The Queen's Demise.

Entry for the Fantasy competiton.

Helana, Daughter of Garon, is Queen of the LowLands; a small queendom with the power of a kingdom. The trouble is, she's challenged by kings from other lands who threaten her throne, although they are always unsuccessful... Until Serah, King of the SeaLands, comes along.
Will Helana managed to keep her queendom in her grasp?

NOTE: About the terrible formatting... I hope it doesn't affect my chances in the fantasy competition... But read the below.. http://www.movellas.com/people/profile/201206191639356509/blog

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2. Ten Years Later.

 

Ten years, and thirty five horse paces after Helana's father had died, Master Kalvus Nook's parents were brutally murdered by thieves as they travelled back from the UpLands with food for the Queen and her court. Their bodies weren't found until some time later, rotting beside the remains of the family horse, and the smoking carriage it had been pulling. The eleven year old was told about his parents four days after the attack.

Master Nook took the news about their deaths rather well, considering his slight age. He had already learnt to live alone and plant and harvest food, as his parents had always left him alone. But he also felt distraught; there was an empty space in his chest, the house was much colder than it was before, and he wasn't about to blame that on the fact that he couldn't afford fuel for the fire. There was something different about being alone, and he didn't like it. 

One day, Nook was awoken at dawn by angry voices outside. He rubbed the muck out of his eyes and lay there for a moment, trying to discern the yells. 

‘This damned queen has ruined us! We are on our last few grains of corn, and yet she won’t allow us anymore until the harvest!’

‘My dear friend, calm down. Take some of mine, I have plenty to spare.’

There was a clatter of hooves, and the clacking of metal on metal; possibly from the armor the knights wore. Then the scuffling of the peasant’s feet and the occasional grumble, and everything was quiet. That is, until a metal hand knocked on wood; Nook’s front door. He tried his best to fix up his hair as he rushed to the door; but it obviously didn’t work, as General Thork stared at disgust for a moment before he remembered his reason for the intrusion. 

General Thork, of Queen Helana's court, stood before him, clad in metal with the Queendom's shield emblazoned on his chest. Nook bowed slightly, cautious of the man with the brown hair and grey eyes.

'Yes, Sir?' Nook asked quietly, avoiding looking Thork in the eyes. 

'Master Nook,' the man began in his rough, deep voice. 'You have been summoned by her Majesty, Queen Helana, to her court, this afternoon. She requests that you bring your possessions, as you will not be returning. We will be waiting outside for you, for we have been ordered to escort you to the castle.'

Nook stood there for a moment, not able to believe what he had just been told, even though it had been a message from the Queen herself. He shook his head, and, realising that Thork was still watching him, bowed again before running into the house. He grabbed a small sack, and dropped in his other pair of shorts, his mother's notebook, and his father's small bronze knife. That was everything. 

General Thork looked angry at something when Nook emerged from his hut, but after concentrating on the frown lines on Thork's face, the muscles there seemed to become less tense, and he let a small smile slip before his expression returned to a stony grimace. Kalvus Nook felt a glow of pride at making the man feel less angry, but hid his smile by staring down at his torn shoes and the dusty ground. 

They set off for the Queen's castle, Nook gripping to the reins of Thork's horse with white knuckles and smiling as the wind ran through his unwashed hair. 

 

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