jaebility: (random // knt sky)
[personal profile] jaebility
Charade became a courier before she could read. She excelled at it - not because a child couldn't have secrets, but because she couldn't be coerced into divulging them. Mara had always called her a stubborn child, a superlative her mother had always said like a compliment and not a criticism. Charade was stubborn and was good at dodging, at denying, and at flat-out lying. By the time she was twelve she had a reputation in the darkness of Val Royeaux's back alleys. L'ombre, they called her. Shadow.

Charade kept secrets, hoarding them like the nobles did gold. And she didn't need one of the ornate masks that the upperclass wore to hide her face. Hardly anyone noticed a thin, street-dusty girl anyway, and with her quickness they didn't have to see more than a flicker of cloth before she turned a corner.

As she learned to decipher the thin loops and swirls of the written word, she sometimes opened letters. Only the poorly sealed ones, those she could close up again without the recipient knowing. it didn't take long for her to realize that were really only three types of letters: I love you, I hate you, I'll kill you. Variations, of course, or funny combinations. She liked to imagine what happened after they were read, if the words ever came true. After dropping off a particularly amusing one, Charade bought an only somewhat bruised apple from her earnings and sat on a nearby staircase and decided that she'd never be mad over anyone like that. Never ever.

Letters didn't get delivered directly to the target, but to sympathetic butlers and maids in on the conspiracy. Charade never entered through the front doors, and instead slipped into kitchens or cellars like the servants. As she grew older, she spent more time with the kitchen girls and serving boys, flirting for gifts of wine and pastries with cream so light it seemed to float off the dough. She brought these gains back to her mother, who never asked where or how.

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a jar of jae

November 2016

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