I take them often. When I can't sleep, when I can't think, when I'm restless, when I'm stuck... to feel like I'm moving, and with every step answers come. While we might not all live in areas fit for midnight walks, I do like them, but don't forget your pepper spray.
Allianora likes her walks, like her maker. She is a lass after my own heart ;)
**Excerpt from The Company - copyright Amalynne O.**
The City Walk:
Allianora was still groggy that afternoon as she slouched over her easel. She usually enjoyed art lessons out on the beach, the instructor was dismissive, and her fellow amateurs refreshingly silent as they slaved methodically over their canvases, but after last night's discoveries, Allianora's mind would not let her find solace. The sun was at an unmerciful position as it dipped into the horizon, it's golden light painting the waves with ribbons of blinding brightness. Her canvas looked nothing like the Midas-coated afternoon, it was, instead, a tornado of blotchy blues, like the rampage of a dream, sea and sky meeting in confusion. She hoped the instructor wouldn't come by to comment on the mess with his usual “interesting...” He already cast her funny looks for using her front skirt pockets to store her softened collection of smeary pastels, her little yellow dress streaked with the battle scars of a clumsy artist.
A yawn escaped her lips as she rubbed her bleary eyes, the creamy blue from her fingers smearing on her cheek. The exhaustion she felt went straight to her heart. She wanted to sleep, but she hadn't been able to. She'd turned herself off after Demon had left, turned out the lights to her chamber, slipped under her covers, and stared at the ceiling until daylight swelled about her room. She didn't move until noon, grumblings, soft grumblings had started to grow in her chest, a wounded monster sniffling to itself inside her.
She didn't even know how to feel, she needed time, she needed answers... she needed to take a walk... Allianora didn't even bother to remove her canvas and easel, she liked the idea of its enigmatic abandonment, pulling out the ribbon that held her messy braid in place and releasing it to the wind as she picked up her shoes and trudged, unnoticed, off the beach.
Allianora had never walked the streets so late, though she had always fantasized about crossing gently arching bridges at midnight and gazing into the canals to see the moons reflected in the rushing water. Her stroll this evening was more thoughtfully mournful than ever as she passed the rows of white townhouses off Temple Square, spindly gray trees coated in violet flowers lining the walk, their buds breaking off and taken away into the night by a lover breeze. Such a maddeningly perfect sham, all of it, the white wash, the sparkling windows, the facades worn at the surface. No doubt there was a hell behind these doors, families that hated each other as much as Allianora's own. Hate... no, it wasn't hate, Allianora stopped in the middle of the street between the houses, not hate, but betrayal.
Everything she thought she'd known about her brother had been challenged. She'd only known about him what she'd read, and deeper than anger was fear. A cold, bile-like feeling curdled up in her stomach at the thought of the tabloids ever pinning him right.
She'd ambled into a marketplace, street vendors since packed away, their carts and storefronts boarded up for the night. The trolleys had stopped running here for the day, she reads the signs fleetingly before she was halted by a glossy advertisement in the trolley stop hutch. In a light green suit, velor and perfectly tailored, lounged a dreamier version of her brother, Langdon, than reality would ever permit. He sold himself more in the advert than he did the suit, the words “Hotel Marxame, Couture and Fitting House,” splashed regally below his perfect pose, the hazel green eyes vapid, the very thing he wanted the world to see.
Her mouth contorted as she started to swear at him, pummeling her palm hard against the billboard. She was so seething she was about to scream, what an idiot, how long did he think he could hide his black market secrets...? The night was starting to get chilly as she glared at him, thrusting her hands in her pockets to feel the remains of her melted pastels. She removed one broken red stick, rolling it in her fingers deviously as she looked up the advert...*
What would you do if you were Alli? I'd draw a uni-brow on the billboard.