Just a bit of the work in process, without context:
If Marta really expected to be left in peace, she was disappointed. In her dreams she was still in her bed while Amaet occupied the only chair, but that wasn’t the surprising part. Amaet always appeared when it suited her, and Marta’s wishes simply were not a consideration. That was how it had always been between them. It was what Amaet was doing that Marta had never seen before and did not understand.
The Power was sewing. She held a shiny needle and golden thread, and she worked at what appeared to be a small bit of tapestry, such as Marta had seen young noblewomen use to practice their needlecraft. She wasn’t looking at Marta at all but seemed rather focused on her work. If there was a design on the cloth, Marta could not make it out.
Marta sat up and yawned. “Would you mind telling me what you’re doing?”
“Sewing,” Amaet said. She seemed faintly amused but did not look up.
“Why?” Marta asked. “And while we’re on that subject, why here?”
“Why does someone do anything? Because they either must do it or choose to. Which do you think applies in my case?”
“I’m tired, Amaet. If there’s something you want, just tell me.”
“I want to sew,” Amaet said. “And I want to do it here, in your dreams. Or weren’t you listening?”
“Yes, but you still haven’t told me why. I gather that answer has a price on it?”
Amaet smiled then, and Marta felt a chill. It was never a good sign when Amaet smiled.
“Not at all. There is an answer, of course. One rather like a discovery of a Law of Power. That is, you must find it for yourself, or it isn’t the right answer.”
Amaet then held up the tapestry scrap for Marta to see. “What do you think of my work?”
Marta looked. The stitching was tight but irregular; Marta had seen better from royal twelve-year-olds and took a little pleasure in saying so. “It’s not very good.”
Instead of reacting angrily as Marta expected, the Power simply looked at her own work and smiled again. “No, it isn’t. Not at all.”
Amaet disappeared and Marta awoke to an empty room, save for Bonetapper sleeping on the sconce. There would be no more sleep for Marta that evening. Marta left her bed and went to the window to look out into the darkness. Autumn was approaching and the night chill made her shiver. Or perhaps it was something else.
What, by all the Powers, was that about?
(c) 2021 Richard Parks