Here is my first scene for my third plot bunny.
It was a cool day for late August. Heavy clouds hung low in the sky, covering the feeble rays of sunlight trying to peek their way through the gloom. Chantal lifted the pitcher to the faint light and inspected the delicate design sprinkled across the smooth surface. Perfect. Andre would be so proud. He had wanted her to help him with the family craft for so long, and now his wish had come true. Chantal didn’t like to boast, (well, she liked to, but knew she shouldn’t) but she knew that her pitchers were a thing to behold. A spark of pleasure ran through her hands as she set her work of art on the table in front of their shop.
People would soon pass by, hurrying about doing their shopping, and their little shop would be filled with customers. And today, along with the things Andre had made, they had three pitchers and one vase to sell that she herself had made. It only Andre would come back from the river so he could see her handiwork.
Why does he need to go to the river so often? Chantal wondered, smoothing her hair down from its wild state of disorder. He goes every morning and nearly every night. What is the big secret?
Chantal frowned at her reflection in the glass. She would confront him as soon as he got home. She had a feeling that his river visits might actually be meetings with other young men to plot against the Republic. Foolish boys. Didn’t they know how much trouble they could get in if caught?
She heard his whistle from down the street and went to the door. “Andre!”
He swept her into a hug as he came in, clothes dusty, hair rumpled, boots muddy. “A fine day, Chantal, is it not?”
She pushed herself to the ground. “Andre, I want to speak with you.”
“Not now, little sister,” he yawned, going into the one other room of the cottage and stretching out on the bed. “I want to get a little sleep before the customers arrive. I was up before the sun and am positively fagged.”
Chantal followed him into the room and put her hands on her hips. “Non, Andre. I want to talk now.”
There was no answer save a taunting snore.
Chantal slammed the door to the room shut, hurried over to the bed and pulled his hair, not too gently. “Andre, you big oaf, sit up and listen!”
He sat up, grumbling and rubbing his head. “All right. I’m up. This had better be worth that tug on my hair, Chantal.”
Seating herself on the stool beside the bed, Chantal folded her hands. “Andre, I want to know what you’ve been doing down at the river.”
Andre avoided her gaze. “Just... talking with some friends,” he said cautiously.
“Very well. If you won't tell me, then I’ll tell you.” Chantal closed the shutters and lowered her voice. “You’ve been meeting to talk and plot against the Republic, haven’t you? Don’t try to lie or twist the truth, Andre. I’ve guessed, and I’m correct. Right?”
Andre looked at the ground for a long moment, then nodded slowly. “Oui. Chantal, it’s to try and save the king and his family, and the hundreds of others who are in danger of their lives.”
“Andre,” Chantal whispered, taking his hand. “You and your friends are risking your lives to do this! If the Republic found out, you could all be arrested!”
“We don’t care.” Andre had pappa’s stubborn look in his eyes. “It is a risk we have to take to try and save these people.”
“What about me?” Chantal felt tears in her eyes. “What about the only family you have? You would risk my life and safety for people you have never met?”
Andre lowered his gaze. “I do not want to, Chantal. You must understand, ma cherie.” He drew her closer and stroked her cheek. “I do not want to put you, my friends, or myself in danger. But I feel that it is my duty to protect the people whom the Republic has threatened. Don’t you understand? You must not hinder me, but help. I will need your assistance, Chantal. Please, won’t you help me, and not tell me to stop trying?”
Chantal stared hard at the ground for a long moment. “I...”
Andre lifted her chin with one finger so their eyes met. “I know what I ask of you is very great, Chantal. But,” his hand tightened its grip on hers, “I would not ask if I did not think you capable of helping. You are strong, Chantal. You have the strength to help. So I ask once more, will you?”Chantal took a deep, shuddering breath. Then she smiled slightly. “Oui, Andre. I will help. Tell me what to do, and I will do it.”