The second part of the 18th chapter
Rhoda tried to remember what length of time had she really been on the island, before the demons had taken her. She didn’t have any success at all. When she tried to remember, the dreams appeared like spots of light on a dark floor, that has very clear boundaries, and around them the floor looks even darker. Any attempt she made to go a little further beyond the edges of the lighted patches, ended with a feeling of diving into deep darkness, and with a deep sense of loss.
“I wonder” Rhoda said when she thought about her first dream “What was the purpose of the voyage on which I was kidnapped? And who was onboard, except the girls that were with me and the crew of the ship?”
After she had thought for a few more minutes, she said “It is clear that it happened after the night of the comet’s first appearance. But I don’t have an inkling of an idea if it is a long time after that night or just a short time after it.”
Mee listened and nodded, and then said “That means it might be that you weren’t with the pirates a full year and a half, your majesty, and that the ring might have been hidden for less than a year.”
“If so, it is interesting to know what happened between the night in which the comet showed and the day in which I was kidnapped.” Rhoda hoped that maybe if she would say it out loud, something of the things that happened to her would gleam in the dark, and was disappointed again. It was clear to her, that at least for the meanwhile, she will discover nothing new this way.
While they were speaking, Rhoda and Mee wandered through the garden in a random walk, now they approached the grape arbor which Rhoda saw on her first day in the palace. She went into it. The sun was already low above the horizon. Rhoda told Mee “I want to stay alone here for some time. Go to the palace to inform them that they need to prepare dinner, and find someone that will make my intelligent talking parrot for me. I will enter the palace later. Maybe only after the sun has set. I need to be alone now. To think.”
Mee only said “As you wish, your majesty.” And went towards the palace.
Rhoda watched Mee getting further away and waited. When it seemed to her that Mee got far enough away, and will not hear her, Rhoda sat on the bench that was surrounded by the arbor and started crying bitterly. She didn’t want to do it in front of Mee, but the acknowledgement that she can’t know anything about herself, and even the things she knew might be wrong, because they were only dreams, made her feel lost and miserable. And to add to that, since she discovered the meaning of the ring, she stopped feeling relaxed.
For long minutes Rhoda kept on crying, feeling deeply sorry for herself. Life seemed to her to be dark and hopeless and her state seemed as bleak as the darkest night.
After crying this way for some time, other thoughts started to rise in her head. She thought that if her dreams were real, as she thought they were, then her state now is much better than it was with the pirates. And to be the demons’ queen wasn’t such a bad thing, considering all. And she didn’t remember her parents’ house, and because of that, she didn’t miss it too much. Still, her eyes kept tearing a few more minutes before she was calm again.
After Rhoda had cried enough, she lifted her watery eyes. The setting sun painted a brilliant display of colors, and the crying cleared the bad feelings from her. She reminded herself the atmosphere that was in the dream, at which she has spoken with her mother about her future. If the astrologers would have predicted for her a bad future, her mother would not have seemed so relaxed while they were talking. Her own state now was reasonable, and her bad time with the pirates she remembered only in a fragmented way and through dreams. All in all it seemed to her that there were enough good things happening to her at the moment, so she could not complain too much. The only thing that she wanted to make sure of was – that no one will know that she cried. Rhoda went to a nearby stream, washed her face thoroughly, and turned towards the palace with emboldened steps.
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