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kisahawklin ([personal profile] kisahawklin) wrote in [community profile] 15_minute_ficlets2014-09-07 12:16 pm

Prompt #202

If you wish to do this as a spontaneous exercise, don't look at the word until you're ready to write (I recommend having Write or Die open in another tab). If you're going to mull over the word and write later, peek away.

Once you've completed your ficlet, please either comment here, or post a link to it, if you're posting on your own journal. Feel free to reference the community or number of the prompt in your outside posts, but if you use the actual word, please put it under a cut to avoid spoiling others, should they want to write spontaneously.

Today's word is: tea

tea [tee]


1. the dried and prepared leaves of a shrub, Camellia sinensis, from which a somewhat bitter, aromatic beverage is prepared by infusion in hot water.
2. the shrub itself, extensively cultivated in China, Japan, India, etc., and having fragrant white flowers.
Compare tea family.
3. the beverage so prepared, served hot or iced.
4. any kind of leaves, flowers, etc., so used, or any plant yielding them.
5. any of various infusions prepared from the leaves, flowers, etc., of other plants, and used as beverages or medicines.
6. beef bouillon.
7. British. any meal, whether a light snack or one consisting of several courses, eaten in the late afternoon or in the evening; any meal other than dinner, eaten after the middle of the afternoon.

10. one's cup of tea, something suitable, appropriate, or attractive to one: Horror movies and westerns are just not my cup of tea.

If you've missed a word or twelve and would like to catch up, please see the Master List.

[personal profile] gisil 2014-09-16 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Hildegarde said that tea was a substance for the sick. Hildegarde never drank tea in Gisela's presence, but she made tea for Gisela when she was sick, and there was the yarrow root tea that marked a poignant moment for Gisela, when her childhood officially ended. Not that beginning her cycle marked the end of her childhood, but on that same night she saw Geroen again, for the first time after being abroad for Hildegarde's debut.

Gisela suffered as the carriage swayed and jerked over rocks on the inclining path toward the castle. She was only dimly aware of Hildegarde rapping on the carriage roof in the moonlight, then bringing Gisela out into the darkness. Camomile flowers blinked beneath the moonlight like dim stars across the meadow. The yarrow plant Hildegarde wanted to find was near an outcropping of rock. It was a tall, spindly plant with yellow-orange flowers, and Hildegarde said it would ease Gisela's menstrual pain.

Like this, Hildegarde ended the glamour of London. Dressed plainly and barefoot, she gathered sheaves of yarrow, cheese-colored flowers and long, toothy leaves, as though days before she hadn't been weighed down with diamonds around her throat and in a tiara on her black hair. As Hildegarde's companion, Gisela had not participated in the festivities. She regarded the older girl with awe in all cases. She knew that Hildegarde did not like the role she was being pushed into as she became a maturing woman, but Hildegarde did not have a good excuse to balk. Not yet.

After Hildegarde gathered the herb, she demanded the carriage let her off at the winery, where her brothers lived. The peculiar smell of the winery made Gisela's insides recoil as she numbly followed Hildegarde into the dark, high-ceilinged room. Hildegarde shouted for her brothers to come down, and sleepily they did. Gisela's heart came into her throat when she saw Geroen, whose eyes were immediately on her.

As Hildegarde and Oskar greeted one another warmly, Geroen approached Gisela slowly, looking at her as though she were a figment from a dream, instead of a girl hot and feverish from her first cramps. He took her to the sofa while Hildegarde and Oskar brewed the tea together in the kitchen. Gisela could hear their laughter. Though half-siblings, Hildegarde and Oskar looked like twins, with their mother's black, spiraling hair, pale skintone, and violet-colored eyes. They sounded alike too.

Geroen, who was fully Hildegarde's brother, did not resemble her at all. He had tawny red hair, green eyes, more resembling his father. He had changed in the past year. His hair was longer, and greater lent the appearance of a mane to his leonine features. His eyes, which were like a cat's, regarded Gisela seriously in the semi-darkness. Her face burned, because while she had been in London with Hildegarde, she had thought of Geroen every night.