Flight of the Monarch (Chapter 2, page 1 of 5)

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Chapter 2

The unexpected rap on the door jolted Hayley from a deep sleep. The room remained dark and an icy chill enveloped every space. As she rubbed her frozen nose, the door slowly opened and the housekeeper entered the room quietly. Hayley watched the dark figure approach the fireplace and kneel down to stir the cold ashes.

As Hayley propped herself up on her elbows, she let out a sigh that startled the woman, nearly causing her fall into the open hearth.

"Forgive me, Maddie."

"I assumed you were sleeping. It has been difficult to wake you the last couple of days."

As she continued to watch Maddie, she considered of how fond she was of her and how she and her father were fortunate to have her with them. All of the wealthy families on Amherst Island had employees working for them, but Maddie had always been like family.

"Tell me again how beautiful my mother was."

"I have told you so many times, that her image should be forever etched in your mind."

"Her hair was raven black. Was it honey brown, as mine when she was my age?"

"Perhaps. Yours will probably be darker when you're older."

"She was like a sister to you, right?"

"Yes, we were very close" Her voice trailed off as she returned to the fire.

"I am sure you must tire of my questions. I'm grateful you are always willing to share your memory of her."

Maddie rose from her knees and walked to the edge of the bed. Her eyes were glistening as they caught the glow of a new flame dancing in them. "I will never tire of helping you to keep her alive in your heart and mind."

Hayley's thoughts turned to Austin. How would she keep him alive in her heart? He would soon only be a part of her memory as well. She would be able to recall the time they had spent together. She did not have the same luxury with her mother. She could only rely on others to capture their experiences and share them with her. She could however, make the mental image of her mother more glorious, with the disapproval of no one. Her love for Austin was glorious, yet was met with grave disapproval.

"Maddie, have you ever known true love?"

Maddie's body stiffened. Not knowing where to lay her eyes, she murmured, "Yes." Her mouth turned up at the ends, as she fought against it.

"You have never spoken of such things-I assumed you had never…"

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