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Title: Blue Hospitality
Fandom: original
Character: original
Length: 311
Rating: G


The path wound on, through stands of ghost-white birches and silvery beeches, the sunlight spangling the way as if this were a pleasure garden by the castle, and nothing, for hours, revealed any hint of peril. Even as the sky turned peach and rose with evening, and the sunlight orange, they walked on.
A hut appeared ahead of them, its walls arching until they met, without a roof.. Outside a man stood,holding a can of white paint and dipping his brush in it. Despite which, his hand was splattered with black paint, and both the can and the wall had sea-blue paint as well as white.
Lilac told herself that the woods was getting to her, just because she could not see the other cans of paint did not mean they were not there.
"Evening, gentlemen, gentlewomen," he said, without looking up. "Be welcome to this shelter for the night."
No one had to say that it would discourteous to refuse, all the more in woods where peril lurked, and they had no tent or other shelter. William went to the door. Then he stopped in it.
"What is it, you young fool?" said Carolus. "Do you think we want to sit out here in the twilight, let alone the night?"
Mutely, William stepped aside. Lilac, without hesitation, crossed the threshold without looking. Once within, barely far enough to let in another, she stopped. The hut's shape was the same as the outside, and it was furnished with beds and benches, like a waystation at a monstery, but the walls arched up and showed the depths of a lake over them. Shoals of fish flitted about, pale silvery green, and the light that shone into the hut rippled.
For a moment, Lilac felt entirely sure that the painter had been painting blue outside with his white paint as she walked in.

October 2017

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