Why wouldn’t anybody tell me what was going on? I was the king’s daughter I had a right to know. I ran into my bedroom and crashed out onto the bed. I prop myself up onto my elbow and slowly run my finger over my deer statue. My father told me that Deer’s are a symbol of beauty, peace and hope. I remember once I was hunting in the forest and a beautiful baby deer was gliding through the grass with its mother; his protector. I wish my mother was stood beside me sharing the moment; because, even though my mother used to hunt for 12 hours of the day she always saw squirrels, different species of birds and I heard that she also had a encountering with a wolf but she never saw a deer; not once, but I did.
I hear my father, Aeduiin and William talking downstairs with Sophie. I won’t even bother listening to them; I simply close my eyes, block out the sound and I let myself fall to sleep.
I’m riding my horse through the forest; I stop at a halt and slowly lift my legs up over one side and slide of the saddle. I place the strap down. My bow and arrows are over my shoulder and I have a knife secured in my belt alongside some wire in case I need to set any traps.
‘Alexis, look over there’ I recognise the voice it’s my mother. I meet her eyes and I see that’s she pointing to a bird that’s perched on a tree branch. It was a buzzard. Its eyes were scanning the grounds for remains of a dead animal that it could feast on. My mother had shot down a squirrel which she was planning on giving to one of the village families, but instead she placed the squirrel on the wet ground of the forest when the buzzard spread its wings and landed right beside it and started tucking in. My mother and I turned away and carried on moving.
‘Alexis stop!’ I turned around to look at my mother; I could feel a confused expression creep onto my face but my mother had turned pale, I turned back to look at her, when she pointed forward. I turned my neck slowly not wanting to disturb whatever was in front of me, when my head was fully turned I met the eyes of the wolf.
I stood frozen. My heart rate had started to increase. The grey fur of the wolf stood out from the dark brown bark of the trees, normally if wolves were around in the winter their fur would blend in with the snow. I gripped my hand tightly around the wooden handle of my knife when I heard my mother whisper under her breath ‘No Alexis’. The eyes of the wolf were fixed on mine, they screamed death. The wolf let out a high pitched howl. Would that attract more wolves? What would remain of mine and my mother’s bodies? Who would find us? Who would tell my father the news that we were gone? All these thoughts flooded my mind. At this moment the wolf was captivating me and my mother, immobilising us, immobilising our brains. I heard sudden movement when my horse was galloping through the trees heading straight for me; my mother and the wolf.
My mother pushed me out of the way, landing on the solid hard ground; one side of my face now covered in dirt. I saw the wolf attack the rear of my horse, ripping it’s clause into the flesh. My horse bucked and kicked and threw itself onto the ground to get the wolf off. My horse rose into the air, and then pounded its two front hooves on the ground. The wolf ran away into the trees not once stopping to look back. A few minutes later we heard a familiar howl and decided we needed to head back.
I wrapped my hand around the reins of my horse and walked slowly back to where we fed the Buzzard, we were far into the forest and it would take a while to get back.
‘You know Alexis, you haven’t even given your horse a name.’
‘Well I never knew what to call him; and plus, the amount of children that visit his stable saying ‘horsie horsie, come here horsie!’ I think he would have forgotten his name in the first few months’ But then it occurred to me that my favourite name Alejandro meant protector of mankind. My horse just stopped a wolf tearing myself and mother to pieces.
‘Alejandro! I’ll name him Alejandro’
‘What?’ My mother said.
‘I’ll name my horse Alejandro; it means protector of mankind; it’s perfect!’
‘What about the children?’
‘I’ll figure that out’
My mother and I knew we were close to home when we saw the light of a fire.
‘Ah the villagers are out again tonight.’
‘Yes I think we should join them when I’ve put Alejandro in the paddock’
‘Not tonight Alexis’
‘What’s more important than sitting out with your own towns people?’
‘Alot of things. Now please Alexis I don’t have time for 20 questions, and besides you need to get cleaned up; wash the mud of your face.’
When we arrived back at the village I put Alejandro back in the paddock and walked slowly into the castle, getting one last glimpse of the villagers around the fire, singing tunes and having a laugh. How I would have loved to have joined them.
I felt my shoulder being pushed back and forth.
‘Alexis wake up quick!’
I was dreaming. I awoke to see Aeduiin standing over me practically pulling me of the bed. I saw a flicker of light from the corner of my eye.
‘Stay here and don’t move.’
Sophie rushed into my room.
‘It’s okay Alexis; everything’s going to be alright.’
‘What’s going on; tell me.’ Sophie cradled my head into her shoulder covering my ears. I pushed with all my force to get her off. I now stood over her.
‘TELL ME!’ I shouted. I turned around and looked behind to see the whole village was set alight; children were screaming; wandering lost, not knowing where to go. I pushed Sophie out of the way, I slipped off my dress and my shoes, pulled on my trousers and a blouse, put on my hunting boots and stormed out the door. My bow and arrows were stood up against the front door alongside my collection of knives.
‘Alexis come back’
‘He’s in the laundry room’ I charged through the door.
‘You coward; those are your people; why aren’t you out there fighting!?’ My father looked at me with sorrow, pain and disappointment in his eyes as he mouthed the words ‘Their coming for me’