Castle Tapestry

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[Excerpt from a novel series idea: Hand of Fate series]

Towards the end of the hallway, right before I was to turn around the stone corner to go towards the Hall of Records, one last tapestry hung from metal hooks. I was about to pass it with only a slight glance but instead did a double-take.

My mouth opened a fraction of an inch, my eyes widening. My stomach muscles clenched as I approached the tapestry at the end of the hall. Like the others before it, the vibrant threads were woven in such a manner that, from my distance, the tapestry could have been a Renaissance oil painting. Every detail was so lifelike, from the light hitting the eyes and cheeks all the way down to the strands of hair on each of the three figures’ heads.

The tapestry showed another royal family: a Candrian queen, her husband, and their son. The Queen and her husband were just as unfamiliar as the rest. Their posture, clothing, and the calm yet authoritative expressions captured by the threads told of their high stature. The delicate crown on the woman’s head, the exact same crown Elate wears, helped, too.

But their faces were not entirely unfamiliar to me. There was something about the man’s jaw: it was square and angular. And her eyes: the shape and even the hazel color was striking. But what caught my attention the most was the baby boy in their arms. His eyes were just like his mothers, round and already hazel. His jaw was a little squarer than the average baby face. I knew that after puberty, his jaw would be just as square as his dad’s. Though the baby was swaddled, I knew that if his right shoulder was shown, there would be a few dark brown threads forming a mole halfway between his shoulder and collarbone.

“Tori?” Cris was next to me, gripping my elbow. I hadn’t even heard him come back for me. “What is wrong?”

I lifted one shaking finger towards the wall. “That baby.”

The hand on my elbow tightened. “Queen Luciana’s son? He died soon after his father, Marcus.”

I’d seen that baby before, not in tapestries but in old photographs, the very same photographs that were scattered around my house.

I shoot my head. “No. That’s my dad.”

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