She’d drag her trunk over every time she was left alone. It did not happen nearly often enough, so she faked head-hurts when her need got too great.
She’d drag the trunk over and place the foot-stool atop it. Gather her skirts and climb to stand precariously on it, balancing on tiptoes.
It was the only way to reach the window.
It was the only way to look out.
The only way to see the fields. The light upon the water in the distant pond. The green or bloom or brown or white of seasons. The birds. The trees. The world outside.
She didn’t know how long she’d have to stay confined to the Women’s Tower. Probably till she was of age to be married off and be conveyed in a shuttered carriage to the Women’s Tower in some other lord’s estate. The curse of her birth.
Highborn girl-children did not go out of doors very often. They did not spend time in the courtyard after infancy and were never unveiled or unaccompanied. Their chastity required they not be seen.
She watched the peasants’ children frolicking. She watched the girls work the fields, herd the geese, chase stray ducklings, spread seed for the hens, milk the goats, cut the hay, grind the wheat, slap cloth against the rocks at the sparkling stream. She could almost feel them breathe, though when she tried to draw breath herself it only let in suffocation. So much so she sometimes did not need to fake a head-hurt after that.
The latticed windows did not open. Two narrow slats near the corners of the tower room did respond to her mother’s lock in fine weather to allow air through cracks barely as wide as her wrist. Not that she was allowed to try and push an arm through them. It would be unseemly.
Still, she tried. Once. The marginal openings met a stone ledge’s resistance after a few inches’ opening.
Protection from invaders and wild-men, she was told.
Guarantee against escape of any kind, she thought.
For Crimson’s Creative Challenge
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