White Tea


White Tea“You brought her here? Are you insane?” Marna glowered at the three of them.

This was not the reaction Callum had expected. “We thought you’d be pleased,” he said, allowing a hint of vexation to creep into his voice. Had they not just found a piece of the puzzle?

“Really.” It was not a question. “Pleased that I am expected to play host to a potion-addled sybarite. Who can barely keep upright, may I add.” Marna was clearly affronted, though Callum had to admit that she was correct on that last point. Seonid’s face was pale and damp with sweat, and her hands trembled. Her gaze drifted around the room, touching lightly on bottles and jars, but never lingering for long. Callum noted that Marna did not offer the girl a chair.

His sister was prepared for Marna’s outburst. “You should have seen the state she was in when we found her. Believe me, this is an improvement.” As if to belie Vernía’s words, Seonid swayed, and Callum steadied her. Bedraggled as she was, she still smelled of apples. He let her lean into his side, her expression vague and unfocused. She must be exhausted, he realized.

Vernía drew the magistra aside. “She needs someplace safe to stay for a few days,” she said in a low voice. “Until she’s through the worst of it. She’s a part of this, though I don’t yet know how.”

“White tea and iron,” Seonid said suddenly. “Oh, safe, safe… What is safe? Clementine and rue.” Callum almost dropped her, he was that startled. He looked to Marna, but it was his sister who spoke, cocking her head to one side.

“A draught of Sanctuary, if I’m not mistaken. She is quite the connoisseur.”

Marna crossed her arms and glared. “May as well hire a drunk for a barman.” After a long moment, she held out a hand and led Seonid to a low divan. “Sit child, and we’ll see what we can make of you.”

This post was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge  prompt.

You should write a creative response using the given word. You must use the word in your response, and you must use it correctly. Your response can be no fewer than 33 and no more than 333 words. This week’s word is:

safe adj \ˈsāf\

1  free from harm or risk : unhurt

2 a: secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss
b: successful at getting to a base in baseball without being put out

3 affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty

4 obsolete of mental or moral faculties : healthy, sound

More in the Sable Mark series can be found in previous posts: Need, Salt, Beast, The Other Sort of Need, Damask, Deep Magic, The Scent of Apple.

13 thoughts on “Sanctuary

  1. Trifecta says:

    Thanks for joining up again. I love this little story and that is a fabulous last line. It’s a clever response to the prompt. Will there be more to this story? I hope so. Hope you can join us for the weekend challenge.


    • chrstnj says:

      There’s lots more to this story; I just haven’t figured out what it is yet. I love using the prompts to spur my imagination. Every week I’m surprised by what my characters are doing. And I think it may just be starting to coalesce into something bigger.


  2. jesterqueen1 says:

    Oooh – and you got the number 4 definition in there, too, if I’m not mistaken, when Seonid proves herself of unsafe mind when saying safe. Well done. I want to know more about these people!


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