Title: A Light in Dark Places
Fandom: Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain
Words: 550
Rated: G
Spoilers: None as such, but it takes place after The Castle of Llyr.
Synopsis: Eilonwy does more than just learn to be a lady while she’s away at Mona.

For [personal profile] rilina, who resembles the title.

It was not unusual for Prince Rhun to vanish without warning, only to reappear some time later, mud-stained and tatter-cloaked. But when he didn’t reappear, Eilonwy slipped away from the court ladies and headed for the cavern that had once belonged to a giant named Glew. Rhun had been talking about excavating the cavern to show to visitors.

The cavern was blocked by a rockfall, but the light of her bauble revealed a narrow crack in the wall choked with cobwebs and dust. In her experience, Rhun was most likely to go wherever he was most likely to spoil his clothes.

Her dress tore as she squeezed through the crack. Pale newts and rats fled the light of her bauble. She pressed on until she came to a cavern where gems sparkled from every wall, and a thrashing white bundle hung from the roof.

“Do hold still,” said Eilonwy, slicing away the tough, sticky strands. “Ow! Stop clawing! I might as well try to rescue a gwythaint.”

Prince Rhun tumbled to the floor, spiderweb adhering to every inch of him.

“Llyan wasn’t the only one swallowed Glew’s potions,” he gasped. “There’s also –“

A long white limb reached out of a crack in the ceiling and delicately patted a vein of blue crystal. Then the spider dropped to the floor. Eilonwy screamed, and Rhun scrabbled back. The creature was larger than a horse, round-bodied, armored, fanged and clawed. Shying away from Eilonwy, it skittered across the gemmed floor toward Rhun.

Eilonwy darted between them, thrusting her bauble at the spider’s pale eyes. The ball flared with blinding light. The spider jerked back, chittering, and squeezed its bulbous body through a tunnel at the rear of the cave.

“How did you know–“ began Rhun.

“Newts,” explained Eilonwy.

When they returned, Queen Teleria would not be satisfied until she arranged for Eilonwy to be awarded a golden necklace before the entire court. She even invited Prince Gwydion to attend. When Eilonwy finally fled the tiresome festivities, she found Rhun and Gwydion taking refuge near the kitchen.

“There’s no need for such a fuss,” said Eilonwy. “Any of the searchers could have done what I did with a torch.”

“If they’d had a torch,” said Gwydion, smiling. “If they’d found the passage, and remembered the newts, and braved the spider - yes, then anyone could have done the same.”

Eilonwy peered into his green-flecked eyes. “That’s a very long way of repeating what I just said.”

“Well, I’m glad you were there,” exclaimed Rhun. “There’s nothing more important than light in dark places, and that’s what you are. I mean, that’s what your bauble is. If it wasn’t for it – and you - I’d still be trussed up like a chicken for roasting! I say, I wonder why cooks do that. Whenever I get a bit of string stuck in my teeth, I always think there must a better way to do whatever it is the string does. I should ask them before I forget.”

As Rhun hastened toward the kitchen, Gwydion gave Eilonwy a rueful glance. “He spoke more truth than he knows.”

“I’ve always wondered about the string,” admitted Eilonwy. “But I expect cooks have their reasons.”

A crash and a cry resounded from the kitchen, and the crack of the doorway flared orange. Leaving Gwydion behind, Eilonwy ran toward the flickering light.
lotesse: (prydain_eilonwyredgold)

From: [personal profile] lotesse

Mmmm, this is lovely. Double nostalgia: Prydain and Middle Earth, and I loved every moment of it. Because the plain fact of the matter is that Eilonwy would, indeed, be totally awesome at fighting giant spiders.

Really beautiful work!

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com

Very nice! If you wanted to do a series of Adventures of Eilonwy (in your copious spare time) I wouldn't say no - she's a great character.

Now that you have internet again will you be posting a Castle of Llyr re-read?

Oh, and should there be a "who" in "Llyan wasn’t the only one swallowed Glew’s potions?"

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Thanks, and fixed!

Yes, I'll be getting back to the series now. Llyr was disappointing, alas, though it did prompt the story.

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