The Countess

The Countess sat stiffly upon her throne-like chair. Her face was unreadable, except for the eyes. Those eyes were like endless black tunnels, drowning whoever dared look into them – the iris’s were such a dark brown that they seemed black, and it was difficult to tell the difference between them and the pupils. The Countess’s skin was a smooth, deep shade of bronze, perfect and without blemish. Her face, although expressionless, was built of contrasts: her eyebrows were a shade too thick for fashion, but were arched strongly and proudly above those cold eyes; her mouth was wide, her lips full, though her nose could almost have been seen as hawk-like on a less imposing woman; her cheekbones were high and sharp, though her chin was more rounded. The Countess’s hair was a tumble of ebony curls, pinned in an elegant knot at the back of her head and covered in a sheer veil.

The Countess was resplendent in a black gown, cut low to bear more of her smooth skin and to accent her long, slender neck and full bosom. Although black, the gown shimmered with a hundred points of light that came from the tiny crystal beads that were sewn into it, making the Countess glimmer and blind those who stood before her with every shift of the cloth, as those beads sparkled in the light coming through the tall windows.

The Countess was feared through-out several lands, and respected and feared in her own. She knew this. She used her power. She wrote laws, built bridges, waged war and made peace, all while sitting stiffly on her hard, wooden chair, gilded in gold paint that was never allowed to chip. Her power seemed limitless to those who were in awe of her, and unnaturally so to those who feared her. The Countess alone knew, and pondered, that a day would come when her stiffness would give way to fatigue and her convictions would shatter in the face of weariness. She alone knew that she would not last forever. But until the rest of them realized it, she would never, ever, let it be known that she knew it.

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4 thoughts on “The Countess

  1. Your powerful words of description in here just floors me Ilana. You described a powerful woman to a T and one who I could see in my mind. I love the black dress with the crystal beads. It was beyond my imagination. I loved this a lot.

  2. thelittleredwriter says:

    “But until the rest of them realized it, she would never, ever, let it be known that she knew it.”

    I absolutely love this last line! It peeks into your character’s vulnerability. Awesome!

  3. Emily,

    You make me blush – this post is pure hogswash – especially in comparisson to your epic wonderous writing. Your stories consistently encourage your readers to become entranced.

    I am however, glad that you enjoyed the post – the slight doomsday effect is born out of a boredom from working this reception desk. I love how you can picture the story evolving. I am giggling at the idea of the trains breaking free from their shackles, exiting the dark murky tunnels to take back the daylight. heehh I feel so dramatic today

    p.s – hope you are well

    I want to agree with the other commentors on this post – although I haven’t commented in a while, I always read your posts daily. I like the solid descriptions and emotions of your characters.

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