After 697 A.D. The Breton March
Kairos 101: Margueritte, the Bride
A blonde, about thirteen, sat on her old mare like a young woman who spent plenty of time on horseback. She wore a fine-looking dress and had a silk scarf, which spoke of money, if not nobility. Her old mare waited quietly, unlike the younger stallion beside her that pranced a little and did not seem to want to settle down in the face of the oncoming strangers. The young man, maybe a year or two older than the girl, sat on the stallion and fidgeted a bit himself. He did not appear alarmed, however, and had no weapons in any case other than the knife he wore on his belt.
Boston and Sukki drew near, but then stopped a few feet away from the young couple. “Is this the road to the Breton March?” Boston asked. “We are looking for Margueritte.”
The blonde rolled her eyes at the mention of Margueritte’s name, but before she could say anything, a fairy squirted out from her horse’s mane and flew up to face Boston.
“Hello Elf,” the fairy said.
Boston grinned and Sukki looked positively delighted. “Hello fairy. My name is Boston, and my sister’s name is Sukki.”
“My name is Goldenrod. My best friend is Elsbeth, and Owien is her boyfriend.,” the fairy reported.
The boy and girl looked at each other, and Elsbeth raised her voice a little. “Owien is not my boyfriend.” She glanced at the boy. Owien looked like he would be happy to be her boyfriend. Sukki covered her smile.
“The rest of our group will be here in a minute,” Boston said. Even as she spoke, Katie and Lockhart came around the bend in the road, followed by Tony and Nanette. Lincoln and Alexis drove the wagon and Decker and Elder Stow brought up the rear in the rear-guard position. Everyone waited for them to catch up, then Boston introduced everyone, including Goldenrod.
“Are you going to the wedding?” Katie asked, kindly. They heard all about it in the village where they spent the night. The King and Queen of Brittany with their son Judon, who often went by the name of David would be going. They felt, after all the trouble they caused it was the least they could do. The village chief, Brian was looking forward to it, though he never did explain exactly what the trouble was. They would all be following in the morning. “I expect Margueritte will make a lovely bride,” Katie finished with an encouraging smile.
Elsbeth rolled her eyes again as she and Owien turned around to lead the group to the triangle, which is what they called the home of the Lord of the March. Then she opened up and seemed to want to talk about it.
“Margueritte is my sister, and the Breton are coming because my mother is a Breton. My father is Count Bartholomew, Marquis of the Breton March. He is Frankish, so Margueritte and I are half and half. Owien, son of Bedwin, is all Breton.”
“I am not,” Owien objected. “I am page to Lord Bartholomew and have pledged to the King in Paris, so I am a Frank now.”
“Lord Charles and Roland have been fighting in Vascony,” Elsbeth continued after another eye roll. “We got word that they will be here tomorrow, and the wedding will be the next day. Then Margueritte and Roland will go away with the army and Mother and Lady Jennifer will cry and miss her. Then she will have adventures while Owien and I will have Latin every Wednesday.” She made a face.
“It’s not so bad,” Owien said, and they all continued for a time at a very leisurely pace, letting the horses walk as they will. Owien eventually thought of a question. “So, where are you from?”
“And how do you know my sister?” Elsbeth added, though she seemed to have an idea.
“We are from a land far in the west called America, not Amorica,” Katie said. “And how we know Margueritte is kind of complicated.”
Elsbeth harumphed. “It’s that Kairos thing, I bet. I met Gerraint and Festuscato, and she has got about a hundred more people that she has been in the past and some in the future. It must be hard to keep track of them all.”
“We met Gerraint and Festuscato,” Lockhart said. “We haven’t actually met Margueritte yet, to be honest.”
“I figured that,” Elsbeth said. “Otherwise, I would remember you, or at least heard of you. You know, Little White Flower, that is who Lady Jennifer used to be, she and her father Lord Yellow Leaf, the fairies, they came from America when I was little.”
“Lady Jennifer used to be a fairy?” Nanette asked from behind.
Elsbeth nodded. “Margueritte made her human so she could marry Father Aden. They have a little girl. Father Aden will be doing the ceremony.”
Katie spoke up. “Alexis, the one driving the wagon with Lincoln, she used to be an elf and the Kairos made her human so she could marry Lincoln.”
“Boston used to be human,” Lockhart added. “She went the other way.”
“I didn’t know she could do that,” Owien said, sounding interested in the subject, but Elsbeth turned her nose up at the idea of being an elf.
“You could be a fairy,” Goldenrod spoke from where she relaxed in the mare’s mane. Elsbeth nodded slightly, like maybe that would not be too terrible.
It was not that long before the group rounded the bend and arrived in the triangle. The big barn in one corner sat nearest the road and backed toward the fields which spread out, just down a small incline. At the top of the triangle, a tall tower of stone sat like a castle keep, and in the third corner sat the manor house. A great, old oak grew outside the house, and a bench sat beneath the tree where one could sit in the shade on a hot summer day. The whole scene looked peaceful and quiet, but the sensitive members of the group felt the hurried tension in the air. A table had been built outside, under an awning. It looked like it might seat thirty, but the man who stepped over from the blacksmith area outside the tower looked at the table and all the new people in the triangle and wondered if the table would be big enough.
“Father,” Elsbeth called to the man while she got down and let Owien take her horse with his into the barn. Two women and a man dressed like a priest came out of the house, smiling and anxious to greet their guests. Elsbeth went to stand beside the older woman who Katie guessed was Brianna, the mother. Then a young woman with dark hair and green eyes came barreling out of the door, shouting for Boston, her arms already open in anticipation of her hug. Boston happily obliged. Then Margueritte, who the young woman was, went happily from traveler to traveler hugging them all.
Margueritte’s mother, Brianna, did not know what to make of it all, but she did not seem surprised that her daughter knew complete strangers. Margueritte’s father, the one from the blacksmith area simply looked confused.
Margueritte ran to him to grab his hand, and as she did, his mouth opened to say something, but he paused as a clear blue light filled the triangle and half of the people vanished. Sukki, and Elder Stow stayed, since it was their turn to care for the horses and they followed Owien into the barn. Tony and Decker did not disappear since they got busy taking the wagon across the road where they could park it next to the church that stood there. But Katie, Lockhart, Lincoln, Alexis, and Nanette, all vanished, along with Elsbeth, Brianna, Jennifer, and Father Aden. Boston stood there suddenly alone, until Goldenrod fluttered up to land gently on Boston’s shoulder and speak in Boston’s ear.
“What just happened?”
The people vanished, but the horses remained in the yard with Boston and Goldenrod the fairy who tugged on Boston’s hair to get comfortable. She repeated herself. “What just happened?”
“What?” Margueritte’s father, Sir Barth spouted, and Margueritte let go of his hand to run forward to get a closer look. Owien came running out of the barn, followed by Elder Stow and Sukki.
“Where did everybody go?” Owien asked.
Decker and Tony left Ghost and the wagon to cross the road. Decker spoke. “Somehow I don’t think the Masters are involved in this one.”
“No,” Margueritte agreed. “Even Elder Stow’s people do not have that level of technology, if I am reading it right.”
“What just happened?” Goldenrod asked again.