I’m posting this writing exercise on time for once- shock horror! Miracles do happen- ha!! The last few weeks have been hectic, so here’s to getting back into my blogging swing.
The ‘K’ name I randomly selected from the first ‘K’ page in my naming book is:
Kady: An Irish feminine first name, perhaps influenced by Katie, but the name could stem from Ceadach meaning ‘first’. (Irish Gaelic).
“Where has that girl gone? Princess- pah. She’s a brat- an unruly, disobedient brat.”
I swing down from the tree, landing steadily in front of Howell in the soft grass. “Were you saying something, Howell, because I didn’t quite catch it?”
“Oh no, Princess,” he squeaks, flushing red. “I was simply asking the guard here after your whereabouts. You really mustn’t wander, Your Highness. Look at your dress, your mother will be furious.”
“I wasn’t wandering, Howell. I was climbing- there is a difference. And my mother is dead. Deidra is not now, and will never be my mother. You needn’t have come along at all. Father never used to mind my being in the gardens alone. Once he returns, he shall tell you so himself.”
Howell sighs loudly, adjusting the stupid sash he wears. None of the other wards wear their sashes day in day out. They only make exception for functions and ceremonies. Howell is a pompous oaf, and would happily crawl up Deidra’s backside if there was room enough.
“I am aware that Deidra wants you to watch my every move. She believes me to be part of the uprising, does she not?”
Howell trips over his robe, pulling at his collar; the tell tale tick of a worried man. “Ludicrous accusation, Your Highness. Your father married the Queen out of love. The stories of magic and sorcery are the talk of simple folk. Why would anyone believe that you would be part of such a charade? The uprising is nothing more than outlaws using myths to destroy the Monarchy.”
“I think it’s all quite fascinating- the adventure- the spirit. Outlaws must live extraordinary lives.” I skip away, swinging the picnic basket as I go. The orchards are beautiful at this time of year. As a child, I would spend hours playing with my father’s ward’s son, Jago. We would even pick apples and help the cooks make crumbles for all of the palace staff. “Do you not think, Howell?”
“Yes, if by extraordinary lives you mean homeless, feral, and unhygienic. Please, Princess Kadlynne, we really must be returning to the palace to prepare for the ball. The Queen permitted you to one hour of freedom only.”
I chuckle. “Freedom? I am not free, Howell. I have your hawk eyes on me every minute of every day.” I carry on meandering through the trees. “Anyway, I thought you’d be interested in the new edition to the vineyard crop. You did say that the exotic berries are the Queen’s favourite. If you would help me pick some, I’m sure the cooks would be more than happy to make up a pie. The Queen would be grateful, I’m sure, and I’d get an extra fifteen minutes of ‘freedom’.”
He rolls his eyes, but takes the basket from me all the same. “Lead the way, Your Highness.”
I allow him to walk two paces ahead of me, eagerly eyeing the crop of grapes. The scent in the vineyard is heavenly. I could get tipsy just thinking about the quality of wine this harvest will produce. Howell continues to search for the infamous berries, but there are only grapes for as far as the eye can see. I use the distraction, and the dense coverage of the vines, to slip out of my dress.
“I think you are mistaken, Princess?” He squats down to examine the leaves on the vine.
“Mistaken about what, Howell? The berries or the uprising?”
His heads whips in my direction, his mouth hanging open in disbelief. I know he eyes my leather trousers and the blades sheathed to my hip, thigh, and calf. My red vest with the infamous black logo, sears into his eyes. I kick my dress away from my feet.
Howell staggers, falling to the ground in a bundle of robes, and calling to the guard. I unsheath my blade, edging closer to the weasle in the grass. The weight on my shoulders lifts, and I can finally drop the act. After seven long months I can stop pretending.
“My father won’t be returning, will he, Howell? He never went away in the first place. You poisoned the King on the Queen’s orders, didn’t you? I know what you did, and I know that my ludicrous accusation isn’t quite so ludicrous after all.” He shouts to the guard again, scrambling away from me in fear. “You’re a smart man, Howell. You know what this logo means, and you know that I won’t let you or Deirdra take what is mine.”
There is movement behind me, and Howell relaxes at the sight of the guard. “The Princess is threatening the Queen’s ward,” he shouts, but the guard doesn’t look to stop me.
“I was going to conveniently fall from the balcony tonight, wasn’t I, Howell? The perfect murder; all those aristocrats to bear witness to the tragic accident of a silly Princess.” I grab at his hair, pulling him right into my face.
“No…no…Your High- Princess, please. I.. I..I’m sorry.”
“This is for my father,” I say, and I slit his throat open. I throw his head back down to the ground and watch the blood stain the grass.
An arm wraps around my waist and I turn into the embrace. My guard- my protector. He kisses me. He still smells the same as he did all those years ago- spearmint and apples.
“This is it. It has begun. Take his sash back to base as proof. I shall meet you all where we agreed.”
He kisses me one last time, and then rips the sash from Howell’s lifeless torso. “Make sure you take care, and I’ll see you at dusk. I love you, Kady.”
“I love you too, Jago.”
All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman
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