Inanna was assigned a job in the kitchen.

This suited her perfectly, as her healing did involve plants and herbs.

Perhaps all was not lost.

Inanna was introduced to Minnie, head of the kitchen. Minnie obviously enjoyed her tucker, had a jolly disposition and Inanna warmed to her instantly.

After some months she had learned the ropes of the kitchen. Inanna was a very fast learner.

There was a beautiful garden adjoining the main kitchen – full of fresh vegetables and fruit trees, herbs and plants, it was Inanna’s idea of heaven. She had spent her childhood learning all about these from the neighbouring medicine woman and her memory still served her well.

Inanna spent an inordinate amount of time out there. She had explained to Minnie that she was a healer and when the kitchen wasn’t busy, Minnie would let Inanna mix tinctures and potions under the eaves outside.

Should anyone in the castle need them, they knew exactly where to go.

She had quite the stockpile now and news had spread fast that the village healer was in their midst.

The castle always seemed busy when Silas was around, and at the end of another exhausting day, Minnie sat all the workers down and gave instructions for the following nights big feast.

Tomorrow evening, there was to be a big celebration to be held in the castle – a welcoming of sorts.

The King would be enjoying a feast with his entourage and the lowly servants could all wait on him.

“How wonderful” thought Inanna, “Yesterday a healer and today a servant of the kings” how life could change in the blink of an eye.

Dinner was rowdy that night.

King Silas was in good spirits. His horse had made a complete recovery and he had exercised his power and provided employment to the lowly. He felt good about himself.

The men were drinking too much, leering and making inappropriate gestures and comments.

Inanna hated nights like these.

Why men had to turn into lecherous, lewd and debauched parodies of themselves when they drank was beyond her. Did they think that it was attractive, appealing to the opposite sex?

Silas was being loud too – loud and obnoxious.

Inanna was standing on the opposite side of the room and although there were many servants that night, Silas wanted her attention.

Gesticulating wildly and in a rather thunderous voice, he roared, “You, fetch me some wine”.

She knew he was diverting his rhetoric at her and could feel the eyes of the room fall upon her – but she was not giving him the satisfaction of turning to him – she kept on her way, this was no way to speak to anyone.

“You” he yelled, a little louder this time, “I said, bring, me, my, wine.” The last four words said with significant pauses so she could understand his command clearly.

She turned and looked at him in disgust – his tone and manner was inappropriate and degrading.

She was not amused.

He gestured her to come.

She waited for what seemed like an eternity and then made her way slowly across the room.

She held his gaze the entire way, poured his wine and passed him the goblet.

She wanted to throw it on his head – but thought the better of it.

The tables erupted with cheers and jeers.

She remained unmoved.

“Thank you, Inanna” he said smugly, obviously very pleased he knew her name.

He grabbed the wine and as he did his finger lightly grazed the palm of her hand.

It was the first time they had touched.

She looked away.

It was as though a thousand volts of electricity had just passed through her body – she had no idea what was happening.

Yes, she was a healer and felt things often, but this was new to her, she had never felt this way before.

She felt as though her whole being had broken apart – it was as though everything she knew was being rewritten, in that one touch, at that very second she realized she had changed forever.

When she looked deep into Eamon’s eyes, she saw love.

When she looked deep into Silas’s eyes, she saw herself.