And now, my interview with the King, William du Frain, of Coldthwaite:
Me: Welcome to my blog, Your Majesty.
King: I am honored to be here, Lady Owens.
Me: You don’t really have to call me … Nevermind. I kind of like being addressed as “Lady” and wow, he’s handsome! Ahem. How would you describe your Queen, sir?
King: (Smiles) Jael–beautiful in every way–God’s gift to me. She … is as strong as any warrior I’ve fought beside. Though not in the physical strength, of course. I quite depend upon her, you see.
Me: She is famous in the Kingdom of Coldthwaite (pronounced Cold-thrate, by the way) and beyond for reasons that defy explanation.
King: (Dazzling smile) Thank you for pronouncing the name of our fair kingdom correctly. But then, I suppose you are an authority (glances over his shoulder). My queen would not like me to talk about it, even with you, Lady. But her gifts are quite unique, yes. There was one time … I was deliberating what my next step would be in battle. I feared for our lives and thought I may never see her face again. When suddenly there she was, kneeling before me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. She was so real, I reached out to touch her, but there was only emptiness. I could see her, and she spoke to me, but she was actually miles and miles away. She told me exactly what I needed to hear.
Me: Were you relieved, when you realized she was not actually there?
King: (Nods) Aye, indeed I was. I had no desire for her to be in such a dangerous situation. And of course, later on, when I heard what happened to her—well, you remember it, I know. A frown creases his forehead. His gaze sweeps the room then returns to my face, accompanied by a knowing smile. He gives me a wink. I have a confession. I worship the very ground she walks on.
Lady Jael: Blasphemy! You take that back!
I nearly jump out of my chair at her sudden appearance in our midst. Even knowing her capabilities as well as I do, I am not prepared for this. But what fun! Can I get her to talk to me?
The portraits I’ve seen of her do not do her justice. In person, she is lovely. She turns her azure eyes on me and suddenly, I want to slink away. But she gives me a very polite curtsey then a most gracious smile.
Lady Jael: It is you, isn’t it?
Me: I … I don’t know … er …
King: Yes, my love, it is she. Allow me to introduce Lady Betty, our beloved author.
A servant moves quickly to provide a chair for Lady Jael. She nods her thanks to him, and perches on the edge of the seat. After he withdraws, she gathers my hands in hers.
Lady Jael: Dearest Lady, thank you so much for hearing my call, and telling my story.
Me: Oh, I’m honored to do it. I just hope I’ve done your story justice.
Lady Jael: Glances at King. Oh, you have. We love what you’ve done for us.
Me: I would like to ask a question, if you don’t mind.
Lady Jael: Of course. Ask anything you wish.
Me: What does it feel like to disappear? Lady Jael arches her brows.Oops, I know what that means.
Lady Jael: “Except that.”
When the king has a sudden fit of coughing, I turn to look. Just as I thought. He’s laughing. I turn my attention back to Lady Jael. I am determined not to mess up this opportunity.
Me: I beg your pardon, Lady Jael. I meant no disrespect. She gives a gracious nod.
Me, again: What are you willing to share about your life? Something your readers don’t know about you. She’s still holding my hands. She lets them go and relaxes in her chair, a faraway look in her eyes.
Lady Jael: I remember my mother.
Me: Do you? I never knew that.
Lady Jael: I was only a few summers when she died, but I remember. She was lovely, with black hair and eyes like sapphires. She was a healer, too. It’s how she met my da. But she didn’t heal him, she worked her healing on his da, my grandpere.
Me: I see. That’s really interesting. Even the King seemed surprised. He sat forward in his chair.
Lady Jael: And there’s one other thing … I was not the firstborn.
My mouth drops open. This is something I never suspected.
King: I never knew this. Why have you never said anything?
Lady Jael: He was taken, before I was born.
King & Me: (simultaneously): Taken?
Me: You mean he died.
Her gaze pierces my soul. “He was taken. This is all I know.”
Well, this calls for some research. And maybe, just maybe … another story …