re: Camille of Shattered Glass, author of Along the Wayside – available at the Lyceum
transmission source: Lyceum
Camille of Shattered Glass
In a small attic room at the Lyceum sits a girl fumbling madly with several small bits of glass worn smooth in the waves of the big lake just east of the Menagerie District. Two of the three moons hang heavy in the sky, full of secrets and laughter, but the third moon is in a bit of a mood and is sulking below the horizon.
In her heart, she finds her name and holds it, and stares into the shard of blue glass, shimmering in the candle light. Not with her voice, but with her soul she asks what the glass’s name is.
It’s a peculiar thing, asking glass for its name. Glass is stubborn and self righteous, especially after being in the lake for so long, but glass knows useful things, and Camille would like to know them as well.
The glass remains silent, but Camille can tell it is blushing, coy little thing it is. She holds steadfast to her own name, while imploring the glass again, to share it’s secret name with her.
The glass delights with the attention, and suddenly Camille feels the glass’s name spread all around her, cold and smooth and hard, but not sharp. The glass’s name settles into her heart, next to her own name.
The glass tells her it is quite old, older than all the buildings in the Lyceum, except for one, and it served the Queen in dark times. The glass said no more, and Camille knew better than to ask.
So instead of prying, Camille let the name of the glass hang lightly against her heart, fastening the blue glass into a silver clasp and stringing it around her neck. She sinks into her chair and lets out a deep sigh. A month’s worth of work in the Naming and Unnaming of Things. A few more weeks with the glass and hopefully it will tell Camille dozens of secrets.
Her eyelids flicker like candle light, and she sees the third moon rising, joining her sisters, slightly embarrassed but still strikingly dignified and just a tad indignant. Camille watches the moon float through the sky and turns in her chair, thinking a glass of wine before bed will give her pleasant dreams.
As she reaches for the bottle, the door to her bedroom opens as if the building let out a sigh into the room- and on it’s breath a specter. Camille froze, moving only her eyes over the translucent and wavering form of the specter.
Never in her life has she been so close to a specter before. He only stayed for the length of a deep breath, but she made 3 quick observations.
The first of which is that his clothes hung around him like mist, and seemed to be the most tangible part of him. The second was that the name of the glass rang with excitement in her chest, like clinking glasses at a wedding. And the third is that he looked deep into her eyes and began to move his mouth before disappearing.
He saw her. A specter saw her. And wanted to say something.