Awake: Excerpt 1

Awake: A Fairytale

~ Excerpt 1~


Alex checked the first few storage rooms but found nothing more interesting than cardboard boxes and a few old posters highlighting former exhibits. She pulled open the door to storage room B-23 and stuck her head inside. Set back about halfway into the room was a huge, cobweb-covered four poster bed. Alex started when the door banged shut behind her. She’d been so focused on the bed, she hadn’t even realized she’d been moving, walking towards it slowly.

Alex vaguely noted that the rest of the room was filled with wooden packing crates of various sizes. But she couldn’t pull her attention away from the bed long enough to really look at them.

The head and footboards were covered in intricately worked gold and silver which at first appeared to just be a tangle of shapes. After a moment’s observation, the metalwork resolved itself into heavy coils of twisting vines and branches, each covered in wicked-looking thorns. The dull gold and silver vines twisted off the headboard and footboard and up the four posters, snaking like a living plant around the sturdy posts, here and there seeming to sprout leaves and more thorns as they went up. The whole pattern gave the illusion of a violent twisting and upward movement, as if you were watching the vines growing rapidly before your eyes. Alex vaguely wondered if the bed was solid metal — the weight would be astronomical — or possibly a heavy wood covered in a silver and gold overlay.

But it was the gems that banished all other thoughts from her mind. Bursting out of the vines in huge clusters on the head and footboards and running down each of the posts were huge flowers crafted of precious and semi-precious stones. The flowers were pink and red, the soft colors of rose quartz and the deep reds of rubies and garnets.The stones ranged in size, many of them larger than anything Alex had ever seen before. All had faceted cuts that gave the illusion of depth and individual petals. At the heart of each flower were clear, hard stones that Alex knew without a doubt were diamonds, although they were in a strange, partially polished state. The vines were dripping with the flowers.  It took her slightly addled brain a few moments to put the whole picture together.

Roses. Dozens of jeweled roses bloomed like living flowers on the gold and silver vines.

Alex had never seen, or heard, of anything like it.

She took a step closer to examine the metalwork. The items they were receiving from France were supposed to be twelfth-century, but the workmanship on this bed was far, far beyond what any twelfth century metal smith would have been able to accomplish. It looked like something out of fairytale. Not that Alex believed in fairytales, or even really knew much about them, but she did know that what she was looking at skirted the edges of possibility.

A soft sound interrupted Alex’s rapid thoughts. She wasn’t alone. She had been so entranced by the bed itself that she hadn’t noticed there was someone actually on it — sleeping on it, in fact.