Alexander walked through the halls of his palace, heading
towards the throne room to see his father, the King. He had been ordered
this morning to see him. He didn't know why, but his father rarely told him
He shrugged and turned into the throne room only to see
Martigan standing next to the throne with a deep grin on his face. His
father however, had a frown. What was going on? Was this about...?
Prince Alexander stood before his father and bowed in
respect. "Why is it you sent for me, your majesty?"
The King was a very polished, but stiff middle-aged man
with short-cut brown hair, beard. He wore only the finest of clothes, and
a golden crown adorned his head. He nodded in acknowledgment of the bow and
then frowned. "I heard you picked up a pet on your way home yesterday."
A pet? Alex was confused. "You mean the girl, your
majesty?" he asked.
His father nodded. "Yes, the peasant."
"With all due respect, father," he started, "peasants
deserve respect as much as you or I."
At that, the King gritted his teeth and growled. "I have
nothing in common with any peasant, you hear me?! Peasants are like a
disease in any city; no matter what you do to exterminate them, they're
"But, your majesty," Alex argued, "If you truly wish to
get rid of the poor people, then why not give them money? Then they would no
longer be poor."
"Have you lost all senses, boy? The peasants wouldn't
know what to do with money. They'd squander it all and become nothing but
peasants again." The King clenched his fist. "And you interacting with them
is not acceptable." Alex tried to speak and protest, but his father didn't
stop. "I have decided that you will no longer go out on Sundays. The minister
will take care of the morning rides for you. And until I decide, you will
stay in your room, and not leave."
The King immediately, stood up and pulled his hand back
in a threat. Alex winced, expecting what never came. He opened his eyes to
see his father looming over him, red faced and fire in his eyes. "If you
ever address me as something so informal again, I will not hesitate! Do not
go against my word!"
"But-" Alex decided a sore face was not worth the
argument, and dropped it. "Yes, sire." And with a bow, took his leave. But
just as he left the room, he overheard Martigan speaking to his father.
"What an unruly child, your majesty. I told you he was
nothing but trouble."
His father sneered. "Do not speak of my son that way!" He
snapped, "When his time comes, he will rule like I or not at all."
"Yes, your majesty. But, what about the peasant?"
There was a pause before the King answered. "It doesn't
matter, when my plan is finished, we won't have any peasants to worry about.
I will rule, completely, and no one will disobey me. Ever."
Alex gasped at the fierceness and sureness of his
father's statement. What did he have in mind? He had to warn Lori, and her
family. But, how would he leave? And where would they go?
It didn't matter; he just had to warn them. And he would
save them, no matter what.
Lori awoke that morning with a smile on her face. They
were going to have a new house, and money! What could be better?
She danced into the kitchen where her mother was cooking
breakfast. Something else they didn't do very often. She took in the
delicious smells of eggs, bacon, and biscuits. They had never in Lori's life
had such a big meal for breakfast. It looked delicious.
She skipped up to her mother and kissed her on the cheek.
"Good morning mother!"
Lori's mother looked surprised. "Well, you're in a good
Loraina shrugged and smiled. "I can't help it." She said,
"Isn't it wonderful?"
The conversation was stopped short when a small voice
came from behind them. "Mommy, what smells so weird?" Timmy asked from the
doorway, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
Lori couldn't help but to laugh. "It's breakfast, Timmy!
Eggs, bacon, and biscuits! A breakfast made for kings!"
Timmy looked surprised. "We can do that?"
She laughed again as she lifted her brother to the table
and sat down herself. "Let's eat!"
They ate breakfast in good moods, laughing and talking,
until they heard a pounding at the door.
"Who might that be?"
Lori stood up from the table. "I'll get it." She walked
to the door and opened it, revealing Prince Alexander. He was breathing
heavily and parts of his clothes were torn. "What happened to you?" Lori
He took a few deep breaths before answering. "The... the
King... he plans to..." Then he paused. "May I come in?"
Lori nodded. "Y-yes, of course. My family is in the
kitchen." She led him to the table where her mother and Timmy both gasped.
"Y-your majesty!" Lori's mother jumped up and led him to
a chair. "W-would you like a seat?"
He nodded. "Thank you." He sat down and caught his
breath, while the family awaited his explanation. Why was he here? He took a
deep breath and looked Lori's mother in the eyes. "You have to leave this
place." He said bluntly.
"What?" Asked Lori's mother. "What do you mean? We don't
get a new house?"
He shook his head. "My father, the King, he has something
in mind. Some sort of plan. I don't know what it is, but he says he's going
to destroy all the peasants." He took another deep breath and spoke again.
"Do you have any relatives, or a place to go?"
The older woman shook her head. "No. No one."
Alex frowned. "That might complicate things..." he
mumbled to himself. Then, his face lit up. "Wait! I know! My father doesn't
go into the forest! I know a man there. Perhaps he can help you!"
Lori raised an eyebrow. "The same man who does your
'herb shopping for you'?" she asked with a slight hint if a grin. She was
beginning to like this guy. Maybe he wasn't so bad after all...
Alexander nodded. "Yes, the same. I must go see him." He
stood. "Will you come with me?"
Lori blinked. "Me? Now? Into the forest?"
"Yes." He replied simply. "With me. He's a nice man, and
I'm sure he'll help you."
Lori considered. The forest was rumored to harbor evil
demons and tree spirits. If the legends were true, she was placing herself
in grave danger. But if they weren't then they would be saved from whatever
plan the King had in mind. That is... if the Prince wasn't lying.
What if he was? What if he was just setting her and her
family up for a trap? Could she trust him? She wanted to, but she never met
a man before she could trust. And Alex wasn't only a man, but he was a rich
man, and a prince none-the-less. Was he trustworthy?
Lori slowly nodded. "Yes." She said, "I will come with
you." She then turned to her mother and brother. "If I don't return..." She
didn't finish the sentence. Alex had interrupted her.
He pulled out a leather sack and handed it to her mother.
"If we don't return," he started, "use this money to move far away from
here. My father has probably sent soldiers to find me. It's best if you
leave as soon as possible. Go to some place safe, and we'll meet you there."
Her mother nodded and took the sack of money and looked
down. "Good luck."
Lori hugged her mother. "And you." She said, and rustled
her brother's hair. "Take care of mom for me, okay squirt?"
Timmy nodded and smiled. "I'll be good!"
And without another word, they left in search of this man
in the forest.
Alex picked the twigs out of his hair, and grumbled.
This trip would be a lot easier, he thought, if the forest itself
didn't seem to block our way.
He then looked to the young woman with him. She was
grumbling as well, refusing to take help. She persisted in doing everything
herself. She was a very stubborn girl, but he admired that in her. Every
princess he ever met either relied on everyone else to do everything for
her, or was a spoiled brat. Neither one was good company.
No, this girl was different. She wasn't dependent on
anybody and had very high self-esteem. Something he had never seen before
in a woman. She was indeed special. He was glad he had taken that Sunday
ride that morning.
"How long is it until we reach this 'guy'?" Lori's voice
snapped him out of thought.
He looked around. "Not long, I think. Just a little
She looked at him as if deciding something. "We're lost,
"No!" He denied it. "No, he said he'd be here when I
needed him." Alex sighed. "I usually meet him on the edge of the forest..."
Lori's jaw dropped. "And we've been wandering inside the
forest for how long?!?!" She mumbled something under her breath, but calmed
down. "You had better be able to get us out of here." She said in a low,
threatening tone. "Or you won't be able to have an heir. I promise you that."
Prince Alexander gulped. She sounded serious. He looked
ahead and saw a clearing. "Stay here." He said, "I'll check out this place,
and then we'll rest."
Lori sighed but didn't argue. Instead, she just sat down
onto the mossy carpet of the forest floor and started playing with some
Alex made sure that she was safe, then he headed towards
the clearing, hoping to find something to eat, or at least some water nearby.
He also hoped the man would be there. He didn't want to disappoint Lori.
As he surveyed the area, he noticed a snowy white owl
perch on a nearby tree branch. It was looking strangly at him, as if curious
to what he would do... But that was ludicrous; owls were nothing but birds.
They didn't care what he did... did they?
He shook the thought out of his head, and resumed his
survey of the clearing. It looked like it had been used within the last few
days. There was a patch of ashes and sticks, which could have been a fire.
Could this be what he was looking for?
"Ben?" He called out. "Ben, are you there?"
The only answer he received was the soft hoot of the owl.
It looked at hom with a questioning look, as if asking why he was so deep in
this enchanted forest.
He turned around, unnerved by the bird. It's just a
bird... he thought to himself. But still...
"How do you know Ben, stranger?"
He whirled back around, only to come face-to-face with a
girl. She was tall, and strongly built, wearing a white tunic with knee-high
boots and white slacks. A green sash adroned with a white feather was tied
around her waist. Her hair was pulled back into a high ponytail, and streaked
with glistening red strands, that enhanced her face. She looked familier...
like she was the forest...
"You haven't answered my question, stranger." she said
sternly. She took a step closer.
Alex raised an eyebrow. The owl was no longer there, he
noticed, and she had the same look of curiosity...
"You're one of those forest spirits, aren't you?!" He
demanded. "You're the one who frightens the king's men from here!!"
The girl frowned. "So what if I am?" she said, taking
yet another step closer, "Who are you?"
Alex copied her frown, and put a fist to his chest. "I am
Prince Alexander, son of the King!" He said, handling the hilt of the
dagger on his belt. He might need it. No telling what forest demons could do.
She balled her fists. "Y'know, I have had it up to here
with you non-beleivers, and your threts! Did Ra'ule send you?" she snapped.
"Are you here to kill me?! Well I don't care! But, I tell you, I'm not going
down without a fight, your highness..."
Alex had only a split-second to whip his dagger out as the
forest spirit charged at him with fierce rage. He spun out of her way, and
twisted back around to use his knife, but she was already gone. He glanced
around, but saw her too late. She gave him a firm punch in the abdomen, and
he yelped in pain.
Lori immidiately stood. She had heard it. There had been a
thud and a yell. Alex was in trouble.
She cursed the luck, and turned around, heading for the
clearing. Men are so much trouble... she thought to herself. Now she
would have to save him without humiliating him. Impossible.
When she reached the clearing, however, she saw the
situation and gasped. "Forest spirits!" she whispered. She did not want the
wrath of the forest upon her, but what was she doing to Alex?
Alexander clenched his teeth, and faught the pain. She was
mush stronger than she looked. He glanced up, just in time to see her
dissappear from his view, and elbow him in the back. He fell to the ground,
face first into the cushiony moss, with an "Oopff!"
The girl stopped, and loomed over him. "How the mighty
have fallen..." She mumbled, and frowned. "Leave my forest, your highness."
she demanded. "Leave, and don't come back." She turned to leave, but thought
better of it, and brought her foot back--
--but did not hit the prince as intinded. Instead, her foot
connected with the ribs of a peasant girl with light brown hair. Lori let out
a grunt, and fell onto Alexander with another.
Miriek was startled, but kept her frown. "Foolish girl!"
she snapped, "You shouldn't be here!"
Lori frowned as well, attempting to get to sit up. "Well,
you shouldn't beat up on someone who only wants help!"
"And YOU should stay out of other peoples' business!!"
"This IS my business!!!"
|7 Apr 2001|| Helen Laura Broenink|
Things were already interesting! But they're becoming even MORE interesting now...
Please write on, I want to know how the story continues!It may take a while to make the rest of the story. The fact being that I haven't written it yet. Err... But the more comments, the more it'll motivate me to get my butt in gear and write the thing!
|21 Apr 2001|| Grog|
They do act more like real people than story characters. Getting better. But why is the owl spirit so touchy today? Keep going.
|7 May 2001|| Krystal Chunaco|
I agree with grog, your characters handle emotions more like real people. Great job
Why would I write a story with characters that handle emotions like fake people? ;D Thank you both. I appreciate the comments.
|22 Oct 2001|| Cassie Duncan!|
Wow! This is getting better...
I hope you finish writing this because it's going to get really good!
*Skids to a stop* Write more...? *Thinks* Maybe I could destroy my writer's block with this sledge hammer... do you think?
|20 Dec 2001|| Cassandra Lee Duncan|
If you want to get over writer's block, jus write a whole bunch of nothings until you break the block with that proverbial sledghammer of yours!
Love ya! Alura Raetz
replies: "Proverbial sledgehammer? What makes you think I don't have a real one? I could have one hiding under my bed... or something. Err... writer's block is being slowly chipped away. I'll work on it soon. Maybe during winter break... "
|3 Jan 2002|| Cassandra Lee Duncan|
Winter break is almost over! Remeber that funny run-on story we wrote? I think things liek that can help your writing. I'm going to try and steal it back from Tamara, and put it up on the extranet. Okay, Bye!
|5 Jan 2002|| Wolffe|
Very good... Very good indeed! Alura Raetz
|15 Mar 2002|| N. L. Williams|
Yes, definitely good.