The Forgotten Prince

Amilia’s diary age 12 December 15th 1886 Christmas is different for me, where others get surrounded with gifts, warm fires and happy faces, I get locked up. This happens the day after my birthday, when the winter comes. The fact its right after my birthday only makes me feel emptier, lonelier, and very hollow when I’m forced to become a prisoner in my own room. Still I would love to see the snow, even just once. I’m not even allowed to look out of the windows because the doctors say it will make me very sick. I have seen what snow looks like in various pictures and paintings and I don't understand how such a beautiful looking thing could make me sick. I don’t want my father to know how bad this makes me feel, he is in too much pain himself, but I also don’t know how long I can hold all this back. Do I become what my father wants just to keep him happy? To keep everything working in order? I want to prove him wrong, but what if he is not wrong?

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2. My Room, My Prison

Amilia’s diary age 12                                                                  December 15th 1886

Christmas has always been different for me. As others are surrounded by gifts and  happy faces and warm fires... I am locked up. Imprisoned alone, in this plain windowless room that more resembles a prison cell.

My crime... my genes. Some condition possibly passed to me by my mother, my real mother. Now it sounds as if I resent my mother, But I don’t...I miss her....

 It always starts the day the snow falls. Indeed I am lonesome when forced to become a prisoner in my own room and the fact it's right after my birthday only makes me lonelier still.

Yet I would love to see the snow, even just once. I know what your thinking, but no, I’m not even allowed to look out of the windows because the doctors have said it could make me very sick. I have seen what snow looks like in the various pictures and paintings around the house, I don't understand how such a beautiful looking thing could have taken her away.

I don’t want my father to know how bad this makes me feel, he is in too much pain himself, but I also don’t know how long I can hold all this back.

Do you know how it feels to inherit a potential sickness, Its not as though they can prove I have it, but father is unwilling to take the risk. So do I become what he wants just to keep him happy and keep everything working in order? I want to prove him wrong, but what if he is not wrong? If I did get outside and into the snow and fell ill as she did, what would my father do but blame himself, I couldn't do that to him, but it’s still not fair to me.

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Amilia’s father ran from room to room. Upon entering his focus was fixed on the curtains hanging loosely from their rails. He looked certain and cautious. He pulled the curtains closed again, took several deep breaths, reached his hand into his pocket, and extracted a key. It was the only key to the mansion, and it opened and locked every door in the house.

Amilia never needed to watch him; she had seen it so often, year after year and could picture it perfectly. By now, her father would be running down the steps to the last lock. Amilia left Prince to sleep and ran out of her room to the stairs to see him. She stood by the banister. Though there were only a few candles lit, she could still see her father at the bottom of the stairs. She watched him run to the front door, looking very serious, but he always did. The sound of the key turning in the lock appeared to calm him.

Amilia wanted to stop him, she opened her mouth to protest, but the words abandoned her. Her father turned and looked up at her. She could see the seriousness of his looks melt into a smile.

 “You need a shave father” Was all She could find herself saying.

Her father stroked his rough beard with his fingers. It was common for him to become so rugged this time of year. To Amilia it appeared that during this time, her father would be so preoccupied with keeping her safe that he would forget about himself.

“Winter Fever” Imsly said. He looked exhausted.

“I know” Amilia spat out, feeling that familiar anger well up inside her, though she knew her father was only trying to protect her as he always did.

 

Amilia hated this time of year when she had to go from her nice warm room to that horrible winter room, to keep her safe from the fever that killed her mother.

Even having prince this year would not make up for the horrible confinement of that prison. Amilia felt so lonely last year that she spent most of the winter crying. It was the only place her father could not see her crying. and this was the only freedom she had in that room.

“Are you upset darling?”

Amilia glanced at her father. Over the years, she had learned to cram her own feelings away and instead hated the winter for the pain it caused him rather than the loneliness it was bringing her.

“Father, I am so happy that you got me prince. But why won’t you keep your other promise?”

Her father pointed to his watch “It’s getting late now Amilia”

Amilia shook her head “Just tell me, what happened to mother, I just want to know”

“Amilia, that is enough, I don’t want to hear any more about this, is that clear?”

 “Yes father”

Amilia never wanted to cause her father any more pain. “Well, can I look out of the windows this winter, just to see the snow?” Her smile remained, though her father’s faded.

“Amilia, you know you can’t, the light would make you sick”

Amilia felt like crying, she hated to cry, but could not help the feeling that she was somehow being punished for her mother’s death.

**She turned and walked into her room, her father followed. She watched as her father placed the key into his pocket. Her heart stopped when her silver eyes caught a glimpse of the key laying on the floor by his foot. She looked into her father’s eyes to draw away any suspicion. “Father, I think I will go to bed now, Prince may wake up, and if I am not there, he may get frightened”

Amilia walked quietly over to prince. She took the box in her hands with the puppy sleeping inside. As she turned, she gestured her finger to her lip.

“Shh”

She silently gestured for her father to leave, so she could walk with prince without walking around him. Her father turned and walked out. Amilia sped up a little and crouched down to grab the key. She proceeded to walk slowly from the room, but quickly enough to get to her father before he could notice the key was gone.

**Her winter room was at the end of the hall. She had to think of a way to stop him from opening the door. But stopped when she realised the door had already  been opened.

Amilia walked into the room. Her father placed his hand against the light switch.

**“No father, please don’t switch the lights off, not tonight, that's all I ask. I promise I’ll rest, But I want to read a little bit longer” Amilia was sure it was too late, even with the key she would never have been able to find the keyhole in the dark without tripping over something and alerting her father.

Imsly took his hand away from the switch, and moved her long raven black hair out of her eyes and gave her a big smile.

“I only do what I must to keep you safe,” he said.

Amilia held the key behind her back as her father gave her a big hug.

“I know father. I am very sorry to worry you so much”

Imsly looked into his daughters eyes, took a deep breath, and held his hands up.

“Ok your Twelve years old, I trust that if I leave the light on, you will get the rest you need?”

Amilia felt guilty looking into her father’s trusting eyes. she started to wonder if it was best to tell her father about the key.

Imsly gave off a light yawn, “Alright, I think I will go have a shave before  Hazel gets back”

Amilia had started to move her hand, but stopped at her father’s words. She never had long to see winter, once her father went to let her stepmother in, he would realise the key was missing, and she would never have this chance again.

Imsly gave her one last hug and then walked out of the room. Amilia watched the door shut. Thankfully, it locked automatically so her father would not notice the key was missing just yet.

**Amilia glanced at the key in her hand. She had never been allowed to have the key. She looked at Prince who had already woke up and was watching her walk around the room.

“You know what,” she whispered to prince. “Perhaps I should go out, because if I don’t fall ill, and father see's that I don’t fall ill. He won’t need to lock me up any more, right?” She watched prince. “To be honest prince, I am not just doing this to see the winter, so don’t give me that look.” She placed the key on the bed and picked up prince. “I know my mother fell sick with winter fever, but I have never been allowed out to see or feel the winter. There is no way my father can be certain that what happened to my mother will happen to me”

Prince tilted his head to the side.

“My father may always try to shelter me, and yet I may never fall sick. Prince you have no idea what this room is like, stop tilting your head” Amilia glanced at the key. “I guess, I am afraid, that I’ll find out that I really am sick, and then I wouldn’t even have the hope that nothing is wrong with me. Unless there was some type of cure”

She placed prince back into the bed and glanced over at the keyhole “This is a horrible choice. But I only have it this once, and if I don’t get sick, father can finally be happy again, and we could spend Christmas together for once”

She made her mind up and was sure this would be a good thing. She took the key in her hand and placed her finger against her lips “shhhh” she mimicked to Prince.

 She turned the key in the lock and turned the door handle gently, it sounded amplified. She cringed as the door swung open. She would need to be more careful. She held her tongue between her teeth, and made every effort to creep silently down the steps. Her heart was pounding faster with every step.

At last, she reached the last one and the large door that always stood before her, She prowled over to the door. Her heart was in her throat as she inserted the key in the lock. The lock turned with a click, and the door opened silently. Amilia took a step outside.

Snow covered the gardens, as far as she could see. She looked around awe struck at the snowflakes, still falling softly all around. Amilia put her hand out and caught one, it was beautiful.

“Ok Amilia, so far so good, and I don’t feel sick” Feeling a little braver, she took a few steps away from the mansion and out into the snow. The ice and wind appeared to circle her, but she never felt the cold. The snowflakes were falling on her head. She looked down into the small stream beside the house. The water had turned into ice and snow was covering it.

She climbed down into the stream and walked along the ice. It was stable. “I can’t believe I am outside”

She crouched down and prodded her finger into the snow, She did it again a foot away from the first. It was as though the ice had eyes.

She made a curve under the eyes to make it look less frightening, it resembled a smile. but It was not long before it started to annoy her. its smile was so care free and happy while she was sad and frustrated. She quickly wiped the face away with her hand. It was at that moment she caught a glimpse of her own reflection in the smooth surface of the ice. Her skin looked very pale and her lips looked deathly blue.

She could also see someone else’s reflection, but it looked like

Amilia screamed as her father grabbed her by the arm, pulling her back towards the door. He pushed her inside, slammed the door and gave her such a look of anger and sadness that she felt unable to justify her actions.

“Give me the key,” He yelled.

Amilia ran past him and up the stairs into her normal room. She tried to lock the door but could not find the key. She must have left the key in the lock.

Her father ran after her, he pulled the door open and ran up to her.

Her fear changed to guilt when her father hugged her and started to cry.

 “I am so sorry father. I just wanted to show you the winter would not make me sick” She looked down “It did make me sick, I saw my face, father what is wrong with me?”

Her father held her close “Oh Amilia, there is nothing wrong with you, but you are ill. That is why it is so impotent you remain in that room. I am not doing this to hurt you, but to protect you,” he sounded so relieved that she was safe.

 Amilia felt horrible. “Father, I won’t go out again, if that's what you want, I only wanted to see winter, now I have seen it, it’s not that impressive”



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