“The theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) this year,Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, puts innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality.” UN Women. Join the conversation: #WomensDay. Share the video.

“The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.” International Woman’s Day

To celebrate #IWD2019, I am reblogging posts with female central characters or written in honour of previous International Women’s Days.  

Sprig of Lavender

She is not a vane woman who seeks constant proof of her own beauty. She has but one pride; her hair, let loose at night like a waterfall under the stars. Dark, thick, rich in colour; candlelight glints as it flows past her waist.

In the day, she arranges it with braids, sprigs of lavender, strings of opalescent pearls, and covered in a fine net of spun gold. A brooch of amethyst and emerald over her left side to remind her of her lover, now afar playing solider.

Every night, as she frees her hair in the mirror, her thoughts go to him. How the sun reflecting off his armour hurt her eyes. How the hilt of his sword hurt when he last embraced her. How he plucked a spring of lavender out of her hair, put it to his lips, and was gone.

They find him on the second-most stair of the tower, slumped against the wall. All say he fought most bravely, sending many of the enemy to their deaths with his sword and shield. His valour won the day laud the minstrels. Toasts in his honour raised from the highest to the low. Knights such as he were so rare praises the King.

She carefully folds her hair into one long braid down her back. Unadorned, except a tying off throng at the nape of her neck and one spring of lavender. She kneels before the mirror, swinging the braid forward. She takes scissors and cuts the braid off just above the lavender. The scissor tips pierce her skin, and a few red drops mix with the purple flower.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Writing Prompt: Arcana in the Tower. (July 17, 2016)

image: JW Waterhouse, Marianna in the South, 1898