I followed Sareanne down the hall to one of the corner staircases and we went down one floor. She walked confidently and I hoped rather than felt we would be safe. This level was just as stony cold as the level above, but I no longer believed the façade. I figured it was Antheus’ curse and that we were probably walking through plush carpets with fantastic woodworking and spectacular paintings.
Sareanne walked directly to a large oak door and opened it. The most delicious smells assailed my nostrils and I inhaled deeply. There was a tangy mixture underlying everything. I looked around the room, but could see nothing that would produce such a rich medley of aromas. I turned toward Sareanne but she was already speaking the words that created the circle.
I watched intrigued as the façade slowly melted away revealing a well-stocked kitchen with bare stone floors and solid wood counters. A roaring fire filled the main fireplace and I could almost see the different scents mixing with the steam coming off the pots and pans on the cooking fire.
Sareanne went to the closest pot and lifted the lid. A cinnamony spice filled the air accompanied by cooked apples and peaches. Another pot smelled like some sort of oatmeal and an oven revealed several loaves of bread that made my mouth water. This food would be the best I had eaten in months I was certain.
Sareanne opened a cupboard and pulled out two plates and a bowl. The bowl she filled with goat’s milk and gave it to the tarrange and the plates she took to the pots and pans and began loading delicious looking food onto them. Lastly she cut two thick slices of the bread and placed them on the plates.
She handed me one plate and I silently blessed it then waited until she picked up her fork and began eating. The food was divine, almost better than it smelled. I ate ravenously remembering that I hadn’t really had a good solid meal for several days.
Sareanne seemed to enjoy the food almost as much as I did, though her expression became very thoughtful several times throughout the meal. I could only assume she was thinking about happier times when meals like this were every day fare.When we finished and the tarrange was purring loudly, we got to our feet and Sareanne started toward the kitchen door. I felt as calm and confident as she looked.