Song of the Lark: A Song of the Sparrow novel

I am Ida

daughter of Tristan of Cornwall.

Forest born.

Mountain grown.

I sing these words to you now,

because I must tell you, love

is hard-pressed, cruel,

pure, trustworthy, and ever present.

And with this song, I pray I may

find a way to get back what is lost.

So, I sing these words

that our love, this tangible

being of our soul and heart may live on.

I dare hope that my

love will live on too.

I

Willful.

Courageous.

They say I am both.

But the words I longed to hear

were beautiful,

desirable, and worthy.

I have a healer mother, Elaine.

And a warrior father, Tristan.

I have brothers,

dozens

nay, hundreds

of brothers.

Only three real ones:

devious Brent,

the brave, daring Calhoun,

and my oldest brother, protective Edward.

The others are not brothers by blood.

There are so many of them;

My closest friends are:

Cadmon, Arthur's son,

the bravest man in Arthur's army.

Landon, a thoughtful,

heap of a man, so full of questions

with no answers.

There is the handsome,

Wyatt, a German orphan.

And of course, Delton, who is as mysterious,

and free as a man can come.

I live here, in Caerleon-on-Usk.

In the new-rising age of Camelot,

a symbol of liberty and peace.

Where Arthur rules as king over the monument,

making a haven where justice and freedom is

open to the seekers of relief, and redress

forever.

My mother came with Arthur's army to Caerleon

when she was sixteen years old.

My father, not much older than her, lived with Arthur's army,

when Aurelius dux bellorum still ruled over Britain.

But Caerleon was not Camelot yet,

it was just an army encampment,

in the middle of a war against the Saxons.

My mother and father built their home near River Usk,

where mum said,

It was the place where everything started.

So where everything had started for my mother,

everything had began again for me.

I've never known anything else expect for Caerleon,

Camelot,

and the men who I grew up with.

Ever since I could talk,

I could sing.

The day when I learned how to hold a stick,

I was fighting against my brothers.

Ever since I learned how to walk,

I could climb almost anything.

Brent, told me about the time when

I was two I found a way into Arthur's

hidden room where the

Round Table

sat alone in utter stillness.

I had somehow managed to climb on top of the table,

that was three feet taller than I was at the time.

I cried until King Arthur himself found me, sat me on his knee,

and told stories of brave heroes and terrible Saxons, until I fell asleep in his arms.

I've watched my childhood friends, turn into

men.

I've watched them turn into

knights,

and I've watched them go into

battle,

Even my father, my brothers.

And my mother.

I've seen Camelot blossom,

played with Arthur's children,

fell in love with the men that raised me.

Here, I became

Ida of Camelot.

II

My mother is beautiful.

I've always loved watching her mend clothing,

sitting at her feet for hours on end,

watching her elegant fingers flow gracefully

up, down, back again, out, through, and across again.

I'd get lost in the tail of thread following after her.

Her hair is the color of wheat and summer strawberries,

with curls in all of the right places.

It flows down to her waist like a waterfall

of late, summer red.

I watch her now coming out of the trees with a basket

full of herbs, and flowers resting against her hip.

I've never seen a woman more beautiful than mum.

I stepped out of the house, half in, half out

and called out to her, Mum!

She looked up, tucking a lock of summer behind her ears,

and smiled.

It felt like home.

Ida, you're here at last. Your father and I thought you'd run away, she replied.

Walking up to me, she planted a kiss on my forehead,

and went inside the house.
Sorry, I'm so late, I said heading for the kitchen.

Landon and Wyatt kept me a little later to give me

an early birthday present.

What couldn't have waited until tomorrow night? Mum asked, looking up at me,

a curiously gleam in her eyes.

She eyed me down searching for the gift.

I smiled, It's not that kind of present.

They gave me an hour extra of practice with them.

And ten extra,

birthday bruises, they called it.

I grimaced, remembering the giant Landon running towards me,

sword raised and face alight with mischief.

Mum laughed, Sounds painful.

Mother dumped all of the herbs out onto the table

and started separating the flowers into their different categories.

Realizing this was the usual time for mum to start quizzing

me on all of the names and healing techniques of plants,

I slowly started walking backwards, out of the kitchen.

Tonight is dinner with Arthur and Gwynivere, am I right? I asked,

hoping to distract mum.

Yes, Cadmon is returning tonight.

Just in time for your celebration, mother glanced up at me too see a reaction.

Oh, but I don't want tonight to be about me, I said honestly.

He's been gone for five months, and everyone has missed him.

He's probably forgotten all about my turning sixteen.

I saw a smile pull at her lips,

but she didn't reply back.

I'm going to get freshened up, mum.

I started to walk out, but stopped.

A blush enveloped upon my cheeks.

Mum? I turned back to her.

Yes, Ida?

Could you help me- er...

pick out something to wear for tonight?

I'm…not very-

I don't know what to-

Of course, my sweet.

Mum smiled at me

with complete understanding,

I've always admired.

I turned when I heard mum quietly whisper,

just loud enough for us to hear it,

Oh, and Ida?

I'm sure Cadmon didn't forget.

My cheeks went a

furious red color,

as I made my way to make a bath.

Cadmon.

He's coming back tonight.

Just the thought of him made a

lark

inside me start to flutter its wings.

III

I looked at my refection

in the mirror,

not quite seeing what my mother saw.

Your hair has a very unnatural

color to it, Ida.

It has your fathers deep brown hair

in one light, but then a

bright, vibrant red

the next, Mum said, as she

brushed my hair with the bone

comb, my mother always had.

Or just an ugly mud color.

Mixture of mud and sand.

Your ivory skin is

beautiful.

Not a blemish upon your cheeks,

like most girls your age.

You have a natural blush

that reminds me of dusk,

when the sky is battled with reds, and pinks.

Do you really think so, mum? I asked her,

mentally kicking myself as I felt my bottom lip quiver.

She stared back into my refection,

with a look that made me feel

she could see straight into my soul.

You remind me so much of myself some times,

I swear,

it is like looking back in time.

She smiled at me, and I couldn't help

but smile back.

You may think that because you

run, instead of glide by people,

because you would rather wrestle

your brothers,

than come inside and sow,

because you dirty your skirts,

and never wear anything dainty,

that you are not beautiful.

But you are wrong.

Do not lose who you are behind the men

that you grew up with.

Do not believe you are less beautiful

because girls do not want to speak to you.

Do not forget that you are a girl, mother smoothed her hand

across my cheek, and I closed my eyes

capturing this moment

forever.

And a beautiful girl at that.

I looked back into the mirror at my mother and

smiled thinking of how beautiful she was.

Your eyes are my favorite,

if I did have to choose one feature of yours.

They are your fathers, yellowish, green color in the

Summer,

and my blue, green the rest of the seasons.

I've never seen anything like it.

And your lips are the naturalist

red color I've ever seen.

With your father's full lips,

It seems like you always want to be kissed!

My mother laughed,

and as all of her laughs,

you would think she was singing.

I bit my bottom lip from quivering

again, and said, Thank you, mum.

For everything.

She just smiled and nodded,

still working on my curly, wild hair,

as she pinned this and that down.

I couldn't understand why

all the sudden I had the urge

to cry.

IV

Mum picked out a pretty, light blue strapless gown,

made from very fine silk, that has a low back, showing

off my shoulders.

It was a birthday present from

Arthur's wife, Gwynivere,

when I turned fifteen.

Mother says, it brings out my eyes,

and to my horror saw her blush scarlet,

when she added that it accentuates my

womanly curves.

My mind couldn't stop itself from thinking about

Cadmon.

Would he notice?

Would he notice the light powder

upon my cheeks?

Would he notice I took extra time in

pinning my hair?

Would he notice feminine curves?

What am I thinking? I asked myself, looking

into the mirror once more.

I don't know if I am beautiful

in this fine gown,

with my hair tumbling down

my shoulders,

but I'm almost

positive

Cadmon would notice me tonight.

I never used to think about such things.

Gowns,

feelings,

boys, men,

brushes,

dinners with the King and Queen

of Camelot.

But on my thirteenth birthday, mum, told me,

You are a grown woman now.

You must act, at proper times, like a woman.

And the perfect time to practice, being a woman,

would be at the banquet

King Arthur and Queen Gwynivere

invited us to.

And you shall

wear a gown.

I did indeed wear a gown,

into the castle of Camelot.

I was on a high, of feeling

grown up.

But once, my friends Cadmon, Delton, Wyatt, and Landon

saw me waltz in like Arthur's own daughter,

they laughed terribly at me.

And I ran all the way back to

River Usk, until my brother,

Edward,

was forced to find,

and bring me back at once.

They never teased me again, after that.

Brent, and Edward were already on their way

To Camelot, for

King Arthur assigned them to escort

Cadmon back from his trip to

Cheshire.

Arthur sent his son, to visit his

Aunt Morgan,

to see over her work with her pupils,

and to bring back the men that were

wanting to join Arthur's army.

Aunt Morgan is a seer,

so also is Merlin-

whose family history goes way back before

mine or my mother's era.

Aunt Morgan went with Merlin

to find other seers,

like them,

and train them to control their powers.

It's been a year since Morgan left with Merlin,

and her progress has been beneficial to Arthur

and to Morgan and Merlin.

They one day dream of having a

school open to all soothsayers.

But due to Merlin's health in the past few months,

they have had to delay preparing the school.

Aunt Morgan has been in my life,

as much as the men have.

She's a long friend of my mother,

and has been more of a grandmother to me,

than an aunt.

My mother might be the most

beautiful woman I've ever seen,

but my Aunt Morgan is the wisest

person I've ever known.

Though truly, Morgan is Cadmon's aunt.

I don't think he minds, that she spends most

of her time with me, when she visits.

A part of me wants to believe

sharing his family member, makes

us closer than any other of his

friends.