooking, and telling baudy jokes as they give dishes up to the servants. But the sound of music, laughter, and merriment fade as I walk away from it. The walls are thick, and made of stone. Tapestries and carpets do little to dispell the chill but muffle noises well. 

Few walk in the lonely stone halls, as the distant thunder of rain filters down even to the darkest dungeon. I suppose it must be deafening in a high castle dungeon. It is cold where I stand, now. I wonder if there are others, wandering the castle, sittiing in the dungeons, wondering if there are others, wandering the castle, sitting in the dungeons....

The thought circles away, infinite. Right now, I am sure, I am alone. The wall is hard, and cold as the steel that was thrust into my chest few days ago. The wound will heal, but it is cold. Most things are cold, now.

And the revelry hall is hot, hot and fetid as a feverish hand, grasping, tugging, babbling and gibbering things of no importance.

I like the silence. There is little enough of it in the world as it is for people to waste it by filling it with song and 'merriment'.

Screams of horses, worse than a human's, piercing the ear like a shard of glass, wild-eyed and froth-mouthed, fear looking out from white, rolled back eyes, echo in my imagination. 

They will never stop.

I hear feet approach quietly, probably a servant, and push off from the wall. I do not wish to meet others tonight.  

I wish to be alone. 

submitted by Chinchilla, Silent Knight
(February 7, 2019 - 1:35 pm)

I walk through the great hall, silent and unwavering. My gray shroud drifts like mist through the feasting guests, my face hidden from them beneath a heavy veil. As if they could even see my form. Blind fools! You think that you can not be touched by the unknown, that by ignoring you can render harmless. I could draw my blade and cut you all down, and even then you would not perceive me. be thankful that is not my will. I reach the end of the hall and am ready to leave when I hear a frightened gasp. Turning, I see a servant entering the hall, her face pale, her wares dropped on the floor. She sees me, I think. She, out of everyone here, is able to pierce the first of my veils. I take a step towards her, and speak, my wispering voice as cold as the winter chill. "Begone from this place. You need not share in its fate." Then, I quickly turn and walk away, heading toward the highest tower. Towards the one I have come to free.

submitted by A wanderer
(February 7, 2019 - 11:35 am)

The savory scent of cakes, pies, and pastries wafts through the empty stone halls. As I walk I am bothered by the lack of respect we have for the fallen and hurt. I grieve for them. And for us. Had we remembered our fellow countrymen, we could be so much stronger. These bold tapestries lined with gold thread depict a triumph from many years ago. It was a triumph that had begun our reign. But alas, we only view it as a past event. A piece of forgotten history. Only a few understand the sacrifices that our ancestors gave. It’s true, peace is upon our land. I am greatful. But the merrymaking and rejoicing are pointless if we don’t understand what came before. My hand drifts across the beautiful embroidery and I strain to listen for the drum of rain over the laughter and music. 

submitted by A Knight of the past
(February 7, 2019 - 4:59 pm)