Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.
“I’ll get you some water,” he says and immediately takes off.
Panic overwhelmed me. I needed to get out of here before I was arrested! I slowly push myself up into a sitting position, my head spinning. I look around and see that I am in a small room. There is a wash bin, desk, and the bed I am lying on. The fireplace contains a lit blaze and it casts shadows in the dim room. It is the only source of light. There is only one tiny window in the room and it tells me all I need to know. Through it I see dark skies and a full moon. If I can get out of this house, the night will be all the cover I need to escape.
I rise from the bed, clutching on the posts for balance. I try to put pressure on my wounded leg and fall to the floor with a cry. I hear frantic footsteps. The Royal Guard boy runs in, clutching a glass of water.
“Are you all right?” he asks, kneeling down to help me.
I reach down to my belt for my dagger. My hand grasps only air. I look down and see that I am not wearing my own clothes.
“Where are my things?” I ask, furious. “Where have you put my dagger?”
He stares at me for a moment, his blue eyes obviously not knowing what to make of me. “Your clothes are drying on the line and I put your dagger and MY money in the desk drawer.” He gestures to the ancient-looking piece of furniture.
“And who dressed me in this?” I inquire, motioning down at the nightgown.
My fear is confirmed when he blushes. “Well . . . I did. I thought you were a boy, I swear!”
Now it was my turn to blush. He had seen me in my undergarments . . . unless those were on the clothesline now also, and I had just met him a few hours ago!
“And is this your house?” I ask, desperate to change the subject.
“It is my mother’s,” he replies.
I could not muster my surprise. “You mother lives in Redreef? When she could be living in the castle?”
He shrugs. “I have offered many times for her to come back with me, but every time she declines. She claims the castle is too fancy for her and she only needs the basics, which can be provided for her here. This is where she was born and grew up. She doesn’t want to leave it all for a life full of meaningless fancy things.”
I had never heard of life in Redreef described that way. All I wanted to do was take my family and find any place better for us to live.
I tried to stand up, but only fell back to the ground, cringing. My stupid leg!