Inouv 40, 228: I Am Not Here

I Am Not Here
Summary: Callem summons a scribe and they get acquainted.
OOC Date: 29, December 2013
Related: None
Callem Bella 
King's Study - Darfield Castle
The room is nicely appointed but austere. Floor to ceiling bookcases dominate the walls, the many-colored spines presenting a varied but demure mosaic within the walnut frames of the shelves. On one wall, a large stone hearth presents itself, the fire always tended to drive off the chill of interior castle rooms. Above the fireplace one may view a portrait of Callem Kilgour's children.
At one end the room is a heavy oak desk, always strewn with bits of writing in progress and stacked with books. Comfortable chairs are placed almost randomly around the room, each with its own table and lamp. In one corner is a rather long, comfortable couch, upholstered in azure fabric, with a blanket of llama wool thrown over the back and several comfortable pillows at one end. From the indentations in the couch, it is clear that someone naps here frequently.
Inouv 40, 228

Many, in his presence, would have thought themselves to be witnessing a ghost. Not only because of the paleness the few candles around steal from his skin, or for the distant shade that tints his eyes - but for many may think that he, Callem Kilgour, King of Mobrin and self proclaimed rightful King of Laniveer, no longer walks this world. The truth, however, is only reserved for a selected few, and certainly no one outside the royal family and his personal guard. Until this day.

Knights of Rioga, attired in black armors with the rampant griffin of the lord of Darfield, hold jealous custody of the entrance. The light is dim, but many books and parchments are scattered across the chamber. The mysterious man, whatever the case is, can be seen with a soft and peaceful smile. Peace. Perhaps that is what defines him now. Peace.


It is not often a girl is summoned to see the King! But Bella got the word and after packing a basket with the tools of her trade into it, she had left her own home in the back of the bookstore before making her way to the imposing castle. The one she had always seen but never been to. Oh she felt like a princess, going to a castle!

Her smile is beaming, her steps light, her whole demeanor one of reverence and awe as she is shown into the room and the door is immediately closed behind her.

She is wearing a drab gray dress, very unremarkable, and over it a white apron. Over an arm is a basket and over her shoulders is a black wool cloak with no distinguishing characteristics. On her feet is fur, and it seems to be makeshift boots of some sort as it is tied on with bits of rope to keep her feet dry.

She takes two steps into the room and is unable to help it, she turns two full circles, giggling with delight. "It's wonderful!" She exclaims in delight. Then she notices the man and she says again, "It's wonderful!" She bounces over and offers her hand. "I am Bella!"


The King cannot help it and smiles widely. Not everyday someone shows such delight for his personal study, but then, is it not common that someone outside of his family visits the place. That is, clearly, a consideration he had never had until today, and Callem is a man who loves to learn something new every time the opportunity arises.

"I am Callem." The answer is kind. "Welcome, Lady Bella. Welcome to Darfield. It is an honor to have you here." With not few effort, the man rises from his seat and nods his head in salute. Now, standing, his clothing can be seen more clearly. If that of the newcomer is unremarkable, the same remark could be made of his. A plain gray robe, with no sigil or mark. Nothing more could be said about it.

After a couple heartbeats, and after the smile has faded slow and naturally, his head is tilted in the direction of one of the candles. Eyes narrowed and observing.

"You may be wondering why I summoned you. And to that, I'm afraid, I don't have an answer." A silent invitation is made for her to take seat, before he even attempts to do it himself. "I asked for the best scribe in the realm, for a reason only my dreams could understand. I had a dream, Lady Bella. A dream of an unsung King. A dream of a tyrant ruler. A dream of tales told by generations yet to come… A dream about words on books yet to be written." He pauses, letting a distant smile to appear, just as the previous one faded. "But first things first. I am glad an honored you found this place wonderful. Feel yourself at home."


The return smile is met with an enchanted look from the scribe. It was beyond her realm of experience to meet someone such as he. Someone who was in charge of so very many people and it made her glad to be here, just to speak to him! "It's fun to meet you, Mister Callem." Her title for everyone is Mister. Unless they are female of course. Her enthusiasm bubbles out of her with another smile. "I am glad to me here and to meet you." Blue eyes drift down over his clothing, which she does not think ill of at all, for even her own is serviceable and she uses it accordingly.

"I thought maybe ya wanted to meet me since I have books in my store and I write things." She writes very well, despite her more innocent and trusting demeanor. When he speaks of his dreams, she slips into the seat and places her basket on the nearest surface. "Oh, thank you, Mister Callem, it is a wonderful place, I never saw a place like it. Ever." She reaches into her basket and pulls out a leatherbound book. She opens it in the very middle and the pages are blank. "Your dream is like my favorite book right here." She offers it to him. "You see? The pages are empty, that means whatever story you wanna put there can be put there and you know what? Someone someday will read the story and they will know your story as their very own. If you tell me what to write for your story, I can write the words, but if you want, you can write your own story in that book and I can copy it to many books and then so many will know your story."


"Your favorite book?" The reasoning brings light back to the King's face. "That is—" Lacking a better description, he mimics the very tone Bella used at her own introduction, "Wonderful." Chuckling a bit as he does. "Actually, I am more interested in a story I won't ever write." Before proceeding, Callem leans back on his chair, extends his legs, and looks directly at his guest eyes.

"How old are you, if I may ask, Lady Bella?" He stops for a moment, just enough for an answer to be made. "I have reigned for more years than I would have wished. I only wish you, and everyone, had lived the reign of my lord father. I did. And I cherish every memory of that time." a little sigh. "When I am gone, what will be written of me, my lady? How will everyone remind me? As a tyrant who tried to usurp another realm's lands? As a rightful leader who lead his troops to regain what was his? As a soldier who spilled blood all over the fields of Mobrin? Would you, Lady Bella, write the story of Callem Cynfad Kilgour? What would you say if you did?" Too many questions, of course, but it is evident in his gaze that he has long awaited to ask them. Each of them relieves an old pain. The King, at the end, has a little rest deep in his heart.


A warm smile tugs at her lips and Bella closes the book on her lap only to leave it there. Intelligent blue eyes peer back at him just until he asks her age. "I am two." Her smile only widens. "Two from when I can remember things. B'fore that, I dunno how old I was, cause I don't know anythin' about who I was b'efore. But I know how to write and read and bake and play a harp and so many other things. An' I love dancin' and Mister Raymond's sausage rolls." The local baker is named Raymond.

"I wish I knew your daddy too and I wish I knew my own but since I don't I just imagine what having a daddy was like. I'm glad you r'member yours. If you tell me 'bout him I can write it. If I write 'bout you? I will write that he has a sweet, kind smile. That he has so much work to do and that I think people always, always ask him things and make him answer questions. But I bet that he never even gets to go be alone and go fishin' or to have a sausage roll without someone botherin' him. Maybe that he is friendly and fun, and very, very smart, but he always gotta work. He's a great man, an' he makes good d'cisions but he needs to smile all the time cause it makes him look so very young and happy then." She places the book from her lap aside. "Do you like to dance?" She stands up, and offers her hand.


If her previous actions were unexpected, the King is not less surprised, and impressed, by her answer. He reminds silent, thoughtful, touched. Not a word is spoken for a while. Was it all the answer he was waiting for? Or perhaps he was waiting for so little, that such a magnificent reply left him speechless? Perhaps there was so much truth in her words, and nothing more was left unspoken.

A silence takes place. A comfortable one.

"Of course." He just says, with a tone that is not as overly confident as he uses, but then again, he could as well be a phantom for what everyone thinks. A phantom, a ghost, but not a King. His hand extends, a smile is offered and a rhetoric question arises, "I can't hear the music…" Not that it matters. He just wants to dance.


His silence does not bother her, Bella only watches him with those intelligent blue eyes, patience in their depths, content to sit in the silence as he contemplates her answer, or his take on it. She looks both serene and excited at the same time, happy with who she is and where she is. Her hand never wavering as it is offered to him still. The smile that lingers on her lips also never slips or fades.

When he extends his hand, she slips hers into his, her own is soft and warm, and she gently tugs him to an empty place, if he will come. "You can't hear the music?" She dips into a proper curtsy with one hand holding his still, and then straightens and twirls into a spin twice then to face him again. "It's a fun song, I don't know it but the music is nice." She spins around again, laughing with delight, trying to draw him into the moment with her.


Callem is not a bad dancer, for sure. It is known that his wedding party lasted for days - the most daring usually claim it to have happened for weeks without a pause! The truth is there /were/ a few pauses, but not as much as anyone would like to admit. And, even after the years, his practice has not diminished. Bella can see it, now dancing with the King.

"A fun song, I see." He laughs a bit, swift and smoothly continuing the motion, "For having lost your memory, I can say you dance very well." Callem teases without stopping. "I did not know that when I summon you. But I see it doesn't change the fact that you are just the scribe I needed. You saw more in me than most - though I must say that you had a little mistake."

With a tone that surely carries a secret, he says, "I have been alone, yes. But only /almost/ alone. You'll see, when no one has asked the questions, Laetitia has always had. I only wish I could help her with the weight of being Queen. We dance, we talk, we smile, and we laugh. Still, the Realm has fallen on her shoulders many more times than I had wished. And that is a suffering that craves deep in one's heart. I don't want her to become what I have become." Yet another pain leaves his heart.

"Lady Bella, I see you have enjoyed Darfield. I don't want to bother you with my problems anymore, but probably I will need more dance and talk again. Do your occupations as scribe and librarian take too much of your time? Or is there any possibility you could at least consider being my royal scribe?" the unheard music continues and so the dance does.


Oh Callem is indeed a good dancer! For rarely is it that Bella has her equal. Not that she notices anyone having any particular difficulties in dancing, but she does notice everyone is so different in the way they dance. The way he seems to know and anticipate her own moves makes her smile, and the smiles they share makes her laugh. Bella is in no way flirtatious, she is simply fun-loving and she never meets a stranger.

"It is a fun song and you are a fun dancer!" She twirls around a few more times, eyes glittering with her own happiness, for few things make her happy as she is when she is dancing. "I r'member things that I used to know I think. Like dancin and cookin and snow. I r'member snow! But I don't r'member dancin with someone else, or I don't r'member how I know how to cook and I never know how I threw snowballs at b'fore. But I know things just nothin' about me." It's the only way she knows how to explain retrograde amnesia since it's not something so common, nor so defined.

"Your Queen?" Bella nods almost solemnly. What is solemn for her anyway. "I saw her kill people y'sterday." There is sadness that briefly touches her eyes, but she forces herself to forget it, to push it away. No unhappiness. And then she's smiling again, a vibrant smile. "I like that she has you and you got her. Cause ever'one needs someone even just a friend. I don't want her to be sad. Maybe you make other people do things too, not just you an' her. You're the boss, tell people what to do!" She laughs and twirls around again. "I will always work for you if you will let me. I'll write an' dance an' anythin you want me to do. I like workin."


"Yes, I know." Callem replies to the mention of burned people. His tone doesn't change. Though there might be grief, as every time he has commanded people to die - well, he has commanded people to die before. Sadly, it is not unknown to him. And he has learned to live with it. "I would be honored if you would, Lady Bella." he continues as if nothing had changed, still relieved and happy for the moment.

After the silent melody has concluded, a courteous and solemn nod, accompanied with a smile, is given with so much gratitude to his guest.

"Thank you, Lady Bella. Thank you for listening to me. Just remember something," his gaze drifts to the book of white pages, "I am not here."


When the music ends, Bella dips into a curtsy, enthusiasm still brimming in her eyes. "Thank you, Mister Callem, for lettin' me be your scribe. And it was it was so fun meetin' you! I liked the dance too and I will write your book. An' I will come and see you anytime you need for me to."

His last makes her smile almost enigmatically. "Oh no, Mister Callem. You are here, but no one can see you, 'specially scribes." She gives a playful smile, letting him know his presence is undeniable. "I'll see you later, 'kay?" And off she scampers, with the book and the basket to go about her duties.

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