Christopher sits facing a young woman with coppery curls which fall bouncing to the shoulders of her loose, reddish-orange tunic and matching skirts flaring around her legs. A necklace of rough green stones hangs around her neck.
Christopher: Just what was that tale you told Grace about Verity’s, your town’s founder?
Nathalie: (speaking with grave dignity, too grave, especially with the twinkle in her hazel eye) A true tale, of course.
Christopher: Don’t get caught in cogs and gears of industry, huh? (He shakes his head, smiling a little.) Yes, I could see that
Nathalie: In Verity we’ve all seen it. People who are so caught up in their work, their jobs, they turn into machines. The monotony of their daily tasks sucks out their energy, leaving them with nothing for anything else. I’ve wonder from what Mama Morisot told me of the factory and Auntie Cassat if it was like that for them.
Christopher: How so?
Nathalie: Auntie Cassat did all the illustrations for Mama Morisot’s book; Grace and Theodora: Magic and Mishaps. They were beautiful, richly colored images of Grace, Nathalie, Iama, the woods, Iama’s palace where everything turned to gold. Absolutely stunning. Those pictures speak louder than words of the artist’s passion, her creativity. I don’t see any of that passion or creativity in the woman who sips tea primly and questions her daughter’s own artistic choices.
Christopher: Just because she’s not showing the passion nor the creativity doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Nathalie: How could it be? (Nathalie considers Christopher’s words and shakes her head.) No. Working at the factory sucked the vitality out of her. Just like it’ll suck the vitality out of Maia if she lets it.
Christopher: Aren’t you worried it’ll suck the life out of you?
Nathalie: Of course. (She throws back her shoulders with more than a little bravado.) I refuse to let it.
Christopher: That’s the spirit. (There’s a crinkle in his brow when he says that, if Nathalie’s spirit is reminding him of something else, something painful) Back to Magic and Mishaps. You say these are the books your mother wrote.
Nathalie: Yes. They were among the first books I read when I first came to Verity. Princess Nathalie, Princess Grace, even though those girls weren’t us, I felt like they were. (chuckles) Iama the Terrible looked so sinister, yet striking, touching Princess Nathalie’s cheek, luring her away. I wouldn’t mind being enchanted by her one bit.
Christopher: Only you were enchanted by an Iama of your own, weren’t you?
Nathalie: I was, wasn’t I? (She chuckles again.) Seriously, don’t take what Grace and Maia say too seriously. Maia is nothing like Iama…other than extremely attractive. And you might say both Maia and the enchantress in the books needed to be saved.
Christopher: How is that?
Nathalie: (grinning) Nope, I’m not telling you that. If you want to know, you’ll need to read the book. It’s available at…
Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press: https://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/wind-me-up-one-more-time.html#/