Child of the Shadows

I am also working to make this applicable to the daily prompt:  So, I present to you, a backwards story with a twist. 

The infant slept soundly in her arms, it tiny, cooing breaths stirring emotions in its fathers heart that the man had never expected to feel.  He would never admit to his newborn son’s mother how proud he was of the child, but he knew all the same what a blessing the baby was.  Its head was so small that it could be held in one of the man’s hands, and covered in thick waves of ebony hair, some locks of it still wet from the birth.  The babe’s chest moved with its tiny breaths, making his father admire the fact that he was alive at all. 

It was only a couple of hours ago that Casselina had been crying out in pain, only a couple hours since the baby had left the watery safety of her womb and had its only connection to her severed forever more.  D’Cameron has stared nervously when the midwife lifted the child from between her legs, covered as it was with blood and the remnants of being inside her body, and announced that he now had a son.  He had gaped in awe as Casselina held the boy to her chest, unwilling to get too close. 

From what the messenger had said, her labor had begun early in the morning; not long after midnight, in fact.  D’Cameron had been away from the temple then, engrossed in his own affairs, and could not be found until long after the dawn.  He did not go to her until her labor was strong, and by then it was the afternoon and she was crying out his name in desperation.  The priests had told her that on D’Cameron could release her from the pain, for he was the child’s father and had the final say in the matter.  For those few agonizing hours, she hated being subject to the rules of the dark temple, the myriad of regulations that seemed to be founded more on oppressive dominance than logical reason.  In the end, she was relieved when her master (although he hated to be called that) arrived and authorized the use of medicinal herbs for her pain, and it became easier for her to accept the life that she had been initiated into. 

D’Cameron was an enigma of a man.  A soldier in the New Ciorian Army, a devout worshipper of the God of Shadows, and a gentleman able to sway the hearts of any whom he sought.  He reveled in pain, and to an extent enjoyed seeing Casselina bear through it while working to deliver their child, but he did not force her to endure it for long.  When he arrived, he sat behind her and took her hands, letting her squeeze his as she bore down and cried out.  There was enough of a bond between them, loathe as he would be been to call it that, that he could feel her pain, take it from her, and let it course through him instead.  He did not speak a word of what black magics he worked that day, but did as he saw necessary in order for he child to enter the world alive and unscathed. 

Most people of Cioria would not have been able to understand why a man like him would share a bed with a courtesan at all, whether or not she was part of the dark temple.  He was rarely willing to explain it to them; as a captain, he had a certain reputation to maintain, and part of that was to not put up with being questioned.  In the end, a courtesan was his only way to have an heir, and he believed too strongly in the strength of his bloodline to let it end with him.  Casselina had needed to take fertility herbs in order to conceive his baby, but for months he had been thrilled that his line would continue.  He knew that his child would be strong, as well as beautiful; or handsome, as the case may be. 

The only reason that he had taken a courtesan was to satisfy the lust burning within him.  He former lover had moved away, and he had nobody to spend his nights with.  Besides that, Casselina was too graceful a creature to let go unappreciated; he knew beauty when he saw it, no matter what others thought.  She was willing to help him get through some of the painful ceremonies that he was obliged to participate in, and it felt nice to have a woman’s touch to get him through it.  She was kind to him, even though she knew she was not the kind of person he could ever love. 

After all, D’cameron’s loneliness had begun when his former left him to returned to his homeland, but also when he sets his sights on someone new: the knight in service of the crowned prince.  He had suspicions about the man, even if he did keep his secrets held tightly.  The captain, after all, had his ways of knowing how to find a man whom he could love, not for lust, but from the depths of his heart, and he was determined to make it happen, even if not everything else that he did along the way made sense. 

About Legends of Lorata

Eleanor Willow is the author of the high fantasy series Legends of Lorata, which takes place on a medieval-style world filled with elves, dragons, and faeries. There is also a fourth race, one that is rare and magical: the angelic Starr. Lorata is a distant planet watched over by four deities: good, evil, elemental, and celestial-- and there are plenty of legends about them all! One of the most important ones is the prophecy of Jenh's champion, Loracaz, who is promised to return to the realm whenever evil threatens to take hold. There are currently three books completed, and the first one can be read online. Book four is currently being written, and a fifth will most likely be in the future.
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6 Responses to Child of the Shadows

  1. D’Cameron plays a very minor role in book three, but as a character I rather like him, and I’ve toyed with teh idea of writing a side story for him. You learn very little about the book, because his actions are so controversial. The thing is, as I have said before, on Lorata, sexuality is not the fiasco that it has been in America for so long (well, modern America; I refer you to the two-spirit people of certain Native American tribes). On Lorata, you love whom you love, and gender is not a barrier to that. As I studied Anthropology, I learned taht sexuality should not be something that you struggle with, but what you feel in your heart. I mean, I always believed that you should hve the right to love the way you want, even if my ralationships have always been pretty standard. But why should man and woman be the only acceptable standard? I’ve heard all of the arguments, but I says, as Shu-Giri says, “What else is there but love?”
    If you love two women, two men, on man or one woman, truly, honestly, to the depths of your heart… if you want to share everything with them, not just your body, then why should anyone else stop you, or tell you how or whom to be with?
    D’Cameron’s story is not one of “you should (or should not) live like this.” It’s more of a story to get you thinking, “is there any one way that we should be?” There are many options, and so long as his do not harm you or infringe upon your right to love, why should his be any business of yours? Who are you to judge? As much as I love to write about dragons soaring over the mountains, faeries flitting around playfully, and elves hunting in the forest, I also want to get you thinking, to raise those questions and let your decide for yourself what you believe in.

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